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Published on May 10, 2008
Located about 5 hours west of Nairobi, Masai Mara is Kenya's greatest park. The Mara is an extension of the Serengeti and covers over 1500sqkm. It contains a staggering amount of game especially during the annual wildebeest migration. There are no fences around the reserves in Kenya and Tanzania allowing the animals to roam freely in search of new grasses for grazing. The wildebeest migration is one of the few large movements of game in the world. The wildebeest give birth to their calves in the South East Serengeti then move into the Western Serengeti before heading north to Masai Mara in July. They feed on the lush grasses of the Mara until October as the Serengeti plains are too dry. In December, the rains return to the Serengeti as does the migration. There are 1.3 million wildebeest; 200,000 zebra; and 350,000 gazelles estimated in the migration. Of course all the lions follow these animals making the Mara the most predator-packed reserve in the world. Cheetahs are very difficult to see in most African parks, but they are very easily seen here. Wildebeest can't pass up the opportunity to drink as they cannot go longer than 5 days without water. They will risk life and limb to do so. In the morning they might cross the croc- infested river only to re-cross the same river later in the afternoon. We camped for 16 days in the park at a community run Masai camp near Talek gate. We can't wait to do it again!