|Masai Mara - Kenya|
Best time to go: Long rains from March to May, short rains from October to December, so summer months are usually the best time to visit
Nature lovers everywhere could not fail to be enchanted by the Masai Mara Game Reserve covering 1,510 kilometre square kilometres in Kenya, 270 kilometres west of Nairobi at the edge of the Tanzanian border.
The Reserve is unfenced, and wildlife wanders freely round the protected area. The so called 'Big Five' are buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhinoceros, but the Masai Mara is also home to many other animals including the zebra, aardvark, baboon, cheetah, giraffe, hippopotamus, wildebeeste (also known as the white-bearded gnu), spotted hyena and warthog.
Unsurprisingly, the main attraction for visitors to the Masai Mara is wildlife watching, and for this, dusk and dawn are reputed to be the best time of day for observation.
Visitors can witness prides of between 20 and 30 lions, and may often witness a kill. It is reported that nearly 1.2 million wildebeeste migrate from Serengeti to Masai Mara between July and October, along with over 200,000 zebras.
The Masai Mara receives over 400,000 visitors a year, and accommodation ranges from stone built lodges to luxury camps. The most common means of wildlife watching is from customised vehicles, usually with open roofs and sides. Some lodges organise walks through the wilderness but Balloon safaris are also becoming popular. Whichever way you choose to enjoy the wildlife, you will not be disappointed.