The Maasai Mara - the inspiration for The Local Connection.
The Mara received its name from the local residents and simply means “spotted”. It is aptly named given the dark small rocky outcrops and lonely acacias that dot the vast savanna grasslands. The Mara sets the stage for one of the most well-known migrations across the globe. This is considered by many as the ultimate wildlife experience and a photographer’s dream.
During migration this timeless natural event sees over two million wildebeest and zebra make their way from the dry Serengeti across the plains of the Mara in search of greener pastures. Sitting under a tree eating breakfast as you wait for the wildebeest to build in numbers before crossing the river sets the tone for a fantastic safari experience. Seeing your first river crossing is something that will stay with you forever, but for us, it’s the sheer volume of animals across the plains that is truly impressive.
The Mara is well known for its large concentration of predator cats including lion, cheetah and leopard. The flat open grasslands allow wildlife enthusiasts wonderful opportunities to see these cats in action. Many of the predators have been personally named by the Maasai - their stories woven into the fabric of the Mara people. Hearing their tales of success and defeat creates the special allure that draws visitors back time and time again.
The migration, like all things natural, is often unpredictable, but runs from approximately July though to October. The park does get very busy, something a lot of operators forget to mention, and September and October months are often a good balance between migration viewing and the seasonal tourist traffic.
Personally we love the quieter months (Nov – March), but expect some mud during the rainfall season which could restrict your movements slightly. During the off-peak period accommodation is more affordable and given the fewer number of visitors, you have amazing wildlife experiences and more photographic opportunities with the cats.