The Maasai Mara, Kenya’s best known reserve, is most famous for the Great Migration. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Migration is an annual cycle of animal migration around the Maasai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania.
The Maasai Mara has one of the most dense populations of animals found anywhere in the world, and is known for year-round sightings of a wide variety of species. All the big five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino – are found here, as well as significant numbers of other species. More than 470 species of birds have been sighted in the reserve, including raptors, water birds and migrants.
The reserve is named after the Maasai people, Kenya’s most famous tribe. Mara, in the language of the Maasai, means mottled, a reference to the savannah plains dotted with trees, scrub and waterholes. This diverse ecosystem, together with the Mara River, Talek River and Sand River that course across it, provides food for a wide variety of species and accounts for the large numbers of game found here. Activities in the reserve include game drives and balloon safaris.
Surrounding the reserve, several conservancies provide a wildlife corridor that protects the animals that live in the area. The conservancies limit the number of visitors and vehicles, and provide a more private viewing experience. As well as game drives, the conservancies offer night drives, game walks and cultural visits to Maasai villages. The reserve and surrounding conservancies have a huge range of accommodation, from exclusive boutique camps to budget lodges.