The Masai Mara National Reserve is located in the south west of Kenya It is bounded by the Serengeti Park to the south, the Siria Escarpment to the west and Masai pastoral ranches to the north, east and west. The Masai Mara is not a National Park, but rather a National Reserve belonging to the Masai people and administered by the local county councils. It is one of the best known and most popular reserves in Africa.
The Masai Mara is especially famous for the high amount of predators, such as lions and cheetah, and the Great Migration – 1.5 million wildebeest migrate through the Mara Triangle and cross the crocodile infested Mara River.
The Mara Triangle
Mara Siria is located in proximity to the Mara Triangle – the best kept secret of the Masai Mara. The Triangle forms the North-Western part of the Masai Mara Reserve and is managed by the Mara Conservancy on behalf of Trans-Mara County Council. It covers 51,000 hectares (one third of the whole Masai Mara Reserve), has well maintained all weather roads and maintains a number of conservation efforts geared towards land and wildlife protection. Rangers patrol regularly to make sure park rules are obtained and it also means that there is almost no poaching and therefore excellent game viewing. There is also control over vehicle numbers around animal sightings. The Mara Triangle assures a better, more authentic, experience when out on a game drive.
The Masai Mara is characterized by a very varied landscape with a romantic feeling to it, as everyone can whitness in the movie ‘Out of Africa’, which was shot on top of the Siria Escarpement. Sandy soil and small bushes can be found in the east, the Siria Escarpment forming a spectacular plateau as the western border, lush grasslands and woodlands around the Mara River and open savannah in the largest parts of the reserve.
Flora and Fauna
When visiting the Masai Mara you are likely to see the famous Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Especially lions are very common and easy to spot. The Mara Plains are home to a big variety of other animals like wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, impala and Thomson’s gazelle. Also cheetahs, hyenas and jackals are seen regularly in the reserve. Large amounts of hippos and crocodiles live in the Mara River. The Masai Mara’s birdlife equally impressive but less famous. There are over 470 species of birds recorded. Species such as eagles, ostriches, storks and vultures are among the more than 50 different birds of prey.