Welcome to the Masai Mara

Kenya’s flagship park, the Masai Mara National Reserve, is one of Africa’s finest wildlife destinations where quintessential safari landscapes of vast acacia-dotted savannas teem with animals. The stellar highlight of the Masai Mara is, without a doubt, the Great Migration, an annual movement of millions of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra migrating between neighbouring Tanzania the Kenyan park. Seeing the dramatic daily scenes of the Great Migration – the massive, noisy herds, the animals making the perilous crossing of the crocodile-infested Mara River and the thrilling big cat hunts – are among the best and most exciting wildlife experiences you can have in Africa.

big cat safari masai mara lion

Apart from the Great Migration, the Masai Mara has excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year, and sightings of four of the Big Five – leopard, lion, elephant and buffalo – are pretty much a given, making it a perfect first timer’s safari destination. The Mara is famous for its leopard, lion, and cheetah, but there’s plenty more game to see on the wide-open plains, from giraffe and eland to smaller predators such as bat-eared fox, spotted hyena and black-backed jackal.

While there’s a wide range of lodging options to accommodate all budgets, the Masai Mara’s luxury lodges and camps really stand out. Scattered across the park – in some truly spectacular remote locations – they offer a taste of the “Out of Africa” safari romance: tented rooms and suites that open right onto plains full of grazing animals, impeccable décor and antique furniture, four-poster beds, infinity pools and outdoor canvas bathtubs – as well as excellent service and well-trained guides who are not only experts at finding wildlife, but will also bring the bush to life with their storytelling skills. Luxury mobile tented camps that occupy different seasonal locations in the park give you the chance to get as close to the migrating herds as possible, without having to rough it. These camps combine an intimate low-key wilderness experience with luxury comforts: a recipe for the perfect safari.

masai mara photo safari

While game drives are the focus of a Masai Mara safari, there are other plenty of other activities to include in your itinerary, from sunrise hot air balloon rides over the plains, cultural visits to local Maasai villages, picnics and sundowners in the bush, horseback rides, and visiting the locations from the film Out of Africa, while some lodges and camps offer a host of kids’ activities such as storytelling, bow and arrow shooting and fire making.

The Masa Marai National Reserve makes up just one part of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, which is also made up of community ranches and private conservancies owned by local Maasai, and which offer privacy and the exclusivity of limited numbers of visitors spread out across vast areas. As the Masa Mara has increased in popularity, many safari goers now choose to stay on these conservancies – many of which were established in the last 10 years – for the same wildlife experiences as the Mara but with far fewer other cars around. What’s also special about the conservancies is the option of doing walking safaris with Maasai guides, an exciting activity that is not on offer in the reserve. With their abundant game, spectacular scenery, commitment to community conservation and low tourism densities, the Masai Mara conservancies are now up there with East Africa’s best safari destinations.


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Masai Mara weather

Located near to the equator in southern Kenya, the Masai Mara is warm year-round, with higher temperatures from October to March and slightly cooler weather from June to August. There are two rainy seasons: March to May (known as the “long rains”) – April being the wettest month – and November to December (known as the “short rains”). The months of June to October are the…

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 February

February gets more rain than January, with an average of 17 rainy days a month. Temperature wise, it’s the same as January: average highs of 28C and average night-time lows of 12C. February is a good month to visit the Masai Mara if you want to see lots of baby animals (up to half a million wildebeest are born this month), and you don’t mind afternoon thundershowers. Wildlife…

Solo travel in the Masai Mara

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 Conservancies

While the Masai Mara National Reserve is the focal point of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, in the last decade there have been a number of conservancies that have been established which border the unfenced national reserve. These conservancies are on private land owned by Maasai families that have been set aside for wildlife conservation and tourism. The landowners lease their land to safari…

Masai Mara in July

Along with August, July is the coolest month of the year, and night times can dip below 10C so bring along warm clothes and lots of layers for early morning game drives. Day time temperatures are pleasantly warm. July is also the driest month of the year, with an average of only 11 days of rain. In July the herds start moving into the Masai Mara from the Serengeti at the start of the…

Popular Masai Mara Safaris

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

 | 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...

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...

 | 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...

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...

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...

 | 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...

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 in an epic struggle for survival...

Lion cubs | Southern Kenya Sojourn (10 days)

Southern Kenya Sojourn (10 days)

Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara are southern Kenya's superstars, the best places for your safari...

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...

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