Parks & Reserves - Parks & Reserves
Size: 1,410 sq Kms
Gazetted as a National park: May 1963
Province:Rift Valley, Narok and Transmara Districts
Geographical Location: South West of Nairobi
Altitude:1,000 – 3,400 meters above sea level
Distance from Nairobi: 350 Kms
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is administered by the local county council (Transmara and Narok). It is probably the most famous and most visited reserve in Kenya. It offers breathtaking views (seen in the film 'Out of Africa', much of which was filmed here) an extraordinary density of animals including the "Big Five" and many varieties of plains game.
An impressive feature is the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle from the plains of the Serengeti that cross the Tanzanian border and rivers to reach the Mara's lush grassland from late June, hunted by the predators: lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and circled by vultures as the journey unfolds. Their dramatic river crossings are a reality for tourists visiting in July – August.
Birdlife is as profuse as wildlife. These include red winged schalow's turaco, white-tipped crest, Ross turaco, orange buff pel's fishing owl, wary guinea fowl. The open plains birds include Jackson's bustard, black-bellied hartlaubs bustard. 53 species of birds of prey have been recorded. Secretary birds are common.
Apart from the seasonal migration, game viewing is excellent year round. Game includes: elephant, Black Rhino, buffalo, plains zebra, roan antelope in small numbers, white-bearded gnu, Oribi, warthog, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle, hartebeest and the big cats; the rivers are home to hippo and crocodiles. Maasai Mara has the largest population of lion.
There are many lodges within the park and many more outside the park boundaries, accommodation levels range from the up market five star to the basic campsites.