5 Interesting Facts About Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve
We’ve already covered planning your perfect day in the big city but what you might not be aware is that there’s a myriad of safari locations available to African residents and travellers- and few are as alluring as Kenya. Make no mistake; Kenya safari holiday packages have seen exponential growth in demand of late, with the nation benefitting to the tune of considerable tourism expenditure and growth in visitor numbers each year.
At the heart of this is Kenya’s legendary Maasai Mara National Reserve, which is an expansive slice of African savanna and one that comprises the northern section of the iconic Serengeti Plains.
In the article below, we’ll look at five interesting facts about the Maasai Mara National Reserve, including some revelations that will simply blow your mind!
The Name of the Reserve has Deep Meaning
There’s more to the name of this reserve than meets the eye, and it actually holds deep meaning both for the local people and the location as a whole.
While the first name honours the local Maasai people, for example, the second word ‘Mara’ translates into “spotted” and pays homage to how the area is described when viewed from afar.
This certainly makes for a unique viewing experience, while the meaning of the name offers an insight as to why the Maasai Mara National Reserve is so popular among the locals.
The Maasai People Don’t See Themselves as Residents of the Area
This is interesting, particularly given the relationship that exists between the local people and the land.
However, the land is an extremely important part of the Maasai people’s lives, while they also believe that they’re an integral aspect of the lifeblood of the terrain.
As a result of this, you’ll rarely see Maasai folk hunting there as they strive to live in harmony with the local wildlife.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve has Grown Considerably in Size in 1961
In its current form, the Maasai Mara National Reserve covers more than 580-square miles of land and is home to nearly 100 species of mammal.
Back in 1961, however, when the reserve was first established as a wildlife sanctuary, it was barely 200 square miles in size and relatively small as an African safari.
As we can see, it has more than doubled in size during the last 57 years, as it has transformed into one of the most fascinating reserves of its type in Africa.
There are More than 570 Species of Wild Birds in the Park
That’s right, the region’s scientists have identified more than 570 species of wild bird in the park, including in excess of 50 birds of prey so if you want to get up close and personal with some of these majestic creatures then this is definitely the place to visit.
The good news is, Africa safari holiday companies like UK-based Africa Odyssey specialise in Kenya safari holidays so you never have to worry about travel or accommodation; just simply sit back and admire birds such as eagles, stork, and vultures, each of which makes up a significant portion of the Mara’s abundant wildlife.
The Site’s Origins can be traced back to the Neolithic Era
The Maasai Mara National Reserve has been studied and explored at length in its history, many of which have offered a fascinating insight into its history.
These explorations of the area have revealed evidence of early human establishments, including pottery and arrowheads left behind from the Neolithic era.
These have all been discovered within the confines of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, while you can see all of these findings and the park’s artifacts in the local museum.