Masai Mara Game Reserve – National Park & Wildlife Safaris: Car Rental Congo.
Masai Mara game reserve is one of the most visited and leading parks for wildlife safaris in Kenya. it was established in 1961, first as a wildlife sanctuary, the mara land covered 200 square miles and this included the Mara Triangle which later was extended to cover 1,821 km. It was then turned into a game reserve.
In 1974, Part of this game reserve was made a national reserve and the remaining area of 159 Km was returned to the Masai local communities. By 1984, another 162km was removed from the reserve and the area remained 1510km2. In 1994, The trans mara Conservancy took over management of the Mara triangle.
These are areas that are privately owned by individuals but they do have wildlife too and animals also do cross to these areas. To visit a conservancy for game viewing, one pays $80 as opposed to $70 paid to enter the national reserve. This vast protected landscape is one of the top wildlife destinations in Africa, bearing Kenya’s flagship conservation area.
This area is bordered by the Masai ranches in the North and East while the west has the Siria Escarpment and the Serengeti National park in the South. The Ecosystem of this national reserve is boosted by the Mara River, Talek River, and the sand. Wildlife tends to be more concentrated in the swampy ground mostly found in the eastern region, about 224 km from Nairobi City.
In this reserve, the diverse population of wildlife which includes the big 5, allows you an excellent view all year round. The most popular and resident game in this reserve includes lion, Zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, Eland, elephants, hyena, rhino, and the gazelle. Wildebeests, Zebras, Topis, and the Thomson’s gazelles often migrate into the Mara reserve from the Serengeti plains to the Loita plains and this is mainly in the months of July to October. Crocodiles and Hippos line up in the Mara and Talek Rivers. There are also about more than 470 species of birds in this area most of which are migrants with almost 60 species being raptors.
Between the months of July and October every year, the great wildebeest migration takes place. This is a seasonal annual cycle driven by rainfall. These animals make river crossings, facing crocodiles in order to make it to the Mara plains and find fresh grass. In December and January, it is also known as a green season because at this time, there is plenty of water and at this time, Zebras, antelopes, and wildebeests give birth to their young ones.
There is a range of accommodation facilities where one can stay if they decide to visit the Masai Mara National reserve or it’s neighboring conservancies. It ranges from Budget, Midrange to Luxury camps, and Lodges. Most of these facilities can be found so close to the gate of the reserve, about 10 minutes’ drive, and most of them are full during the high season.
At the park headquarters, park entrance fees for FNR are $70 if staying with the park and $80 if staying in the nearby conservancies and these fees are for $24 hours. In case one is interested, a park guide can be hired on-site while arranging the game drive in the park.
Sample 3 Days Masai Mara Wildlife Safari – Self-drive Safaris.
Day 1: Nairobi – Masai Mara
After breakfast, our driver-guide will pick you up from the hotel and drive you up North to Masai Mara National Reserve passing through the Great Rift Valley for breathtaking views and photography. This Rift Valley stretches for 5000 miles from Jordan to Mozambique. It was formed millions of years ago and it is the largest Rift on the planet Earth. You will descend the Escarpment and drive through Narok Town where you will stop for a hot lunch before proceeding to the National reserve. Masai Mara is known for it’s blacked manned lions and the annual great wildebeest migration. You will arrive in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay at Masai Mara Manyatta Camp / Mara Sopa Lodge / Keekorok Lodge
Day 2: Masai Mara
After breakfast, go for a full day of game viewing-drive across the rich savannah grassland and rolling hills. The famous Mara is renowned for its great herds of plain game, black-manned lions, leopard, and cheetah but also contains numerous elephants and virtually every type of wildlife to be found here in the Mara. Picnic lunches will be served at the Hippo pools and dinner and overnight at your lodge as chosen above.
Day 3: Masai Mara – Nairobi
After breakfast go for game viewing-drive from (06:30 am – 9:30 am) lookout for the leopard, cheetah, lions, and other cuts hunting. This is the best time to spot the cat’s family when making a kill for their breakfast/lunch as the sun rises-up. Back to the camp for your full breakfast before departing with an en-route game viewing-drive as you leave the Mara region to Nairobi. Have lunch en route. After lunch proceeds to Nairobi arriving in time to catch your departure flight back home.