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|MAASAI MARA INTRODUCTION :|
Maasai Mara is the most visited park of Kenya and it has the official designation of National Reserve - Read Difference between National Park and National Reserve
North-Kenyan part of the Serengeti national park in Tanzania, Maasai Mara has a large concentration of gameN, especially wild cats and birds, and is one of the only place in Kenya to see the "Big Five"N.
The ecosystem of the Mara is unique as large open grassplainsN are soaked by permanent riversN (Mara, Talek and Sand River) which provide different habitats (plains, riverine forests, swamps) and beautiful sceneries.
There is a large choice of accommodation, from lodges to camping sites, in and around the game reserve. But no low or medium budget hotels - See list of hotels, lodges and camp sites.
It is a must to visit the Mara when visiting Kenya.
|How to get there (from Nairobi) :|
Travelling by road to the Maasai Mara has become more comfortable with the repair of the road but there are still big potholes on the way (before Narok) and 35 km of untarred road before the maingate, so you 'll need to plan at least 4 hours drive. From Nairobi, take the Narok road coming down from the escarpment towards Maai Mahiu. At Maai Mahiu, take direction Narok (C12, bording the Mt Longonot). After Narok, continue upto the maingate (Sekenani gate).
Distance Nairobi-Maai Mahiu : 75 km; Maai Mahiu-Narok : 125 km; Narok-Sekenani gate : 67 km
|MAASAI MARA RESERVE :|
This spectacular expanse of grassland covers 392 km² and receives ample water from the long Mara River. The western and eastern borders of the park feature the Oloololo Escarpment and the Loita Hills respectively.
The highlight of the Mara is the great migration of wildebeestN and zebraN coming from the Serengeti in search of lush grass - watching millions of gnus crossing in mass the deadly Mara river is fascinating.
Maasai Mara is world famous for its abundance of wildlife and its unique ecosystem. The big cats seen in the park are lionsN, cheetahsN, and leopardsN. Lions are often found in large prides and it's not uncommon to see them eating pray early in the morning. ElephantN, buffaloN, and hippoN roam in large herds as well as the topiN, impalaN, zebraN and Coke's hartebeestN who are also abundant.
|MAASAI MARA RESERVE Flash (full size) --- GIF (full Size)|
|Flash Tip - Click left in the map to zoom or to print|
|PLACES/THINGS TO SEE|
|. PICTURES GALLERY - DIAPORAMA. See the picture's list for mara SEARCH: in|
Altitude : 1,450 - 2,080 m (4,757 - 6,824 ft)|
Reserve area : 392 km²
Localisation : Near the city of Narok (District of Narok)
Distance : 267 km from Nairobi (about 4 hours drive)
Entrances : the park has 6 entrances (Sekenani, Ollolaimutiek, Sand River, Talek, Musaria and Oloololo gates) and 5 airstrips.
Historic : Opened November 1974.
o Annual wildebeest and zebra migration from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara in June-September.
o Exceptional gameviewing ("Big Five") : lion, elephant, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, buffalo (but also leopard and cheetah).
o Big hippopotamus pool at the Mara River.
o Traditional Maasai Culture.
o Fabulous views of the plain & Rolling hills/slopes & Oloololo escarpment.
|WILDLIFE/VEGETATION --> Just click on the name to see snapshots and a fact sheet of the animal...|
!! Print a checklist for your next safari !!
|Antelope (Roan) - Bushbuck - Dik-dik (Kirk's) - Duiker (Blue) - Duiker (Common) - Duiker (Weyn’s) - Eland - Gazelle (Grant’s) - Gazelle (Thomson's) - Gnu (White-bearded) - Hartebeest (Coke's) - Hartebeest (Jackson's) - Impala - Klipspringer - Oribi - Reedbuck (Bohor) - Steinbok - Suni - Topi (Jimela) - Waterbuck (Common) - Waterbuck (Defassa) -|
|Other ungulates and mammals :|
|Buffalo (Cape) - Elephant (African Bush) - Giraffe (Maasai) - Hippopotamus - Hog (Giant Forest) - Hyrax (Eastern Tree) - Hyrax (Rock) - Hyrax (Southern Tree) - Pig (Bush) - Rhinoceros (Black) - Warthog (Common) - Zebra (Common) -|
|Aardwolf - Cat (African Wild) - Cheetah - Civet (African palm-) - Civet (African) - Dog (Hunting) - Fox (Bat-eared) - Genet (Small-spotted) - Hyena (Spotted) - Hyena (Striped) - Jackal (Black-backed) - Jackal (Common) - Jackal (Side-striped) - Leopard - Lion - Mongoose (Banded) - Mongoose (Dwarf) - Mongoose (Grey) - Mongoose (Marsh) - Mongoose (Slender) - Mongoose (White-tailed) - Otter (Clawless) - Ratel - Serval - Weasel (African striped) - Zorilla -|
|Baboon (Savannah) - Bushbaby (Lesser) - Colobus (Eastern Black-White) - Galago (Large-eared greater) - Galago (Small-eared greater) - Monkey (Blue/Sykes/Diademed) - Monkey (Green Vervet) - Monkey (Patas) -|
|Others (rabbits, hares, insectivores) :|
|Aardvak - Pangolin (Temminck’s ground) - Hare (Cape) - Hare (Spring) - Porcupine (Crested) -|
|The main vegetation of the reserve is open grass plains covered by dispersed acacia woodlands and dense thickets of scrub. Luxuriant riverine forests are seen along main rivers. The hilly south-eastern region is mainly composed of dry forest, small acacia woodlands, dense scrubs and broken bushes. The vegetation of the north-western is slightly denser as the area is soaked by the Mara river, and it is composed of dense woodlands, bushlands and one large swampy area. The soil is black-cotton except around the Sand River (south).|
|Smartcard is NOT needed (National Reserve).
ENTRANCE FEES/DAY :
New tarif (Sept. 2003)
Adult resident - 500 Kshs
Children resident - 200 Kshs
Adult non resident - 30 US
Children non resident - 10 US
VEHICLE FEES/DAY :
Less than 6 seat - 250 Kshs
6 to 12 seats - 500 Kshs
|CAMPING SITES & BANDAS/SELF-CATERING (in/around the park)|
|All campsites are located near the Talek gate and are managed by Maasai living in Talek town. There are also a few very basic bars and garages in the town. I recommend the two first campsites which are managed by Edward the Moran (Maasai warrior who most of time stands near the Talek bridge awaiting new customers). In the safari business since now more than 15 years, Edward speaks good English and knows everything about the reserve and animal's behaviour. If you take him as a guide, you are sure to spot lions, cheetah and leopard before everyone else.|
|LODGES, TENTED CAMPS & HOTELS (in/around the park) Report broken link - Keep me up-to-date|
|There is a large choice of lodges and tented camp in and around the game reserve. |
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