Acclaimed as one of the best wildlife reserves in Kenya and indeed the world, Masai Mara National Reserve is home to a rich variety of wildlife, dominated by an incredibe variety of mammals from large herds of herbivores which include the wildebeest, zebra and Thompson's gazelle to the famous 'big five' (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant & buffalo).
The reserve offers excellent wildlife viewing through the year, with the great migration occuring between July and November - which is one of the most remarkable wildlife encounters in the world. It therefore goes without say that Masai Mara is the ultimate safari destionation for both first-timers and experienced safari-goers.
For many tourists planning to visit Masai Mara, personal security is most important, as evidenced by one of the most frequently asked being ''is Masai Mara a safe place to visit ?''
Masai Mara is a very safe destination to visit. The park is well protected by professionally-trained Park Rangers and wildlife Wardens and is located hours away from the urban areas of Kenya where safety is more of a concern. Below are some of the reasons why Masai Mara is one of the safest park to visit for a safari in Kenya.
Location: Masai Mara Game Reserve is located away from towns and cities, along Kenya’s western border with Tanzania. This area is basically in the widlerness hence naturally peaceful and with a low human population. There is also an international border that separates Kenya’s Masai Mara from Tanzania’s Serengeti, and though the border is not physically marked, it is well secured and this increases the safety and security within the reserve as a consequence of there being an international border here. It is also worth noting that Kenya is generally a safe country to visit and travel advisories usually mention exercising caution in parts of urban cities such as Nairobi or Mombasa.
National Importance: With Tourism being one of the leading sources of revenue in the country, the Kenyan Government, as a priority, has put in measures to ensure the personal safety of tourists visiting key national parks and reserves. Masai Mara is a premier reserve in Kenya, attracting a huge number of tourists from al across the world, and making it a big income earner for the country. It therefore receives keen attention in terms of security from the Government of Kenya.
Management of the Reserve: Masai Mara Game Reserve is managed professionally by a combination of local County administrations which in turn have deployed highly trained park and wildlife rangers, some of whom may be armed. Teams of these personnel patrol the reserve on a constant basis. To further ensure your safety, virtually all the hotels, camps and lodges in the reserve have their own guards around the clock monitoring movements of wild animals in and around their properties as well as ensuring the safety of their tourists / guests. As wild animals can be dangerous, there are a set of park rules which visitors are asked to adhere to for their own safety, one of these being to stay in your vehicles at all times, unless at designated picnic or walking areas. Driving in the dark is also not allowed in the reserve and all the visitors must exit the reserve or return to their camps or lodges by dusk, usually 6.30pm. Night game drives are also not allowed inside the main reserve.
Every year, literally thousands of tourists visit and stay overnight in Masai Mara National Reserve every year and it is rare to come across any safety or security related incidents. These statistics indicate how safe the park is for visitors.