The Maasai Mara is the Kenyan side of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. It is the home of the Big Cat Diaries. We give you a breakdown of some basic information. The main attractions in the Maasai Mara, the best times to visit the Mara, accommodation in the Mara, where the Mara is located, and even one or two tips on how to be safe in the Mara.
Highlights of the Maasai Mara
The most spectacular thing about the Mara is the Wildebeest migration. By spectacular we mean downright breathtaking. It is an annual event which involves thousands of wildebeest stampeding across the Mara River. One of the best ways to experience the Mara aside from a game drive is atop a hot air balloon. The wide open savanna grasslands give you such a wonderful feeling of freedom, as do the open skies. You absolutely want to sight lions in the Mara. Tour guides will help you to get see them up close – from the safety of the tour van, of course.
The planes of the Mara are teeming with wildlife: giraffes, antelopes, wildebeest, zebra, impala, Thompson’s gazelle, lions, leopards, hippos, crocodiles, hyenas, elephants, cheetahs and even African foxes. The bird life is also excellent for those who are interested in bird watching.
Besides the wildlife, you may get to visit a Maasai village and witness firsthand their way of life that has not changed much for hundreds of years.
The Best Time to Visit the Mara
This has to be July or August when the wildebeest migration occurs. During this season, there is plenty of grass in the Maasai Mara which means a bigger population of grazing animals like zebras and antelopes. The tall grass also offers a great camouflage for lions and other predators which means they roam around during the day making them easier to find.
Where the Mara is Located
The Maasai Mara is located near Narok town, southwestern Kenya. The Maasai Mara is part of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem which encompasses parts of Kenya and Tanzania.
How to be Safe in the Mara
The Maasai Mara contains a lot of swampy land which is great for mosquito breeding. This means that the single greatest danger is malaria. Before visiting the Mara take anti malarial medicine to keep yourself safe from the disease. Be sure to put on bug spray to keep you free of bugs all day. Most resorts and camping sites are fitted with mosquito nets to protect you while you sleep but there is no harm in wearing bug spray. Finally, be sure to use a tour van that is sturdy enough to get through sticky mud.
Accommodation in the Mara
Let’s just say that there are different forms of accommodation which means that virtually anyone can find what suits them. There are some really simple campsites where you basically pitch your tent and sleep under the canvas in the wild. There are also luxury camping sites where you have everything you would have in a five star hotel only it is in a camp site.
There are also excellent hotels where you can enjoy great service. Your choice depends on two things: your budget, and your preferences.