The Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the largest Game Reserves in Kenya, and the locals popularly known as the Mara. The Mara Game Reserve is known all over the world for a wide range of wild animals such as cheetahs, lions, zebras, wildebeests, and Thomson’s gazelle.

The Game Reserve Is Shared by Two Countries

The Mara is located at the Tanzanian and Kenyan border, and on the Tanzanian side, it is known as the Serengeti National Park. Animals roam freely from the Tanzanian side to Kenyan side. However, some animals are residents on either side of the two countries while others migrate seasonally from Kenya to Tanzania and vice versa.

The Maasai Mara Was Established In 1961

Initially, the Mara was created as a wildlife sanctuary in 1961, and it covered an area of about 200 square miles. Later it was extended to the eastern side and the area increased to 703 square miles. It was subsequently transformed into a Game Reserve. At the time it was managed by the County Council of Narok. Presently, the whole Maasai Mara National reserve spans an area of 580 square miles.

The Name Has Tribal Origin

The name of the Maasai Mara is derived from the Maasai tribes who have lived in the region from time immemorial. The word Mara is a Maasai word that means “spotted” which is a description of the plains of the Maasai Mara when viewed from a distance and the trees and shrubs that seem to dot the Savannah plains. The Mara is part of the larger ecosystem of Mara, which includes several ranches in the area.

Maasai Mara Is Witness to ‘The World’s Largest Migration’

The Maasai Mara is famed for the great wildlife migration, which is the largest of its kind in the world. Each year about 2 million animals that include wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles migrate for a distance of around 500 miles. Their journey starts from Serengeti in Tanzania, and they move up to Masai Mara in Kenya and then take the same route back to Tanzania. The largest population in Serengeti and Mara is accounted for by the wildebeest.

Every year between July and September, the animals take the epic journey from Serengeti searching for fresh pasture and migrating southwards again towards October. The Great Migration is among the world’s natural wonders, which involves about 1.3 million wildebeests, 0.5 million gazelles, 0.2 million zebras, more than 90,000 Topi and about 18,000 elands.

With a touch of an Explore Wildlife Africa, you can closely follow the Migration without compromising your comfort and peace of mind!


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