Interesting facts about Maasai Mara National Reserve
The game reserve is named in honor of the Maasai people in the region and their description of the area when looked at from a far “Mara” which is Maa meaning spotted.
All members of the BIG FIVE lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino and other popular species like zebra, giraffe, hyena, cheetah, and gazelle are found in the Mara.
Hippos are abundant in the Mara River as are large crocodiles, who lay in wait for a meal as the wildebeest cross on their annual quest to find new pastures.
In the Serengeti, the 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 Serengeti plains in search of fresh pasture, and return to the south around October.
The Wildebest Migration is one of the most impressive wildlife events worldwide, involving 1,500,000 wildebeest, 800,000 Thomson’s gazelles, 500,000 zebras and 18,000 elands.
More than 500 species of birds have been identified in the game reserve, many of which are migrants.
Species such as eagles, and vultures are among the different birds of prey.
There are four main types of topography in the Mara:
- Ngama Hills to the east with sandy soil and leafy bushes.
- Oloololo Escarpment to the western boundary and rising to a magnificent plateau.
- Mara Triangle bordering the Mara River and acacia woodlands supporting masses of game especially migrating wildebeest.
- Central Plains forming the largest part of the reserve.
The Masai Mara lies in the Great Rift Valley, which is a fault line from Ethiopia’s Red Sea through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and into Mozambique.
The Maasai are a strongly independent people who still value tradition and ritual as an integral part of
their everyday lives.
Traditionally, the Maasai rarely hunt and live alongside wildlife in harmony, which is an important part of their beliefs.
Lions and wildebeest play an important a role in their cultural beliefs, as their own herds of cattle.
This unique co-existence of man and wildlife makes the Maasai area one of the world’s most unique wilderness regions.
The Maasai Mara is a major research center for the spotted hyena.
The Mara has been called the Kingdom of Lions.
With the wildebeest migration in JULY – OCTOBER, this is the best time to see this incredible movement of animals. Also, December to February are great times as it is dryer and good for the Big Cats.
The best time to view animals is either at dawn or dusk.
Approx 350,000 tourists enjoy Masai Mara National Park every year.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is the most famous regardless of not being the largest conservation park.
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