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explore kenya's national parks and reserves
 
 
 
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Safaris in Africa Masai Mara Travel Guide - discover Kenya's amazing Masai Mara Game Reserve

masai mara travel guide

 
 
The Masai Mara (also spelt Maasai Mara) Game Reserve is Kenya's most famous national park and sits on the southern border with Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. These two wildlife reserves play host to one of the most significant wildlife events in the world - the great wildebeest migration. The Masai Mara offers a true African safari experience with exclusive camps and lodges situated in and around the reserve.

Let one of the Masai Mara Travel Experts plan your safari to the Masai Mara.
 
mara conservancies - a fresh approach to a true wildlife experience in the masai mara
The Masai Mara National Reserve has formed only a relative small part of the wildlife areas in this part of Kenya. The adjoining community land has always played an important part of sustaining the large number of animals that occured here.

In the 1960's there were only 1 camp and 100 beds in the Masai Mara. Now there are over 160 camps and lodges and 7000 beds in the Masai Mara. This 'overcrowding' has caused a dilution of the wildlife experience the Masai Mara is known for. It is not uncommon to find more than 10 vehicles around one sighting. A game viewing experience such as this doesn't only place animals under stress but also removes the authenticity of an African safari.

A radical drop in wildlife numbers was observed during the past 30 years. The general plains game have decreased by 70%. The main factor contributing to this has been the increase of cattle grazing in and around the reserve.

In 2005 an innovative concept has been introduced by Gamewatchers Safaris between local land owners (the Maasai) and tourism partners, where the community-owned land around the Masai Mara were developed as wildlife conservancies. As part of the agreement between the Maasai communities and the tourism partners, only low volume tourism projects are developed - this means that for every tent in camp, 700 acres are set aside. Every camp also only consist of a maximum of 12 tents. Grazing by livestock are now controlled to prevent over-grazing and habitat loss.
 
impact of the mara conservancies
The direct benefits of the Mara Conservancies are multiple - major habitat restoration, a significant increase in wildlife numbers, almost no paoching, natural wildlife traversing routes have been re-established, guaranteed monthly income for the Maasai land owner, employment opportunities for the land owner's families and protection of the wildlife managed by the tourism company leasing the land.

This innovative approach has contributed to an overall well-being of the Mara eco-system and allows visitors to enjoy a true wildlife experience!
 
activities in the mara reserve and conservancies
Enoy a wide variety of activities in the Masai Mara. Walking with a Maasai ranger on the vast open plains is an experience not to be missed. Game viewing is the main focus with big cats, large numbers of plains game and prolific birdlife to be seen. Hot air balloon rides are popular and it offers a great vantage point of the beautiful landscape. Camping is possible in the Masai Mara with a choice of public and private campsite to choose from. The private campsites have to be pre-booked. An affordable option is an Adventure Camp that offers exceptional experiences in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy and includes game drives, knowledgeable guides and meals cooked by a chef, all contributing to a true wildlife safari experience! For those looking for something more comfortable, there are a range of lodges and tented camps situated in the Mara region. These lodges and camps offer comfortable accommodation, great cuisine and include game drives with a ranger as well as walks and night drives.
 
 
the great wildebeest migration - animated map showing month-to-month movement

This map will show you the movement of the wildebeest and zebra during the great wildebeest migration. This is just an indication and the herds can be earlier or later than the indicated months, as it all depends on the rains that cause the herds to move between the Masai Mara and Serengeti. You can read more about the Great Migration.

 
 
The Great Wildebeest Migration Map
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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