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Masai Mara National Reserve reviews

65 reviews

“Time your visit for the wildebeest migration! ” - Lindsayseegmiller

Exactly what you imagine a safari to be like

Views: 345 Visited: Jun 2009 Reviewed: Nov 28, 2013

As I drove through the Masai Mara, I couldn't help but think to myself... "Disney really got it right". All those movies I'd seen about Africa seem to have been based off of the landscapes and wildlife of the Mara. Unbelievable.

I spent a 3-day safari touring through the Mara with a backpacker operator based out of Nairobi. We drove through massive plains full of zebra, elephant and giraffe, observed lions and vultures sharing a kill, drove through the wildebeest migration, watched as a cheetah yawned in the shade, and so much more. Given the volume of tourists that travel through this park, the animals are unperturbed by approaching trucks. Provided your truck can sneak through the other safari trucks observing a sight, you'll get unparalleled viewing. The crowds however, are a downside.

Luckily enough, our trip coincided with the wildebeest migration which is one of the more incredible sights I've seen on the continent. At the time, they were making the crossing from the Serengeti over to the Mara in search of greener pastures. Upon reaching the Kenya/Tanzania border, we were met by literally thousands of wildebeest, all marching together north. We spent hours observing as wildebeest jump nimbly across rivers, run through ravines and slowly cruise across the plains. I didn't honestly appreciate how spectacular this was until seeing only handfuls of wildebeest at a time in other national parks.

Following a day in the truck, a highlight for many was also a visit to the local Masai communities. A dance performance and tour of the village is typically included - as is a bit of shopping. While these trips do feel a little disingenuous, the Masai culture is impressive all the same.

If you're looking for that typical African experience, this is the park to start at. It is especially great for budget travelers since you're able to stay on the border of the park and travel in each day, seeing the exact same game as the high end lodges.

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* Crowded parks have a lower rating

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