Nature walks refer to an activity that takes you around the different parts of an area on foot with an experienced tour guide. Two types of nature walks are carried out in the Masai Mara which are
Nature Walks Outside the Masai Mara
The Nature walks outside the Masai Mara will take you to the different Masai villages where you get to meet the Masai people and learn more about their culture, participate in their activities and also get to buy some souvenirs from the local people. The nature walks outside the Masai Mara will require you to pay some pay as entrance fees to the Masai village therefore move with extra cash and you spend about 1 hour with the locals.
Nature walks inside the Masai Mara
The nature walks that are done within the Masai Mara will take you around the reserve while using the marked trek routes. The walk might take you about 2 hours where you get to see the different animals in the Game Reserve.
The tour guide will give you all the instructions and guidelines that you must follow before you set off for your guided walk in the Masai Mara. Nature walks in the Masai Mara are best carried out in the conservancies although many of the lodges that are found in and outside the Masai Mara offer nature walks but mainly in the areas closest to the lodges. Note that you will not be allowed to go for Nature walks on your own for your safety and will only be allowed if you are with a tour guide.
A nature walk in the Masai Mara will give you a chance to explore the Game Reserve and learn more about the Masai people, the ecosystem of the Game Reserve, and, the flora and fauna found in the Masai Mara. Some of the animals that you can see while on your nature walks include gazelles, zebras, wildebeests, predators like lions and leopards(from a distance), hippos, giraffes, and elephants, hyenas, and a wide range of bird species.
Nature walks are best done either in the morning or evening and this is because it is extremely hard to take a walk when the heat is too much and it is also the best time to do birding and see the different animals as they search for food very early in the morning.
Rules for a walking safari in Masai Mara
Nature walks in Masai Mara are done in areas that are considered to be safe and in the presence of two armed rangers and an experienced tour guide. However wild animals tend to move in different directions and although it is rare, you might encounter predators. So to keep safe and enjoy your nature walk, you must follow a set of rules some of which have been listed below.
- Use low voices and a bit of silence while on your nature walk. When you speak in low voices, it helps you listen to any noise that is made in the surrounding bushes both near and far.
- You must always walk behind the tour guide and in a single line.
- Make sure that you have proper walking gear that is strong hike boots so that you do not get blisters on your feet.
- No rifle should be shot unless when it is in times of real danger and this is because the rifles tend to cause panic and increase aggressiveness in the wild animals once they are shot.
- Make sure that you stick to the group for example in times of danger, you are not supposed to run away because you never know how many animals are lurking around.
What to pack for a walking safari in Masai Mara
A walking safari is a good way to experience the African wilderness on foot. It allows you to walk through the bush with an experienced tour guide as you view the wildlife that is found in the Masai Mara. But for you to enjoy your walking safari, you will need to pack appropriately, and below are some of the things that you ought to have on your walking safari.
- Toilet paper (you never know when nature might call)
- A wide-brimmed hat
- A camera and extra batteries
- Bottled water
- insect repellent
- energy bars
- A rain jacket just in case it starts raining.
- Light and a small bag to carry the camera, extra water, and other essentials.
- A first aid kit in case of any accidents.
What to wear on a walking safari in Masai Mara
Below is a list of clothes that you should pack and wear for your walking safari in the Masai Mara Game Reserve.
- Pack neutral clothes because brightly colored clothes attract animals easily.
- Put on long-sleeved shirts and long trousers to avoid scratches as you walk in the bushes
- If possible do not bring new hike boots because they might easily skid on the dirt roads. Bring hike boots that you have used before and they should also be lightweight.
- A safari vest will help you carry some of your essentials while on your walking safari.
- A safari sun hat to protect you from the overhead sun.
What is the Best time to go for a nature walk in Masai Mara
The dry season which is experienced from July to October is the best time for nature walks in Masai Mara Nature Reserve. This is because during the dry season, the animals are easily seen and the roads are passable (not muddy and slippery) unlike during the wet season which is experienced from November to April.
Other activities carried out in the Masai Mara
Besides going for nature walks in the Masai Mara, there are several activities that you can engage in and these include enjoying the views of the wildebeest migration, birding, game drives where you will see the different wildlife in the Reserve, taking a hot air balloon ride and cultural tours among others.