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Last updated 27/09/2013

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Photos from our mega Fam trip safari in Kenya from 8th - 15th December 2009 can be viewed here


Safari photos from our 2nd fam trip (May 2010) can be viewed here and 3rd fam trip Jan 2011 here 
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The Mara Game Reserve, as it was originally known, an area of some 1,812 sq km (700 sq miles), was established in 1961. it’s southern boundary is contiguous with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, and it is divided into two sections. The inner reserve of 518sq km (200sq miles) has been developed on the lines of a National Park, no intrusion of human settlement being allowed, while the outer remains an undeveloped area where local Masai are permitted to pasture their cattle but which is otherwise undisturbed.

The Mara country is world famous for it’s vast assemblages of plains game together with their associated predators. It is perhaps the only region left in Kenya where the visitor may see animals in the same super-abundance as existed a century ago. The Reserve extends from the edge of the Loita Hills in the east to the Mara Triangle and the base of the Siria Escarpment in the west. The inner section, with it’s network of roads specially connected for game watching, embraces the area around the Keekorok Lodge and westwards to the Mara River

The bird life of Mara is as profuse as it’s mammalian fauna. The red-winged Schalow’s Turaco with it’s attenuated white-tipped crest is common along the numerous wooded watercourses, and in the more extensive riverine forest there is also Ross’ Turaco. The Mara River is also the home of the great orange-buff Pel’s Fishing Owl and of flocks of wary Crested Guinea-fowl.

On the open plains, there is a variety of bustards including the large Jackson’s Bustard and the black-bellied Hartlaub’s Bustard. The latter during nuptial display soars high in the air, then with rigid wings descends slowly to earth like a pricked balloon. Ground Hornbills are one of the most spectacular birds of the open plains and more easily seen in the Mara than elsewhere in Kenya.

Birds of prey are abundant, and no less than 53 different species have so far been recorded. Secretary Birds are a common sight as they stalk sedately over the grasslands, and in the sky there are always vultures and that effortless flier the Bateleur.


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.

Accommodation in Maasai Mara National Reserve is at Keekorok Lodge, which is 265km (165 miles) from Nairobi on a road quite negotiable by saloon cars. The route is via the Nairobi-Naivasha road, turning left at 56km (35 miles); thence to Narok, 103km (64 miles), and then 106km (66 miles)to the lodge through some of the best game country in Kenya. In the undeveloped part of the Reserve a limited number of camp sites are available, but the numbers of campers allowed onto the reserve is strictly limited to avoid disturbance to the game, and there are tented camps near the eastern entrance and elsewhere.

In addition there is the Mara Serena Lodge, sited on high ground in the west of the Park overlooking the Mara River and two luxury camps sited on the eastern bank of the Mara River. These are the East African Wildlife Safari Camp near the old Mara bridge and the Governor’s Camp some miles further downstream.

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