The Masai Mara has a fantastic array of wild animals and is home to one of the most amazing wildlife events, the great migration.
These plains are able to sustain these huge migrating herds between July and October, when millions of animals, including Wildebeest, topi, zebra and Thompson’s gazelle all make their way here from Tanzania to graze. Not only is this a great time to spot the aforementioned species, but also the great predators as they stalk the enormous herds, this even includes crocodile if you are fortunate enough to witness a river crossing!
As well as the migration, the Masai Mara is home to numerous other game all year round. All the members of the famous ‘Big Five’ (Black rhino, buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard) live in and around the Mara. Hippos and crocodiles are often seen in the rivers around the Masai Mara and its Conservancies and cheetahs are also found here as the vast open plains are the perfect hunting ground for these agile runners. There are over 400 species of bird in the Mara including vultures, storks, hornbills, cranes and ostriches.
The Masai Mara is also the location where the great series ‘Big Cat Diaries’ was filmed. The camp where the crew was based is Rekero, and Jackson Looseya, the guide who worked alongside the crew, still guides at the camp.
Meru National Park is located north of Nairobi and is one of the most famous reserves in Kenya. Meru was the home of Joy and George Adamson and is where the film ‘Born Free’ was based. Elsa the Lioness is buried in the park and part of Joy’s ashes were scattered on the lions gravesite. The film inspired the actors, Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, to start the Born Free Foundation.
Being prone to rain, this area is often covered in lush swamps and long grass which is perfect for the hippos, elephant and crocodiles! Meru has a different terrain to the Mara and is home to whole host of animals including lion, leopard, cheetah rhino and some rare and interesting species too including the Grevy’s zebra and the reticulated giraffe. The lions here are leaner and more ‘scruffy’ looking with Mohican manes, different to those on the Mara plains. There is also an ever growing population of black and white rhino which are very well protected within the park.
Birdlife here is fantastic too with the black faced grouse, yellow necked spur fowl, helmeted and vulturine guinea fowl, long crested eagle, palmnut vultures, hornbills, crested francolin and the Pel’s fishing owl to name but a few.
Samburu National Park is also North of Nairobi and has a very similar terrain to Meru National Park. Samburu is one of the most intriguing of Kenya’s National Parks with its scrubby landscape and rocky plains, lush forested waterways and a variety of wildlife which are difficult to see anywhere else in Kenya! Although not as rich in game as the Masai Mara, Samburu is still a great location for a wildlife safari. The bird life is fantastic with some considered to be unique to the region. All three of the big cats, cheetah, lion and leopards inhabit this area as well as elephant, buffalo and hippos. Samburu is also home to the Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx and reticulated giraffe.