EXPLORE MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE WITH BELLA SAFARIS

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MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE

(8th wonder of the world renowned for big five, wildebeest migration plus many other flora & fauna):

Maasai Mara National Reserve (also “Masai Mara) is one of the world’s most magnificent game reserves.

Bordering Tanzania, the Mara is the northern extension of the Serengeti and forms a wildlife corridor between the two countries.

 

It’s named after the statuesque, red-cloaked Maasai people who live in the park and graze their animals here as they have done for centuries. In their language, Mara means “mottled,” perhaps a reference to the play of light and shadow from the acacia trees and cloud-studded skies on the vast grasslands.

 

The park is famous for the Wildebeest Migration, when thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle travel to and from the Serengeti, from July through October.

 

In the Mara River, throngs of hippos and crocodiles lurk. The park is also known for providing excellent predator sightings (check Big Cat Diary on BBC), thanks to its relatively large populations of Big Five: Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, & Rhino plus many other flora & fauna.

 

Thanks to the park’s altitude, the weather here is mild and gentle year-round.

Best wildlife conservancies in masai Mara

Mara conservancies are the best option for people wanting a low tourist density Masai Mara safari experience, as most of the concessions only have a few camps – and restrict the number of beds on the land – and don’t allow self-driving, so there’s a limit to how many vehicles will be at sightings. The other bonus of staying on a conservancy is being able to do the activities that are not permitted in the national reserve, including bush dinners, night drives, off-road driving and walking safaris, which are an amazing way to experience the wilderness and animals. On walks in the bush, Maasai guides will not only track animals but teach you about the ecosystem, its fascinating animal, bird and insect life, as well as the medicinal and cultural uses of plants.

 

Mara North Conservancy:

This is one of the best of the concessions for its abundant wildlife, quintessential savanna landscapes and commitment to community conservation, working to rehabilitated overgrazed land and natural habitats and managing grazing areas.

Game viewing is excellent, and particular highlights are big cat sightings and the dramatic herds of the Great Migration.

 

Olare Motorogi Conservancy:

Made up of the former Motorogi and Olare-Orok Conservancies and one of the oldest and most successful conservancies, has been a blueprint for other concessions and community conservation in the Masai Mara.

It also offers exceptional wildlife viewing (with large numbers of lion and elephant), with one of the highest concentrations of animals and lowest tourist densities in the Mara: there’s a 94-bed limit on the conservancy with just one room per 700 acres on its 33 000 acres of riverine forest, valleys and acacia woodland.

 

Mara Triangle Conservancy:

Mara Triangle was one of the first in the region created to benefit the local Maasai community and to protect an area that was being decimated by poachers. Experiencing the wealth of wildlife now roaming this spectacular landscape, visitors will gladly confirm the success of this great conservation project.

The Mara Triangle is immense, about one third the total area of the Masai Mara Reserve and is blessed with an abundance of game. It is possible, in just one day, to view all the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino in an area of just 2 km (1.2 mi). Visitors will also find plenty of wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, cheetah, and many others.

The conservancy is perfectly situated to view the explosive drama of the Great Migration – the yearly movement of wildlife from the Serengeti into the Mara lands. The Mara Triangle looks upon the countless herds entering from the Serengeti and then later in the season, leaving the Masai Mara. As the migrating animals cross the Mara River, they create a scene of sometimes overpowering intensity to which the conservancy’s visitors will enjoy closeup views.

 

Mara Naboisho Conservancy:

At Mara Naboisho there’s plenty of wilderness without other cars – and the impact on the environment is limited. The concentration of wildlife is high, with abundant big cats and herds of wildebeest, elephant and giraffe.

It also ticks all the boxes for successful community conservation: the conservancy was established when more than 500 Maasai land-owning families decided to join up their land (“naboisho” means come together in the local Maa language) in order to allow for wildlife movement – there are no fences between the conservancy and the Maasai Mara – tourism and grazing. In order to allow the land to recover from intensive herding, the Maasai now practice controlled grazing.

 

Mara Siana Conservancy:

It lies some distance away from the Masai Mara National Reserve to the east. If you really want to get off the beaten track, this is a good option, as it’s more remote than some of the other conservancies and only has two lodging options.

In this secluded valley there’s plenty of wildlife to be spotted, from prides of lions, herds of elephants, cheetah, leopard, buffalo and the occasional black rhino and wild dogs.

 

Lemek Conservancy:

The Lemek Conservancy which is located within the Maasai Mara National reserve in Kenya consists of Lemek Ranch altogether having a total of 45,000ha. There are 500 members in Lemek and it is managed totally by local people under the supervision of Chairman Philip TINKA and other chosen board members.

Some of the members privately own a ranch within the area. This area is a natural reserve area and is called protected area & wildlife.

 

Enonkishu Conservancy:

Enonkishu is focused on improving cattle management so that the ecosystem and wildlife can regenerate and local communities have sustainable income from both grazing and conservation fees.

Wildlife to spot include lots of plains game, giraffe, buffalo, elephant and a pride of lion that lives on the edge of the conservancy. Lodging in the conservancy is offered on an estate that has been “rewilded” from intensive cattle farming and in simple bandas at the conservancy training centre.

 

Ol Kinyei Conservancy:

This Maasai-owned conservancy measuring 18 700 acres offers privacy and exclusivity – one tent per 1100 acres – as well as superb wildlife viewing, with a resident lion pride and leopards, as well as elephant, buffalo, giraffe and more than 300 bird species. The camps in the conservancy also offer game drives in the neighbouring Mara Naboisho Conservancy.

Best Things to Do / safari experiences in and from Maasai Mara Game Reserve with Bella Safaris:

  • Daytime or Night game drives with Bella Safaris: The famed Maasai Mara is Kenya’s most well-known jewel. Aside from big cats, elephants and hippos, it witnesses the annual wildebeest migration. See all these animals in their glory by going on a daytime or Night game drive.
  • Hot-air ballooning, Maasai Mara National Park with Bella Safaris:If you’d rather see the Maasai Mara in more entirety, a hot air balloon ride is the best way to go about it. Soar over the savannah and see nature come alive below.
  • Enjoy hippo pool breakfast near Mara River with Bella Safaris: Arriving on the banks of the world-famous Mara River, you will be met by a traditionally clad Maasai warrior who will lead you where countless hippos wallow. Once you reach a clearing, you will be offered a glass of chilled sparkling wine or fresh juice before being shown to your table, which is located in a shady grove immediately alongside the hippo pool. Beneath the trees, you will find a full display of fruit, patisserie and cereals as well as a line of chefs ready to cook eggs, bacon, sausages and chicken to your specification.
  • Mara sundowner with Bella Safaris: Please join us for a classic safari sundowner on Lookout Hill with panoramic views across the Mara plains. The event includes a sundowner with hot and cold canapés and a full bar. It’s a traditional Maasai welcome that includes being greeted by the elders as well as traditional dressing and entertainment by a local guitarist and traditional Maasai dancers (by request and subject to a fee). Beverages are charged as per consumption.
  • Mara bush barbeque dinner with Bella Safaris: Nothing is quite as ‘Safari’ as the traditional ‘bush dinner,’ especially when it is enlivened by the presence of a group of scarlet-clad Maasai dancers. The lantern-lit dinner begins with cocktails around the campfire. The meal will then be cooked on a blazing BBQ, accompanied by a wide range of salads and vegetables. While dessert and coffee is served, the Maasai will entertain you with songs, chants and dance displays. You’ll dine in the wild and taste safari-life at its best.
  • Star lit romantic dinner with Bella Safaris: Tucked away in the majestic Maasai Mara, a secret and enchanting location sets the scene for a memorable dining experience set under African skies accompanied by the sounds of nature that will leave you blown away. Be it a honeymoon surprise, anniversary, a proposal or any special event.
  • Build a Fire Maasai Style with Bella Safaris: Famed for their fire building skills, in this experience, Maasai warriors will teach you how to build a fire using traditional techniques and explain how this is so important to their daily lives.
  • Quad Bike Adventure with Bella Safaris: A thrilling ride through the African Bush. Take in the incredible views from the escarpment and see the wildlife from a completely different perspective. Ride past giraffes, elephants and zebra and go deeper into the bush for an unforgettable experience.
  • Bush Dinner with Bella Safaris: Indulge in fine dining under the twinkling stars of the African sky. It’s a wonderful al fresco dining experience overlooking the Mara open plains – add an extra memorable touch with traditional Maasai entertainment around the bonfire and listen to stories of the Masai.
  • Maasai Mara camping safari with Bella Safaris:Camp in the Maasai Mara and feel life ebb and flow around you. There are several camping tours available with some sites overlooking the Mara River and the plains.
  • Horseback safaris Maasai Mara National Park with Bella Safaris:A jeep safari is the best way to get around Maasai Mara National Park. However, you can opt for a horseback safari too with professional guides and horsemen leading the way.
  • Wildebeest great migration in Mara with Bella Safaris: The annual wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara is a world-famous event. If you’re here from July to October, make sure you catch this fascinating affair.
  • Helicopter safaris in Mara with Bella Safaris: Whizz over the Maasai Mara in a thrilling helicopter ride. It’s a great opportunity to engage in some aerial photography too. You also get to meet native tribes and learn about their culture.
  • Visit a Maasai village with Bella Safaris:The Maasai live near the famous Maasai Mara National Park. Find out about their customs and culture by visiting a Maasai village.
  • Celebrate the sunset with Maasai warriors:As the sun sets, see Maasai warriors come together in celebration at Angama Mara lodge. Join them in song and dance and gain a deeper understanding of their way of life.
  • Witness lions near Mara River at Mara River Camp:Live close to the wild without giving up modern comforts at Mara River Camp. Head to the Mara River for an opportunity to see lions crossing the waters.
  • Explore the open Savanna on foot – Walking safaris with Bella Safaris: Reconnect with your spirit of adventure and follow in the footsteps of ancient explorers and local herdsmen on a once-in-a-lifetime guided walking safari. Heighten your senses without the hum of the safari vehicle … listen to the crickets, breathe the fresh air, view the limitless horizon and appreciate the African soil on the soles of your shoes.
  • Recreate your favourite scene from Out of Africa with Bella Safaris: Out of Africa, the epic film that made the entire world fall in love with Kenya recently celebrated its 30th Avid film fanatics and romantics at heart can retrace the steps of Meryl Streep and Robert Redford and visit the exact locations of some of the movie’s most famous scenes.
  • Photograph lions in ‘Big Cat Diary’ territory: The Masai Mara boasts one of the highest lion densities in the world, so it should come as no surprise that the world-famous nature documentary, Big Cat Diary, is filmed in the Mara. Set out in search of the legendary Marsh pride.
    Dust off your lens & perfect your photography skills on Photographic Safari: Be the envy of the Mara in one of our state-of-the-art, fully-customised photographic safari vehicles. They boast unobstructed views, 360° degree swivel chairs, a fully-stocked personal bar and air conditioning – this is the ultimate photographic experience and the wildlife certainly plays its part as photographic subjects.

     

Top rated safari lodges & safari camps in masai mara national reserve

  • Mara Serena Safari Lodge
  • Ashnil Mara Camp
  • Mara Sopa Lodge
  • Mara Engai Wilderness Lodge
  • Entim Mara Camp
  • Royal Mara Camp
  • Sarova Mara Tented Camp
  • Sarova Mara Club tent
  • Sprit of the Mara
  • Mara Siria Tented Camp
  • Kilima Camp Masai Mara
  • Keekorok Lodge
  • Zebra Plains Mara Camp
  • Mara River Camp
  • Mara Legends Safari Camp
  • Siana Springs Tented Camp
  • Karen Blixen Camp
  • Eagle View camp
  • Naserian Mara Camp
  • Mara Intrepids Camp
  • Mara Explorer Camp
  • Porini Lion Camp
  • Sand River Masai Mara
  • Topi Mara Bush House
  • Saruni Mara
  • Sala’s Camp
  • Mara Intrepids Camp
  • Angama Mara
  • Cottar’s 1920s Camp
  • Rekero Camp
  • Naboisho Camp
  • Elephant Pepper Camp
  • Sanctuary Olonana
  • Main Governors Camp
  • Little Governors’ Camp
  • Olare Mara Kempinski
  • Governors Il Moran Camp
  • Basecamp Mara Camp
  • andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
  • andBeyond Bateleur Camp
  • Angama Mara
  • Kandili Camp
  • Mara Bush Camp
  • Mara Bush Camp – Private Wing
  • Ilkeliani Mara Camp
  • Sanctuary Olonana
  • Mara Eden Safari Camp
  • Mara Ngenche Camp
  • Mara Explorer Tented Camp
  • Rekero Camp – Asilia Africa
  • Mpata Safari Club
  • Matira Bush Camp
  • Naibor
  • Hammerkop Migration Camp
  • Ngerende Island Lodge
  • Ngerende in the Wild, Riverview
  • Mara Treetops Luxury Camp
  • Mara Siria Camp 
  • Mara Crossings Camp 
  • Fairmont Mara Safari Club
  • Sanctuary Olonana
  • Instinct of the Mara
  • Serian’s Nkorombo

Please that this accommodation list is not exhaustive. If your preferred lodge/tented camp is not on this list kindly inform us so that we can quote for you.

 

FEATURED BUDGET & LUXURY MASAI MARA SAFARI TOURS:

 

Book a memorable Road or Flying safari tour to Masai Mara National Reserve with Bella Safaris.

 

Top rated safari lodges & safari camps in Tsavo West national park

  • Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge
  • Severin Safari Camp
  • Finch Hattons Luxury Camp
  • Ngulia Safari Lodge
  • Rhino Valley Lodge
  • Voyager Ziwani Tented Camp
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