Wildlife in Masai Mara

by | Sep 7, 2019 | Park & Wildlife

The wildlife of the Masai Mara is dominated by an impressive variety of exotic animals varying from massive herds of herbivores such as the zebra, wildebeest and beautiful Thomson’s gazelles, to the infamous Big Five that consists of the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and African buffalo. These five animals are native to the region, and provide a unique experience to anyone who comes across them. There are also several smaller species that litter the Masai Mara region, from the bat-eared fox to dik-diks, caracals, several varieties of mongooses, monkeys, baboons, aardwolf and warthogs.

Wildlife In The River Banks And Surrounding Areas
Mara River is home to an abundance of hippos, who would shyly submerge in the presence of a vehicle and surface seconds later, which can be an incredible sight witnessed by hikers on foot. The river also houses the Nile crocodile is the largest reptile in the African continent. The surrounding areas are native to a variety of vibrant and colourful birds, painting the skies and trees with their colours as they fly past. The region provides habitat to an approximate 450 species of birds.
There is an abundance of birds, from ground hornbills, ostriches and kori bustards that are native to the grasslands, to goliath herons, saddle-billed storks that live in the swamps, to turacos in the riverine forest and seven different kinds of colourful kingfishers by the riverbanks. The banks are also home to an impressive diversity of raptor species – around 57 in numbers, along with another seven species of vultures. Not only that, but several migratory species of birds also arrive in the area through the months of November to April. Several hippos and crocodiles are also found in massive numbers in the Talek and Mara rivers, making it an impressive sight for anyone going for a river safari.

The Great Migration
The Masai Mara is probably best known for its role in the Great Migration, an event that takes place annually from July to September. In these months, tourists can see the landscape spotted with a whopping 1.5 million wildebeest, antelopes and zebras that migrate from the Serengeti in their search for better regions and fresh pastures with food and water. To be able to witness the Great Migraine is a truly exhilarating experience, as it highlights one of the richest wildlife and the most diverse ecosystem in the world.
The migration revolves around the migration of the wildebeest from Serengeti to Masai Mara during the dry period in Tanzania. The migration also crosses the magnificent Mara River on its way. The arrival and departure of the wildebeest play a significant role in shaping the lives of the many species in the savannah. The arrival of the wildebeest starts the period of feasting for the predators in Masai Mara, signalling the time to begin relishing on their prey. The Big Cats, like leopards, cheetahs, lions and panthers all take advantage of the Great Migration.

The Big Five
The Masai Mara has a variety of flora and fauna in large quantities. Due to the reserve being home to the Big Five, there is always a high possibility of coming across magnificent predators like the lion and leopard, giants like the elephants and the sombre buffaloes on any safari. Black rhinos are substantially harder to spot; however, being lucky enough to witness them in their habitat will be a memory that will be truly cherished.
The Masai Mara reserve has the highest concentrations of lions in the entire world, along with an equally impressive number of leopards and cheetahs. Other predators that tourists will be lucky enough to spot will be the black-backed jackal, the spotted hyena, along with antelope species like eland, reedbuck, topi and impala. One can easily spot the Masai giraffe, which is the largest subspecies of the animal and found only in Tanzania and Kenya.

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