The Masai Mara Game Reserve, widely considered to be Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve. The Mara comprises 200 sq miles of open plains, woodlands and riverine forest. Contiguous with the plains of the Serengeti, the 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 Bird life and Monkeys. Elephants and Buffalo wallow in the wide Musiara Swamp. The Mara and Talek rivers are brimming with Hippos and Crocodiles. Each year the Mara plays host to the world’s greatest natural spectacle, the Great Wildebeest Migration from the Serengeti.
From July to October, the promise of rain and freshlife 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 surging 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 a frenzy 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 who follow the herds.
The Mara has been called the Kingdom of Lions and these regal and powerful hunters dominate these grasslands. Cheetah are also a common sight in the Mara, as are Hyena and smaller predators such as Jackals. The 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.
The 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 with Safari operators. The reserve is ideal for gamedrives, and some lodges and camps offer walks and balloon safaris.
Wildlife moves freely in and out of the reserve and through neighbouring Masai lands. Outside the boundaries of the reserve there are many other small camps and lodges, some of which offer walking, horse riding and other safari options. The Loita Hills and the Nguruman Escarpment, both considered sacred to the Masai, offer high forest trekking opportunities for the adventurous traveller.
Tucked away between Tsavo West National Park and Amboseli National Park, Chyulu Hills National Park boasts striking and diverse landscapes. Chyulu is a rugged wilderness still showing signs of its volcanic origins – and boasting some of the best views of Kilimanjaro.
In addition to the critically endangered eastern black rhino, there are cheetah, elephant, fringe-eared oryx, gerenuk, and a variety of birdlife.
- Visit the 275,000 acre Mbirikani Group Ranch and see innovative lion conservation by the Maasai.
- See both ancient and new volcanic cinder cones and craters, with the most recent volcanic peak forming just 500 years ago.
- Explore the lava tubes of the Kisula Caves Complex.
- One of the best area to view Mt Kilimanjaro.
- Enjoy excellent bird watching on Lake Jipe in the southwest corner of the park.
Min 20°C/68°F Max 34°C/94°F
Min 11°C/52°F Max 25°C/78°F
Long rains from April to May; short rains from November to mid-December.
Overlooking the Ewaso Nyiro River and the plains of Laikipia, this region nurtures exceptional wildlife and cultural diversity, and is home to many Laikipiak Masai and Samburu communities. It is one of the last refuges for the black rhino.
The Laikipia Plateau stretches from the foothills of the Aberdares across vast open plains to the Northern Frontier District and the Mathews Range. Around Sabuk the area is wild and hilly, with dense acacia bush harbouring black rhino, greater kudu, reticulated giraffe, Cape buffalo, impala, elephant, klipspringer, zebra, eland, dik dik, waterbuck, lion, and leopard.
This area offers great birdwatching with incredible scenery in a peaceful and private location away from the main tourism circuit. A visit is highly recommended if you are revisiting Kenya, or seek a more exclusive and secluded experience than the larger game parks usually offer. Laikipia lends itself particularly well to walking and riding safaris, which are either not available or offered on an extremely limited basis in most national parks and reserves.
Masai Mara Game Reserve | Chyulu Hills | Laikipia Plateau