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Overview

Maasai Mara is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa, world-renowned for its exceptional populations of lion, African leopard, cheetah and African bush elephant. It also hosts the Great Migration, which secured it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and as one of the ten Wonders of the World. Maasai Mara is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa, world-renowned for its exceptional populations of lion, African leopard, cheetah and African bush elephant. It also hosts the Great Migration, which secured it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and as one of the ten Wonders of the World.

History & Geography

When it was originally established in 1961 as a wildlife sanctuary the Mara covered only 520 km2 (200 sq mi) of the current area, including the Mara Triangle. The total area under conservation in the Greater Maasai Mara ecosystem amounts to almost 1,510 km2 (580 sq mi).It is the northernmost section of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, which covers some 25,000 km2 (9,700 sq mi) in Tanzania and Kenya. It is bounded by the Serengeti Park to the south, the Siria / Oloololo escarpment to the west, and Maasai pastoral ranches to the north, east and west. Rainfall in the ecosystem increases markedly along a southeast–northwest gradient, varies in space and time, and is markedly bimodal. The Sand, Talek River and Mara River are the major rivers draining the reserve. Shrubs and trees fringe most drainage lines and cover hillslopes and hilltops.

Wildlife

All members of the “Big Five” (lionleopardelephantCape buffaloblack and white rhinos) are found here all year round. Hippopotamuses and crocodiles are found in large groups in the Mara and Talek rivers. Smaller carnivores that don’t directly compete with the latter include African golden wolvesblack-backed jackalsAfrican striped weaselscaracalsservalshoney badgersaardwolvesAfrican wildcatsside-striped jackalsbat-eared foxeszorillasAfrican civetsgenets, several mongoose species, and otters. Wildebeest are the dominant inhabitants of the Maasai Mara, and their numbers are estimated in the millions. Around July of each year, these animals migrate north from the Serengeti plains in search of fresh pasture, and return to the south around October.

The Great Migration is one of the most impressive natural events worldwide, involving some 1,300,000 blue wildebeest, 500,000 Thomson’s gazelles, 97,000 topi, 18,000 common elands, and 200,000 Grant’s zebras. Antelopes can be found, including Grant’s gazellesimpalasduikers and Coke’s hartebeests. The plains are also home to the distinctive Masai giraffe. The large roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox, rarely present elsewhere in Kenya, can be seen within the reserve borders. More than 470 species of birds have been identified in the park, many of which are migrants, with almost 60 species being raptors.[8] Birds that call this area home for at least part of the year include: vulturesmarabou storkssecretary birdshornbillscrowned cranesostricheslong-crested eaglesAfrican pygmy-falcons and the lilac-breasted roller, which is the national bird

Map

Maasai Mara Tours