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Masai Mara is Kenya - Essay Example

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The Masai Mara is Kenya's finest wildlife sanctuary. Everything about this reserve is outstanding. It is, probably, the most famous and most visited Reserve in Kenya. It offers breathtaking views (as seen in the film "Out of Africa", much of which was filmed here), an extraordinary density of animals including "the Big Five" (lions, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros) and may varieties of plains game…
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Masai Mara is Kenya
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Download file to see previous pages The climate here is gentle, rarely too hot and well spread rainfall year round. Rain, when it falls almost always chooses the late afternoon or night. Between July and October, when the great wildebeest migration is in the Mara, the sensation is unparalleled.
This spectacular expanse of open grassland covers around 1520 sq km in the south-west corner of Kenya. The Masai Mara lies about 270 km from Nairobi and takes about 5 hours by road. There are scheduled flights, twice daily from Wilson Airport Nairobi, which take about 40 - 45 minutes.
The first sight of this natural wonderland is breathtaking. Here the great herds of shuffling elephants browse among the rich tree-studded grasslands with an occasional sighting of a solitary and ill-tempered rhino. Thomson's and Grant's gazelle, topi-an antelope not found in other major parks and eland and many more species of plains' game offer a rich choice of food for the dominant predators; lion, leopard and cheetah which hunt in this pristine wilderness. In the Mara river, hippo submerge at the approach of a vehicle only to surface seconds later to snort and grumble their displeasure. Seemingly drowsy crocodile sunbathe on the river banks, mouth agape, waiting with subtle cunning for prey at which to strike with lightning swiftness.

But this richness of fauna, this profusion of winged beauty and the untouched fragility of the landscape, are all subordinate to the Mara's foremost attraction, the march of the wildebeest. Each year, far south in the great vastness of the Serengeti, the wildebeest raise their dignified but quaint heads, sniff the air and, as if by one accord, start the long trek to the Kenya border and the Masai Mara. After exhausting the grazing in Tanzania's northern Serengeti a large number of wildebeest and zebra enter the Masai Mara. Around the end of June drawn by the sweet grass raised by the long rains of April and May. It is estimated that more than half a million wildebeest enter the Mara and are joined by another 100,000 from the Loita Hills east of the Mara Driving in the midst of these great herds is an unimaginable experience. Whilst the eyes feast on the spectacle, the air carries the smells, the dust and the sounds of hundreds of thousands of animals. This migration of the wild beasts has been considered as the seventh New Wonder of the World.
Wildebeests may have been making the trek for millions of years, coping with disease, drought and predators. "It's one of the great wonders in terms of animal migrations," says oceanographer Sylvia Earle. "It's just over the top." The wildebeests do bring balance to this fragile ecosystem, made up of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. They are the heart and soul of the Great Migration - the key to survival on the vast plains.
"Without the migration, it's harder to conceive Serengeti-Mara being what it is today," Hirji said. "Everything else survives within that migration - the predators and so on the vegetation."
The journey is quite literally the circle of life. It happens year-round, a 700-mile trek, finely tuned to the region's rainy seasons. The herds follow the rain.
"Serengeti-Mara ecosystems [are] considered to be perhaps the last of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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