The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a secret haven in Kenya, visited by thousands of tourists on an annual basis. This time I was among the lucky tourists visiting the national reserve to watch a vast diverse of wildlife and bird life. I had with myself a set of camera and other filming equipment, such as a pair of binoculars, a camera, a video recorder, which I intended to use in capturing all the memorable sights and sounds that I would meet at the camp. I had bought these gadgets at a store in New York streets at a total cost of $ 500.
On reaching the entrance of the Mara Reserve, we had to pay the entrance fee, which is $ 80 for every adult and valid for 24 hours. Since I was planning to spend five solid days at the park, I paid a total of $ 400 as park fees (Jacana Education, 2005). The tour guide was quick to point out some of stunning features of the park that I would expect to see while driving me to my hotel, situated at the heart of the park, the Mara Serena Safari Lodge.
He said that the reserve had a high number of predators, including the African lions and cheetahs. In addition, the park also had over one million wild beasts that migrate annually across the Mara River filled with hungry crocodiles. All members if the “Big Five” are found within the Mara, which are the Lion, the Black Rhinoceros, Leopard, the African Buffalo, and the African Elephant. The park also hosts large groups of Nile Crocodiles and Hippopotami within the Talek and Mara rivers flowing through the park.
Other animals found in the reserve include bat-eared foxes, hyenas, zebras, giraffes, jackals, and wide bred of herbivores, which graze across the Mara plains and Esoit Siria Escarpments. I noted all this information and promised myself to see all the animals mentioned by my tour guide. The guide finally came to my most intriguing segment, in fact, what had initially prompted me to come and visit Africa particularly at that time of the year. He said that the park was preparing for the Great Wild Beast migration that was to take place in the next few couple of days.
Around July every year, animals migrate northwards from Serengeti plains to the Mara in search of greener pastures across the crocodile infested Mara River. This migration is among the most impressive natural events in the park, and in fact world wide as the migration is almost dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World. The migration involves about 1,500,000 wild beasts, 500,000 Thomson’s gazelles, 200,000 zebras, 97,000 Topi and 18,000 elands.
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