Ruma National Park Kenya

Ruma National Park Kenya

Ruma National Park-dubbed the Last Retreat of the Roan Antelope- (the most endangered and largest Antelope in Africa) is the only terrestrial Park in Kenya’s Nyanza Province. Ruma National Park is situated in Suba district about 23km near Homa bay city, and 10km East of Lake Victoria. Ruma National Park is about 425kilometers away from western Nairobi. It is one of the beautiful safari destinations in Kenya but less known.

Ruma National park covers an area of 120km2, it started as Lambwe Valley Game Reserve in 1966. Ruma was later declared a national park in 1983 with the main intention of protecting the rare species like the roan antelopes, and the blue swallow which is only found here in Kenya and it is also seasonal.

Ruma National Park map

Ruma National Park map

Brief Facts About Ruma National Park Kenya

Location: Nyanza Province, Kenya
Nearest city: Homa Bay
Coordinates: 0°38′36″S 34°16′48″E
Area: 120 square kilometres (46 sq mi)
Established: Gazetted in 1983
Governing body: Kenya Wildlife Service

What to see and do in the Maasai Mara National Reserve


Maasai Mara is world known among the best wildlife safari destinations offering higher opportunities to explore the African big five namely; lions, leopards, Elephants, Buffaloes and Rhinos and so many other animals of over 60 species, even cheetahs, Wildebeests of over 1300000, 500000 Thomson`s gazelles, 97000 Topis, 18000 elands. Thousands of Zebras and antelopes all exists in Maasai Mara. The roan antelope and nocturnal bat-eared fox are only found in Maasai Mara in Kenya. The feature of Maasai Mara like Mara river is home to hippos and crocodiles while one can also spot cheetahs along the shores of Talek river and the Siria escarpment is good for sporting carnivores

Game driving safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Exploring the wildlife beauty of Maasai Mara National Reserve requires an experienced and professional guide to take you through the most spotted wildlife tracking areas especially for specific wildlife of interest. Maasai Mara is a home to the big five (Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalos and Rhinos). Also, a variety of animals are available to offer an incredible experience. You marvel wildlife from the start of the game drive t the end. Starting from the accommodation facility within the Maasai Mara.

Game driving in Maasai Mara can be done all year round but the best months of the year are probably July and September to Marvel the great Migration of millions of wildebeests, Zebras and Gazelles that come in massive lines taking the same direction from Serengeti National park in Kenya to Maasai Mara national Reserve with no fear to cross Mara river which inhabits lots of huge crocodiles.  During the period of the great Migration, fresh eater animals also extend closer to hunt from the vast migrating herbivorous groups. This makes wildlife experience extra ordinary in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Bird Watching

Maasai Mara national Reserve has a record of over 470 bird species and 60 migrant species and many raptors. Examples of resident birds in Maasai Mara include; Red-throated Tit, Hildebrandt’s Starling, Foxy Lark, Swahili and Kenya Rufous Sparrows, Rufous-naped Larks, Long-billed Pipit, Pale Wren-Warbler, Red-tailed and Sooty Chats, Green-capped Eremomela, Harlequin Quail, Red-necked Spurfowl, Black-bellied Bustards, White-bellied and Senegal, Red-capped Lark, Fischer’s Sparrow Lark, Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting, Pied and Isabelline Wheatears, African Quailfinch, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Black-chested snake eagle, Banded Martin, Rufous-chested, Sparrow hawk, Bateleur, Caspian Plovers, ostriches, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, White-headed Barbet, Little Bee-eater, Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Yellow-mantled and Red-collared Widow birds, Lesser Spotted, Grey Kestrel, Tawny and Steppe Eagles, crowned canes, African pygmy falcons, long-crested eagles, Secretary birds, hornbills, and the lilac breasted roller among others. Endemic species like roller birds and commonly found along Mara river mostly when its rainy like in the months from November to June. Weaver birds two allocate mostly to water body areas like Mara River and Talek river. Crowned plover, secretary birds, turkey-sized ground hornbills and Kori bustards prefer to inhabit on the grasslands of Maasai Mara.  It’s interesting to sight the dances of saddle billed stocks in the swamps of Maasai Mara as they perch to catch fish. Migrant birds like Madagascar squacoo are also available in Mara especially from October to May. Look for the kingfishers (giant and pygmy) on the showers of the rivers. Ross`s Turaco and Schalow`s usually inhabit along the lines of Mara river. Really a birder`s paradise!

Cultural Walk in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara is a remarkable National reserve where human life co-exists with the wild life.  Visiting the Maasai Mara offers visitors chances to experience the way locals live in harmony with the wildlife and the unique Maasai culture with keeps in the visitor’s memory for lifetime. There`s also a primary school in Talek Town where visitors get to know about how these young pupils manage to move longer distances (Miles) from their homes in the bush full of wild animals up to school every day. Villages are also available, visitors may decide to interact with the residents who can offer you amazing cultural practices that you have never heard of before. The exiting Maasai dances and their security weapons and tactics used against wildlife attacks. Amazingly, these people can light fire with no any lighting equipment. Learn about how the young Maasai boys at puberty stage enjoy live circumcision with no fear for them to be regarded as worriers.

Walking Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Walking safaris are commonly arranged in Maasai Mara National reserve. They leisurely adventurous and most rewarding guided walks enhance wildlife experience to most tourists who have visited Maasai Mara. Visitors are escorted by Armed ranger guides to guard against any attempt of animal attach as well s guide you to safety tracking spots where satisfaction is highly expected.

Usually, Naboisho conversancy (in natural area filled with massive wildlife and offering impressive views) is the most recommended for nature walking. Nature walking gives high chances of spotting the big five including the leopards which are usually shy and hide away from people. Walking safaris take a minimum of two hours and you can enjoy the amazing experience at its best.

Balloon Safaris

Balloon safari is an amazing adventurous safari providing a great experience to wildlife visitors in Maasai Mara National Reserve.  It is a memorable experience you can enjoy while in Kenya as you are suspended up in air observing the Africa`s Natural plains and rolling hills endowed with impressive masses of wildlife. Balloon safaris offer chances of views wildlife in areas that are restricted from wildlife. Unlike game drive where you much follow permanent tracks, with balloon safaris, one is free to access any area of the pack. This is really rewarding.

More interesting with balloon safaris is to experience the way air in inflated in the balloon-a task done by over 20 people and these people help visitors in the ballooning experience at the time of flying and landing the balloon.

There is however need to consider the wind direction as the balloon relies much on it. The only roll of the pilot is to control the upper and downer movements of the balloon. But usually, there’s always a chase team ready for rescue in case of bad weather. Balloon safaris offer high chances of enjoying the close aerial views of wildlife and this is such an extra ordinally experience.

Prior arrangement for balloon safaris is however important as the activity is very competitive and only a number of 16 visitor are allowed in air at a time. Accompanied children above 4 years can as well experience balloon safaris.

How to Get to Masaai Mara National Reserve Kenya

From the nearest town Homa Bay, use the main Homa Bay- Rongo highway for about 10km, turn right at Rodi Kompany and drive 20kms to Mirogi where you will see signs directing you to Kamato gate-the park`s main gate which is also 12km on a dirt road from Mirogi.

By Air

In Homa Bay town, there is Kabunde airstrip and airlines like fly sax operates scheduled flights

By Air:

A flight from Nairobi Wilson Airport, Samburu, Lewa Downs, Nanyuki, Mombasa or Diani airports to one of Mara Airstrips and transfer by arranged car to the lodge. Airstrips in Maasai Mara National Reserve include;

Keekorok Airstrip, Cottars airstrip, Mara North airstrip, Musiara airstrip, Ngerende airstrip, Olare Orok airstrip, Ol Kiombo airstrip, Ol Seki airstrip, Serena airstrip, Siana airstrip

It is about 1hr to fly from Nairobi & it is best for those planning to stay in the Mara Triangle. a few stopovers maybe made en route for some passengers to disembark from some of the airstrips in the Mara. Charter flights can also be arranged.

Some of domestic airlines that operate from Nairobi to Maasai Mara National Reserve include;

  • AirKenya Express, SafariLink Aviation Limited, East African Safar Air Express, Fly540. Bluebird aviation, Jambojet, Mambasa air safari, 748 Air services, Blue Sky aviation services, Astral Aviation, ALS aircraft leasing services, CMC Aviation.


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