The Maasai people are a large pastoral community living along the Great Rift Valley of Kenya and Tanzania. While their exact origins are unknown, Maasai are strongly independent people who still value tradition and ritual as an integral part of their day to day live. They regard themselves not just as residents of the area but that they are as much a part of the life of the land as the land is part of their lives. Traditionally, the Maasai rarely hunt and living alongside wildlife in harmony 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 this Maasai land one of the world’s most unique wilderness regions. At the heart of the
it’s widely considered to be Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve. The Mara comprises 200 sq miles of open plains, riverine forest, and woodlands. Contiguous with the plains of the Serengeti (Serengeti National Park), Maasai Mara is home to a breathtaking array of life. The vast grassland plains are scattered with herds of Zebra, Giraffe, Gazelle, and Topi. The Acacia forests abound with Birdlife and Monkeys, Elephants and Buffalo.
The Mara and Talek rivers are ever brimming with Hippos and Crocodiles. Each year the Mara plays host to the world’s greatest natural spectacle, the Great Wildebeest Migration from Serengeti National Park, starting from July to October, the promise of rain and fresh life giving grass in the north brings more than 1.3 million Wildebeest together into a single massive herd. They pour across the border into the Mara, making a spectacular entrance in a rising and falling 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 passion as they fight against swift currents and waiting crocodiles. The wildebeest bring new life to the Mara, not just through their cycle of regeneration of the grasslands, but for the predators that follow the herds. Maasai Mara has been called the Kingdom of Lions and these regal and powerful hunters dominate these grasslands. Cheetahs are also a common sight in the Mara, as are Hyena and smaller predators such as Jackals.
Maasai Mara is an awesome natural wonder, a place where Maasai warriors share the plains with hunting lions, a place of mighty herds and timeless cycles of life, death, and regeneration. Mara is probably the best serviced of all Kenyan Parks and Reserves with a wide range of Accommodation for any budget. The Reserve is a popular attraction, the reserve is ideal for game drives, and some lodges and camps offer good accommodation walks and balloon safaris.