Wildlife; The Mara is known as one of the finest wildlife destinations in the world, while here, there is big chance of seeing the big five (herds of Elephants about 3000, 22 families of lions, leopards, buffaloes and Rhinos) and cheetah. The parks boosts for over 60 species of wild animals from large herds of herbivores which include; over 1,300,000 numbers of wildebeests, 500000 Thomson`s gazelles, 97,000 Topis, 18,000 elands, 200,000 zebras and thousands of antelopes like Grant`s gazelles, impalas, duikers and coke`s hartebeests. The larger endemic roan antelope and nocturnal bat-eared fox can only be seen within this reserve borders and not anywhere else in Kenya. Hippopotamus and crocodiles are so common in the Mara and Talek rivers, other carnivores like the jackals, hyenas and many more can also be spotted in the Park. The plains between river Mara and the Siria escarpments are the best probable areas for game viewing, particularly lions and cheetahs.
What to See and Do in the Maasai Mara National Reserve
Wildlife in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Game drive in Maasai Mara National Park
Game drive. Led by an experienced local guide, very conversant with the area and able to give you lots of information about the animals and their habitant are available for you. The guides know where certain species of animals can currently be and the best way to approach them.
It is also wise that when you’re booking a place of stay, you should specify to us the kind of game drive that you’re interested in; because there are spotted areas within the reserve known for inhabiting a certain species of wildlife than others.
The best time to visit Masaai Mara National reserve for a game drive is between July and September when millions of Zebras, wildebeests, and gazelles are migrating to Masaai Mara crossing the crocodile infested Mara River in search for greener pastures from Serengeti national park.
Walking Safari in Maasi Mara National Reserve
Masaai Mara gives you an adventurous exploration of wildlife species along the bush. A walking safari is slow paced guided walk and gives a more detailed animal experience about wildlife compared to the game drive. You will be led by an experienced and professional armed guide to experience and authentic insight of the bush that’s beyond observation.
A walking safari can be carried out in the Mara Naboisho conservancy, a virgin wildlife area with great scenery. While here, you have higher chances of viewing big game animals like the elephants, hippos, leopards, lions, hyenas, giraffes, rhinos, buffalo, zebra, hippos and so much more. This likelihood of seeing wildlife from a shorter distance gives an exciting feeling.
A walking safari usually takes two hours and more to even days depending of the visitor`s preference.
Bird Watching in Maasai Mara National Park
Masaai Mara features a number of habitats conducive for great bird watching. Over 470 species of birds have been recorded to exist in this reserve, many of these birds are migrants and about 60species of birds are raptors.
Birds that live in this reserve include; Foxy Lark, Red-throated Tit, Hildebrandt’s Starling, Swahili and Kenya Rufous Sparrows, Little Bee-eater, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, White-headed Barbet, Flappet and Rufous-naped Larks, Long-billed Pipit, Pale Wren-Warbler, Green-capped Eremomela, Red-tailed and Sooty Chats, Trilling, Rock and Long-tailed Cisticolas, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Variable Sunbird, Yellow Bishop, Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting, Harlequin Quail, Red-necked Spurfowl, White-bellied and Black-bellied Bustards, Senegal and Black-winged Plovers, the localized White-tailed Lark, Red-capped Lark, Fischer’s Sparrow Lark, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Stout and Croaking Cisticolas, Northern, Pied and Isabelline Wheatears, African Quailfinch, Jackson’s among other species.
Secretary birds, kori bustards and the turkey-sized ground hornbills are regular on the grasslands along with crowned plovers. The white storks are seasonal and pop in for the summer. Watch the Saddle-billed storks dancing and rolling stylishly around the outskirts of the swamps looking for their favorite food; cat fish.
The Madagascar Squacco can be spotted between October and May. The giant and pygmy Kingfisher can be found along the rivers. birders are advised to carry binoculars to look out for Ross`s Turaco and Schalow`s along the edges of the Mara riverine forest.
Balloon Safaris in Masaai Mara National Reserve
Exciting balloon safari is once in a lifetime experience you can have while you’re in Kenya. Being suspended in a wicker basket above the natural planes of Africa with the sun tweeting on the skies and the walking wilderness below, is one of the must-grandchildren tales you will never forget! Enjoy the opportunity to fly over to safari areas that are restricted from safari vehicles and explore the most startling and most thrilling sensation like before.
A balloon is inflated with air and the balloon staff of about 20-25 people helps passengers to board (watching the inflation process is also a remarkable experience). The carrier of your balloon is divided into sections for safety and comfort purposes. The balloon is then made ready by the ground staff as the balloon pilot gives you safety precautions. Once everyone is ready, the balloon burner is turned on and you feel the balloon lifting up from the ground. The ground crew guides the balloon until it is safely launched.
Cultural Walks in Masaai Mara National Reserve
A short tour can be undertaken to different cultural sites within the local community to give tourists and opportunity for cross-cultural interaction with the local people.Visit the neighboring Talek town with the expert Masaai guides and learn about the rich Masaai cultural heritage.
You can begin your visit to the young empowered pupils of Talek primary school which has recently been established in the area to provide formal education to the Masaai. Your guide will take you through the lifestyle and hustles these pupils go through like the miles day-scholars walk every morning and evening to come and attain education in search for the better future.
Thereafter, you will be continued to the Talek Community center, the only standardized medical center available in the area to address the challenges of late diagnosis and high mortality rates associated with walking long distances to reach clinics.