updated 1/2/2007 6:10:26 PM ET 2007-01-02T23:10:26

Heavy rains have trapped hundreds of frustrated tourists in Kenya’s world-famous Masai Mara game reserve, authorities said on Sunday.

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Many were trapped overnight, surrounded by wild animals including howling hyenas, after scores of vehicles became stuck in mud from the torrential rain.

“What could have been an enjoyable and exciting journey became very risky,” said frightened Pakistani visitor Zakia Nawaz, 26. “I have never experienced anything like this. The night in the cold and in the middle of the animal kingdom.”

Roads into the game reserve, which borders Tanzania, have been cut off, disappointing many who paid high prices to visit the reserve at what is normally Kenya’s peak season.

“We have advised tour operators to avoid the Masai Mara. They should find alternative facilities,” Jake Grieves-Cook, chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board, told Reuters.

Kenya’s most-visited wildlife reserve is famous for the annual migration of millions of wildebeest across the crocodile-infested Mara River.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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