Masai Mara is a gigantic National Reserve in Kenya. Along with Serengeti, Masai Mara forms a magnificent ecosystem in the heart of Africa that boasts of lions, gnus, wart hogs, hyenas and other animals that reside in the vast Savannah. Sections of the Mara and Serengeti are open to the public for safaris, and general tourism.
In May, I spent three spectacular winter days on safaris in this national park. Although the location is most famous for its Wildebeest Migration that occurs between July-October, I was still able to capture the best of Kenya after 8 safaris.
The Masai Mara is a typical grassland ecosystem covered by tall clumps of grass that are occasionally interrupted by shrubs, bushes and trees, including the typical Acacia.
The Masai Mara is the other half of the ecosystem known as the Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti is located across the borders of Tanzania – which the Wildebeests regularly travel to, along with other herbivores and predators (without any passports, visas or other documents).
The Masai people are the closest dwellers to the national park. In their language, Maa, “mara” means “spotted”, referring to the spotted appearance of the boundless grasslands that are occasionally interrupted by the shrubs, bushes and kopjes (rock outcropping).
A typical acacia sighting in the Mara, illuminated by the scorching, tropical sun.
The Cape Buffalo may look like a harmless buffalo that some Indian farmer can milk. But these are among the most dangerous creatures inhabiting these lands, killing over 200 people every year. Try telling any man in Kenya that Indians milk buffaloes. He’ll laugh in your face.
Every year, around 1.7 million wildebeest, 260,ooo zebras, 470,000 gazelles, other animals, and their predators migrate in massive groups around the Serengeti and the Mara in search of rain and greener grass. Looks like the animals took the old proverb seriously. Occasionally some groups of gnus get left behind. I spotted one such herd on a safari.