Masai Mara Safaris

This magnificent reserve plays host to one of the planet’s most amazing wildlife spectacles each year – the Great Migration, and it offers superb gameviewing year-round.

Meaning “spotted” in the Maa language of the Maasai, it’s easy to see why the Masai Mara is so called. The rolling grasslands of this 1,500km² reserve are dotted with flat-topped thorn trees, dappled with cloud shadow and during the Great Migration, flecked with an unbelievable number of wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle.

Between July to October, over two million wildebeest and thousands of zebra migrate north from Tanzania’s Serengeti in search of fresh water and new grass. They are what most visitors come to Kenya to see; however, the Mara has reliably good gameviewing throughout the year.

The herds attract plenty of large predators such as lion, leopard and hyena, and the interactions between the animals are extraordinary. River crossings are particularly exciting, as the wildebeest are preyed upon by hundreds of hungry crocodiles waiting in the seething waters.

The plains of the Masai Mara are the permanent home of all of the “Big 5” as well as a plethora of antelope ranging from the tiny dik-dik through to the imposing eland. So even when the wildebeest and zebra herds have departed for the Serengeti, you’ll find this one of the best places in all of Africa to observe big game species such as black rhino and cheetah.

As the reserve can get busy, staying in private concessions adjoining the Masai Mara provides a measure of exclusivity. It also allows visitors to enjoy activities not permitted in the main reserve such as walking safaris. Whilst game drives are the most common means of exploring the Mara, why not consider floating over the landscape in a hot air balloon? This magical experience provides a bird’s eye view of the reserve, and concludes with an indulgent champagne breakfast in the bush.


Masai Mara Highlights

  • Kenya’s most famous reserve
  • Site of the annual wildebeest migration
  • Plentiful predators as lion, leopard and cheetah
  • Exceptional animal interactions
  • Iconic landscapes of open savanna
  • Classic and luxury safari camps
  • Maasai cultural encounters

When To Go

July to September is when the annual wildebeest migration takes place. However, the Masai Mara offers excellent gameviewing all year round.

If you plan to go during the Great Migration, be sure to book early as our camps and lodges tend to fill up quickly during this period.

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Masai Mara Accommodation

The following are some of the lodges and tented camps that we recommend in the Masai Mara. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

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Featured Private Kenya Sample Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Kenya experience.

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Kenya Overview

Why Kenya: Since the early 19th century Kenya has captivated visitors with its astounding quantity and diversity of wildlife as well as with its majestic scenery. The country has well-established tourist infrastructure and a good standard of accommodation.

Game Viewing: Excellent game-viewing year round. Jul-Sep is popular when the wildebeest migration is in the Masai Mara.

Culture: Maasai and Samburu pastoralists who continue their traditional way of life.

Climate: Temperate climate (22°- 25°C) due to high altitude but hot in low-lying areas like the Rift Valley (30°- 35°C). Hot and humid along the coast. “Long rains” take place in Apr/May, whilst “short rains” occur in mid-Oct to mid-Dec.

Combine With: Tanzania, which is situated on Kenya’s southern border and is easily reached by road or air from Nairobi. Mt Kilimanjaro straddles the two countries and Kenya’s Masai Mara is part of Tanzania’s Serengeti ecosystem, the arena for the wildebeest migration.

Getting There: The gateway to Kenya is Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Nairobi is linked by daily air services from Australia via the UAE or Qatar in the Middle East or via Johannesburg in South Africa.

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