MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE KENYA TRAVEL INFORMATION
Maasai Mara National Reserve Kenya travel information: This article includes the detailed travel information about Maasai Mara national reserve including the nature of the reserve, location, attraction, getting there and accommodation facilities among others.
Introduction of Maasai mara national reserve;
Maasai mara national reserve is one of stunning and most visited destination in Kenya situated within Narok County and is as well managed by Narok County officials. Maasai mara national reserve cover a landscape of approximately 1,500 Square Kilometers which covers a large area in the southern part of Kenya. Maasai mara national reserve is part of the magnificent 25,000 Square Kilometers of Mara- Serengeti Eco system that connects through Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti national park. The reserve was first established in 1961 as a wildlife sanctuary, in 1974, it was then declared a game reserve and finally became a National Game Reserve. 2 years later in 1976, Maasai mara national reserve was divided where by part of it was offered to the local communities and the other portion remained as reserve under the management of Narok County.
Vegetation of Masai Mara national reserve;
The vegetation cover of Maasai mara national reserve is majorly filled with the savanna grassland with rivers crossing through making it a perfect destination to watch plenty of wildlife species, stunning sighting and beautiful flora species. The reserve as well consists of over 1000 species of acacia trees.
Wildlife in Maasai mara national reserve;
While on your next Kenya safari to Maasai mara, you will get to learn that wildlife takes over as the major tourist attractions of the reserve. Maasai mara national reserve thrills with thousands of animals including the Wildebeests, Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Buffaloes, Cheetahs, Giraffes, Topis, Zebras, Baboons, Hippos, Gazelles, Jackals, leopards, Impalas, Crocodiles and many more.
Amongst all the animals in Maasai mara national reserve, Wildebeests are the major sought of animals of the great Maasai mara reserve due to their annual migration across the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem as they search for fresh pasture following the rain patterns. This annual wildebeest migration has made Maasai mara one of the 7th wonder of the world as a huge population of tourists flock the reserve annually to watch this heroic migration especially with the magical river crossing where the wildebeests have to painfully cross the crocodile infected Mara river to follow the green pasture on the other side of the river. Apart from animals, Maasai mara national reserve is as well a haven of abundant of birdlife that are spotted with the lush and in the acacia tree branches.
Getting to Maasai mara national reserve
Wondering about how best you could reach to Maasai mara national reserve? Well, there are 2 ways on how one can easily get to Masai Mara which are by road dring or by air flying.
By road, the driving distance from Nairobi city/ Nairobi International airport to Maasai mara national reserve is approximately 5-6 hours depending on the location of your lodge/ camp.
By Air, taking a domestic flight from Wilson airport to Maasai mara national reserve take about 1 hour to land to any airfield with in the reserve.
Whichever way you choose to get to the Reserve, the experience remains remarkable. This is however determined by the travel time you have. For Instance, you have enough time for your safari, then taking a drive would make more sense than taking a flight. However, if you have little time for the Safari, I would then recommend a flight over driving.
What are the entrance fees to Maasai Mara national reserve?
Entrance fees in Maasai Mara national reserve are categorized according to people, Vehicle and aircraft.
- People Entrance fees;
Foreign Nonresidents: Adults pay $80, while children and students pay $45
Foreign residents/ East Africa Residents: Adults pay KES 1,200, while children and students pay KES 500
East Africa Citizens: Adults pay KES 1,000, while children and students pay KES 300
- Vehicle entrance fees
For safari vehicles; this depends on the number of seats per vehicle;
6 seats and below Pays KES 400, 6 seats to 12 Seats pays KES 1000, 13 seats to 24 seats pays KES 3000, 25 seats to 44 seats pays KES 4000, and finally 45 seats and more pays KES 5000.
- Entrance fees for Trucks
This is charged depending on the tons,
0-3 tons is charged KES 700, 4 to 7 tons is charged KES 2,500, and finally 8 tons and above is charged KES 3,500
- Aircraft landing fees,
3 seats and below is charged KES 300, 4 seats to 6 Seats is charged KES 500, 7 seats to 14 seats is charged KES 1000, 15 seats to 20 seats is charged KES 2000, 21 seats and more is charged KES 3000.
- Camping fees in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Private camping fees
Foreign Nonresidents: Adults pay $40, while children and students pay $20
Foreign residents/ East Africa Residents: Adults pay KES 1,500, while children and students pay KES 500
East Africa Citizens: Adults pay KES 1,000, while children and students pay KES 200
Public camping fees
Foreign Nonresidents: Adults pay $30, while children and students pay $20
Foreign residents/ East Africa Residents: Adults pay KES 1,000, while children and students pay KES 200
East Africa Citizens: Adults pay KES 1,000, while children and students pay KES 200
Note: All the above fees are payable on a per day basis.
Climatic conditions in Maasai mara national reserve
Maasai mara national reserve experiences both cold and warm climatic conditions throughout the year due to the fact that Kenya as a country is crossed by the Equator line. The reserve recieves both rainy and dry seasons. The short rainy season rain from November to May whereas the long rains are seen during the moths of December and January. The peak season of the rains in Maasai mara is during the months of April to May. At this point when the reserve recieves the highest rains, the reserve gets flooded and in fact some accommodations tend to shut down.
On the other hand, the dry season in Maasai mara national reserve is experienced during the months of February and March.
The months of June, July, August, September, October and November are known as the dry season in Maasai mara national reserve and during this season, the reserve receive plenty of tourists and it is the best time to abundant of wildlife.
When to visit Maasai mara national reserve,
Maasai mara national reserve can be visited all year round but obviously the best will always be during the dry season when the reserve is dry, easy to enjoy a game drive and the animals are easily seen. Surprisingly, dry month is as well the best time to spot the wildebeest migration since the migration is seen throughout July, August, September, October and to November. However, I would say that there is no guarantee that throughout your visit to Maasai Mara you will witness the great migration since it always changes due to rain patterns.
Well, however much Maasai mara national reserve is open for tourism throughout the year, I would as well recommend that you don’t travel there during the heavy rains of April and May as you might regret the experience of unpassable roads, flooded camps and lodges and you might as well not watch as many animals as possible since some of the game drive trails are impassable.
What are the major things to do in Maasai mara national reserve?
Maasai mara national reserve thrives will a lot of tourist activities to enjoy being one of the 7th wonder of the world, just know that you have a lot to keep you throughout your stay in the reserve ranging from Game drives, cultural tours, hot air balloon to mention but a few depending on your preferences. In case you wish to have an aerial view of the endless plains of Maasai mara national reserve then look no further than grabbing a hot air balloon ride. This is one of the greatest experience that will thrive in your mind for a life time. A hot air balloon in Masai Mara costs about 450USD-500USD depending on the location of your lodge or Camp on the day of the ride. This cost comes with pick up and drop off fee from your lodge/ camp to the take-off location of hot air balloon, a bottle of Champaign and bush breakfast upon landing, a certificate signed by the pilot, and a game drive in the plains of mara as you return to your accommodation.
Taking on game drive is the best way to explore the plains of Maasai mara national reserve. During game drives, tourists are rewarded with a close view of abundant of grazing animals in the reserves and the stunning vegetation cover.
Wildebeest migration is as well a major highlight of the activities done in Maasai mara national reserve as long as you visit the part at the right time of the great migration which is usually between July to November depending on the rain patterns.
Where to stay/ accommodation in Maasai Mara National Reserve
There are several accommodations to stay in while on a Kenya safari too Maasai mara. You may opt to stay in Lodges, Tented camps or stay in the wilderness at a campsite. Some of the accommodations are directly situated inside the reserve while the majority are outside the reserve a few kilometers to the entrance gate. The accommodations offer various amenities ranging from Budget, Midrange and Luxury. Here are some of the accommodations; Mara Sopa lodge, Sentrim Mara Camp, AA Mara camp, Enkorok Mara Camp, Mara Sopa lodge, Mara Chui Camp, Enchoro wilderness camp, Mara Serena, Mara serena lodge, Mara Concord, Oltome Mara Magic Resort, Kilima Mara Camp, La Maison Royale Camp Masai Mara, Miti Mingi Eco Camp, Mara Leisure Camp, Base Camp Explorer, Simba Oryx Mara Camp, Royal Mara Lodge, Mara River Lodge, Siana Springs, Kichwa Tembo, Ashnil Mara camp, Base Camp Eagle View, and many more.
For Camping, there are some lodges which have campsites and the reserve itself has some campsites some situated with in the Conservancy and the rest in the other part of the reserve all offering the best views of the Mara plains. All the private campsites are situated along the River offering scenic views and watching animals as they visit the river to quench their thirst. For private camping, you will need to hire 2 rangers at night.
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