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How To Get The Most From Your Game Drive!

Nairobi, Kenya
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How To Get The Most From Your Game Drive!

Masai Mara National Reserve Rules:

1. Explore: Switch off the radio and explore the park. Even on the busiest of days large parts of the park are empty of people yet full of wildlife. To protect the animals and the ecosystem, please do not exceed the park speed limit of 50kph.

2. Keep It Real: Human activity interferes with an animal's behaviour. To see an animal behave naturally you must keep a good distance away. Any closer than 25 metres (roughly five vehicle lengths) constitutes harassment of the animal and a breach of park rules, and you could face an on-the-spot fine.

3. Keep to a Whisper: Wild animals move away or freeze if they hear human voices. To watch animals continue with their normal hunting, feeding and nursing activities you must lower your voice. Do not sound your horn or play radios or portable music players.

4. Take a Closer Look: You are allowed to leave the track to get closer to the Big Five. Take the shortest route from the track and stop 25 metres from the animals. Always return the way you came, straight back to the track. Rangers will issue an on-the-spot fine for off-roading without a confirmed sighting. Please note that NO off-road driving is permitted in the delicate river zone.

5. Take an Even Closer Look: To get a better view, use your binoculars! Never put your guide at risk of being fined, or even banned from the park, by asking him to drive too close to an animal.

6. Sit & Observe: If you keep to park rules, you can stay with the animals as long as they are not disturbed by your presence. No more than five vehicles are allowed around one wildlife sighting; when more than five the viewing time is reduced to 10 minutes. Take it in turn to view the sighting, waiting at a distance of 100 metres.

7. Have a Picnic: You are allowed out of your vehicle at designated viewing points along the river and designated picnic sites only. If you are with a professional guide you may picnic under a tree but remember to check for animals, including the above branches for leopards. Stay within 25 metres of your vehicle at all times.

8. Don't Share Your Lunch! Wild animals become habituated if fed, causing them to abandon normal hunting and feeding behaviours. They can then become aggressive and threatening towards humans, which may lead to them having to be destroyed.

9. Enjoy the View: Welcome to one of the most beautiful places on earth. Keep it this way by taking all litter home with you, including cigarette butts. If safe to do so, please pick up (or have your driver pick up) litter that you see in the park.

10. Let Sleeping Lions Lie: Respect the animals by not goading them into action by calling, clapping hands, banging on the side of the vehicle or slamming doors. If an animal shows avoidance tactics and tries to leave an area, or is engaged in hunting, feeding or nursing activities, do not block its path or pursue it. Vehicles can cause confusion and separate an animal from its young; always keep a good distance from young animals as well as dens, burrows and nests.

11. Leave the Park Where it is: We want everyone to enjoy the wonders of the Mara. Do not take any specimens with you. Bones, feathers, stones, plants and flowers must all stay where they are.

12. Keep your eye on the Sun: The sun sets at around 1830hrs, the same time the park gates close for the night. Please ensure you allow plenty of time to exit the park, and do not drive there before 0600hrs or after 1900hrs if you are staying at a lodge or camp inside the park.

Park rules are put in place to protect the wildlife and the fragile Mara ecosystem, but also to make sure that each person who visits the park can enjoy their stay. Please respect our rangers and work with them - we are all responsible for ensuring the protection of the Masai Mara, and we ask you to speak out should you observe park rules being broken.

You can visit the Mara Triangle daily by reading our blog at www.maratriangle.org.

Thank you.

Destination Expert
for Kenya
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1. Re: How To Get The Most From Your Game Drive!

Good info ! we went on a right cheapie to the mara one year and we had to share with the most noisy Italians in the world, I got extremely annoyed with them as they had brought bread rolls from the lodges and started trying to entice a nearby jackal with it, we had a few cross words with each other before the driver, spoke to them in Italian and we never got another word out of them, we refused to go on the afternoon drive with them and shared a vehicle with a lovely Indian couple instead.

I always thought jackals were meat eaters !

Having all these rules is fine but we have seen all of these rules flouted whilst being in the mara, its so annoying, I complained to the lodge about this and was told "everyone else does it, we just want to please our clients"

This was at a very nice lodge and I was suprised to be told that.

If I had my way I'd ban the use of radios, as it becomes a free for all as soon as someone finds lions, for example, within 10 mins after we found some lions there was about 20 safari vehicles SURROUNDING the lions !

We will not be using that lodge ever again, still there are plenty of others which do take the rules seriously, with todays cameras there is no need to encroach on the animals on view