Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, the smaller sibling of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, is routinely ranked as the number one wildlife park on the African Continent. A relative latecomer to the game parks of East Africa, it is nevertheless the best in Kenya and possibly the world. Thanks to its position close to the national capital of Nairobi and road access with Serengeti, it is also one of the most visited parks on the continent.
The area around Maasai Mara has been a wildlife bonanza since western explorers first arrived in the area. Despite proximity to one of the busiest colonial capitals in Africa, the region amazingly survived the ravages of settlement and development. Despite shrinking populations, there was still plenty of wildlife in the area when the government finally got around to establishing a reserve in in the 1960s. Interestingly, the reserve has shrunk since its official creation due to land claim issues.
Kenya’s world famous reserve shares most of its fauna with neighboring Serengeti National Park, including the Great Migration which brings millions of herd animals through the area every year. All Big Five animals are here, though the authorities are trying desperately to reinvigorate what’s left of the Black Rhino population. During the migrations, the area is replete with predatory animals, notably Lion, Hyena and Crocodile.
Maasai Mara National Reserve is located in southern Kenya just east of Lake Victoria, 110 miles west of Nairobi. It is adjacent to Serengeti National Park and mutually accessible by road. Although it clocks in at a relatively small 1,500 square km, it packs just as big a punch as Serengeti. Maasai Mara is open year-round. As of this writing no visitor information was available. Web: www.maasaimara.com (official website).