Into the Mara Land (Maasai Mara) of Africa

Ever wondered over the eighth wonder of the world? Come to think of Maasai Mara Game Reserve. It is located in East Africa, the South West of Kenya in Narok County. It is found about three hundred kilometers from the heart of the country which is Nairobi. It covers a large track of land; about 1920km2 and borders Serengeti Plains to the south which is in Tanzania. The game reserve was established in the year 1961. What a place to be!

The name Maasai Mara originates from the community of the people living around this area. The Maasai people are plain nilotes; they practice pastoralism. They graze their sheep, goats and cattle even into the game reserve. They are associated with ownership of large herds since to them it is a form of prestige. They live in temporary structures called ‘manyatta’ since they are prone to migrate in search of pasture and water for their animals.

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The Culture of the Maasai is an attraction both to other local communities and even attracting international observers. They have a unique dressing code which has been maintained since their ancestral days. Initiates who are the warriors are called ‘morans’. This is accorded to one who has killed a lion. Women are responsible for building manyatta houses and establishing their homes in this community. They engage themselves in selling bangles and ‘kitenges’ designed traditionally. They are so beautiful and colorful that one would not miss to buy some at least.

The climate of this place is hot and dry. It is found in a semi-arid region not far south of the equator. Temperatures may rise up to 280C during the day and drop to the lows of 110C at night. It receives rainfall ranging from 350mm to 550mm annually. It has an altitude of 1500metres to 1900metres. This climate is therefore favorable for the vegetation therein which is vital for the ecosystem towards survival of this game reserve.

Mara has a uniquely beautiful landscape that extends vastly.  The plainly open landscape allows clear viewing of this place. This made it possible for establishment of the airstrip in the reserve. There are a variety of trees but mainly acacia and baobab trees. The baobab tree has a huge trunk that narrows upwards. There are several rivers both temporary and permanent. Along with huge rocks which influence the beauty of the scenery.

  Open Land with Sum Gazelles

The big five are amazing to watch in this reserve. The gigantic elephants look awesome with their long trunks that one would like to see how they take water. They like moving in herds for security purpose. They are so dangerous when provoked that tourists admiring them should keep distance. Rhinos are an epic watching experience, having the white rhinos and the black ones alike. They’ve got unique horn compared to the rest of the game. The family of lions is interesting too to watch. They have corporation when hunting prey and are really caring to their cubs. Lionesses are mostly involved in hunting since they are more swift compared to the lions who have heavier heads.

                                                                                Lioness Waiting to Hunt

 It is fun watching them playing with their cubs. Leopards are fast and it becomes worthwhile watching them while hunting their prey; their energy, speed and skill are epic. Buffaloes look like cows. They move in herds and are very dangerous. A herd can easily scare lions who may be interested in preying on them.

Wildebeest’s migration is perhaps the epitome of the Mara Land experience. They live in herds and can be a herd increasing to even a million. They move together in herds for security since they often are victims of predators such as lions and leopards. They are herbivorous and while on the plains traces of zebras and other herbivores can be seen. In case of danger, they run leaving a cloud of dust in escape. Predators would be seen focusing on one of them to make the aim achievable.

This migration is the eighth wonder of the world since it occurs annually. They cross the border to the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania in mass. The most epic bit of this is crossing the Mara River which is infested with dangerous crocodiles and hippos. They always await the wildebeests in hiding making them experimental while crossing. It is dramatic seeing the reptile emerging from nowhere and with their strong teeth they grab some and make a meal out of them. This is so interesting to see and one can tell a good story out of this later.

Other wild animals found in this game include hyenas which are fond of laughing while scavenging on carcasses, the ugly warthogs, giraffes which browse on trees, gazelles and impala which are preys of the carnivores, cheetahs which are so fast while racing their prey across the savannah, the jackals and bat-eared foxes just to mention but a few.

                                                                                                                           Zibras

Tortoises have hard shells hence can be sat on though one could easily fall off since they can be slippery. They have a lifespan of up to three hundred years. It is fun sitting on them as if to have a ride. Photos can be taken with them too since they are friendly to people.

                                                                                      single major tree with some vehicles at a distant

There are several hotels in this game ranging from 3-star hotels to 5-star hotels. They are located in most parts of this Maasai Mara game reserve. They are luxurious and spacious enough to host functions. They include Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Neptune Mara, Mara Leisure Camp, Olare Mara Kempinski and Fairmont Mara Safari Club among other many more. Most offer services such as massage and free breakfast. Swimming pools are common in them too. Their environs are full of natural vegetation making them admirable. They are located in areas that one can take a walk and admire the beauty of nature. The hotels are the best place to be after taking a walk round the game reserve.

Parachuting makes Maasai Mara so unique compared to other parks and reserves in the country. Some are provided by the government whereas others are brought in by individuals. It is usually fun parachuting over the game reserve since it gives a wider range of view of the features and animals below. However, it is a matter of concern over landing from them since it may occur that those who were parachuting land in areas with wild animals who may cause harm.

At night this reserve offers a site for camp fires. It is interesting to have them since one would be able to admire the clear sky with a galaxy of stars. It is also suitable for warming oneself because during such moments there is fall in temperature. Resources for roasting game meat are available as well as roasting maize which may be provided in the hotels. It is also important to note that those involving in campfires are provided with security as service of hospitality.

The best time to visit Maasai Mara is during the months of June to September. During this period, the weather is favorable and events such as wildebeests crossing the Mara River is guaranteed. The marram roads too would be passable to enable most parts of the reserve accessible. Looking for a place to visit on your holidays? Try Maasai Mara.

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