Masai Mara Safari
Masai Mara Safaris
Check out our recommended masai mara safaris and packages or talk to one of our safari experts for tailor-made masai mara safari holidays.
Known for the breathtaking spectacle of the greatest wildlife show on earth, the annual wildebeest migration, Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya's most visited tourist area. Technically an extension of Tanzania's renowned Serengeti National Park, the Mara constitutes only 4% of the entire Serengeti ecosystem but its rolling grasslands, meandering rivers and towering escarpments offer one of the world's most rewarding and evocative wildlife arenas.
Masai Mara Safaris are without doubt one of Africa's classic safari adventures and thus feature on most of our top recommended Kenya safari tours. It is also extremely popular the world over and we therefore recommend you book your Masai Mara adventure well in advance - especially if you intend on seeing the wildebeest migration.
Game Viewing / Game Drives & Costs
On your masai mara safari you will find that game viewing in the mara is excellent all year around thanks to the diverse population of resident game, including the Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino – plus popular species like zebra, giraffe, hyena, eland, cheetah and gazelle. The Mara’s big cats are even the stars of a popular wildlife TV series. For all our masai mara safaris the cost of game drives is inclusive with the price of the package and our itineraries will often have several game drives a day to give you a better feel of the mara and its wildlife.
Best Time To Visit Masai Mara
Generally the best wildlife viewing months in Kenya are during the Dry season from late June to October. The wildebeest migration usually reaches the Masai Mara in July when the wildebeest cross the mara river and remains until October or late November when they move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. This is often determined by the rains. If your intent is not the annual migration then you will find wildlife viewing is good year-round. Also the low season can actually reduce the cost of your masai mara safari given the fact that during the low seasons hotels and lodges in the mara cost considerably less.
Weather & Climate - Masai Mara
Masai Mara, Amboseli, Meru, Samburu and Tsavo are at a lower altitude and, therefore, warmer in comparision to the Aberdares and Laikipia Plateau which are in the highlands, and a bit colder. The highlands receive a great deal of rain and are very cold in the evening and morning. The climate is pleasantly warm, with cool nights, all year round. Temperatures are slightly higher from October to March, while they are slightly cooler from June to August. At night it can be a bit cold, and the temperature can drop below 10 °C (50 °F), especially from June to August.
Masai Mara Safaris - Wildebeest Migration
The annual Great Wildebeest Migration rolls in between July and October unimaginable numbers of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles flood into the Masai Mara from the Serengeti where they gather to graze and relax on the Mara's plains, which - at about one third of the size of the enormous Serengeti National Park - is more manageable from a game-viewing point of view.
And what a view: the Masai Mara's open grasslands teem with wildlife in every direction, leaving even seasoned safari-goers open-mouthed in disbelief. Read our month-by-month guide to the migration for details that will help you get the timing right.
Masai Mara Safari Holidays
Not everything migrates. Africa's biggest wildlife attractions: predators are abundant - lion sightings in particular are incredibly common - and other members of the Big 5 are encountered around almost every corner.
It's important to remember that the Mara River is a permanent water source for the area's animals and so even when the very last wildebeest has tardily set off for the southern Serengeti, massive resident herds remain: a Masai Mara Safari Holiday offers visitors everything they could want to see on an African safari.
Thus, a Masai Mara safari holiday provides a year-round safari experience that will live in your memory long after the dust of Africa has settled.
Masai Mara Safari Cost and Package Prices
Several factors influence the cost of your masai mara safari. Park fees - Kenyan residents are charged $12 park fee while non residents $70 per night.
Transportation - We can get you to masai mara by air from nairobi or mombasa or we can drive you there. Our visitors have the option of a safari van or a safari jeep.
Accommodation type - Mara has a lot of accommodation options for the Kenya safari traveler. From the most luxurious tented camps and lodges the likes of Cottar's 1920's Camp, Elephant pepper Camp, and Karen Blixen Camp to mid range and budget camps.
Your Travel Season - Depending on when you travel your accommodation cost may vary. Traveling during the low season offers you the opportunity to save on camp and lodges and also avoid the crowds, whereas traveling during the high season offers you the opportunity to experience the annual wildebeest migration.
We'll be happy to recommend masai mara safaris or Masai Mara tour packages that put you at the heart of the migration action but Masai Mara Safaris also include romantic and intimate escapes where you'll enjoy opulent tented camps set in private concessions.
Don't Compromise on Accommodation
Your choice of accommodation is a cornerstone of your Masai Mara safari experience. A day filled with thrilling wildlife encounters deserves an end that is just as memorable, defined by the comfort and amenities of your lodgings. It's crucial to align your accommodation choice with your specific needs and preferences.
As experts in Masai Mara safaris, we have an in-depth understanding of the range of accommodations available and are ideally placed to recommend the best options tailored to your unique circumstances. If you are a newlywed couple looking for a romantic and secluded spot to celebrate your honeymoon, we can suggest intimate boutique lodges or private tented camps that offer the right blend of luxury and privacy.
Families traveling with children might have different requirements such as larger living spaces, extra beds, kid-friendly meals, and engaging activities to keep the young ones entertained. We can guide you towards family-friendly lodges or camps that tick all these boxes and ensure a pleasant stay for every member of your party.
For those seeking an indulgent experience defined by exquisite luxury, we can recommend top-tier lodges that offer unrivaled opulence in the wild. From sumptuous suites with breathtaking views to personal butler services and world-class dining, these establishments take the safari experience to a whole new level.
Remember, your Masai Mara adventure doesn't end when the sun sets - it continues into the night at your chosen accommodation. With our expertise, you can rest assured that your stay will complement your safari, enhancing the overall magic of the Masai Mara.
The type of vehicle you choose for your safari can significantly enhance your overall adventure. More than just a means of transport, a safari vehicle can deeply influence your wildlife viewing experiences and comfort throughout the trip.
Landcruisers, for instance, are generally more comfortable compared to safari vans, offering greater space and better capacity to navigate rough terrains. When planning your safari, it's advisable to ensure that your chosen vehicle is outfitted with necessary amenities, such as charging ports, enabling you to keep your cameras and phones powered up throughout the journey.
While open-top safari vehicles do provide excellent viewing opportunities - especially beneficial for wildlife photography - you may also consider opting for vehicles with open sides. They lend an even more immersive and thrilling experience, bringing you closer to the wild in a way that traditional vehicles can't quite match.
The choice of vehicle can significantly impact your safari experience, from your comfort during the journey to the quality of your wildlife encounters. When you book your safari with us, do let us know your preferences. We will ensure to accommodate your specific needs, so you get the most out of your adventure in the wild. Remember, there's nothing quite like getting up close with nature!
Road or Air? Your Lodge and Camp Choices
The choice between traveling by road or air to the Masai Mara can significantly depend on your accommodation's location in the park. For example, if you have reservations at lodges like Mara Serena Safari Lodge, nestled deep within the park, you may want to consider air travel. While the drive is scenic, the journey can be quite long due to the lodge's remote location. Flying directly to the park can save you precious time and offer an incredible aerial view of the sprawling savannah.
On the other hand, if you're planning to stay at camps or lodges closer to the edge of the park, a road trip could be an enjoyable experience. This route lets you appreciate the landscapes as they gradually unfold, turning the journey itself into an adventure.
For those who fancy an experience of luxury coupled with convenience, you might want to consider accommodations such as Angama Mara or Cottar's 1920s Camp. These luxury lodges and camps are not just known for their top-notch service and luxury, but also for their proximity to airstrips, making air travel a highly convenient option.
Given these variables, the choice of how to get to the Masai Mara should be closely aligned with your accommodation selection. By entrusting us with the planning of your safari, we'll ensure these details align perfectly for a seamless and memorable experience, saving you from potential logistical headaches.
Things To See & Do On A Masai Mara Adventure
See The Wildebeest Migration
It's what the Masai Mara is most famous for: the snorting, bellowing, thundering spectacle of over a million wildebeest on the move - closely attended by all the big predators.
Go On A Fun Masai Mara Family Safari
Take your kids on a Masai Mara adventure and let them experience the African wilderness, they will learn first hand about the importance of conservation - and have a lots of fun doing it.
Perhaps the most rewarding part is that they get to do all this while you enjoy game drives and all the lodge luxuries in peace and quiet. We recommend Mara Intrepids Club and Siana Springs Intrepids Lodge for an excellent family-friendly accommodation and boredom-busting activity programmes
Masai Mara Balloon Safari
Endless rolling savannah under a clear sunny sky - what are you still doing on the ground? The Mara-Serengeti plains are the perfect landscape to enjoy from up high so to fully appreciate the scale of this remarkable area and its wildlife. Head for the skies in the cool, early morning Masai Mara hot air balloon safari and let the soft bursts of flame above your head hypnotise you as you drift quietly over the plains.
Meet The Maasai People Of East Africa
Travel to the Masai Mara and see the famed 'scarlet nomads' as they go about their daily lives, for centuries in harmony with the rhythms of the savannah.
An excursion into the heart of Maasai culture is a wonderful way to experience a little of Africa's diverse and ancient traditions and we've selected accommodation that delivers a full cultural experience without intruding - and our chosen safaris offer the chance to blend community work, cultural exchange and the wonders of Kenya's wildlife.
Night Game Drives
A Masai Mara travel experience wouldn't quite be complete without a full exploration of this remarkable reserve: complement your day time game drives with the thrills of a night drive and the spills of a bush walk.
We highly recommend taking a hot-air balloon flight and experiencing an authentic cultural interaction with the Maasai people. Our 4 Day Masai Mara On Wings or Our Romantic Masai Mara Safari are just some of the itineraries that take you to maasai mara. Others like Kenya Wildlife And Beach Safari combine a mara safari and a beach vacation. Talk to one of our safari experts about combining a Mara safari with Kenya’s other top destinations, such as Amboseli National Park or a beach break to the glorious sun-drenched islands of Zanzibar or a Seychelles Vacation.
What's included in a Masai Mara Safari?
A typical safari package in the Masai Mara will include game drives, accommodation, all meals, and often other activities such as bush walks, sundowners, and bush breakfasts. Be sure to check with our travel consultants to see what exactly is included in your safari package.
How Many Days Do You Need In masai Mara?
The number of days you spend on safari in the Masai Mara will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of safari you want to do and the other activities you will be engaging in at the mara.
Masai Mara Safari + Game Drives - We recommend 3 nights.
Masai Mara Safari + Game drives + Balloon Safari - We recommed 4 nights.
Allow the 3 nights for game drives and an extra night for the balloon safari that is done at dawn with a champagne breakfast.
Masai Mara Safari + Game drives + Sundowner - We recommend 4 nights. A masai mara sundowner is a special treat where you head out into the bush for some evening game viewing followed by drinks and snacks as the sunsets.
Masai Mara Safari + Game drives + Bush Breakfast - We recommend 4 nights. A bush breakfast is a very special experience where you have a sumptuous breakfast in the bush prepared by your guides. It's a great way to start the day!
Masai Mara Safari + Game drives + Sundowner + Maasai Village Visit - We recommend 4 nights. Maasai village visits are a great way to learn about the local culture and way of life.
Masai Mara Photographic Safari - We recommend 6 Nights.
Great photography takes time and patience. You will want to be in the Mara for at least 6 nights to give yourself enough time to get those perfect shots.
Masai Mara Horse Riding Safari - We recommend 6 Nights. A great riding experience would take you to different camps in the Mara at the end of the 6 nights you would have covered a distance of 240km and had close encounters with lions, elephants, giraffe and other wildlife for what can only be described as heart stopping moments.
Consider combining Masai Mara with other safari parks in order to experience different plant and animal species found in different parts of Kenya. By doing this, you'll get to see a greater variety of wildlife and landscapes, making your trip even more memorable.
Here are some suggested combinations for your safari:
-Masai Mara and Amboseli: This combination gives you the chance to see some of Kenya's most iconic animals, such as elephants and lions, in their natural habitat. You'll also get to experience the contrast between the lush green landscapes of Amboseli and the dry plains of the Masai Mara.
-Masai Mara and Samburu: This combination takes you to two very different ecosystems. The Masai Mara is home to a wide variety of animals, including the Big Five, while Samburu is known for its rarer species such as the Grevy's zebra and the Somali ostrich.
-Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru: This combination gives you the chance to see some of Kenya's most amazing birdlife. Lake Nakuru is home to millions of flamingos, as well as other waterbirds such as pelicans and storks. The Masai Mara is an excellent place to see lions, leopards, and cheetahs.
-Masai Mara and Mombasa beach holiday: This combination is perfect for those who want to experience the best of both worlds. After a few days spent on safari in the Masai Mara, you can relax on the beaches of Mombasa. This is a great way to end your Kenyan safari adventure.
-Masai Mara and Laikipia: This combination takes you to some of Kenya's most remote and unspoiled areas. Laikipia is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the endangered black rhino.
-Masai Mara and Mount Kenya: This combination gives you the chance to experience both the wilderness of the Masai Mara and the beauty of Mount Kenya, one of the highest mountains in Africa. Mount Kenya is also situated in Mount Kenya National Park, which is home to a variety of animals, including elephants, lions, leopards and the mountain bongo only found in the mount Kenya area.
-Masai Mara and Tsavo East: This combination gives you the opportunity to see some of Kenya's most iconic animals, such as elephants and lions, in their natural habitat. Tsavo East is also home to a variety of birds, including the sacred ibis, as well as reptiles such as crocodiles.
-Masai Mara and Serengeti: This two parks are extensions of one another just in two different countries. Masai Mara in Kenya and Serengeti in Tanzania. Serengeti's eco-system is unique as its name suggests its an endless plain with a rich concentration of wildlife. The two parks offer an unforgettable safari experience. You can see the big five animals in both parks.
These are just some of the possibilities for combining different safari destinations in Kenya. There are many other combinations that can be done.
Whichever combination you choose, you're sure to have an unforgettable safari experience.
Packing for a Masai Mara Safari
When packing for your safari, consider functionality and comfort. Pack light clothing for hot days and a warm jacket for the chilly mornings and evenings. Don't forget your sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, insect repellent, and personal medication. A pair of binoculars and a good camera will enhance your wildlife-viewing experience. For a full list check out our what to pack for a Masai Mara Safari article.
Dressing for a Masai Mara Safari
It's advisable to dress in layers as temperatures can vary throughout the day. Opt for neutral or earth-toned clothing to blend into the surroundings and avoid attracting insects. A light rain jacket might come in handy during the rainy season.
Shoe Recommendations for Your Masai Mara Safari
Footwear is essential for your comfort. Sturdy, waterproof walking shoes or hiking boots are recommended for game walks. For the lodge or camp, bring a pair of comfortable sandals or flip-flops.
Talk to Us to book your Kenya Masai Mara Safari today. Our travel experts will be happy to help you plan the perfect trip.