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Kenya's Maasai Mara is one of the Kenya's largest Animal parks.


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Kenya's Maasai Mara

The Kenya Maasai Mara is one of the largest national parks in Kenya. It is located in the Rift Valley province, and is separated from the Serengeti plains (in Tanzania) by nothing more than a river – the Mara River. It is across this river that over one million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra’s cross every year.

Kenya Masai mara is located at an altitude of 1500m above sea level. The climate is mild, with sunny days and cool evenings most days of the year. The rainy season falls between June and November, although the climate still remains pleasant. The landscape is grassy, with acacia woods and bush scattered across the landscape.

LIFE IN THE MASAI MARA.

It is these grasslands that support the nutritional needs of the herbivorous wildlife that can be found at the Kenyan Mara. This includes the elephants, gazelles, zebra’s, wildebeest, different species of antelope and so on. The grounds at the edge of river Mara and of the many tributary streams are defined by dense riverine forests with a good opportunity to get some of the reserve’s bird groups.

While the Kenyan Maasai Mara is mostly famous for the great wildebeest migration that occurs every year during the months of August and November, it actually has so much more to offer. The Maasai mara is home to a spectacular amount of wildlife. In the Mara, you are sure to see the big five: Lions, Leopards, Rhino’s and Elephants. In addition, you will see Hippos, Cheetahs, Crocodiles, Hyena’s and of course all the herbivorous animals that have been mentioned above.

The Kenyan Maasai Mara also boasts a huge assortment of birdlife. Believe it or not, the bird list totals over 450 species. These range from the large and highly conspicuous Common Ostrich, to the small Cardinal Quelea. From the ubiquitous White-bellied Go-away-bird to its two more uncommon relatives, the Bare-faced Go-away-bird and the Eastern Grey Plantain-eater.

The Mara also plays host to three relatively rare types of Woodpeckers: the Golden-tailed, Little Spotted and Fine-banded woodpeckers. And of course, given the abundance of game at the Maasai mara, vultures are in big supply. In fact, 6 out of the 7 species of Kenyan vulture can be seen in the game reserve, with only the Lammergeier missing. In case you are wondering what these other 6 species of Kenyan vulture could be, here are their names: Egyptian, Hooded, Griffon, Nubian, White-backed and White-headed vultures.

Travel to the Kenyan Maasai Mara can be by road, or by air. The road to the Mara is good, after major re-surfacing work was done on it in recent years. It also has the advantage of providing a truly breath-taking view of the Rift valley. It takes about seven hours to drive down to the Mara. But, if you are in a hurry, you could choose to fly down, as this takes about 45 minutes only. Once at the Mara, accommodation should not pose a problem; there is a wide choice of accommodation in and around the game reserve.

There are two luxury lodges, Keekorok and the Mara Serena, both of which are conveniently located to allow for "Big 5" watching. And if you want to fall asleep under the stars right in the park, you could go the camping route, at any of the numerous designated camping sites, or spring for the exclusive tented camps.

A trip to the Mara need not be an expensive one either: there are many budget travel packages available for the penny-watching tourist, and these can be easily found on most Kenyan tourism sites. Either way, your experience of the unfettered African wilderness that is the Kenyan Mara is one that will stay with you for a long long time.


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