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Family safari in the Masai Mara

family safari masai mara kenya Credit: Rekero Camp

A family holiday in the Masai Mara is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that your kids will never forget. Exploring one of Africa’s greatest wilderness areas seeing elephants, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffes and massive herds of antelope against photogenic savanna backdrops will enchant kids of all ages. The Masai Mara is also one of Africa’s best safari destinations for families because of the ease of spotting game on the open plains, the thrilling dramas of the Great Migration scenes, and a host of child-friendly places to stay.

Having the perfect family holiday in the Masai Mara is all about where you stay. Research family-friendly lodges (some lodges have minimum age limits) and be sure to book one that offers family tents or rooms (with their own dining and lounge areas), kids’ activities such as nature walks, treasure hunts, bow and arrow shooting, fire making, storytelling and special extras such as kids’ adventure clubs.

Consider staying at a lodge or camp on a conservancy where you can do guided bush walks, to give the kids a break from long game drives (walks are not permitted in the national reserve). Some lodges offer child minding services but these usually need to be requested before your trip. Most upmarket lodges and camps that allow children will be able to cook child-friendly meals.

Another option for families is renting one of the private houses on conservancies bordering the Masai Mara. These houses – which come with their own team of staff – can only be booked exclusively, which means you’ll have privacy as well as more freedom for the children.

If you have young children, it’s a good idea to book a private game drive vehicle for your family, so that you can tailor the length of your game drives and choose your own schedule (usually morning game drives start very early) and also not disturb other guests.

Keep in mind that many camps and lodges are unfenced, so you need to keep a careful eye on your children and not let them wander around on their own.

Doing a fly-in safari is the easiest option if you have small children, as the drive to the Masai Mara from Nairobi is long and on bumpy roads. It’s a short flight on scheduled or chartered planes from Nairobi (and other destinations in Kenya) to the airstrips in the reserve or in the conservancies. You won’t need your own car once you’re in the reserve as most lodges and camps offer guided game drives, and will pick you up from the airstrip.

As with any African travel with kids, make sure that you get any required vaccinations at least six months before you travel. The Masai Mara is a malarial area, and you should consult your doctor about the necessary prophylactics. The most important thing is to prevent being bitten, so always dress your kids in long-sleeved shirts and trousers and spray with mosquito repellent – especially around dawn and dusk – and use a mosquito net when sleeping.


Popular Masai Mara Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Guests going on a Bush Walk | HerdTracker and Kicheche Camps Safari (7 days)

HerdTracker and Kicheche Camps Safari (7 days)

The best of Mara North and Olare Orok Conservancies with Kicheche...

 | Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

Explore the jewel in Kenya's crown; the wildlife-rich Masai Mara National Reserve...

 | Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

The Uganda Hills | The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

Enjoy East Africa's most celebrated highlights, from a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, to sailing above the Serengeti in a hot-air balloon and meeting mountain gorillas...

Enjoying a sundowner whilst watching the wildebeest migration.  | HerdTracker Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Journey (7 days)

HerdTracker Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Journey (7 days)

Witness the wildebeest migration in Kenya's iconic Masai Mara National Reserve with HerdTracker...

 | Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined (11 days)

Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined (11 days)

Unforgettable experience in the jungles of Rwanda to track the last Mountain gorillas on earth and view the awesome Great Migration river crossings...

 | Migration River Crossings Safari with Governors’ Camps (4 days)

Migration River Crossings Safari with Governors' Camps (4 days)

Enjoy the migration and river crossings at Governor's Camp and choose your level of comfort...

 | Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days)

Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days)

See the beauty of nature's greatest wildlife spectacle in two countries...

Asilia Africa | Spectacular July to September Wildebeest River Crossings  (10 days)

Spectacular July to September Wildebeest River Crossings (10 days)

Experience one of Africa's greatest spectacles – smell the dust and hear the noise of thousands of animals crossing the Mara River...

Lion Cubs | The Big Cats of East Africa Safari (10 days)

The Big Cats of East Africa Safari (10 days)

This safari to the Serengeti and Masai Mara in East Africa is all about big cats – lots of them and up close for outstanding photographs...

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