Masai Mara National Game Reserve
The Mara is the northern extension of the Serengeti Plains. Watered by the Mara River and its tributary the Talek, the park here comprises 1510 km² of open grassland tucked away in the southwest corner of the country. Concentrations of wildlife are highest on the western edge of the reserve, around the spectacular Esoit Oloololo (Siria) Escarpment; however, driving here can be tricky after the rains, and the eastern side sees the greatest numbers of tourists, as Oloolaimutiek and Talek gates are easily accessible from Nairobi. This park is the most visited park in Kenya. Wherever you go in the Mara, you will see an astonishing amount of wildlife. Of the big cats lions are found in large prides everywhere. Elephants, buffaloes, zebras and hippos also exist in large numbers. Of the antelopes, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles are found in huge numbers, while impalas, topis, hartebeests and of course wildebeests are also profuse. Other common animals include Maasai giraffes, baboons, warthogs, bat-eared foxes, grey jackals and matriarchal clans of spotted hyenas. About 37 black rhinos live in the park but are rarely seen. The ultimate attraction here is without doubt the annual wilderbeest migration in July and August, when literally millions of these ungainly beasts move north from the Serengeti in search of lusher grass before turning south again around October. It’s a staggering experience to be in the reserve at these times.