The Masai Mara National Reserve and the surrounding conservancies constitute one of Kenya’s most famous wilderness areas. They also provide the backdrop against which is enacted what has been dubbed ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth’, the annual migration of the wildebeest.
Nature knows no boundaries, so although the Masai Mara technically belongs to Kenya, and the Serengeti National Park to Tanzania, both are part of the same mighty Serengeti ecosystem. This is a wilderness where endless khaki-coloured savannah washes up to the foot of the blue-grey Oloolola Escarpment; where low-lying shrub dapples the plains, and where tree-lined rivers meander.
A place unchanged by the passage of time, the Mara is essential Africa. Sometimes raw, always dramatic, this is a wilderness of evocative splendour and inspiring grandeur. Often raw, sometimes violent, the drama of this wildlife theatre is unrivalled. Nowhere on earth can you find a wilderness so breathtakingly beautiful and yet so serenely pristine.
In practical terms, it helps to know that the Masai Mara is a national reserve, which means that it is an area where human habitation is permitted and where domestic livestock may roam. Its wildlife, however, is carefully protected and the well-being of the wildlife always takes precedence over human activities. You’ll see the Mara referred to as the Masai Mara and the Maasai Mara: both spellings are technically correct but the area is officially known as the Masai Mara, while the term Masai describes the Maa people.
The conservancies that surround the Mara are a natural extension of the Serengeti eco-system. Unlike the national reserve, however, they represent a series of joint-venture initiatives that have been forged between the Maasai people and the conservation sector. The conservancies include Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Mara North Conservancy, Lemek Conservancy, Ol Choro Conservancy, Naiboisho Conservancy, Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Siana Group Ranch and Ol derkesi Conservancy.
This article was published on Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara website