Parks of Africa: Maasai Mara

The sprawling landscapes of the African continent are home to some of the world’s most majestic creatures. Within these boundaries are a number of vibrant wildlife parks, displaying some of the most complex ecosystems on earth. Maasai Mara is amongst these, providing visitors with a glimpse of a variety of magnificent wonders of nature. Tunde Folawiyo and others who have spent time in Africa may have toured the awe-inspiring grounds of Maasai Mara in search of the sights and sounds of Africa. The park is regarded by many as one of the continent’s foremost locations for thrilling safari.

Situated in Kenya’s south-west region, Maasai Mara remains amongst Africa’s most beloved wildlife reserves. Located approximately 270 km from Nairobi City, the trip can be accomplished in 5-6 hours on road or up to 45 minutes by plane. The park’s proximity to the capital is undoubtedly a factor in its great popularity amongst tourists.  Its span stretches over 580 sq. miles, rising 1,500-2,170 metres high above sea levels. With over 95 mammal species and a whopping 570 species of birds, Maasai Mara continues to attract a great number of nature enthusiasts yearly. Originally established as one of Africa’s wildlife sanctuaries during 1961, the Mara once covered an area of only 200 square miles. It was extended eastward during 1961, coming to cover 703 square miles before being converted into one of the region’s game reserves. It covers Mara-Serengeti’s ecosystem’s northern-most area, spanning 9,700 square miles through Kenya and Tanzania. Maasai Mara accounts for a small fraction of a Greater Mara Ecosystem, one that includes a variety of Group Ranches including Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Siana, Naikara and Kimintet.

Tunde FolawiyoAdding to its appeal, the park houses an abundance of large cats such as lions, cheetahs and leopards. Home to one of the densest populations of lion in the world, the park also boasts more than two million wildebeests, zebras and gazelle. The area sees these animals travel the Serengeti from July through October each year, an occurrence known as the park’s Great Migration. The grounds are also home to a great selection of tourist spots surrounding the Maasai Mara and its conservancies, though these conservancies carry strict rules, such as an allowance of vehicles to make for more private view of the wildlife. Proponents of wildlife conservation, like Tunde Folawiyo and countless others throughout Africa and beyond, may find the treasures found within Maasai Mara to be amongst the most beloved found within the continent.

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