Camps & Lodges in Masai Mara
Maasai Mara offers a wide range of accommodation to cater for all budgets, tastes and interests. the accommodation varies from plain simple campsites where guests can pitch tents in the wild to well appointed safari lodges, luxury tented camps with large, fully furnisamps in the Masai Mara offer full board accommodation with meals offering an extensive range of cuisines. Guests who choose to camp in the wild are provided for by excellent cooks whereas those who prefer self service can easily get supplies from the nearest town Narok.
Masai Mara which is widely regarded as Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserve, sits in south western Kenya covering an area of approximately 1,510 km2. The Reserve is named after the Maasai people who are the traditional inhabitants of the area. Mara comes from the Masai word ‘Maa’ meaning spotted and is the description of the area when looked at from afar - circles of trees, scrub, savanna, and cloud shadows that mark the area. The reserve is approximately 270km from Kenya’s capital Nairobi and can be accessed within 5-6 hours by road or approximately 45 minutes by flight.
The Maasai Mara's Ecosystem is host to approximately two million wildebeest, an abundant population of lions, leopards, cheetahs and many other animals and bird species. This reserve is also home to the great annual Migration where wildebeest, zebras and Thomson's gazelle's migrate to and from the Serengeti in search of greener pasture.
Aside from the Masai Mara Reserve, the ecosystem is also home to various group of ranches that include; Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien, and Kimintet.
Safari in the Masai Mara
The Masai Mara Game Reserve being Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve has a lot to offer on the plates of the guests in terms of safari. One of the wonders of the world can be experienced here first hand; the Great Migration. The migration occurs yearly from July through to October and guests can get to watch the wildebeests, zebras and antelopes cross the Mara river from the Serengeti and into the reserve.
Guests can also experience wildlife from various habitats on a single game drive; huge herds of Zebra, Giraffe, Gazelle, and Topi on the wide open grasslands, elephants around the waters of the Musiara Swamp, views of Hippos and Crocodiles along the banks of the Mara and Talek, and within the riverine forests, Birdlife and Monkeys.
Other safari activities in the Masai Mara include; trekking, horse riding, fishing, balloon safari, bird watching amongst others.
Balloon Safaris in Masai Mara: Balloon safaris are carried out daily from several lodges and can be booked through most Safari companies. This safari offers guests a spectacular view of the great Mara plains, and of the abundant herds below.
Walking Safari in Masai Mara: The Masai Mara Reserve holds strict rules regarding trekking and it must be arranged through your lodge or camp and a Safari operator provided. Outside the Reserve however i.e. the conservancies and ranches, guests can take on hiking and walking, especially in the attractive Loita Hills. It is best to take a local Maasai guide with you this will give you firsthand experience of the Maasai beliefs and legends about this area.
Horse Riding in Masai Mara: Horseback Safaris are offered in areas outside the main reserve. These safaris are a unique way of viewing game allowing guests to move easily through the herds of the Masai Mara.
Fishing: Fishing expeditions to Lake Victoria can be arranged from the Maasai Mara which include return flights from the Maasai Mara to Rusinga Island, a fishing resort that provides boats, tackle and fishing guides. Guests can either spend the night in Rusinga or return to the Mara the same day.
Bird Watching: The Masai Mara is home to over 500 recorded species of birds including the Corncrake, Grey crested Helmet Shrike, Lesser Kestrel, Madagascar Squacco Heron, Saddle Billed Stork, Secretary Bird, Ostrich, White headed Vulture among more common species, Lilac Breasted Roller, Yellow billed Ox pecker among the large herds, and Martial and Crowned Eagles. This is truly a treasure for the ornithologists.
Cultural visits: Guests in the Masai Mara, can experience true African culture first hand by visiting the Maasai Villages. The Maasai are semi-nomadic cattle-rearing people regarded as fierce warriors. these people have conserved their culture with time and eagerly welcome guests into their homes to learn about their lifestyle.
Community work and conservation
there are various community projects and research work that go on in the Mara and guests who are interested in conservation can freely get involved. These projects include;
- Building Projects - Africa Mission Services
- Medical Work - Africa Mission Services
- Educational Scholarship
- The Maasai Brand
- Koiyaki Guiding School
- Bio-Gas Project
- Eye Clinic
- Kenya Wildlife Trust
- Cheetah Conservation
- Big Cat, Elephant & Community Volunteer Project
- Hyena Research
- Vulture Research
- Elephant Partners- Maasai Mara
- Wildebeest Tracking