ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF
ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF

What are you looking for?

ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF
ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF
Hello traveller!

It's in Cape Town now.

We're sorry. Our safari planners aren't available now. Our office hours are 08:00 - 19:00 (GMT+2).

Call us to speak to an experienced safari planner.


Alternatively, we recommend...

travel-form-icon

Complete our travel enquiry form to connect with a safari planner

ENQUIRE TODAY
Email us
(optional)

10 Reasons to Go on a Big Cat Safari in the Masai Mara

Team Member Headshot

Lana Goodwin

Safari Travel Planner

Safari Enquiry
Lana Goodwin

Author: Lana Goodwin - 9 May 2017

Last Update: 30 January 2024

The Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is a dream destination for wildlife enthusiasts. It is particularly famous for its big cat population, making it a top destination for those wanting to witness these majestic creatures in the wild. Here are 10 compelling reasons why Masai Mara is the best destination for a big cat safari:

1. Home to the Cats of the Big Five

Masai Mara is home to the Big Five, which includes the lion and the leopard. These are among the most sought-after wildlife sightings on any African safari and witnessing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is a truly awe-inspiring experience.

Lion mother with her cub in Masai Mara, Kenya.
Lion mother with her cub in Masai Mara, Kenya.

Unlike most other destinations, Masai Mara offers a higher probability of spotting both of these big cats due to its abundant wildlife and well-preserved natural habitat.

2. Exciting Predator-Prey Interactions

The reserve is renowned for its exciting predator-prey interactions with the abundance of prey animals, such as wildebeest and zebras, attracting a large number of big cats.

Leopard in Masai Mara, Kenya.
Leopard in Masai Mara, Kenya.

This provides an excellent opportunity to observe the hunting techniques of lions, leopards, and cheetahs. A Masai Mara safari offers a more dynamic and thrilling experience compared to other destinations due to the sheer volume of prey animals. particularly during the Great Migration.

3. Famous Big Cat Diary Series

Masai Mara served as the base for the popular BBC series, Big Cat Diary. This series, which featured the Marsh Lion Pride and other big cats, contributed to the global fame of the reserve.

The Marsh Pride of lions in Masai Mara, Kenya.
The Marsh Pride of lions in Masai Mara, Kenya.

As a result, it has become one of the most popular safari destinations for travelers wanting to see the stars of the show in their natural environment. Masai Mara’s fame and recognition as a prime location for big cat sightings has gained it a reputation as the quintessential safari destination..

4. Great Migration

The Great Migration is one of nature’s most spectacular events. Millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other animals migrate across the plains of Masai Mara and the Serengeti.

Lion hunts a wildebeest during the Great Migration in Masai Mara, Kenya | Photo credit: Mara Plains Camp
Lion hunts a wildebeest during the Great Migration in Masai Mara, Kenya | Photo credit: Mara Plains Camp

This mass movement attracts a host of predators, including big cats, providing an excellent opportunity to observe them hunting. Masai Mara in Kenya and the bordering Serengeti National Park are places in Africa where a natural migration phenomenon occur on such a massive scale.

5. Exceptional Photographic Opportunities

Masai Mara offers unparalleled photographic opportunities. The open plains, abundance of wildlife, magnificent sunsets make it an ideal destination for a photographic safari.

Leopard in Masai Mara, Kenya | Photo credit: Govenors Il Moran Camp
Leopard in Masai Mara, Kenya | Photo credit: Govenors Il Moran Camp

Capture stunning images of big cats against the backdrop of the picturesque African landscape. Masai Mara’s wildlife and scenery make it a superior destination for photography compared to most other safari locations.

6. Year-Round Availability of Big Cats

Big cats can be spotted in the reserve throughout the year, making any time a good time to visit for a big cat safari. However, the dry season from July to October is considered the best time to visit as it coincides with the Great Migration.

Mother cheetah with her two cubs in Masai Mara, Kenya.
Mother cheetah with her two cubs in Masai Mara, Kenya.

Masai Mara offers consistent big cat sightings throughout the year, making it a more reliable choice for safari tourists looking to spot lions, leopards, and cheetahs.

7. Professional Guides

Masai Mara boasts professional guides who are well-versed in the local wildlife and terrain. They can help you spot the big cats and provide fascinating insights into their behavior and habits. Their expertise will enhance your safari experience and increase your chances of seeing big cats.

African lion couple and safari jeep in Masai Mara in Kenya.
African lion couple and safari jeep in Masai Mara in Kenya.

The high standard of guiding in Masai Mara is one of the core reasons it is considered a world-class safari destination.

8. Conservation Efforts

There are many conservation efforts to protect the wildlife and natural habitats of Masai Mara. By visiting the reserve, you are contributing to these efforts and helping to ensure the survival of the big cats and a huge variety other wildlife.

Cheetah in Masai Mara, Kenya.
Cheetah in Masai Mara, Kenya.

Your visit supports the local community and contributes to the preservation of this iconic destination. Masai Mara’s commitment to conservation makes it a more responsible and ethical choice for a tourists looking to see big cats within sustainable tourism practices.

9. Proximity to Other Attractions

Masai Mara is located in close proximity to other major attractions including the Serengeti National Park in neighboring Tanzania. Combine your big cat safari in Masai Mara with a visit to other iconic destinations in East Africa for a comprehensive safari experience.

Lion in Masai Mara, Kenya.
Lion in Masai Mara, Kenya.

The location of Masai Mara makes it a more convenient base for exploring the region.

10. Experience of a Lifetime

Seeing big cats in the wild, especially in Masai Mara, is an experience of a lifetime. It is a unique opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty and majesty of the African wilderness. Masai Mara’s reputation as one of the best wildlife destinations in the world makes it the ultimate choice for a big cat safari.


What Our Guests Have to Say?

Read recent reviews from travellers who have planned and booked their trips with us
Excellent service

5 Day Value For Money Botswana Safari Review

Jackie Jiang , United States
13 Oct 2023
Well organized and always available!

5 Day Botswana Honeymoon Safari Review

Sud, Hong Kong SAR China
17 Jul 2023
Wonderful!

10 Day Cape Town, Winelands & Kruger Park Journey

Melody , United States
19 Jun 2023
Excellent experience planning an African safari!

Namibia, Botswana & Victoria Falls Safari Review

Jenny, United States
21 Mar 2023
Adelle Bell did a perfect job, over three years, in arranging our...

South Africa & Namibia Safari Tour Review

Mick Woodford, United Kingdom
05 Sep 2022
Heartwhelming experiences!

Big Five Safari Review

Alana Krutoyarsky, United States
25 Feb 2014