The Masai Mara National Reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, in mainly open grassland. It borders the Serengeti National Park and together they form Africa’s best known wonder – the annual great migration. The area got the name Masai Mara in honor of the Masai people.
Meet the Masai tribe
The Masai (also spelled “Maasai”) have lived in this region since they migrated from the Nile Basin centuries ago. Mara means spotted in Maa language, which refers to the region’s landscape which is marked by many short bushy trees scattered all over the outstretched savannah. To get more familiar with the Masai lifestyle, you can visit a village in the Masai Mara.
The National Reserve is home to more than 95 animal species and over 400 species of birds. The wildlife is usually based on the escarpment of the reserve. Mid July to mid October is the best time to visit the Masai Mara as this is the time for the great migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, antelope and impala. By mid July, they normally start crossing over from the Tanzanian Serengeti. This annual migration involves over 2.5 million animals. Together these animals cross the dangerous Mara river in massive herds in order to find fresh grass on the other side. Crocodiles always await in the waters. This is an exciting spectacle you shouldn’t miss!
Masai Mara Triangle
The Masai Mara Triangle is a special area of the Masai Mara National Reserve that is managed by a non-profit conservancy formed by local Masai communities. It is also one of the best destinations in the world to spot wildlife. The mara river runs through the Mara Triangle and it is the first part of the Masai Mara that the animals reach after crossing the border with Tanzania.
You have an excellent chance to see animals here. The famous Big Five – elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo – live in the Masai Mara Triangle. And with a bit of luck you can see cheetahs, servals, hyenas, bat-eared foxes, and black-backed or side-striped jackals. The Mara Triangle is also home to hippos, crocodiles, baboons, warthogs, topis, elands, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, impalas, waterbucks, oribis, reed-bucks, zebras, and many more…