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Where to Go in the Masai Mara

Africa's best tailor-made safaris

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Where to Go in the Masai Mara

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By Matthys van Aswegen

Safari Travel Planner

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The Masai Mara is divided into several distinct areas, each offering unique experiences and incredible wildlife sightings. Here’s a detailed guide to the key regions within the Masai Mara and what makes them special:

1. Masai Mara National Reserve
Wildebeest herd crossing the Mara River into Masai Mara National Reserve.
Wildebeest herd crossing the Mara River into the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Overview: The heart of the Masai Mara, the National Reserve is famous for its wildlife diversity and the dramatic river crossings during the Great Migration.

Key Highlights:

  • Mara Triangle: Known for its dense population of big cats and dramatic river crossings, the Mara Triangle is a prime location for witnessing the Great Migration.
  • Mara River: The Mara River is a focal point for the Great Migration, where thousands of wildebeest and zebras brave the crocodile-infested waters.

Unique Facts:

  • The Mara Triangle is managed by the Mara Conservancy, ensuring high standards of wildlife conservation and visitor experience.
  • The river crossings at the Mara River are among the most dramatic wildlife events, attracting photographers and nature enthusiasts from around the world​.
2. Maasai Conservancies
Game drive in Masai Mara, Kenya | Photo credit: Kilima Camp
Game drive in Masai Mara, Kenya | Photo credit: Kilima Camp

Overview: The conservancies surrounding the National Reserve offer a more exclusive safari experience with fewer tourists and the opportunity for night drives and walking safaris.

Key Highlights:

  • Olare Motorogi Conservancy: Known for its high density of predators, especially lions, this conservancy offers a quieter, more private safari experience.
  • Naboisho Conservancy: Famous for its strong community involvement and diverse wildlife, including large herds of elephants and the rare wild dogs.

Unique Facts:

  • The conservancies are partnerships between the Maasai landowners and safari operators, ensuring that tourism benefits local communities.
  • Night drives and walking safaris are permitted in the conservancies, offering unique ways to experience the African wilderness​​.
3. Central Masai Mara
African lion couple and safari jeep in Masai Mara in Kenya.
African lion couple and safari jeep in Masai Mara in Kenya.

Overview: The central region of the Masai Mara is characterized by its open plains and abundance of wildlife. This area is particularly famous for the large numbers of predators that can be seen here.

Key Highlights:

  • Talek River: This riverine area offers excellent game viewing opportunities, especially for predators like lions and cheetahs that hunt in the surrounding plains.
  • Oloololo Escarpment: Providing a stunning backdrop to the plains, the escarpment is an excellent spot for panoramic views and diverse wildlife sightings.

Unique Facts:

  • The central region is often referred to as the “Predator Capital of the World” due to its high density of big cats.
  • The Talek and Mara rivers create fertile grounds for both prey and predators, making this a prime area for game drives​​.

For more detailed information on the best places to visit within the Masai Mara and to plan your safari adventure, visit our Masai Mara Guide.

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