Masai Mara – why “Masai Mara”?

You may wonder why the Masai Mara is called Masai Mara.

The Masai Mara got its name from the local people who called the land “Mara” which means “spotted” in Maa. Maa is the name given to the Masai language.

When look at the plains and graze out across the Masai Mara plains from Kilima Camp (located on top of the Siria escapement) or if you fly to the Maasai Mara in a small aircraft, you will easily understand why it is named “spotted land”!

The grassland is dotted with hundreds of thorn trees, widely spaced, their crowns far from touching. They look like acacias, but the so-called ‘Desert Date’ known by their botanical name Balanites aegyptiaca.

The Masai Mara is also dispersed or “spotted” with animals, especially during the Great Migration when an unbelievable numbers of wildebeest and zebras trek across wide expanses of grassland, and bound across wide rivers to travel great distances in search of food. Don’t Miss this UNIQUE EVENT from July to October.

The Masai Mara is also “spotted” with cloud shadows over the Savannah and the plains.

The Masai Mara is the land of the Masai people. The “Mara” is not a National Park but rather a National Reserve belonging to the Masai people. They are among the best know of African ethnic groups due to their distinctive customs and dress, as well as their residence near to the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania.

When it was originally established in 1961 as a wildlife sanctuary to protect the wildlife from hunters. the Mara covered only 520 square kilometres of the current area, including the Mara Triangle. Now it covers 1,510 square kilometres . The Masai Mara National Reserve is well known for its abundance of big cats. Lions, leopards and cheetahs are regularly spotted on game drives. The Masai Mara Ecosystem is estimated to hold one of the highest lion densities in world.

Kilima Camp is the perfect base from which to start your safari game drive and explore the Mara Triangle,  the most preserved and unspoiled part of the Masai Mara with very few camps and lodges, resulting in the lowest density of visitors and cars in the greater Masai Mara.