Masai Mara National Reserve
‘The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page’
One of the very interesting and spectacular pages in this book called the ‘World’ is Kenya. This East African country is very rich in cultural and geographical diversity and offers adventurers and nature lovers a satisfying travel experience. From Kakamega Forest home to over 320 species of birds and showcasing beautiful butterflies to Siawa Swamp National Park inhabited by semi-aquatic Sitatunga antelope and white-bearded De Brazza's monkey and other primates, Kenya is the travelers delight. Another place of interest is the Pate Island completely untouched by the modern civilization and lost in a time zone of its own.
The Amazing Masai Mara
The jewel in Kenya’s crown is the most amazing wildlife reserve, the Masai Mara National Reserve, 290 kilometers from Nairobi, the country’s capital. The Reserve is about 1510 sq km in area. Traveling through the reserve is an out of the world experience as the region successfully marries modern tourism with the preservation of the traditional homeland of the Masai tribe and the wildlife. Located in the Southwestern part of Kenya in the Rift valley, Masai Mara Forest Reserve is unfenced and borders the massive Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The river Mara is home to crocodiles and hippos and it is from here that millions of wildbeest and thousands of Zebras make their annual migration.
Masai Mara is the home for big cats such as leopards and lions existing in harmony with other animals including buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebra, wildbeest, dogs and numerous other small animals. The Masai Mara reserve is home to over 500 species of animals and birds.
The Great Migration
Apart from the presence of the wildlife, Masai Mara has breathtaking rolling grasslands that during the great migration are teeming with animals of all shapes and sizes and the atmosphere reverberates with the sound of the hooves of these animals. It is truly a spectacular sight; wildbeest crossing the Mara river into Masai Mara between July and October. In October, the wildbeest head towards Serengeti that has lush green grass and to give birth to a new generation that will start the cycle of life all over again. The pioneers of migration are the Zebras. Once the migrators leave for greener pastures, Masai Mara still has big animals as its inhabitants like elephants, lions, leopard, buffalo and zebra. Rivers in the area abound with hippos and crocodiles with crocodiles having a feast during the migration.
A Convenient Stay
To enjoy this wonderful spectacle of wildlife, there are several options available. These include bush walks with a guide, boat tours, wilderness trails and you can even drive yourself in a safari. There is also a convenient hiding place from where one can observe the wildlife, unseen. The Reserve Park offers a hot air balloon safari. From above, the surrounding landscape is breathtaking and animals congregating at the river are a sight that remains etched in the memory forever. Not only are the park and its inhabitants a treat to the eyes, living in the area is also an experience in itself. There are spacious lodges, custom designed tents, and rooms available and a warm welcome from the local people.
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