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The Great Masai Mara

by Kamau Mbiyu
(Nairobi Kenya)

Crocodile attacks wildebeest in Masai Mara

Crocodile attacks wildebeest in Masai Mara

Welcome to one of the seven new wonders of the world. The Masai Mara game reserve is found in Southern Kenya and it spans an area of about 1500 squared kilometers. It takes about 4-5 hours to drive from Nairobi and around 45 minutes to fly.

Several rivers flow across its plains but most notable is the River Mara, which flows into the Lake Victoria. The world famous wildebeest migration is mainly a spectacle as the wildebeests cross the Mara River. The wildebeests plunge into the river in numbers, as crocodiles draw near to make easy kills. Other predators such as lions also prey nearby ready to hunt. Many of them die in this risky course and leave plenty of food for scavenging vultures, hyenas and jackals. Also, all the big five are found in the Mara reserve. There are over 400 species of prey in the Mara, more than 50 being birds of prey. Masai Mara is a game reserve where lots of tourists have witnessed predators such as cheetahs hunting.

There are a number of luxurious lodges in the Masai Mara reserve such as Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Mara Simba Lodge, and Sentrim Mara Lodge, among others. A game drive or two in a day would be quite enjoyable, as there is so much to be seen in the Mara. Most of the lodges also offer bush lunches and dinners. It’s such an amazing experience to have your dinner under the star-lit sky. They also have verandas where one can sit and enjoy an African sunset. This is one of the best honeymoon destinations in Kenya,
as lovers would have such an unforgettable experience. In addition, most of the lodges arrange weddings, honeymoons, pedicures and manicures. They also have massage parlors and beauty spas. There are libraries stocked with books that are rich with information on African wildlife, as well as the Local Masai community.

The local community around the Mara is the Masai. A visit to the Masai village would be enjoyable as one would watch their traditional dances, cooking, dressing and so much more. The Masai are among the few communities in Kenya who still maintain their traditional culture. This includes their mode of dressing, which constitutes a brightly colored and patterned blanket locally referred to as a ‘Shuka’. Their music is also traditional and the dances involve jumping while holding weapons such as clubs and spears.

One can also enjoy a hot air balloon ride in Kenya over the reserve. It is such an unforgettable experience to view wildlife from a bird’s eye view. Tourists are advised to stay in the car while on a game drive. It is also necessary to carry mosquito repellent for use especially at night. The vegetation around the Mara is mainly Savannah and woodland, and the climate is moderate, hence one should not carry very heavy clothes, unless it is between March and May when it rains. However, it would not be advisable to plan a safari during this time.

Kamau Mbiyu is a Safari and Travel consultant at Explorer Kenya Tours & Travel. Kenya Safari includes; Lodge and camping safari, hotel bookings, luxury tented tours, wildlife and bird watching, family safaris, mountain climbing and bungee jumping.

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