Size: 1,510 sq km (583 sq miles)
The Maasai Mara is arguably Kenya’s most popular game reserve. It is the most famous and most visited game reserve in Kenya and lies 252 km (156 miles) west of Nairobi. Much of the film “Out of Africa” was filmed here. There is a profusion of all types of wildlife including the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo).
A spectacle worth seeing is the annual migration of millions of wildebeest, zebra, and the gazelle from the Serengeti plains across the Tanzania border and the Mara river to reach Maasai Mara grazing fields from late June.
The animals found here include lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, rhino, serval, buffalo, wildebeest (bearded gnu), zebra, gazelle, impala, waterbuck, hyena, oribi, reed–buck, bushbuck, topi, kongoni, klipspringer, eland, hippo, bat–eared foxes, warthog, black-backed and side-striped jackals, crocodile, baboons, hyrax, dik-dik and several monkey species.
The game reserve also abounds with birdlife with over 450 recorded species.
The Mara River
The Mara River meanders between steep banks of alluvium, often 6 metres high, causing havoc to wildebeest and zebra during migration river crossings. Intermittent bands of resistant rock result in altering rapids and scores of deep hippo pools. Hundreds of huge crocodiles lie in wait in the river. During migrations 2 million animals repeatedly run the gauntlet of this crossing.
Best time to visit: July to November.