Sandwiched between Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, the mighty Mara River and the western section of the Masai Mara, is the game-rich Mara Triangle—or Mara Conservancy. Located in the western section of the Masai Mara National Park, the Mara Triangle stretches across 510 square kilometres of terrain that’s primarily red oat grasslands punctuated by volcanic hills.
Mara Triangle is the main entry and exit point for the annual wildebeest migration, a dramatic spectacle comprising vast numbers of wildebeest on the move in search of greener pastures. It’s here where visitors will see zebra, gazelle, eland, impala and prowling predators accompanying the scores of wildebeest following the rains.
Mara Triangle harbours a high concentration of the big five, making it the perfect year-round safari destination. The triangle sector is relatively free of crowds during peak season, which means visitors are privy to distinct sightings.
The banks of the Mara River is where the action happens. There are often noteworthy sightings of lions taking down prey clambering up crumbling river banks.
Mara Triangle is a fly-in destination and can easily be accessed via daily scheduled flights from Mombasa and Nairobi—Jomo Kenyatta and Wilson airports—to Kichwa Tembo, Mara and Serena airstrips.
It’s not uncommon to see the Thomson’s gazelle, eland, topi, impala, zebra and other plains game following the wildebeests’ circuit. Thousands of herds of general game are also in pursuit of lush green vegetation that emerges after the rains.
Jackal, hyena, giraffe and waterbuck are frequently spotted. And so are the big five. With such an abundant and diverse plains game, it means that predators are rife in the Mara Triangle. Lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dogs are commonly spotted on the open plains, making Mara Triangle paradise for predators!
In the minute Mara Triangle there are over 470 species of bird. There are high numbers of vultures, marabou storks, stilts, cranes, snipes and plovers. The Mara River attracts the wading birds, and open savannah attracts raptors and scavenging birds of prey.
The Mara Triangle always delivers incredible sightings, irrespective of the month. August and September are considered high season for tourists in the Masai Mara, which means it’s an expensive and crowded time of year. The Mara Triangle remains a lesser-visited region, meaning minimal crowds.
October and November are optimum for viewing big game, proving time and again that this is the most rewarding time for predator showdowns.
July to October is ideal for watching the annual migration unfold. This is the best time of year to witness the famous river crossings.
From April to June is the wet season, a time when young antelope are born, and landscapes become bold with green hues.
The most popular safari activity is the game drive. Given the high prevalence of predators on the plains, morning and evening game drives are always successful. Visitors can enjoy expertly guided game drives that take place in open 4x4 game drive vehicles. The Conservancy has strict control over vehicle numbers, which means visitors enjoy private and quiet game viewing opportunities.
Professionally guided walking safaris led by the Maasai is a not-to-be-missed experience. Discover Kenya on foot and learn about the wild from the majestic Maasai. A Masai Mara walking safari can be arranged while in the area.
Hot air ballooning over the Masai Mara offers a bird’s-eye view of the landscape below and is certainly an unusual way to observe wildlife. This unique experience is one of the bucket list activities in Kenya worth its weight in gold.
The non-profit Mara Conservancy looks after the Mara Triangle and ensures the area remains relatively uncrowded. Inside the conservancy, there are only a couple of uber-luxury safari lodges. Visitors can stay on the outskirts of the Mara Triangle in more affordable, classic safari camps.