The Masai Mara is one of the best-known reserves in Africa. It is globally renowned for its exceptional wildlife
It is a photographer’s and naturalist’s paradise, with abundant elephant, buffalo, giraffe, lion and cheetah alongside the migratory wildebeest and zebra. Leopards are frequently encountered, endangered black rhino hide in the dense thickets and large rafts of hippo and enormous crocodiles are found in the Mara River. The park is also home to over 450 bird species.
Despite comprising only 0.01% of Africa’s total landmass, more than 40% of Africa’s larger mammals can be found here
The long dry season also corresponds to the Great Migration that arrives in Masai Mara from the Serengeti National Park (read more on the Tanzania side of the migration). Approximately 1.5 million wildebeests and hundreds of thousands of zebras, elands and gazelles cross the crocodile infested Mara River in the reserve in search of food and water. Although their arrival varies from year-to-year, in general, the herds arrive in late July through August and also parts of September. Road conditions are excellent for game viewing allowing you to see varied terrestrial fauna including massive gnu herds up-close and personal. With a high number of prey animals speckled across the reserve, predators are actively seeking out their next meal with the easiest catch being riverside once the wildebeests have crossed over. One of their most sought-after preys for feline cubs testing their hunting skills may be a newborn gazelle or impala or another young mammal. The long dry season in the Mara does have some shortcomings. International tourist arrivals levels including Afrodestination Adventures guests are highest during this time of year, so you may see more safari vehicles and signs of human presence than other times of the year but the Masai Mara has opened up to private conservancies, so guests and vehicles are limited in these regulated, low ratio areas thus the effect is lessened but not diminished. November and December mark the short rainy season. Visitor levels generally fall somewhat during these months, with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s. The rains bring new life to the plains in both food sources and water, so many animals return slightly more inland into the bush and forest wilderness. Road conditions remain fair as the moisture evaporates quickly in equatorial Kenya.
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