Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Where can you see hundreds of thousands of wild animals, roaming free and just waiting to have their photo taken? I went to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in #Kenya and had the most amazing #safari. The animals were #active, and we were able to see zebras, hypos, cheetahs, birds, giraffes, and a whole host of other animals.


The Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to some of the world’s largest and deadliest creatures, as well as some of it’s most rare and beautiful.

The Mara was probably my favourite game drive in Kenya in terms of the sheer number and variance of animals in one area. Mara translates as “spotted” land. The land is absolutely saturated with sparse trees, scrub, shadows from clouds and hundreds of thousands of wild animals speckling the arid savannah.

With it being the first stop on my safari tour, I was a bit erratic upon my first sightings, but I eventually settled down to take it all in.

Car tracks on the field
Car tracks on the field

As the sun began to set on the first night, a wild savannah storm started to creep along the horizon. It started quietly, but soon rumbled across the plains and slapped us with a cold wind that churned up everything around us, including a few skittish gazelles.

A wild savannah storm started to creep along the horizon.

There was a good twenty minutes where the sun lit up the sweeping grasses like a glowing fire against the dark menacing sky behind it, and for a brief moment, produced the most incredible sunset I have ever seen.

Here are some of my favourite wildlife encounters from the three days that I spent in Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Zebra in the wild
Zebra in the wild
Hypos resting
Hypos resting
Amazing wildlife
Amazing wildlife
Elephant on the open field
Elephant on the open field
Hypo in the water
Hypo in the water

We actually got to get out of the safari van and crawl down the side of the river to watch an enormous pod of hippopotamuses (yes, that’s the REAL plural) playing in the water. Knowing that hippos are notoriously dangerous animals, and much faster than humans, I was cautious as I found a spot to perch on the bank.

It literally took my guide telling me that we had to leave to get home in time to get me to leave that spot. I didn’t want to go and probably could have stayed there all night. Perhaps I got half my wish, as I was kept awake by different hippos all that night back at my tent.

Seeing animals in the wild is the entire reason I came to Kenya
Seeing animals in the wild is the entire reason I came to Kenya
Cute giraffes
Cute giraffes
Roaming the plains
Roaming the plains
Crocodile on the shore
Crocodile on the shore

You know that common documentary scene of thousands of wildebeest building up on the side of a river until the breaking point when they all dash across at once, while dozens are pulled down into the depths by patient crocodiles? This is that river, the Mara.

The Mara River runs through both Maasai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park, and works as a barrier during the Great Migration.

from  $719

Kenya Budget Safari

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The river was busy with crocs, hippos and geese when we stopped for a look, but the Great Migration will not happen until Autumn.

A cheetah! OMG!
A cheetah! OMG!

We witnessed a near-hunt on our last morning on the Mara, but this cheetah didn’t manage to catch her breakfast. We ended up driving in the direction of her prey and herding them back toward her as we left. You’re welcome, cheetah.

Lounging in the mud...with a few friendsStanding in the sun
Lounging in the mud...with a few friends
Lounging in the mud...with a few friendsStanding in the sun
Standing in the sun


Golden Hour on the Maasai Mara
Golden Hour on the Maasai Mara
Baby elephant
Baby elephant
Zebras are amazing
Zebras are amazing
Running wild
Running wild
Going for a mid-day swim
Going for a mid-day swim
Black Spitting Cobra
Black Spitting Cobra


Stunning close ups
Stunning close ups
Oh hey, Tanzania!
Oh hey, Tanzania!
Cheetah on the hunt
Cheetah on the hunt
The clouds over the savannah were stunning
The clouds over the savannah were stunning
Giraffes travel in groups called towers...fitting!
Giraffes travel in groups called towers...fitting!
Cooling off
Cooling off
Group of zebras
Group of zebras
The cheetah stalks his breakfast
The cheetah stalks his breakfast
How gorgeous is this guy?
How gorgeous is this guy?

I’d like to mention that I wish I had seen more snakes while on safari. While I’m admittedly terrified of spiders and other creepy-crawlies, I’ve always had a big fascination with snakes.

I often found myself ignoring the animals in plain sight and training my eyes on the tree branches and scrub around us. I was desperate to see a black mamba, puff adder or rock python.

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