The grandeur of Masai Mara

Ever noticed there are two different ways to spell “Masai”? So which one is it, Masai Mara National Reserve or Maasai Mara National Reserve? For all the wanderlust travellers out there that want to be in-the-know when you set foot on the African continent – the correct answer is indeed Masai Mara. The “Maasai” are the fascinating Maa-speaking semi-nomadic people of East Africa. A famously hospitable culture, the Maasai are world renowned for their brightly coloured shukkas (traditional cloth), distinctive beaded jewellery, fearless cohabitation with the Big Five, as well as their uncanny ability to jump higher than Michael Jordan himself. You really must make time to meet the Maasai, they are incredible people. 

Top things to do

Safari

The main event of your Masai Mara safari camp, game drives take you out and into the Masai Mara to search for the iconic animals. Accompanied with some of the area’s best and most highly trained guides, enjoy unmatched game viewing at some of the area’s best safari camps.

The best location on the Mara means access to the best wildlife and photography opportunities. At the above camps, enjoy custom designed 4×4 vehicles suited to this environment and game viewing, and highly trained drivers who have a love of the environment and have worked on the Mara for 40 years. You will enjoy two of these incredible game drives each day to spot some of the Mara’s fantastic animals. All members of the Big 5 live on the Masai Mara and you have the possibility of seeing lions, elephants, cape buffalo, and rhinoceros, as well as giraffes, hippos, hyenas, Nile crocodiles, wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, antelopes, and more.

Wildbeest Migration

The wildebeest migration is an annual event where over a million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle migrate from Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara in a continuous cycle following the rains and fresh grass.

The migration often takes place between the months of July and October and is anticipated by hundreds of tourists and the Masai Mara’s predators alike. This is also the time when the wildebeest give birth and life echos all around the Mara. Life not only arrives with the birth of wildebeest, but also with the actions of predators and the arrival of lions and hyenas.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

A hot air balloon over the Masai Mara is possibly the most incredible way to see this fantastic ecosystem. Get a better perspective of the area and admire the Masai Mara’s beauty from the sky. The hot air balloon departs from the Little Governors Camp just before dawn with the balloon rising as the first sunlight lights the Mara.

Enjoy the tranquility of a balloon ride as you float above the plains watching the wildlife below. See the forest and the rivers of the Masai Mara on a truly unique experience as we drift in the breeze. See why the Masai named this the ‘Mara’, which means ‘spotted’ as you see the circles of trees, shadows from clouds, and scrubland that create the beautiful scenery.

Interaction with “The Masaai”

The Maasai have been living on the Mara for a few hundred years and still live with traditional customs and traditions, albeit influenced a little from the modern world. While on the Masai Mara, you can visit a Maasai community and at the camps on this page you can see a specific community called Mara Rianda.

This is a community of 48 traditional houses surrounding an area for the Maasai’s cattle. This is a great place to visit if you’re interested in exploring the Maasai culture to enjoy traditions and customs that have remained as they are for centuries. Visitors are often struck by the colorful lifestyle of the Maasai and various camps have an outreach program helping to conserve surrounding forests, and providing a reliable source of fuel for the community.

Visit the Mara River

The Mara River is one of the documentary world’s most famous because of the annual wildebeest crossing and the abundance of Nile crocodiles. The river begins in Kenya’s highlands then drains into Lake Victoria, the world’s largest tropical lake.

This is a very important water source for animals along the Mara River and grows to double its usual size after heavy rains. The animals you can find here include bird-life, hippos and crocodiles and the river is found in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve. A great camp to enjoy the Mara River is the Governors Camp, which is positioned in the forest on the river bank and was once reserved for Kenya’s colonial Governors.

Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor is an exclusive boutique hotel, owned by The Safari Collection. Often referred to as one of the most instagrammed properties in the world, Giraffe Manor is set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi. Giraffe Manor is one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings. The historic manor house has extraordinary appeal, that harks back to the 1930s when visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris.

With its stately façade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards, guests often remark that it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa: indeed, one of its twelve rooms is named after the author Karen Blixen. One of the most fascinating things about Giraffe Manor is its resident herd of Rothschild’s giraffes who may visit morning and evening, poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary.

Mfangano Island Camp

The Mfangano Island is a land area in Lake Victoria to enjoy a relaxing experience after or before your experience of the Masai Mara. The completely different environment makes a fantastic compliment to your adventures on Africa’s savanna.

Lake Victoria is the world’s largest tropical freshwater lake and sits on the border of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania in Africa’s Great Lakes region. The lake is drained by the famous Nile River and is home to around 200 different species of fish. The lake is extremely important for the regional economy with various industries relying on the water.

Governors Camp

The Governors Private Camp allows a private and very comfortable experience of the Masai Mara. With the camp manager as your host, personal attention is the selling point of this exclusive camp. The camp is positioned where many different animals come to drink and where the hippos bring their calves to enjoy the water.

The surrounding forest is full of beautiful birds, such as trogans, hornbills, and turacos. The Governors Private Camp then provides some of the Masai Mara’s best guides to make the most of the wildlife-filled environment. The trackers are expertly trained to find amazing wildlife and you’re sure to see some of the Mara’s favorites.

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