The Masai Mara National Reserve, also popularly known as Masai Mara or simply as The Mara, is one of the biggest and best known game reserves on the entire African continent. Located in the world-famous Great Rift Valley, this vast reserve covers approximately 1510 square kilometers and is home to the Big Five, as well as a host of other wild animals that you may not find in any part of the world.
If this is the first time you are hearing about the Mara then here is an interesting fact you should know about- most of the wildlife documentaries that show the Big Five were shot somewhere within the Mara. With millions of visitors flocking in every year and literally millions of different animals to see and tons of fun things to do, the Masai Mara National Reserve is the ultimate tourist destination for anyone who wants to experience the best that nature has to offer.
Most tourists who visit the Mara usually find it helpful to plan their itinerary in advance before they arrive so that they cover all the places that they want to visit. If you plan to go this way, then you need to talk to Travel and Tours agency that is familiar with the park so that they can help you plan your itinerary properly.
Alternatively you could choose to go for one of the pre-designed tour packages offered by Kenya Tours and Safaris, which is one of the leading Travel and Tours companies in the country, and let them show you the best that this remarkable game reserve has to offer. One of the best things about this company is that they also provide custom tour packages where you, the tourist, decide exactly where you want to go and what you want to do while visiting the Mara- with their help, of course.
Whichever option you decide to go for, visiting the Mara is definitely an experience unlike any other. And to help you make the most of your time at the reserve, here is a list of 15 fun things that you can do when you visit Masai Mara this coming holiday.
- Take A Daytime Game Drive
Masai Mara is huge- really huge. There is no way you could ever cover even half of the reserve on foot, at least not within the time frame that you have. As such, if you want to cover as much of the Mara as you possibly can then the best way for you to do so would be by taking a daytime game drive. Most of the day game drives start early in the morning so that you can catch the animals as they wake up and go for their morning drink at their favorite watering holes. The early morning start is also a chance to take in the beautiful scenery of the Mara against a beautiful, glowing background provided by the sunrise across the savannah. Drive through the reserve and get the chance to see all the animals in their natural element- as they graze, hunt, feed and do all those little things you never thought animals could do.
- Take A Nighttime Game Drive
Not all the animals in the Mara operate during the day. There are many night creatures out there and you can see them all by taking a night drive through the reserve. Experienced guides will take you on these drives that begin late in the evening when some of the day operators are just starting to settle in for the night and they will take you to the best places to watch as the night gangs take over and begin their routine activities.
- Take A Nature Walk
A game drive might be a great way to get to see the whole reserve but there is only so much that you can really see from inside your vehicle. It is easy to miss some of the smaller animals because of their size or because the noise from your vehicle might scare them away. The best way to meet these special creatures is by taking a nature walk through the park. There are many scenic nature walks spread out all across the reserve and your guide will accompany you on your journey through them, showing you what you need to see and explaining all the fun things about the animals and the plants that you probably knew absolutely nothing about.
- Go Bush Camping
The best way to be truly at one with nature is to try and experience it in the same way as the animals in the wild actually do. So instead of retiring indoors you’re your lodge, why not try out bush camping. Again there are many designated bush camping sites that are spread out all across the Mara and most of them are close to where you can see and hear the animals as they go about their night time business. Of course, all the bush camping sites are safely secured so that you can get to be at one with nature and the animals without fearing any harm from them.
- Explore The Masai Culture
As you might have suspected, the Masai are the people who inhabit the Masai Mara. They are a unique ethnic tribe that has lived in the Mara for centuries and their way of life has remained largely unpolluted by the modern way of living. You can take the chance to get a feel of how they live and participate in their day to day lives by taking a tour of their villages. The Masai are very friendly people and will be more than happy to welcome you into their manyattas and show you how they live. If you are lucky then you might find them at one of their many cultural festivals which are conducted the same way as they have been for centuries and where you will get the chance to become part of them.
- Go Bird Watching
There are more than 1000 known species of birds that live in the Masai Mara, and scientists suspect that they might still be several that are yet to be discovered. If you love birds then you can take the chance while you are there to go bird watching and maybe even see if you can identify some of the unique bird species on your own.
- Make A Documentary
Whether you want to use it to inform people and spread the news about a particular cause, or you just want to have something to store those precious memories inside, shooting a documentary inside the Masai Mara is one of those things that you just can never forget and your tour guide will help you make all the arrangements needed to make that happen
- Go On Balloon Safaris
Only one thing beats exploring the Masai Mara on the ground- exploring it from the air. Going on a balloon safari gives you a unique opportunity to see how the reserve looks from the air and take in panoramic views of the savannah landscape that spreads out as far as the eye can see in all directions.
- Spot The Big Five
Most of the other parks and game reserves on the continent have two or three of the Big Five but the Mara is different because it has ALL of them. Of course they are not all going to be found sitting in one place but it can be a fun activity to create a checklist and try to spot all of them during your visit to the reserve.
- Watch The Annual Wildebeest Migration
Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Masai Mara is where you can watch as millions of animals make their long annual trek from Kenya to neighboring Tanzania in search of substinence. Watching them as they try to cross the violent, danger-filled waters of the Mara River is an experience unlike any other on the planet.
- Help In Rescuing The Animals
There are several animal shelters across the Mara where animals with special needs are cared for and you can participate in the activities taking place there as you try to help the animals and get up close and personal with them. Think of how it would feel to feed a baby giraffe from a bottle- fun right?
- Take Part In Team Building Activities
If you are planning to tour the Mara as part of a group then you should definitely take part in one of the team building activities that are organized daily on the reserve. Plus, you can also design your own team building activities with the help of your tour guide and take part in them if you prefer not to join other groups in theirs.
- Stay At An Eco-Lodge
Forget about 5-star resorts and hotels- if you are in the Mara then it is time for you to get in touch with your wild side. Of course the wildest activity might be sleeping in a bush tent but if you want a similar experience but do not wish to take it that far then staying at an eco-lodge on the reserve would be perfect for you.
- Go On A Horseback Safari
Picture the wind blowing through your hair as you gallop across the wide savannah, with zebras, antelopes and gazelles all around you and a herd of buffalos in the distance. That is the kind of experience that you can get by taking a horseback safari through the Mara, which your tour guide can help you arrange.
- Enjoy A Bush Dinner
Most people believe that nothing tastes better than bush meat. Well, this is your chance to find out for yourself by taking part in a bush dinner where you will be served with an assortment of game meat which you get to enjoy under the beautiful night sky of the savannah.
With so many things to do and even more exciting things to do, it is impossible not to have fun when you visit Masai Mara. But, that said, the amount of fun you are going to have will ultimately depend on who takes you on the tour. The importance of choosing the right Travel and Tours company when visiting the Mara cannot be overemphasized. With decades of experience, skilled tour guides and a thorough understanding of the Masai Mara, Kenya Tours and Safaris is definitely the best agency to go to when planning a visit to the Mara. You can get in touch with them directly by visiting their website here and start planning your perfect holiday trip today!