You are here since you are planning to visit or want some knowledge about Masai Mara National Reserve.
Welcome to Masai Mara National Reserve. We will be discussing a few facts and tips on planning your Masai Mara Safari accordingly.
First, where did the name Masai Mara come from? Masai Mara means dotted plains. The reserve is sparsely covered/populated with acacia trees, and this gives an aerial view of dots on land. Hence the name Masai Mara, or Dotted Plains. It’s an extension ecosystem of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
Masai Mara is known to be the home of wildebeest wonders, which attracts thousands of visitors to come and witness these drams as they unfold into this vast savannah land.
You might have a story, an experience, read about, or watched a video about Masai Mara, that made you get interested in knowing more about this gem in Kenya Africa.
Here are some 5 facts or info about Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara is 1510KM2 in size, becoming the largest reserve in Kenya.
It’s home to the big cats, big five, and numerous numbers of bird species. Known to have the highest numbers of big cats in Kenya. It hosts some different wildlife species, including rare sightings such as rhinos, wild dogs, serval cats, caracals, aardvarks, and many others.
The best place to witness the wildebeest crossings, their drama, and all the best of their courage jumping off the high river cliffs to cross the famous Mara River and Sand River.
Its surrounded by Maasai Communities who play a big role to protect and conserve this wildlife gem.
It extends to some of the famous conservancies in Kenya, Including Mara North, Naboisho, Olare Orok, Enonkishu, Naishulai, among the many.
Now, we have known a few facts about Masai Mara. This should give us some tips to plan our safari to Masai Mara National Reserve since it gives us a bit of information that will determine our expectations and how our experiences will be.
Let’s start by first knowing where to begin as you already have an interest in visiting Masai Mara.
The best way to have an amazing safari anywhere in Africa is to have a recommended ground tour operator, who is well rated on Trip Advisor, and the many other safari review platforms within the internet. Also, investigate if they are licensed and under associations such as Tour Operators Society of Kenya (TOSK).
After choosing the best company of your choice, visit their website, confirm their safaris, and read their terms and conditions. It will help you understand more about the company you will be traveling with. Never book a safari with a company that does not have a website and not rated by other travelers. Ratings help travelers to know how their experiences were when they used them. So don’t ignore the ratings and reviews of previous guests.
So here are some tips to plan your holiday to Masai Mara
We have already known the facts and a bit educated about Masai Mara. Now let’s get to know the tips and guides we need to consider when planning this safari.
Masai Mara is a vast park, that’s populated with different types of wildlife species. We should know which species are part of our bucket list, a must-see or prioritized to spot. Note:- It’s not guaranteed to spot all wildlife at once or at any given destination.
Let’s now get to choose the best accommodation in Masai Mara. There are two types of classification to choose from, lodges and camps. Lodges are permanent structures mostly offering a classic and city kind of accommodation experience, while camps, offer rustic, wild, and exposed safari experience. To me, I love camps, since they give us the best experience of the wild, you feel you are offered a different kind of exposure from the normal house back at home. They are natural, friendly and I feel they are authentic. Camps are not permanent, they are mobile and can be transferred from one location to another.We Should ensure we get an accommodation that offers your species preferences, like dietary, sleeping arrangements, proximity to wildlife, conservation consciousness, and much more. If for example, we are interested in wildebeest migration experiences, we need to choose accommodations that are in close proximity to enable us to sight the crossings at ease.Another factor not to forget is the budget. Most of these exclusive accommodations are quite expensive and this might impact our safari experience if we don’t put it into consideration. Therefore, let’s get a facility that we can afford.There are different places you can choose your accommodation from, but Discover Africa started a new product, Discover Africa Retreats, that will offer a listing of all exclusive safari camps and lodges in Africa. The site is still being modified, but you can browse and choose some of the accommodations available. But for more safari accommodation options, please visit here.
Now let’s understand the booking process. Once you have considered all that, let’s engage a ground tour operator, and give them our options, a roundup budget, and our time frame. Ground Tour Operators are well informed and they can spice up your safari holiday with more ideas, and suggest the best places, accommodations, and activities to engage while in Masai Mara. Tour Operators should be in a position to offer us extensive information of how, when, and where details of the safari.
Expert Advice:- We recommend you use a licensed tour operator, to book your entire safari. This will not only support the company but also improve tourism sustainability.
We recommend you book your safari to Masai Mara during the months of Sept to Dec, You will be able to spot the wildebeest Migration and when the reserve is less populated with other visitors. Read here to understand the wildebeest migration movement.
Some tour operators may need a commitment fee to be able to feed you with all required information. This is to avoid and up and down that some guests do to tour operators,and later disappear after alot of engaments were done. Since you have done your due diligence, this should not stop you from trusting the company.
After all, is done, We will have to complete our bookings and now start planning on what to pack, bring for the holiday, also consider some other details that your Tour Operator might have suggested, and then, there are the mandatory requirements, such as identifications, visas, health cards and such (if flying to Kenya).
Some other bits to remember while on safari, ensure to adhere to park rules, respect the guides, and appreciate them by tipping. Most importantly, create a great relationship with guides and people you meet, this will improve your safari experiences.
The only bit remaining is to visit Masai Mara and ensure to have the best experience ever.
Activities you can engage in while in Masai Mara Include:-
Balloon Safaris:- there are various companies that offer balloon experiences and located in different parts of the reserve. Balloon Safaris are done very early in the morning, around 5.30 am. Pick-ups from camps start at 4.00 am. This is to offer guests the best time to spot the sunrise, and later have a champagne breakfast after an incredible flight. So ensure you consider the location of your camp and balloon ride take-off location. The ground Tour Operator should help you plan this accordingly.
Sundowners, Bush Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners:- they are a better experience of having outdoor dining experiences. The sundowner is the most common and many people love it due to the beautiful sunset and enjoy your best beverage watching the sun set. Your T.O Should also help you plan this if interested.
Horse riding, Bushwalks:- it’s a better way to interact with the wild, come close to wildlife and nature. This offers therapeutic touch to your soul and mind.
Community Visits:- As part of the support to sustainable tourism, cultural visit offers guests some interesting experiences, and guests learn how important cultural preservation helps conservation in Africa. Engage in cultural experiences such as Maasai dances, cultural practices and learn how they do their daily activities.
Conservation activities Projects:- These are what keeps the reserves moving as the community surrounding the reserve, and wildlife, compliment each other. As a guest, you’ll be able to learn and understand how communities and wildlife coexist here.
There’s more that one can experience, but these are the most common and main guides of this reserve.
In case you might need more information, or help in planning your safari, please contact us below in the inquiry button box to get in touch with us.