Other Related Articles on Super Green Me
External Website Links
Videos From YouTube
Masai Mara Game Reserve
Gateway City: Mombasa is the city nearest Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Climate: Daytime highs at Masai Mara Game Reserve typically reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit; nighttime lows are in the 60s. The rainy season is in April, May and November. This creates what is referred to as “black cotton” mud, which renders some areas inaccessible.
Number of visitors per year: Approximately 290,000 tourists enjoy Masai Mara National Park every year.
The 197-square-mile Mara Triangle was gazetted as a Game Reserve in 1940. In 1968 the Narok County Council added 386 square miles to the east of the Mara River, forming the Masai Mara National Game Reserve. From 1968 to 1994, Narok County Council managed the entire area. In 1994, Narok District was divided to create the additional Trans Mara District. The Trans Mara District managed the Mara Triangle. Only one-third of the Mara Triangle was secure, with the remainder subject to poaching and illegal grazing; thousands of animals were being killed every year. Hence, concerned local leaders formed the Mara Conservancy in January 2001, a non-profit management company.
The Masai Mara Game Reserve is located in southwestern Kenya, Africa. Masai Mara National Park is basically a northern extension of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
The Masai Mara Game Reserve is named after the Maasi inhabitants of the area, who are tall and adorn themselves with red robes, plus the Mara River that winds through the park. Masai Mari National Park is world-renowned for the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra from the Serengeti during July and August. Masai Mara Game Reserve is also famous for being home to more than 20 lion prides.
Masai Mara National Park is composed primarily of open grassland savannahs and seasonal riverlets. Wildlife is concentrated in Esoit Oloololo Escarpment of the Great Rift Valley thanks to easy access to water in swampy areas and fewer tourists.
Best Season to Visit
The best time to visit Masai Mara Reserve is during the dry months, July through October. The grasses are long after the rainy season, and it’s a great time to see the migatory herds. The Great Migration takes place in July and August.
Masai Mara National Park is 560 square miles. It is not Kenya’s largest game park, but it is quite likely the most famous. It is enveloped by the Great Rift Valley, which extends from the Mediterranean Sea to South Africa.
More than 1 million Wildebeest, 360,000 Thomson’s Gazelle and nearly 200,000 Zebra migrate from the Serengeti plains in July and August in Masai Mara National Park. Predators such as lions and hyena follow their circular annual route.
The lion is one of the world’s four big cats, second in size only to the tiger. Adult males can weigh more than 550 pounds. Lions are environmentally categorized as Vulnerable.
The Black Rhinoceros is really gray. Approximately 3,600 rhinoceros live throughout the world. The Black Rhinoceros is environmentally classified as Critically Endangered, though the World Conservation Union announced in 2000 that the West African Black Rhinoceros is tentatively declared as Extinct.
Male African Elephants are 12 feet tall at the shoulder and weight 12,000 pounds! Females stand 10 feet tall and weight 8,000 to 11,000 pounds.
In Greek, “hippos” means “horse” and “potamos” means “river.” Hippos are semi-aquatic. They inhabit rivers and lakes in Masai Mara Game Reserve in groups of five to 30 called pods. They stay cool in the water during the day, and come onto land at dusk to graze. While in the water, males guard a territorial stretch of river; but on land, grazing is solitary and no territorial behavior is displayed. Females give birth in the water. Hippos are environmentally classified as Vulnerable.
The Cheetah is a unique feline in that it cannot climb. Cheetahs are the fastest animals on land. They can accelerate from 0 to 68 mph in only three seconds, which is faster than most supercars. They can run up to 75 mph. Cheetahs are environmentally classified as Vulnerable.
Masai Mara Game Reserve is also home to antelope, zebra, giraffes and more than 450 species of birds.
There are many lodges and tent camps within the Mara Masai National Park boundary. Wildlife tours, safaris and park tickets are available from private concessioners, such as Earthview Management or Kenya Association of Tour Operators.
Earthview Management Ltd.
P.O Box 13509-00800
Telephone: 254 020 4450373/4
Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO)
P.O Box 48461-00100
Telephone: 254 020 2713348/2713386/2722401/2726517
Technically speaking, Masai Mara is not a national park, but rather, a national reserve; therefore, it is not managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service. It is held in trust for the people of Kenya and managed by the Narok County Council and the Mara Conservancy, through contract with the Trans Mara County Council.
The Mara Conservancy stations many anti-poaching units away from tourist areas to reduce local poaching. In addition to curtailing poaching, the Mara Conservancy also develops sustainability policies for environmentally sensitive camping sites and maintaining roads to minimize environmental damage.
The Masai Mari Conservation area is managed by the Group Ranch Trusts of the Maasai community, with its own rangers. The Mara Masai Game Reserve and the Conservation Area comprise a continuous ecosystem.
How to donate
To donate online to the Mara Conservancy’s work, visit: http://maratriangle.wildlifedirect.org/
U.S. residents can mail a check to:
306 5th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Your check should be made payable to WildlifeDirect, Inc. Write “Mara Triangle” in the memo blank, as WildlifeDirect processes donations for several organizations.
You can also sponsor a ranger to help pay expenses during non-tourist season: http://maratriangle.wildlifedirect.org/sponsor-a-ranger/
- The Masai Mara Wildlife and People Count 2002: http://www.maasaimaracount.org/analysis.html
- Wildlife GIS: Spatial Analysis and Visualisation in Masai Mara by Joram Nduati Kinuthia, Professor A.J. Rodrigues and Richard Oluoch: http://www.gisdevelopment.net/application/environment/wildlife/maf06_1.htm