We felt so lucky when we witnessed all Big 5 during our safari in Maasai Mara in Kenya in one single day. Because I was missing an overview about all of them during the safari, I noted the most important info we got from our guide in this blog post.
You should definititely not miss this wonderful game reserve and integrate it in your itinerary, like my mother and I did during our 2 weeks of wildlife and coastal discoveries in Kenya.
Elephant (Loxodonta Africana)
- Age: 70 years
- Hight: 3.3 meters
- Length: 7.5 meters
- Weight: 6 tons
Once the reserve with the world’s largest population of elephants, Maasai Mara saw a decreasing number of elephants because of their ivory since the seventies. But rangers, Maasai and government partners have made huge success in protecting elephants. Even if their numbers were five times bigger in 1973 (167,000), the elephant population is recovering and reproducing again at high numbers today. Elephants are intelligent, matriarchial, highly social and emotional, for example after the death of a calf, friend or family member. They group up in herds of up to 1,000 near water or food sources.
Lion (panthera leo)
- Age: 14 – 20 years
- Height: 0.9 – 1.1 meters
- Length: 2.5 – 3 meters (including the tale)
- Weight: 100 – 205 kilograms
Maasai Mara National Reserve hosts about 850-900 lions. Africa’s “king of the jungle” lives in prides of up to three males, one dominant female and up to 11-16 more female adults and cubs. Females are the main hunters. However, male lions occasionally assist in hunting large animals. I was surpised to learn that lions sleep approximately twenty hours per day.
Buffalo – cape buffalo (syncerus caffer)
- Age: 11 – 22 years
- Height: 1.7 metres
- Length: 3 metres
- Weight: 500-950 kilograms
Cape buffalos are the larger and darker one of the two subspecies of African buffalos. Contrary to the domestic water buffalos in Asia, Cape buffalos are aggressive, unpredictable, hit speeds of up to 56 km/h and have never even been captured. They live in herds of approximataley 100 buffalos and can mainly be spotted near water sources. Although buffalos are threatened by lions, they may also kill grown lions with their horns, which grow more than one meter.
- Age: 35 – 40 years
- Height: 1.5 metres
- Length: 3.5 metres
- Weight: 850 – 1,600 kilograms
Both white and black rhinos can be spotted in Maasai Mara. I witnessed two of the 35 – 50 slightly smaller and more aggressive black rhinos. Contrary to their poor sight, their hearing and smell is highly developed.
Leopard (panthera pardus)
- Age: 10 – 12 years
- Height: 60 – 70 centimeters
- Length: 1.6 – 2.3 meters
- Weight: 17 – 65 kilograms
Leopards are the most difficult to spot because they usually hunt at night and live solitary, except during mating season. They’re known for their sharp vision, hearing and sense of smell. Antelopes and baboons are their main prey. Leopards are strong climbers, often observe and feed high up in trees.
After these days in the maasai land, I’m convinced everyone should experience this wonderful national reserve once in their lives. It’s an unforgettable experience. I’ve become an even bigger fan than I already was before travelling there.