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Masai Mara

The Great Maasai Mara also known as Masai Mara is arguably one of the most visited parks in Africa, boasting a wide variety of wild animals and birds. It is a national game reserve in Narok, Kenya and it borders Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. The Maasai the oldest inhabitants named the area ‘Mara’ because of the shrubs which dot the Masai Mara Landscape.

Initially, it was a wildlife Sanctuary in 1961, during the colonial period. But during the years it has gone through many changes, it was expanded later to include areas where a high population of wildlife lived. The local authorities were given the responsibility to manage the reserve. Both Narok and Transmara council were given the mandate.

The Mara Triangle is found on the western side, and it is best known for the famous wildebeests’ migration. The weather is excellent all year, thus making safaris more enjoyable. If you are on a budget or simply want to give yourself a well-deserved holiday, Maasai Mara got all your needs from luxury camping to pocket-friendly safaris.

The Masai Mara National Reserve is an astounding 1,510 km2.This has been part of a bigger ecosystem, which includes Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

The reserve experiences two main rainy seasons, one being from April to May and the second season September to November. The terrain ranges from grasslands to hills and also Mara River (where the famous migrations take place) which permanently dots the scenery with other small seasonal rivers.

What makes the Mara more unique, is the dominant African tribe, The Maasai Community. They are nomads who etch their living from livestock. Their traditions are a sight to bestow, from clothing to their way of life. Although wildebeest migration is a major attraction, there is a big diverse ecosystem and its possible to see more than a single game in a single safari. For birdwatchers, there are more than 450 bird species recorded.

How to get there

The game reserve is approximately 280 km West of Kenyan Capital, Nairobi. To get there you got two options, by road or by air.

·         By Road

The total drive is usually 5 to 6 hours. Nairobi to Narok being 2-3 hrs and from Narok to Sekenani gate, 2-2.5 hrs depending on the vehicle you are using because this last stretch of the road is quite bumpy. The breathtaking scenery along the way, with an unobstructed view of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, makes the drive even more enjoyable. If you want to experience Kenyan landscapes at its best then this is great option. The roads servicing the reserve are in pristine condition but a 4×4 vehicle is best suitable.

These vehicles are readily available at a cost ranging from $150-$300 per day that includes the services of an experienced driver guide who will ensure you get the best experience possible.

·         By Air

Masai Mara being so remote sadly doesn’t have any airports yet, but it has numerous airstrips that service the park. With a prior preplanned schedule, you can land in any of them. It takes 40-45 mins from Nairobi and up to 2hrs from Mombasa. The two daily scheduled flights from Nairobi make stops at the several airstrips located at the park. The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi is the nearest international airport.

The airstrips are;

  1. Keekorok Airstrip
  2. Serena Airstrip
  3. Musiara Airstrip
  4. Kichwa Tembo Airstrip
  5. Siana Conservancy Airstrip
  6. Ol Kiombo Airstrip
  7. Ngerende Airstrip
  8. Olare Orok Airstrip
  9. Mara North Airstrip
  10. Angama Airstrip
  11. Olseki Airstrip

1. Keekorok Airstrip, code (KEU)

At one time it was the only tarmacked airstrip but now a high standard gravel runway has been constructed. Its location is southeast of the Mara Reserve thus providing easy passage to Lonwalet Hill and Ol Tukai Hill. Coordinates on the map of the airstrip are: 1 ° 35 ‘9.00 “S, + 35 ° 15’ 6.00” E (Longitude: 35.251667 ; Latitude:-1.585832). The airstrip mainly serves Keekorok Lodge, Mara Sarova Game Lodge, Sekenani Camp, Mara Sopa Lodge, Mara Topi Safari Lodge, Ashnil Camp, and Cottars Camp.

2. Serena Airstrip, code (MRE)

Mara Serena Airstrip is Kenya’s largest civilian airstrip in the Maasai National Reserve and mainly serves Camp Mara Serena and other nearby shelters and camps. The coordinates on the map of the airstrip are: 1 ° 24 ’18 .00 “S, 35 ° 0 ’36 .00” E (Longitude: 35.010000;Latitude: -1.405000).

3. Musiara Airstrip, code (MDR)

Musiara Airstrip being of the popular airstrip is located in the northernmost region of the reserve primary serving Governor’s Camp, Moran Camp, Serian Camp, Little Governor’s Camp, and Neptune Mara Rianta Camp. The geographical coordinates of this track are: latitude -1.299666 and longitude 35.058746 (Latitude DMS: 1 ° 17’58.8 “S, Longitude DMS: 35 ° 3’31.49” E).

 

4. Kichwa Tembo Airstrip, code (KTJ)

The Kichwa Tembo airstrip going by the IATA code KTJ is found in the extreme north region of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The geographical coordinates of this track are Latitude: 11 ° 6′ 19”N, Longitude: 2 ° 6 ‘5’ ‘W. The track serves the fields; Kichwa Tembo Camp, Bateleur Camp, Kilima Camp, Mpata Lodge among others.

5. Siana Conservancy Airstrip

The Siana Springs airstrip is found at the Siana Group Ranch. The airstrip primarily serves Siana Springs Camp, Mara Bushtop, Porini Main Camp, Ol Seki Hemingways Mara, and Leleshwa Camp. The GPS coordinates of this track are latitude -1.483 (S) and longitude 35.417 (E).

6. Ol Kiombo Airstrip, code (OLX)

The Ol Kiombo Airstrip IATA code OLX is found at the north of Talek River and serves visitors staying at Mara Intrepids, Mara Explorer, Fig Tree Camp, Porini Camp León, Camp Tipilikwani Mara, Base Camp, Camp Naibor, and Camp Kicheche Bush. The geographical coordinates of this track are Latitude: 1 ° 24′ 30 ” S Longitude: 35 ° 6 ’36’ ‘E

7. Ngerende Airstrip, code (MSC)

Ngerende Airstrip IATA Code MSC serves visitors staying in different camps such as; Ngerende Island Lodge, Kicheche Mara Camp, Mara Safari Camp, Saruni Camp, Lokoswan Camp, and Richards Camp. The geographic coordinates of this route are latitude -1.084 (S), longitude 35.186 (E), and altitude 5510.00 feet.

8. Olare Orok Airstrip, code (OLG)

The Olare Orok airstrip IATA Code OLG is found within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, north of the reserve. The airstrip connects all lodges and camps within the Orok Conservancy, such as the Mahali Nzuri Safari Camp

9. Mara North Airstrip, code (HKR)

Mara North Airstrip IATA Code HKR is located within the Mara North Conservancy and mainly serves visitors visiting Kicheche Mara, Saruni Mara, and Saruni Wild Camp. The GPS coordinates of this runway are: S 01 ° 08.73 ‘, E 35 ° 07.48’, Altitude 5,515 feet

10. Angama Airstrip, code (ANA)

Angama Mara Airport IATA Code ANA is situated in the Southwest of Masai Mara. The runway supports several scheduled flights traveling to and from this runway with airlines such as Mombasa Air Safari, Air Kenya, and Safarilink. The geographical coordinates of this route are 1 ° 16 ′ 19 “S; 34 ° 57′38 “E. It serves Mara Angama Lodge, Mara West Camp, and other nearby lodges/camps.

11. Olseki Airstrip, code (OSJ)

The Ole Seki airstrip IATA Code OSJ is located in the northeast of the Masai Mara National Reserve. It is roughly 10 minutes’ drive from Hemingways Ol Seki Mara campsite. The GPS coordinates of this track are: latitude -1.378 (S), longitude 35.378 (E), and have a length of 2.17 kilometers.

Planes to Mara National Reserve mainly take off from Wilson Airport, Nairobi with few exceptions. Wilson Airport is a Kenyan Local Airport serving domestic flights and it’s situated along the Langata Road near the Carnivore restaurant that is on your way to Nairobi National Park. The airport is small but quite busy, and efficient. To get there from the city center depends on the traffic, it is 20 mins to 45 mins. To make sure your flight is smooth; you should be there about 1 hour before your flight.

Flight Schedules

All main airlines mostly have morning and afternoon flights, with the same plane returning to Wilson after every flight. The flight time is approx. 1 hour, although the actual time depends on the number of stopovers the flight makes (known as “jumps”) when landing to drop or pick up passengers on various runways. Most flights try to make stops to be as few as possible, so the one-hour time to get to the Mara is pretty possible. Check out the schedule below.

FlightsFromToDepArr
Morning FlightWilson AirportMaasai Mara10:0011:00
 Maasai MaraWilson Airport11:0012:15
Afternoon FlightWilson AirportMaasai Mara14:4515:45
 Maasai MaraWilson Airport15:4517:00

Additional flights during the High Season

During high season that is from July to October and December to March, there is an influx of passengers flying into the Maasai Mara. The major airlines place additional flights at noon to handle the numbers. During these months advanced booking is recommended.

Entrance Fees and conveniences

The greater Maasai Mara ecosystem consists of three main sections and smaller private conservation areas. The Maasai Mara National Reserve which is under Narok County is located to the east through Sekenani Gate. Other gates in the East include Oloolaimutia Gate and Talek Gate.

The northern side mainly consists of luxury camping, which is in Mara North Conservancy, and it’s secure.

 To the west is the Mara Triangle which is administrated by the Mara Conservancy. Entry to this part is accessed with the same ticket purchased in the booking office.

 Fees are updated/ changed quite regularly, not always informing tour operators accordingly. To know the latest rates check with us.

 At the beginning of 2020 the rates were as follows:

 – Non-residents – $ 80/24 hour stay outside the park or $ 70 inside the park

 – EA residents pay a reduced rate of 1200 KES (about $ 12) / 24 hours – So if you are an ex-pat in East Africa, this is the place to go!

 – Citizens –  1000 KES / (about $ 10)  24 hour

 – The Safari vehicle costs 1000 KES (about $ 10) / ticket. There is no additional charge for license plates registered outside of Kenya.

The Wildlife in Maasai Mara

The Maasai Mara wildlife is arguably the best collection in the planet. With over ninety types of mammals and 450 bird species, it is undeniable the best. The Mara and its surroundings attract thousands of tourists from all over the world to come and marvel at its wonders. To start the list is the big five,

The Big Five

Most tourists visit the Mara, mainly to catch a glimpse of the big five which are the Lion, the Rhino, the Buffalo, the Leopard, and the Elephant. in fact, the Maasai Mara is one of the few remaining destinations in Africa where it is possible to see all the big five during a few days’ safari.

Lion

Close to 900 Lions “Panthera Leo” are estimated to be in Masai Mara National Reserve and the bordering conservancies. Male lions can hold big territories that can go from 30 to 400 km2. Lionesses usually lead hunting while the males assist from time to time.

Elephant (Loxodonta Africana)

With their 6.6 tons bodies, and being the largest animal on land they are the most prolific and sociable animals in the reserve. Despite the poaching for their ivory, their population in Mara is steadily rising over the last two years.

Rhino (Rhinocerotidae)

Black Rhinos are found here at the Mara, although they are slightly smaller than White Rhino (found in L.Nakuru) they are more aggressive. Their horns are useful to them during mating and fighting, and when also standing off the predators.

Leopard

The Leopard also known as “Panthera Pardus” is also one of the Big Cats. With their shyness, they prefer to hunt at night and normally alone.

The African Buffalo

This African Buffalo or Cape buffalo as it is also known and is considered one of the most dangerous animals in the Mara due to its unpredictable and volatile nature. It has never been domesticated for this reason. They move in herds of 100 or more and can be found near the water source especially during the dry season.

The Big Nine

‘Big five’ raises interest in most tourists, and it’s an undeniable fact that millions of tourists come to Africa each year to catch a glimpse of these rare gems. In addition to the big five, there are four more wonderful animals that shouldn’t be overlooked. That is the Cheetah, the Hippo, the Giraffe, and the Zebra. Together they make the “Big Nine” a slogan that best fits the safari.

Cheetah (Acinonyx Jubantus)

The Cheetah is known for hunting in groups of up to five, they are the fastest animals on land and can reach up to 110 kph when hunting. In the Mara, there is a very famous group of five commonly referred to as Tano Bora meaning the fantastic five.

Giraffe (Giraffa)

Giraffes despite being the tallest land animals they are also graceful and can run up to 60 km per hour.

Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius)

The hippopotamus is the third-largest animal on land and can weigh up to 680 kgs. They love to keep cool during the day; they live near the freshwater bodies.

Zebra

Also known as ”Equus quagga” is one of the wildlife that most tourist do always relate to East Africa, they are generally found in large numbers.

Mammals

Aardvark (Orycteropus afer)

Aardvark is an ant eater with a small to medium body and a long snout and powerful claws. Their body is hairless, arched back and short legs. They are nocturnal animals.

Aardwolf (Proteles cristatus)

Aardwolf means “landwolf” in the Afrikaans language and it is an ant eater with yellow and black vertical stripes resembling small striped hyena. Its front legs are longer than its hind legs. They are nocturnal and barely run. Their territory is usually between 1 to 4 kilometers subject to the availability of food.

African Hare (Lepus capensis)

They mostly live alone although they can be found in a group of 2 or 3. They got a perfect sense of hearing and sight which helps them to avoid predators. Their lifespan is about 12 years.

Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo)

They live in colonies, and shelter in different types of burrows which include termite mounds. Their diets consist mainly of beetles and millipedes and are found in savannahs and grasslands.

Bat Eared Fox (Otocyon magalotis)

This species is found in dry grasslands, and it is native to Africa. They are yellowish-brown with its lower part being pale. They look for food mainly at night or early in the morning.

Bushbaby (Galago senegalensis)

This bush pup is a primate with large, round eyes perfect for night vision. Their strong hind legs they use to leap up to 6 feet in an upright direction. They are quick climbers with long tails which is good for their balance. Their diet consists of seeds, nuts, fruits, flowers, and insects.

Bushbuck

Also known as Tragelaphus scriptus or Imbabala, is an antelope that has a tan coat with numerous white stripes, which can be seven in number and white markings on the sides. Only the males got the horns, their muzzles are white. They are herbivorous feeding mainly on green foliage.

Coke’s Hartebeest

Coke Hartebeest also known as “Alcelaphus buselaphus cokii” is a medium size beige antelope. It is easy to distinguish as it has angular short horns (in both sexes) a long  narrow face, and they are heavily striped.

Common Eland

Known as the southern eland antelope or “Taurotragus oryx”, is the second-largest antelope in the antelope species, a little smaller than the big eland. Popular elands are antelopes with spiral horns. 

The Red-Tailed Monkey

Also known as “Cercopithecus Ascanius” or copper-tailed, they are known to be social animals that live in collection of 7-30 individuals. Their group mostly comprises of dominant male and females and the young ones. Their communication is physical, visually, verbally, and also show social dominance, greeting, or submission. Their diet consists mainly of fruits, but they also consume insects, flowers, or leaves when the fruit is scarce.

The Porcupine

The crested porcupine is a large, black in body, a rodent that is active at night its spines are long and black and white in color and an obvious crest of spiky hairs that goes from the head to its shoulders. Black rump and short rattlesnake-shaped spines donning its tail makes it different from others.

Dwarf Mongoose

Also known as” Helpgale parvula”, is a small  wild animal that belongs to the family of Mongoose. They are quite common where the numerous termite mounds are found. They live in groups of about 2 to 21 with more females than males.

Grant’s Gazelle

Grant’s gazelles also known as “Gazella granti” are mainly distinguished by their coloration and longhorns. Their backs are sandy brown in color, clearly bordered with a light color on the side and its belly white, and white tail and rear legs. Both sexes have horns. They move in large groups of up to 500.

The Honey Badger

Also known as “Mellivora capensis”, is a hugely spread mammal found in Africa Their name is derived from its feeding habit, love for bee larvae, and honey. Their diet also includes birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, and, amphibians as well as fruits, berries, bulbs, and roots. They have a perfect sense of smell.

Impala

The impala also known as “Aepyceros melampus” is a medium size antelope with a red or brown color and also white hairs inside their ears, upper throat, on each eye and the chin, lower parts. A thin black line runs down the center of the lower back to the tail and black stripes is seen on the hind of each thigh.

Kirk’s Dik-Dik (Madoqua kirkii)

This is tiny antelope, with red or brown back, with paler sides and a white belly. They can be identified because it almost lacks a tail and by the tuft of dark hair on their heads. They have short horns, and only found in males. They are night animals and during the day they seek cool shades to rest when day is hot to help reduce the loss of important fluids.

The Klipspringer

Also known as “Oreotragus oreotragus” is a small and heavily built antelope; its shoulder is about 50cm. Klipspringer are idenified by their curious “tiptoe” posture and the green like color of their thick mottled hair. Their horns are widely spaced and short.

The Olive Baboons

Olive Baboon is among the largest baboons, the fur covering their bodies is olive/grey olive and a black face. They live in troops of up to 100. Their main diet is leaves, grains, seeds, grass, young birds and small mammals.

Oribi (Ourebia ourebi)

It is tall and slim antelope its body is sandy in color, with a white upper throat, underside, and ear lining and mouth. Oribi prefers savannah and even gentle slopes and is more common on open grasslands.

Pangolin (Manis temminckii)

They are odd-looking, is active at night and is covered in protective keratin flakes. When threatened they roll into ball like for protection. They mainly eat ants and termites which perfect because of their long tongues.

Slender Mongoose (Herpestes sanguineus)

A black-tipped Mongoose is an easily sighted breed of mongoose found in Mara. Having a long body, short legs, partly arboreal, of extremely variable color. The fingers and toes spread easily and are small but crunchy in color. Its tail tip is normally black.

Spotted Hyena (Hyaena hyaena)

Known laughing hyena, the female hyenas have a masculine appearance and are larger than males, with increased testosterone during the mating season, they tend to be more aggressive. In the Masai Mara, average of 12 hyenas can be found in every 100 km sq.

Spring Hare

Spring Hare also known as “Pedetes capensis” has long tail, its coat is smooth, above being reddish tones to yellowish-gray above and white to pale fawn below. Its front legs are sort and hind legs are strong best suited for leaping

Straw Colored Fruit Bat (Eidolon helvum)
also known as African straw-colored fruit bat, it is the second largest bat in Africa. They are found in a variety of habitats across Africa.

Thomson’s gazelle

Also known as “Gazella thomsonii” is the most known gazelles, and was named after the explorer Joseph Thompson. They look much alike with the bigger (38-80 kg) Grants Gazelle, but it is easily distinguished through its shorter horns, thick black tail, and its flank is striking black.

Topi

Topi also known as “Damaliscus lunatus jimela” is a mid-sized antelope with reddish-brown and a times purplish-red fur that is shiny, even shine in sunlight. They can go without water for a lenghty period of time as long as they get green pastures.

Vervet Monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops)

They are monkeys with small faces, with silver-gray or an olive-green body. Vervet’s community is based on complicated but stable troops of 10-50 animals, which comprises mostly of adult females and their little offspring. They are mainly herbivores.

Warthogs

Also known as “Phacochoerus africanus” are common in Kenya. They are herbivores and stay in family groups, spending most of their day foraging for food. They straighten their tails like antennas.

Waterbuck

Known as defassa waterbuck or “Kobus ellipsiprymnus” is easily identified by its white inner thighs and thick dark brown fur. Only the males got the horns, which they use to defend themselves and it usually grows up to 75 cm. They are herbivores

Wildebeest (Connochaetes)

Wildebeest belongs to the antelopes’ family. Their front body is strong while their hind is slender with thin legs. Their mane is black and have gray hair, as well as white or black beard. There are different species of wildebeest. Western white-bearded gnu are the species that are found in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem of Kenya and Tanzania.

Birds


With over 470 registered bird species, most of them being birds of prey making Maasai Mara ideal for the birdwatchers. Most common species are:

The Abdim’s Stork

It is also known as “Ciconia abdimii”, is the smallest in the family of storks. Its legs are long and grey, a gray beak, and red knees and feet. During breading season, the skin near the beak turns blue.

African Darter (Anhinga rufa)

African darts are large, slender waterfowl about 80cm long, including long, rounded tails. They are large slender waterbirds of length upto 80 cm. They skewer prey with their long beaks, and swim fully submerged with only their head out of the water.

African Grey Hornbill

The African gray hornbill also known as “Tockus nasutus” is the smallest in the hornbill family. It is a common sight and widespread native breeder across much of Africa. Their diet mainly consists of fruits, insects, and reptiles.

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)

They are found mainly in open large water bodies, their body are white and also a white head and large strong wings.

African Harrier Hawk (Polyboroides typus)

They are mid-size birds of prey, with both the head and chest being light grey and white belly. Both sexes are identical.

African Openbill Stork (Anastomus lamelligerus)

It comes from Ciconiidae family. It is a weight of 1 -2.3 kgs and 80 to 94 cm long. In adulthood they are dark with bright green and its chest and coats are purple. The beak is brown and large. It has black legs ang gray eyes.

African Spoonbill

Also known as “Platalea Alba” is a wading bird with long legs. It has a white body, but its legs, face and beak are red. This bird can be easily identified by its striking spoon-shaped beak, both genders bear the same looks.

White Backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)

This ‘old world’ vulture is found throughout Africa. They have a gray neck with a white feather collar on the upper back and their other feathers are various shades of gray. They are scavengers feeding on animal carcasses and bone fragments.

Bateleur

The Bateleur also known as “Terathopius ecaudatus” is a medium-sized eagle with short colorful tail. They have striking resemblance with the snake eagles.

Black Chested Snake Eagle (Circaetus pectoralis)

This eagle is a large bird of prey. It is common in a sparse forest area of Kenya, but it is not as common. It feeds on snakes but also on lizards and bats. It is easily identified by its dark brown chest and head, hence the name.

Black Headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)

This a wader of the heron family, it is a big bird, measuring about 0.85 m (85 cm) in height and its wing can reach 150cm. Their plumage is mostly gray above and lighter below. It has a powerful dark beak.

Black-Winged Kite

Also known as the black-shouldered kite or ‘Elanus caeruleus’ is a medium-sized bird of prey that hunts during the day from the Accipitridae family.

Coqui Francolin

The Coqui francolin also known as ‘Francolinus coqui’ is a type of bird belonging to the family Phasianidae.

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus)

It is easily spotted Masai Mara Game Reserve and their diets consist of herbs, seeds, and leaves. It occasionally feeds on locusts, worms, or other small animals. It mates for life, and is part of the shelduck family.

Fischer’s Sparrow Lark (Eremopterix leucopareia)

This passerine is a species from Alaudidae family. This softly colored bird can be found in short-grass lowlands and its natural home is savannah.

The Green Wood Hoopoe

It is a huge tropical bird, up to 44 cm long, almost passerine, only found Africa. Its diet comprises mainly of mounds or tree trunks.

Grey Headed Kingfisher

Grey Headed Kingfisher also known as ‘Halcyon leucocephala’ is a gray-headed kingfisher lives in dry forests, especially proximity a river or lake. It mainly hunts lizards.

Grey Kestrel (Falco ardosiaceus)

This African raptor belongs to Falconidae family. It is small and strong kestrel with a large, flat head and short wings which do not go beyond the tip of the tail when at not in motion.

Hamerkop

Hamerkop also known as ‘Scopus umbretta’ is a wading bird with mid-sized body. The color of its feathers is brown and there are beautiful violet reflections on the back.

Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)

Commonly known as Hadada, gets its name from its strong three- to four-note calls spoken in flight. They are mid-sized with strong legs and downward curved beak; feathers are luminous with a purple or green glow.

The Kori Bustard

It holds the record as the most largest flying bird. Most bustards like, this species, is a land bird and a good omnivore.

The Lappet Faced Vulture

Also known as the Nubian vulture or ‘Torgos tracheliotus’, is a big bird, classified as the largest and longest winged vulture.

Lilac Breasted Roller

Lilac-breasted rollers are a common treetop sighting in Mara. They are members of the Roller bird family. Their diet consists of insects, small rodents, and lizards.

The Marabou Stork

Known also as ‘Leptopilos crumeniferus’, is a large unusual bird with a bald head and hollow legs has a head with red spots with a gray body. They are primarily scavengers feeding on carrions and waste.

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)

This is the largest eagle in Africa with a wingspan 2.75m. They are marvelous to see, having bright yellow eyes, gray back, and crest, massive legs with 6 cm hind claws.

Ostrich

Also known as ‘Struthio camelus’ The very unique and recognizable ostrich is the largest bird on land. It is widely found in the Maasai Mara.

Rufous Naped Lark (Mirafra africana)

The reddish lark is a common and large family of lark in thinly wooded grasslands, open savannah. They have reddish wings and short erect crest.

The Ruppell’s Vulture

It holds the title for the tallest flying bird on earth with a wingspan of up to 8 feet. They are scavengers.

Secretary bird

Secretrary bird also known as ‘Sagittaruis serpentaruis’ is a very large bird of prey, mainly on land. Easily identified by its eagle like body with hooked-beaked crane legs and rounded wings.

The Southern Ground Hornbill

It is one of two hornbill species, found only in Africa, and the largest hornbill species in the world. Its diet is insects and small reptiles.

Southern Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus)

It is found in wide variety of ecosystem and it’s common in the Mara.

Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus)

The bird of the spotted mouse is the largest species of mouse, found almost everywhere in the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Spotted Thick Knee

The huge spotted knee also known as ‘Burhinus capensis’, can reach 0.45m (45 cm) in height, it has long legs and a mottled white and brown feather which can easily disguise them with the surrounding, thus becoming the hard to spot the bird in its habitat, mainly the grasslands and savannas it wanders. They are nocturnal, and crouches during the day making it difficult to spot.

Striped Kingfisher (Halcyon chelicuti)

They are predominant in dry bushes and especially at the Masai Mara. Striped Kingfisher is smallest and non-aquatic kingfisher, making it difficult to find.

Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus)

Starlings are magnificent birds with colorful show offs. It is most probably that you will notice their colorful body marked with a white strike across the chest.

 (Trachyphonus usambiro) Usambiro Barbet

They are from subspecies of Lybiidae family of the African Barbet. It feeds mainly on fruits, seeds, and different types of insects.

(Acryllium vulturinum) Vulturine Guineafowl

This is an impressive bird, having a bald head and beautiful body with a beautiful look. It is the largest known guinea fowl species. Its diet consists of seeds, insects and worm.

Accommodation Camps & Lodges in Masai Mara

Maasai Mara being in a jungle doesn’t mean you can’t find great hotels, in fact there is more deluxe tented camps and lodges depicting the great effort it to took to be constructed in the remote wilderness. Many of them are multiple international awards winners.

Luxury Tented Camps in Masai Mara


Masai Mara has some of the most luxurious safari camps in Africa. These campsites tend to be small boutique style properties designed to blend in with their surroundings and operate to the highest ecological standards. The main intent being to offer luxury while remaining as close to nature as possible, reminiscing the safari experience of decades ago, where only a canvas tent separated one from the elements and wild animals.

  • Little Governors Camp
  • And Beyond Bataleur Camp
  • Porini Mara Camp
  • Sanctuary Olonana Camp
  • Elewana Sand River Camp
  • Angama Mara
  • And Beyond Kichwa Tembo
  • Olare Mara Kempinski
  • Fairmont Mara Safari Club
  • Ilkeliani Camp
  • Entim Camp
  • Mara Intrepids Luxury Camp
  • Mara Bushtops Luxury Camp
  • Olarro
  • Mara Explorer Camp
  • Cheetah Tented Camp
  • Sentinel Mara Camp
  • Kicheche Mara Camp
  • Saruni Mara
  • Governors Camp
  • Mahali Mzuri Camp

 Upper Mid-Range Camps

For more affordable options that still offer travelers a superior experience, Masai Mara has several camp grounds and lodges that are less expensive than more exclusive properties, while still remaining within the reserve and offering guests a great time.

  • Fig Tree Camp
  • Ashnil Mara Camp
  • Mara Bush Camp
  • Matira Camp
  • Enkewe Camp
  • Eagle View
  • Leopard Hill
  • Sarova Mara Camp
  • Mara Crossings Camp
  • Tipilikwani Mara Camp

Budget Camps

Budget camping in the Masai Mara was a more recent development, aimed at satisfying price-conscious travelers. Almost all hotels classified as budget properties are located outside the main boundary of the Masai Mara Reserve. The safaris would still be within the main reserve and would mean entering and exiting the park for each safari.

  1. Julia’s Camp
  2. Mara Fisi Camp
  3. Ol Moran camp

Safari Lodges

Masai Mara cabins are built to be closer to hotels while keeping the feel, look and design of a property built and created to enhance the joy of being in nature. A well-designed lodge will share some elements of a camp, with extensive use of local materials and a design that blends the structure with its surroundings. Cabins tend to have large common rooms, likely include a pool and extra rooms. The rooms themselves are more like a hotel in terms of design and comfort, with a safari-like feel that goes well with the location.

  1. Mara Serena Lodge
  2. Keekorok Lodge
  3. Mara Simba Lodge

Getting accommodation in Mara is easy and its tailor made to fit your budget.

The Great Migration

Well this is the most spectacular event in the planet and it happens right there in Maasai Mara. Every year from July to October millions of animals cross over from Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya in astounding clockwise manner. In this group are over 1.5 million wildebeest, more than four hundred thousand Zebras and two hundred thousand gazelles, thus making July one of the peak seasons.

The great Maasai Mara game reserve, the greatest wonder in the planet.

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