Budget Masai Mara safari

masai mara wildlife zebra

The Masai Mara is an expensive destination and everything from daily park fees to lodging is pricey, however, you do have some choices when it comes to planning a budget trip. The best budget-friendly way to travel is on a group safari and stay in campsites: your transport, guide, park entrance fees and meals are included in the package price.

You can travel to camps on the outskirts of the park on public transportation from the town of Narok and then book game drives into the park from your camp. There are a number of campsites outside the park gates – the least expensive lodging option – where you can either bring your own tent, rent a tent or pay more to sleep in a permanent erected tent. Another lodging option is to organise a homestay and spend the night with a Maasai family in a village outside of the park.

Some adventurous travellers prefer to hire their own 4x4 (and rent camping equipment from Nairobi) and explore the park on their own steam, staying at campsites outside the park or in the Mara Triangle. Having your own vehicle gives you plenty of freedom, and camping in the bush is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in nature. Be aware that the roads leading into the Masai Mara National Reserve are in bad condition – particularly between the town of Narok and the Talek and Sekenani Gates. It’s good to have some 4x4 driving experience in Africa and understand the rules of the park if you’re driving yourself: don’t ever go off road, and leave the wildlife plenty of space.

Inside the park, your camping options are limited to the Mara Triangle, where you can stay in either the public campsite or special campsites (which need to be reserved in advance). If you’re camping inside the park you need to be entirely self-sufficient and take in all of your own food, water and firewood.

Prices in the Masai Mara are highest during the peak migration months of August and September and lowest during the rainy season of April and May, so if you’re looking to pick up good deals on lodging, consider travelling during the wettest months of the year.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

day 1

Welcome to Kenya
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

day 2 to 5

Explore the Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)
  • Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

day 6

Bon Voyage

View Full Itinerary

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Credit: Kilima Camp Solo travel in the Masai Mara is an exciting adventure in one of the world’s top safari destinations, whichever way you choose to travel. Self-drivers will have the freedom to explore the park on their own, while if you would prefer to join up with a group, there are plenty of options for organised tours, ranging from budget-friendly safaris where you stay at…

Masai Mara in April

Credit: Mara Expedition Camp April is the wettest month of the year, with an average of 23 days of rain. It’s slightly cooler than March but still warm with average maximum highs of 26C. Because it’s so wet, the roads can be tricky and some lodges close down, making April one of the least ideal months to visit the Masai Mara. On the plus side, it is the low season so you can get…

Masai Mara in October

October is one of the warmest months of the year, but luckily temperatures don’t rise much above an average of 28C during the day. It’s also a relatively dry month with little rainfall. October is a wonderful month to visit the Masai Mara, as the majority of the herds from the migration are in the park, but there are fewer visitors, so viewings aren’t as crowded as August and…

Masai Mara in June

After the rainy season months of March to May, June is much drier – down from 20 days of rain to an average of 12 days of rain during the month. June marks the start of the busy season in the Masai Mara – the weather is dry, and the days are cooler than at other times of the year, and the wildlife viewing is excellent, although the majority of the herds of the Great Migration have…

Masai Mara in March

March is a rainy month. Nearly every day of the month will have afternoon thundershowers and there may be continuous rain. High rainfall in March means that roads get very muddy and can be challenging to drive on, and some camps close down until May. The park sees fewer visitors this month, while the landscapes are lush and green. A highlight in March is spotting migratory birds. ...

Budget Masai Mara safari

The Masai Mara is an expensive destination and everything from daily park fees to lodging is pricey, however, you do have some choices when it comes to planning a budget trip. The best budget-friendly way to travel is on a group safari and stay in campsites: your transport, guide, park entrance fees and meals are included in the package price. You can travel to camps on the outskirts…

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