Everything is big in Mara. It is a country of breath-taking vistas, a panorama of vast rolling plains and rounded hills, of intermittent groves of acacia woodlands and dense thickets of scrub. The whole is bisected by the Mara River and it’s tributaries which are margined by luxuriant riverine forest. And in every direction, there are the seemingly endless herds of game animals.
Mara possesses the largest population of lions to be found in Kenya, although poisoning by farmers along the western border has reduced the number of Black-maned Lions. It also boasts large herds of Topi and a small population of Roan Antelope, animals not found in many other Kenya National Parks or Reserves (although more common in Lambwe Valley and the Shimba Hills). Elephants are fairly common and the traveler may sometimes be held up by `elephants on the road’.
Among the great variety of large beasts are Buffalo, Black Rhino (which may be seen more easily than at Amboseli or Tsavo), and Hippopotamus. The hippo-viewing platform on the Mara River near the Mara Serena Lodge is probably the best place in Kenya for seeing hippo. Other mammals include Leopard, Cheetah, Common Zebra, Coke’s Hartebeest, White- bearded Gnu, Oribi, Warthog, and Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles.