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Private Safaris in the Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most iconic and famous safari settings in the World.
The reserve is situated in the south west of Kenya and lies alongside Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park with whom it shares one of the most amazing wildlife spectaculars on the planet – the Great Migration.
Each year the wildebeest and plains game leave behind their birthing grounds on the short grass plains of the Southern Serengeti to travel up through the western corridor in search of fresh grazing and reach the Mara River in early July. A primal natural instinct drives them on to cross the river which they must do in order to reach the sweet grasses of the Masai Mara even though the animals are aware of the many dangers that await them – including the stealthy crocodiles that patiently wait for them to enter the river.
They gather on the Serengeti bank of the river milling about with little purpose until suddenly at some inner signal they strike out across the divide in a mass of stamping hooves, thundering noise and flailing limbs. The crossing looks like total chaos but this amazing event follows a natural plan. While some of the herd remain in the Serengeti the majority of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle cross into Kenya and stay in the Masai Mara through until October when they turn southwards and journey back to the birthing grounds and the grasslands that have recovered in their absence. The cycle ends to repeat itself all over again next year.
There are several crossing points during this event and therefore many opportunities to witness the spectacle at relatively close quarters particularly if your accommodation is ideally placed. Because the Mara River is a permanent water source the plains game herds that are swelled by the migration continue to graze here which creates a year round game viewing area.
This game reserve is probably one of the most visited in East Africa but with careful planning and selection of the right property the safari experience can still be as remote and personal as you want it to be. With such dense populations of game, abundant numbers of lion lead the way with the other members of the Big Five and so anyone wanting the thrill of seeing these beasts will not be disappointed.
Accommodation varies greatly in size and style with the larger lodges, for perhaps the first timers situated in the main and therefore busier areas of the park. The luxurious and exclusive tented camps that allow a maximum of perhaps only ten or twelve lucky guests create a very special and authentic safari atmosphere whilst still offering spacious accommodation, en suite facilities and the most delicious meals eaten out under the stars.
In the Masai Mara guests are offered a range of activities such as successful game drives, guided walks and can enjoy the magical experience of gliding serenely over the plains in a hot air balloon in the dawn of a new day.