Difference between Masai Mara and adjacent conservatincies?
What are the differences between Masai Mara game reserve and adjacent conservancies?
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Masai Mara Conservancies
-Fewer visitors visit the conservancies adjacent to the Masai Mara year round as only people staying in a particular conservancy’s camps/lodges can participate in game viewing drives here. In some conservancies there is a limit in the capacity of people to an average of 30 within an acreage of approximately 700 acres and one camp or lodge
-Visitors staying in conservancies may still make game viewing drives into the Mara Game reserve on payment of an extra $ 80 park fee per day. Some tented camps may offer a 1 day paid for Masai Mara game reserve visit.
-Off road driving is allowed during game viewing drives at the conservancies . This allows visitors to get close to the game in cases where they may be far from the game viewing tracks .
-The 5 vehicles per wildlife sighting rule is more effective at the conservancies . This is unfortunately the abused rule in most parts of the Masai Mara game reserve , except at the Mara Triangle where Driver / Guides are fined for disobeying the rule. It is usual to find more than the allowed vehicles congregating at a sighting in the national reserve.
-It can be argued that Lion lovers may have better lion spotting possibilities at some conservancies. It should be however noted that the Masai Mara ecosystem has in general a very high level of lion concentration and thus sightings. The Masai Mara in general is definitely lion and big Cat country
-Night game viewing drives are allowed up to 10pm within the conservancies . Night game viewing drives are not allowed in the National Reserve, as the reserve opening and closing times are 6.30am to 6.30pm respectively
-Longer Guided Walking safaris can be experienced in the conservancies but not in the Masai Mara National Reserve. These are a relatively different style than the vehicle game viewing drives
Masai Mara National Game Reserve
-The Great Wildebeest migration & Mara river crossings only happen at the Masai Mara game reserve . From July to September ,these are the best months to view the river crossings, though in some years and depending on the varying climatic conditions, this can start from late-June and last to mid-October.
-Visitors staying at the conservancies require to make day trips into the Masai Mara reserve in during the great migration months so that they can witness the Wildebeest crossings.
-The Masai Mara reserve is busy with visitors year round .This is because it has visitors staying in its many safari lodges and tented camps and also accommodates day visitors from the conservancies .The Masai Mara game reserve is roughly five times bigger than even the largest conservancy of the Mara North. It’s sheer size diminishes the fact that it hosts many visitors at any given times and the number of vehicles may seem less so .
-Masai Mara is still the best place to spot the big cats and the reserve remains a lion, leopard and cheetah hot spot.
-The great and lifeline rivers through the Mara reserve are the Mara, the Talek and Sand rivers and they are the main features of this incredible ecosystem. They are a distinctive essence of the Masai Mara national reserve. They are beautiful to the eyes and are also home to hippos and crocodiles .
-The endangered Rhino can only be spotted within the Mara reserve, and specifically at the Mara Triangle . For those keen on the ‘Big 5’ in this Kenya, it is important to consider a visit to the reserve.
-The Mara Triangle is the epitome of good wildlife park managements . They enforce the no off road rules, and the road infrastructure here is well maintained.
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