Times of Oman
Jun 26, 2017 Last Updated at 20:18 AST
Oman travel: Into the wild at Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve
May 2, 2017 | 6:52 PM
by Rahul Das
There are a lot of options to choose from but Mara Serena Safari Lodge is a good option.
 
Sharelines

World’s biggest wildlife game is screened live in between June and October every year at the Masai land in Kenya. Ready to be hunted, stalked, and eaten by big cats, even targeted by crocodiles, hidden under the Mara River, as millions of wildebeests hurriedly cross the gushing river.

The migration of wildebeests to Masai Mara from Tanzania is a spectacular and an indescribable sight to any safari lovers in the world. Here begins the greatest wildlife show of the great African savannah — the show of survival. As wildebeests are run down upon by the big cats — cheetahs, lions, and leopards — balancing nature’s eco-system takes its turn to play the pivotal role.

With the national carrier, Oman Air spreading its wings to the African capital, a direct air bridge between Muscat and Nairobi has been constructed. Termed as the newest 7th wonder of the world, the annual wildebeest migration from Serengeti in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya is one of the greatest natural spectacles in the world.

Crossing Tanzania’s Grumeti River in June is what puts the wildebeests into their major yearly challenge, thereafter heading north to the lush open grassland of Serengeti and Masai Mara in search of food and breeding.

A show of catch and kill and skilful escapes, put the land into a theatrical projector. Congregating along the banks of Mara River in search of the red oats grass standing four feet tall turning golden brown by the time it offers food to these animals, a strategy to survive and henceforth heading back for breeding is a spectacular experience.

What makes it more spectacular is the presence of predators in the river, namely Nile crocodiles and the Savannah crocodiles teamed up with others on the row, waiting to hunt down the wildebeests as they crossover.

Escaping the jaws of the Nile crocodiles, doesn’t end them up in a safe zone, rather they are hungrily greeted by the canines, ready to grab and tear their meal with their paws. A kill gone waste exemplifies the predators’ strength and dominance if not their hunger. No matter how tough the wildebeest surely do showcase their resilience.

Located at the very centre of the famous ‘Mara Triangle’ in the world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve, the Mara Serena Safari Lodge is the ultimate safari destination. Experts say “some of the biggest crossings occur where the Mara River flows past the Mara Serena Safari Lodge on its hilltop overlooking the plains.”

Set high on a bush-cloaked hill with long views over the savannah and down to the winding coils of the hippo-filled Mara River, it stands centre-stage to one of Africa’s most dramatic wildlife arenas, providing their guests with a ringside seat to the “greatest wildlife show on earth.”

Styled to echo the circular motif of a traditional Masai manyatta, the Masai Mara Safari lodge blends international sophistication with raw African beauty, each with its own view of the famous Mara River.

The Mara National Reserve is home to over 2 million wildebeests, thousands of zebras, hippopotami, Nile crocodiles, the rare Wide Rhinos, over 500 bird species among other animals and wild plantation.

Apart from wildebeests and zebras, hippos, crocodiles, Masai Mara is home for the big five, namely elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards, and buffaloes which can be found in abundance.

And that’s not all; the small five, which include Elephant Shrew, Buffalo Weaver and Leopard Tortoise among others, can also be found there.

The security at Masai Mara, however, shouldn’t bother you as the locals called Masais, will safeguard throughout your stay. The towering Masai men draped in the traditional shuka (the red, chequered blankets worn as shawls) and heavily accessorised by equally vibrant, handmade tribal beaded jewellery. The women too kept pace in their magnificently colourful attire and jewellery. And red is the colour of the Masais to ward animals off. So next time if you want to have breakfast with the hippos or you want to watch lions make meals out of stray wildebeests, head to Masai Mara.

[email protected]

Guide to Masai Mara

Getting there

National carrier, Oman Air flies direct to Nairobi four times a week — leaving on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 1450pm and arrives in Nairobi at 1855pm. And from Nairobi, the flights will depart on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, leaving at 0045am and arriving in Muscat at 0650am. From Nairobi, it is six hours drive or you can take a short flight to Masai Mara.

Staying there

There are a lot of options to choose from but Mara Serena Safari Lodge is a good option.

People there

Local tribe Masais will safeguard throughout your stay as they speak English in addition to various native dialects.

Currency

1 OMR is equal to 268 Kenyan Shillings but US Dollars are widely accepted.

What to see

The annual wildebeest migration

To-do list

Bush Breakfast at Mara Riverbank with Hippo-view and Hot Air Balloon Safaris over the Masai Mara.


STAY UPDATED
Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news