Masai Mara, South Africa. Kenya, Masai Mara

Kenya: Safari Day at Masai Mara

Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the best places in Africa to observe wildlife

Kenya's most famous and popular national safari park, located in southern Kenya on the border with Tanzania and the Serengeti Masai Mara Park, is part of a large savannah ecosystem of the Serengeti. Here you can watch wildlife on a scale unmatched in the world. The concentration of animals is very high: there are about 80 species of mammals and 450 species of birds. Also in Masai Mara, the highest concentration of lions, including black manes. In the park you can meet all the representatives of the Big Five (lions, leopards, buffaloes, rhinos, elephants), as well as cheetahs, jackals, giraffes, wildebeest and impala, warthogs, Thompson gazelles, Grant and swamps, hyenas orbis and herds of zebras, hippos and crocodiles, and other rarer animals.

Due to the fact that Masai Mara is a huge open savannah, it is the best place to observe the interaction of predators and their prey. Area Masai Mara 1510 square. km, the park is located at an altitude of 1650 m above sea level. Two rivers flow through the reserve, the Mara and Talek, along which acacia forests grow. The climate is mild and warm. Masai Mara can be divided into three climatic zones: savanna, bush and river beds. The park is famous for the annual migration of wildebeest and zebras. Migration occurs twice a year. In July, the herds of these animals move from the plains of the southern Serengeti to Mara in search of fresh grass, and in October they return back to the south. Migrating millions of herds of antelopes are accompanied by numerous predators, and during crossing over the Mara River, which is the natural boundary between the parks, they are found by crocodiles.

A trip through the wilderness in Kenya is called "safari". The meaning of "hunting" appeared with the arrival of white people, but in general this word in Swahili means "travel". The Masai Mara Safari is first and foremost an off-road ride for exploring wild animals. One of the main attractions of the Masai Mara are lions. There are really a lot of them here, including the famous "marsh pride", which has been observed for more than 30 years, exactly in Masai Mara. It is very large: for example, in 2000, 29 individuals were recorded, this is an absolute record. Look at the lions in Masai Mara can be very close: they do not understand that a person and a car are different things, and they do not attack a big iron thing. But to leave the car in any case impossible.

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Masai Mara, South Africa
When the wildebeest, as well as the zebras, gazelles and other herbivores, it is time to change pastures, the Great Migration from the Serengeti to Masai Mara begins, and then back. Their path lies across the river. Crocodiles await the ungulates in the river, and lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and jackals follow the migrating herds. This incredible sight is worth seeing with your own eyes in order to understand how life in the wild works.

The Masai Mara National Reserve is one of Kenya's top attractions

In addition to acquaintance with animals, the Masai Mara Park is interesting with the opportunity to visit the Masayat village (village). As part of the tourist group, you can talk with elders of Masai and community leaders, get acquainted with the customs and way of life of the Masai village. Visited manyatts are not "cultivated" villages. They take tourists in order to earn money by selling knick-knacks made by women, but they try not to expose themselves to tourist influence and keep the traditional way of life.

Masai Mara is located in the savannah, which is crossed by the Mara and Talek rivers, and covers an area of 1,510 square kilometers. They fall on the East African rift system - a depression in the crust that crosses the continent from north to south. The protected area of Masai Mara is naturally fenced to the west by a slope of a rift. The western side is marshy, there is a lot of water and most animals live there. But getting here is much more difficult. From the east, access to Masai Mara is much easier. Here the savannah stretches as it is.

The Talek and Maru rivers were chosen by hippos. Adults keep closer to the depth, and off the coast you can see cubs. But do not come close. It is especially dangerous to become between a hippopotamus and water. Here besides them live crocodiles and several breeds of water snakes. And the behemoths themselves are in fact not at all good-natured bumps, as they seem. In Masai Mara, you can also see in the natural environment of the giraffes of two breeds - one of them is absolutely endemic, and besides this reservation is not found anywhere else on Earth.

The main type of accommodation on the Masai Mara reservation is lodges and camps. The word "lodge" in the original means "shelter." Today the lodge is a hotel in the wild, in a remote place. Kemp is a group of bungalows, cabins or tents, most often raised on piles for protection from wild animals. Also in Masai Mara, you can rent apartments on one of the private farm of the River Mary. Categories are different - from the simplest to the luxury.

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