You have probably heard about Masai Mara and even wondered why the game reserve is so popular to the extent that whenever top safari destinations are mentioned, Masai Mara game reserve has to be mentioned. According to Ray Kiarie who is a Senior Safari Consultant at Safari Fellows, below are the reasons why a Masai Mara Safari is the best option for you
1-Exceptional Game Viewing Drives Inside Masai Mara
Masai Mara is awash with different species of wildlife. Thus, when you go for a safari to Masai Mara, you can be assured of having a great game viewing experience. The game viewing drives take place at different times of the day. Each game viewing drive will offer you a unique experience hence the reason you should consider having game viewing drives during different times of the day. If you are fortunate enough, you will be able to spot the big five (lion, buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant) and other wildlife species.
2-The Great Wildebeest Migration
The wildebeest migration takes place every year as more than two million animals (zebra, wildebeest, and gazelle) migrate from Serengeti Plains to Masai Mara plains in search of greener pastures.
The sheer number of the wildlife involved in the migration, the thundering steps of the animals and they press on with the migration, and the sight of the migrating animals swimming through Mara River in order for them to reach Masai Mara is a sight to behold. However, the migration only happens between July and October and for that reason, it is important that you confirm with the tour operator taking you on safari that your safari takes place at a time when the migration is taking the centre stage in Masai Mara.
3-A Visit To The Mara River
If you have watched a safari documentary, you must have heard the Mara River been mentioned countless times. This river plays a critical role in the life of the wildlife found in Masai Mara since it acts as the water source for most of the animals.
Thus, by visiting the river, you are going to be able to spot many animals as they come to the river to quench their thirst. In addition, as the animals come to drink water in the river, the Nile crocodiles that reside in the river get time to prey on the animals and even catch fresh meals. It is in the same river that the wildebeest migration takes place in.
4-Enjoy Guided Walking Safaris
In Masai Mara, you have the option of taking part in a guided walking safari and imitate the experience of the early explorers. Accompanied by highly trained and experienced safari guides, you get to explore this vast grassland and enjoy sighting variety of wildlife species on foot. Moreover, you can also have your breakfast in the bush after an early morning guided walking safari.
5-Ideal for Bird Watchers
Unknown to many, Masai Mara is home to more than 400 bird species. Among others, some of the bird life to be spotted in Masai Mara comprises of ostrich, pelican, little grebe, African Darter, Little Egret, White Stock, Black Stock, African Spoonbill, Reb-billed teal, dove, pigeon, woodpecker, vultures, and quail.
Some of these birds are scavengers and you will see them hovering above lions or other carnivorous that have just caught their catch as they hope to get a bit of the carnivorous meal. Moreover, some the Eagles are quite powerful and are able to prey on baby impalas as well as other bird species.
6-Fly-In Safari From Mombasa or Nairobi
If time is not on your side but you still want to go on a safari to Masai Mara, you can be able to do so by flying to Masai Mara rather than using the road. Even if you are going to miss out on the great sceneries that you would have seen if you traveled by road, you will be able to fly to the park in less than two hours and enjoy a great safari experience before flying back to Nairobi or Mombasa. Even though flying to Masai Mara is expensive than would be the case in you traveled by road, this option is ideal for those who do not have the time to travel by road.
7-Hot Air Balloon Safari
Even though expensive (Prices start at $415), hot air balloon safari is the best way to spot the wildlife in this vast park. Indeed, with the hot air balloon, you will be able to get a clear perspective of Masai Mara from above as you float above Masai Mara plains enjoying breathtaking scenes of wildlife below you. The hot air balloon ride in Masai Mara takes place early in the morning and once you have landed, you are served with Champagne breakfast in the bush. Take note that hot air balloon rides are now becoming very popular and for that reason, you need to ensure that you book you book the balloon safari in advance if you are interested.
8-Visit to a Local Masai Village
Masai Mara is named after the local tribe that has resided in the area throughout the lifetime of the tribe. The Masai have been able to still maintain their culture while at the same time embracing some aspects of modernization. A visit to a local Masai village is going to acquaint yourself with the Masai way of life. In addition, you will also get the chance to purchase souvenirs and gift items that have been manufactured by the Masai.
9-Variety of Accommodation Choices
Masai Mara has different types of accommodation for different types of guests. For those who want to spend their night outside in a tent gazing at the stars, the park offers camping grounds that have all the necessary facilities. On the other hand, there are lodges and tents of different levels right from budget level to Luxury accommodation.
10-Combine Masai Mara Safari with Other Safaris
Due to Masai Mara’s location, you can be able to combine a safari to Masai Mara with a safari to other parks, reserves, and attractions. Among other safari destinations, it is possible for you to combine a safari to Masai Mara with safaris to Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Bogoria, Lake Victoria, Samburu game reserve, and other different destinations.