The Masai Mara lies in the Great Rift Valley, which is a fault line some 3,500 mile (5,600km) long, from Ethiopia’s Red Sea through Kenya,Tanzania, Malawi and into Mozambique.Here the valley is wide and a towering escarpment can be seen in the hazy distance.There are four main types of topography in the Mara: Ngama Hills to the east with sandy soil and leafy bushes liked by black rhino; Oloololo Escarpment forming the western boundary and rising to a magnificent plateau; Mara Triangle bordering the Mara River with lush grassland and acacia woodlands supporting masses of game especially migrating wildebeest; Central Plains forming the largest part of the reserve, with scattered bushes and boulders on rolling grasslands favoured by the plains game.
In a short stay during the wildebeest migration you could see thousands of animals, atother times there are still hundreds. The plains are full of wildebeest, zebra, impala, topi, giraffe, Thomson’s gazelle. Also regularly seen are leopards, lions, hyenas, cheetah, jackal and bat-eared foxes. Black rhino are a little shy and hard to spot but are often seen at a distance.Hippos are abundant in the Mara River as are very large Nile crocodiles, who lay in wait for a meal as the wildebeest cross on their annual quest to find new pastures.
Every July (or sometimes August), the wildebeest travel over 600 miles (960km) from Tanzania’s Serengeti plains, northwards to the Masai Mara and the Mara River is the final obstacle. In October or November,once they have feasted and the grass has all but gone, they turn around and go back the other way.
Altitude is 4,875-7,052 feet (1,500-2,170 metres) above sea level, which yields a climate somewhat milder and damper than other regions. The daytime rarely exceeds 85°F (30°C) during the day and hardly ever drops below 60°F (15°C) at night.
Rainy Season: It rains in April and May and again November and this can cause some areas of the Mara to be inaccessible due to the ‘black cotton’ mud.
Dry Season: July to October is dry and the grass is long and lush afterthe rains. This is a good time to come and see the huge herds of migratory herbivores.
Hottest time: The warmest time of year is December and January.
Coldest Time: June and July are the coldest months.
MASAI MARA SPECIALITIES
• Wildebeest Migration
• Hot Air Ballooning
• Huge savannahs of golden
grasslands and big skies
• Rift Valley escarpment
• Lion sightings
• This is a Reserve rather than a National Park and it belongs to the Masai people
• This is a malarial area
• The reserve covers an area