Arguably the best and greatest wildlife reserve in Africa, the Maasai Mara has lived up to its billing with numerous visitors flocking to the park to marvel at mother nature’s wonders especially during the wildebeest migration.
The Masai Mara got its name from the local people who called the land Mara which means “spotted.” It is globally famous for its exceptional population of lions, leopards and cheetahs, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October, known as the Great Migration.
Dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, the 2 million-plus wildebeests migration is an experience unlike any other. The crocodiles are at their happiest and most active as the wildebeests and a 200,000 zebra population cross the Mara River.
Here, you will easily spot a solitary white rhino, a cheetah just about to pounce on its prey, a leopard resting on a treetop and the rest big five; African Elephant, Water Buffalo, Lion, in other parts of the park.
High seasons are between June and August, December and January. The June – August season is the wildebeests’ migration period and normally the animals migrate back to the Serengeti when the grass dries up over October – December.
Activities while at the Maasai Mara revolve around the weather calendar. It rains in April and May and again November and this can cause some areas of the Mara to be inaccessible due to the sticky ‘black cotton’ mud.
July to October is dry and the grass is long and lush after the rains, temperatures vary between 85°F (30°C) during the day and 60°F (15°C) at night. This is a good time to come and see the huge herds of migratory herbivores.
The warmest time of year is December and January, an appropriate time to go bird watching, the Mara boasts of 53 birds of prey species among other species. June and July are the coldest months. Pack appropriate clothing depending on the weather patterns above.
The Mara is segmented into the following zones Ngama Hills to the east with sandy soil and leafy bushes liked by black rhino, Oloololo Escarpment forming the western boundary and rising to a magnificent plateau, Mara Triangle bordering the Mara River with lush grassland and acacia woodlands favorite for migrating wildebeest, Central Plains forming the largest part of the reserve with scattered bushes and grassland.
You can go for balloon rides especially during the warm periods while you view the vast grassland and blue skies normally witnessed at this time of the year. If you are driving your own vehicle to ensure you avoid off-road drives and after dark drives which are normally.