Masai Mara National Reserve is often referred to as paradise on earth for the sheer variety and quantity of wildlife living here. Named after the
|Name of the Park||Masai Mara|
|Area||583 sq. miles|
|Nearest International Airport||Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport|
|Distance from the Airport||118.7 miles|
|Governing Body||Narok County Councils and Trans Mara|
|Best time to Visit||July to October and December to February|
One of the most-frequented tourist destinations of Kenya, Masai Mara is located at the southwestern part of the country, within the Serengeti Ecosystem. Masai Mara's eastern border is about 167.7 miles away from Nairobi. For visitors coming by flight, Nairobi International Airport is the nearest and the most prominent airport, connected by many international and national flights. From Nairobi to Masai Mara by flight, it takes about 40 to 45 minutes. There are some small airports such as Mara Serena Airport, Keekorok Airport within the reserve area, which receives flights from Nairobi and other nearby cities. By road it takes about five to six hours from Nairobi. For moving around the park, the best options are safari vehicles and hot air balloons. These are easily available within the reserve area. There are entry charges applicable for the non-east African visitors ( $80 for the adult and about $30 for the children)
Masai Mara was originally a wildlife sanctuary established in 1948 enclosing a total area of about 200 square miles. In 1961 the total area was extended up to 703 square miles within the Serengeti Ecosystem and the park was transformed into a game reserve. The management of the park was handed over to the Norok county councils. In 1974, a part of the park was given the status of National Reserve and about 61 sq. miles was given back to the traditional inhabitants, in 1976 another 63 square miles were removed from the reserve. The total area was reduced to the existing 580 square miles in 1982. In 2001, the management of the Mara Triangle and the Masai Mara was taken over by a non-profit making Mara Conservancy.
Masai Mara has a marvelous landscape with a spectacular plateau to the west, bushes and sandy soil to the east, open and gently sloping grassland, and woodland on either banks of the Mara River, which is also the backbone of Masai Mara region. The Mara River is also home to a large number of crocodiles and hippos. This river flows westbound from north to south through the Tanzania Park up to the Lake Victoria. Dense forests border this river, which is also home to a number of bird species. A visit to the Masai Mara gives you with a feeling of serenity; this reserve of wildlife is known for its tranquility.
Diverse wildlife, a variety of birds, the magnificent landscape, dense foliage and forest, and the culturally rich local inhabitants are the major attractions of the Masai Mara region. This famous destination in Kenya is a haven for nature lovers. Lions, which are most in number, buffaloes, leopards, rhinos and elephants are spread across the region and are easily spotted. Game drive or safari is for a favorite with the tourists. Safari rides with experienced guides are organized by many lodges in the reserve and can be enjoyed in the morning, afternoon and in the early evening. People interested in learning about the customs of the locals can also visit the Masai Village, to learn about the lifestyle and traditions of the inhabitants. The Great Migration is also a major attraction for tourists; it is the migration of birds takes place in July and August every year.
Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is a popular tourist destination with plenty of amazing sights and sounds. The reserve has many lodges including the Mara Serena, Mara Sopa, and Keekorok or at the camps located in Intrepids club, Mara Sarova, Mara Buffalo and Kichwa Tembo. The campsites near River Talek are exciting locations to stay. This rich animals kingdom is a must-visit for any nature lover.
Last Updated on: August 25, 2012