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Comprising two hundred square miles of open plains, woodlands and riverine forest and adjacent to the plains of the Serengeti, the Masai Mara Game Reserve is widely proclaimed as Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve. The Mara is home to a breathtaking abundance of wildlife, its vast grassland plains being scattered with herds of zebra, giraffe, gazelle and topi. In the acacia forests birdlife is prolific and monkeys chatter and play as elephants and buffalo wallow in the wide Musiara Swamp while the Mara and Talek rivers brim with hippo and crocodile.
Each year the Mara plays host to the world’s greatest natural spectacle, the Great Wildebeest Migration from the Serengeti. From July to October, the promise of rain and fresh life giving grass in the north brings more than 1.2 million wildebeest together into a single massive herd which pours across the border into the Mara, making a spectacular entrance in a surging column of life that stretches from horizon to horizon. At the Mara River they mass together on the banks before finally plunging forward through the raging waters, creating frenzy as they fight against swift currents and waiting crocodiles.
The Mara has also been called the ’Kingdom of Lions’ with these regal and powerful hunters dominating the grasslands. Cheetah are also commonly sighted, as are hyena and smaller predators such as jackals.
The Mara is probably the best serviced of all Kenyan Parks and Reserves with a wide range of accommodation covering any budget. The Reserve is a popular attraction with safari operators and is ideal for game drives, with lodges and camps offering guided game walks, extensive birding, interaction with the local Maasai and balloon safaris.