Masai Mara |Maasai Mara National Reserve
About Masai Mara:
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is only a fraction of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, which includes the following Group Ranches: Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien, and Kimintet.
Geography of Masai Mara:
Masai Mara Weather:
Masai Mara Wildlife:
All members of the "Big Five" (lion, leopard, African elephant, African buffalo, and Black Rhinoceros) are found in the Maasai Mara. The population of Black rhinos was fairly numerous until 1960, but it was severely depleted by poaching in the 1970s and early 1980s, dropping to a low of 15 individuals. Numbers have been slowly increasing, but the population was still only up to an estimated 23 in 1999.
Hippopotami and Nile crocodiles are found in large groups in the Mara and Talek rivers. Leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, and bat-eared foxes can also be found in the reserve.The plains between the Mara River and the Esoit Siria Escarpment are probably the best area for game viewing, in particular regarding lion and cheetah.
More than 470 species of birds have been identified in the park, many of which are migrants, with almost 60 species being raptors. Birds that call this area home for at least part of the year include: vultures, marabou storks, secretary birds, hornbills, crowned cranes, ostriches, long-crested eagles, African pygmy-falcons and the lilac-breasted roller, which is the national bird of Kenya.
Since 2008, Amanda Subalusky and Chris Dutton have been working in the Mara River Basin to help develop a trans-boundary river basin management plan between Kenya and Tanzania. In 2010, they had completed a flow assessment for the river to identify the river flows needed to provide for basic human needs of the 1 million people who depend on the water, and for ecosystem sustainment.
Although one third of the whole Maasai Mara, The Mara Triangle has only one lodge within its boundaries (compared to the numerous camps and lodges on the Narok side) and has well maintained, all weather roads. The rangers patrol regularly which means that there is almost no poaching and therefore excellent game viewing. There is also strict control over vehicle numbers around animal sightings which means a better, more authentic, experience when out on a game drive.
Mara Serena Airport, Musiara Airport and Keekorok Airport are located in the Reserve area of the Maasai Mara. Mara Shikar Airport, Kichwa Tembo Airport and Ngerende Airport are located in the Conservation area of the Maasai Mara.
Big Cat Diary:
The BBC Television show titled "Big Cat Diary" is filmed in both the Reserve and Conservation areas of the Maasai Mara. The show follows the lives of the big cats living in the reserve. The show highlights scenes from the Reserve's Musiara marsh area and the Leopard Gorge, the Fig Tree Ridge areas and the Mara River, separating the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara.
The Mara in jeopardy:
In late June 2011 the Tanzanian government has decided to cancel the Serngeti road plan due to global outcry.
Rules & Regulations:
Keep to main roads and tracks.
Visitors are allowed on the roads from 06:00 to 19:00. You are not allowed out of your vehicle.
Do not discard litter in our wilderness. This is our home please respect that you are our guest.
Keep your trash until you get to your place of accommodation.
Do not harass wildlife, and avoid over crowding them.
You are not permitted to remove or collect anything from the protected areas.
Person without a valid ticket Ksh. 3000
Vehicle without a valid ticket Ksh. 2000
Repeat default Ksh. 4000
Animal harrassment Ksh. 10000
Illegal grazing Ksh. 10000
How to Reach Maasai Mara:
The Maasai Mara is approximately 280 kms west from Nairobi City.
There are two ways to get to the Maasai Mara.
In Narok there is a fuel station just across the river which is a great stop for food, toilet and snacks. Leaving Narok to Sekenani Gate will take you about 2-3.5 hours depending on the vehicle you are travelling with.
The road has really broken up and is NOT good at all while on the tar road. It has a lot of pot holes and special attention is needed.
A 4×4 vechicle is recommended they are normally about $250 – $350 per day and come with a driver.
Fly – There are a few companies that fly to the Maasai Mara. It takes about 40 – 45 minutes from Nairobi. We recommend SafariLink. A flight from the Coast is about 2 hours departing from Mombasa, Diani Beach or Malindi. We recommend Mombasa Air Safari.
You can also get a chartered flight into the Mara Ecosystem. This is best organized by a safari operator.
Park fees – Per Person Per Day (pppd)
Non Resident Children (17 and below) – US$ 30
Non Resident Student – US$ 30s
Resident Adults – Ksh. 1000
Resident Children – Ksh. 500
Resident Student – Ksh. 200
Vehicle charges – Per Vehicle Per Day
Vehicle 5 seats or less – Ksh. 400
Vehicle 6 seats but less than 13 – Ksh. 1000
Vehicle 13 seats but less than 25 – Ksh. 2500
Vehicle 45 seats and above – Ksh. 8000
Truck Charges – Per Visit
Truck 1-3 ton – Ksh. 700
Truck 4-7 ton – Ksh. 2500
Truck 8 ton and above – Ksh. 3500
Aircraft – Single Landing Fees
Aircraft more than 2 passengers – Ksh. 400
Aircraft 3 seats but less than 7 seats – Ksh. 700
Aircraft 7 seats but less than 15 seats – Ksh. 1500
Aircraft 21 seats and above – Ksh. 3500
Operating permit – Ksh. 75000
Landing fee per person per landing – US$ 40
Altitude is 4,875-7,052 feet (1,500-2,170 metres) above sea level, which yields a climate somewhat milder and damper than other regions. The daytime rarely exceeds 85°F (30°C) during the day and hardly ever drops below 60°F (15°C) at night.
It rains in April and May and again November and this can cause some areas of the Mara to be inaccessible due to the sticky 'black cotton' mud.
July to October is dry and the grass is long and lush after the rains. This is a good time to come and see the huge herds of migratory herbivores.
The warmest time of year is December and January.
June and July are the coldest months.
Masai Mara Safari Lodges, Camps & Hotels:
Elephant Pepper Camp
Fig Tree Camp
Governors Bush Camp
Governors IL Moran Camp
Governors Private Camp
Karen Blixen Camp
Little Governors Camp
Mara Bushtops Camp
Mara Explorer Camp
Offbeat Mara Camp
David Livingstone Safari Resort