Possibly the most famous of the reserves and arguably the greatest wildlife destination in Africa the Maasai Mara has become synonymous with the safari and is currently being featured in the BBC's new series Planet Earth Live. Nature doesn't recognise borders and the 650 square miles of the Masai Mara Reserve effectively continue the northern sweep of neighbouring Tanzania's Serengeti plains, thus forming one huge ecosystem. The Mara lands are famous for the annual Wildebeest migration which occurs from June to October when the Mara becomes host to an almost unimaginable half a million wildebeest seeking the grasses raised by the Spring rains of April and May. Having exhausted the grazing in the northern Serengeti the wildebeest head north en masse. This is an awesome sight in the true meaning of the word which, when coupled with the sound of thousands upon thousands of hooves pounding the earth, makes it an unforgettable spectacle. The Wildebeest are not the only tenants of the land. The Mara is also the home to among others, zebra, elephants, and to the big cats; cheetahs, lions and leopards. Hyena, jackal, buffalo, eland, topi, impala, gazelle, warthog add to this huge diversity of wildlife.
This 17,500 acre tranche of land belongs to a Maasai community who set aside the land for the purposes of wildlife conservation. Ol Kinyei Conservancy is home to only one camp, the Porini Mara Camp which accommodates a maximum of only 12 guests at any given time – making this not only an exclusive experience but one that respects the principles of eco-tourism. Located within the Serengeti-Mara eco-system, Ol Kinyei is renowned for its unspoilt and breathtaking scenery with diverse terrain offering on one hand open savannah plains and rolling hills on the other. The land, with its abundance of water sources in the form of springs, streams and rivers, coupled with spectacular views across the Mara plains, is home to a wide variety of animal species. There is a resident lion pride of over 20 animals and several leopards also have their territories within the conservancy and are often sighted by guests from Porini Mara Camp on evening or early morning drives. Cheetahs are frequently seen and it is not rare to come across large numbers of giraffe as well as Cape buffalo and elephants. The wildebeest migration also passes through Ol Kinyei when herds from the eastern plains of Loita join the migration to the Mara Reserve. The local Maasai make first class guides and are on hand to share their experience on what do see and do.
The 20,000 acre Olare Orok Conservancy came into being in 2006 under an agreement made with the members of the Maasai community who own this tract of land which borders the Maasai Mara National Reserve on its northern side. In return for a reliable monthly income from lease payments for their parcels of land, the Maasai landowners set the area aside as a wildlife conservancy, creating an additional protected area for wildlife dispersal. Olare Orok Conservancy makes it possible for the local communities to benefit from wildlife conservation as a source of income and livelihoods that is not only sustainable but means that they can live side by side with wildlife, in harmony with the environment. The protection of the environment is key and access to the conservancy is limited to just 4 camps Porini Lion Camp, Kicheche Bush Camp, Mara Plains Camp and Olare Ntiakitiak Camp with the only safari vehicles being the few 4X4s attached to these camps. Olare Orok offers the perfect mix: high predator densities coupled with low tourist densities. Again teeming with wildebeest during the migration period, the conservancy also has several prides of lions which are seen by guests on game drives and which are often heard during the night.
Mara Naboisho Conservancy
The Mara Naboisho Conservancy is a 50,000 acre wildlife conservation area in Kenya’s Greater Mara Region. It borders the Masai Mara National Reserve to the south west, the Olare Orok Conservancy to the west and the Ol Kinyei Conservancy to the east.
Naboisho, which means "coming together" in the Maasai's Maa language, is a community venture to conserve the land and wildlife. In conjunction with input from seasoned conservationists, experienced socio-ecologists and tourism investors, the conservancy was created with the objective of combining conservation of nature and cultural heritage with controlled tourism and the enhancement of livelihoods for the local communities.
The Mara Naboisho Conservancy is now the second largest conservancy in the region and has a higher density of wildlife than the adjacent Masai Mara National Park.
With roughly 100 lions living in the vicinity, Mara Naboisho has one of the highest lion densities in the world. The largest pride in the Greater Mara Region - comprising 20 lions - has made the conservancy its home. The conservancy also boasts impressive herds of elephant, giraffe, wildebeest and zebra as well as Kenya's rare wild dog. In addition to the abundance of resident game, the Mara Naboisho Conservancy also serves as a migration corridor for several hundred thousand animals between the Masai Mara National Reserve and the Loita Plains to the east.
Rekero Camp, Mara Reserve
Governors Camp, Mara Reserve