The Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the greatest wildlife destinations on Earth and its profusion of plains game and stealthy predators has made it synonymous with the safari holiday. For decades the Kenyan game reserve has been a favourite location for film-makers producing nature documentaries as well as feature films.
This is a diverse landscape harboring varied habitats within its majestic plains, rocky outcrops, ancient woodland and life-giving rivers. It adjoins the northern sweep of neighbouring Tanzania’s Serengeti plains thus forming one huge ecosystem.
The Great Migration
The Mara lands are famous for the annual Wildebeest Migration (one of the Natural Wonders of the World) 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.
Kenya’s game reserves also host a Wildebeest Migration from Kenya’s Loita Plains to the Mara which moves into Ol Kinyei Conservancy earlier, usually by January, and the calving takes place there during February and March when the plains of the conservancy are teeming with wildebeest before they move through Naboisho Conservancy and into Olare Motorogi Conservancy.
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.
Wildlife Conservancies of the Masai Mara
The Masai Mara region is comprised not only of the Masai Mara National Reserve (the original, state-run park) but of a vast area to the north of the Reserve, and for many years now, some of this has been set aside for wildlife and conservation of the habitat adjacent to the Mara Resreve. These are private areas of pristine wilderness with strict controls on the number of visitors and vehicles permitted. In each Conservancy there are normally just a handful of small safari camps with their guests gaining exclusive access to thousands of hectares of prime game-viewing land.
Nature doesn’t recognise borders and as a result the Mara conservancies have provided an additional area of sanctuary for many animals wishing to disperse beyond the National Reserve where there may be higher volumes of tourists and safari vehicle traffic especially in the peak season months.
Guests staying on the conservancies also benefit from additional activities not allowed in the main Reserve such as guided safari walks, off road driving with experienced driver-guides, meals in the bush and night game drives to observe the area’s nocturnal species.
For more details on WIldlife Conservancies in the Masai Mara follow these links:
Recommended Safari Accommodation in the Mara Conservancies:
Ol Kinyei Conservancy:
Olare Motorogi Conservancy:
- Porini Lion Camp
- Kicheche Bush Camp
- Mara Plains Camp
- Olare Mara Kempinski
- Mahali Mazuri
- Richard’s Camp
Mara North Conservancy: