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 some of the immense herds of the Great Migration, with about twenty-five percent of the wildebeest traditionally crossing into Kenya from the Serengeti towards the end of June, before following the rains back into Tanzania in September.
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 itineraries 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 tends to 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 five sightings.
Masai Mara Activities
Due to the regulations in the Masai Mara National Reserve guest are only allowed to partake in game drives and hot air balloon rides. These activities are only permitted within daylight hours.
In the Greater Mara there is more flexibility in activities. Walking safaris and night drives accompany game drives in most conservancies, whilst in a select few, horse riding is also allowed.
Masai Mara trip cost
The Masai Mara has lodges ranging from around $400 per person per night including some great stay-pay deals and honeymoon offers. As always though, when safari is concerned, there really is no limit on luxury or price. 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.
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. 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.
Segmented into conservancies, the Greater Mara acts as a buffer zone between the Masai Mara National Reserve and the local Maasai communities that live nearby. The camps located in the Greater Mara, as opposed to the Reserve, can offer walking and night drives as well as the standard day drives offered within the Reserve. For the best combination of top-class wildlife and a good range of activities, we recommend combining time in both the Naitonal Reserve and the Greater Mara.
Reccommendations on where to stay and where not to stay in the Masai Mara
There are several excellent camps in the Masai Mara that we love, and so do our clients. For exceptional value look no further than &Beyond's Kichwa Tembo, or the home of safari, Governors Camp. Asilia's Rekero provides the excellent service and hospitality that is to be expected with their properties and Angama Mara is one of the most opulent and lavish options.
Although popularly requested, the Serena Hotel in the Mara 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.
Alike with the Serena, the Masai Mara Sopa Lodge is a big hotel in the middle of the African bush. Chat to one of our Africa experts for recommendations on the best Masai Mara camps and lodges, rather than big hotels.
Best camps in the Masai Mara
Amazing guiding, complimentary private vehicles and a classic safari choice for that old school tented camp safari experience. Alex Walker's Serian Masai Mara and he mobile Nkorombo camp are an excellent choices as your base for a migration safari.
If you are looking for a sturdy and permenant safari lodge hotel on a raised platform, for can't get much better than this. Angama Mara has absolutely world class views and is a very luxurious option.
Mara Plains is a candle-lit, authentic yet real safari luxury. You can't get much better than this for its location, rooms, service and wildlife.