Home to a stunning array and exceptional density of big game, Kenya's Masai Mara absolutely justifies its status as one the most famous African safari parks. Boasting all the big five and frequent sightings of predators, the quality of the wildlife viewing here is truly outstanding. The Masai Mara also hosts the immense herds of the Great Migration, which traditionally crosses into Kenya from the Serengeti towards the end of June, before following the rains back into Tanzania in September.
MASAI MARA SAFARIS
What is the Maasai Mara?
Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Greater Mara make up the ecosystem known as the Masai Mara. The National Reserve itself, where most of the Masai Mara's big game is to be found, is contiguous with Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, and together these areas are home to the phenomenal annual Great Wildebeest Migration which is heralded as the most spectacular remaining natural event on the planet today... So it is no wonder this is on everyone's East Africa bucket list. National Reserve regulations permit only game driving and no walking safaris.
The Greater Mara acts as a buffer zone between the Masai Mara National Reserve and the local Maasai communities that live nearby. Camps located in the Greater Mara, as opposed to the Reserve, are able to offer walking and night drives as well as the standard day drives offered within the Reserve. It can work very well to combine time in each of the Reserve and the Greater Mara, for the best combination of top-class wildlife and a good range of activities.
Reccommendations on where to stay and where not to stay in the Masai Mara
Serena Hotel Masai Mara: Although popularly requested, the Serena is not entirely fitting with traditional safari accommodation. We would reccommend looking at the more intimate & canvas options to get an authentic and wild Masai Mara experience.
Masai Mara Sopa Lodge: Alike with the Serena, this is a big hotel in the middle of the African bush! Chat to the experts for recommendations on the best Masai Mara camps and lodges, rather than big hotels.
Best camps in the Masai Mara
Location of Masai Mara, Kenya
Please see our map below for the location of the Masai Mara, which borders Tanzania's Serengeti. Both are fabulous safari destinations and in both you can witness the phenomenal Great Migration. The best way to get to the Masai Mara is via an international flight arriving into Nairobi. You then will be transferred to Wilson Airport for your flight into the park. The Masai Mara Reserve is an excellent stop off as part of a bigger Kenyan trip, and our safari packages aim to combine this with some of the more off the beaten track parts of the country.
Masai Mara or Serengeti Safari?
Both are stunning. From July - September, the Great Wildebeest river crossings can be seen from both the Masai Mara and Tanzania. Tanzania can be a little quieter visitor-wise, but if you want to combine seeing the migration with other Kenya Safari activities, then the Masai Mara is still absolutely fabulous for big 5 sightings, albeit touristy.
Masai Mara Activities
Masai Mara National Reserve: The regulations permit only game driving and hot air balloon rides, with no walking or other activities.
Greater Mara: Walking safaris, game drives and night drives.
Masai Mara trip cost
The Masai Mara has lodges ranging from around $400 per person per night and when safari is concerned, there really is no limit... The best thing to do is to give us a call for accurate prices of the trip you're interested in.
Best time to visit Masai Mara
July - September is a fantastic time to be in the Mara, due to the Great Migration entering Kenya at this time of year you get a chance to see those dramatic Mara River crossings. The game viewing, although fantastic year-round, is most prominent at this time as the dry season means less water options for the animals, luring them out into the open. Generally though, the Mara is home to exceptional concentrations of even the rarest of African wildlife such as the elusive rhino and all the big cats including cheetah. Avoid high season rates by choosing carefully your time frame. Depending on what you want to do in the Mara, and what you are looking to combine a safari with, the best time also changes!
Masai Mara Safari Holiday Packages with Africa Odyssey
We tailor-make all of our trips. It is difficult to answer all of your questions without knowing the details of each individual trip. Please do give us a call though for a no-strings chat about a Masai Mara safari, and I hope we can clarify your queries.