Located in Kenya’s spectacularly scenic Great Rift Valley, the Masai Mara National Reserve is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest safari destinations. The reserve shares an unfenced border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park as well as a number of other surrounding conservancies, all of which combine to form the vast Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. This massive expanse of pristine wilderness is renowned for its quintessential safari adventures featuring endless rolling plains, traditional Masai villages, breathtaking scenery and an incredible abundance of both resident and migratory wildlife.
Visitors can look forward to exploring four distinct areas within the park. In the east lie the Ngama Hills, known for their impressive number of endangered black rhino. In the west, the Oloololo Escarpment rises up to form a spectacular plateau. Then there is the Mara Triangle, with its verdant grassland and acacia woodlands bordering the Mara River, and finally, the Central Plains, featuring scattered bushes and boulders on rolling grasslands much favoured by the plains game.
The mighty Mara River inhabited by crocodiles lying in wait for the wildebeest to cross during their spectacular annual mass migration from the Serengeti in the South to the Masai Mara in the North.
While the park offers an impressive abundance of resident wildlife throughout the year, the main drawcard is undoubtedly the extraordinary natural spectacle of the annual Great Migration. Travellers lucky enough to visit during this time can look forward to hearing the thunderous sound of millions of hooves as massive herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles travel across the plains, followed by their predators, in this epic annual journey for survival. Add to this some exquisite natural scenery characterised by rolling savannah grasslands strewn with acacia trees and traversed by beautiful flowing rivers, and it is easy to see why the Masai Mara has become one of the world’s most sought after safari destinations.
July - October
Due to its temperate climate and abundant resident game, the Masai Mara National Reserve makes an excellent safari destination for general game viewing throughout the year. The peak season for sightings of the Great Migration is generally considered to be from July through to October. While the exact time of the migration is dependant on unpredictable weather patterns, it is during this time period that you are most likely to see large herds of wildebeest and zebra as well as the exhilarating river crossings for which the Mara River is known.
Rest of the year
Kenya typically experiences two annual rainy seasons. The first of these brings what is known as the ‘long rains’ from April to May. This period is best avoided as the rains can be heavy and can last for days at a time which can certainly affect your safari experience.
The second rainy season, which brings what is known as the ‘short rains’, typically occurs from November to mid-December. During this time you can expect to experience hot and humid mornings with plenty of sunshine followed by a burst of refreshing rain in the afternoon. These brief rain showers seldom affect game drives and serve to cool down the area, wash the dust from the air, promote the growth of lush vegetation, and attract large numbers of game to the newly filled water sources. This is also an ideal time to travel if you are eager to escape the crowds and you will probably have large expanses of wilderness all to yourself, especially when exploring the Mara’s surrounding conservancies. Visitors during this time are likely to be blessed with the incredible sight of numerous wildebeest births as November is generally their prime calving season.
- Enjoy adventurous game drives in open-air 4x4 vehicles with experienced guides
- Explore traditional local Masai villages
- Interact with fascinating Masai Warriors
- Take guided nature walks in exclusive private conservancies
- Glide over the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon followed by an indulgent champagne breakfast celebration
Book your accommodation well in advance if you plan to visit the Masai Mara during the migration as accommodation options offering front row seats to the river crossings typically get snapped up quickly.
Below are a few tour options and suggestions for a Masai Mara safari.
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- Includes all road transfers during the safari
- Includes game drives in the Masai Mara and Serengeti Plains & Ngorongoro Crater
- 1 Night Safari Park Hotel, 2 Nights Mara Sopa Lodge, 1 Night Lake Nakuru Lodge, 2 Nights Amboseli Sopa Lodge, 1 Night Lake Manyara Serena Lodge, 2 Nights Serengeti Sopa Lodge, 2 Nights Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, 1 Night Tarangire Sopa lodge
- Includes flight transfers between the lodges and to Nairobi
- Includes meals, morning and afternoon game drives in Kenya and Tanzania's top reserves
- 2 nights &Beyond Bateleur Camp, 2 nights &Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp, 2 nights &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, 1 nights &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
- Includes all road and lodge flight transfers throughout the safari.
- Includes all meals and safari and selective beach activities
- 1 Night at Hemingways Hotel, 2 Nights Tortilis Camp Amboseli, 2 Nights Elsa's Kopje Masai Mara, 2 Nights Sand River Masai Mara, 4 Nights AfroChic Diani Beach
- 1 Night at Safari Park Hotel, 2 nights Mara Sopa Lodge, 1 night Lake Nakuru Lodge, 2 nights Amboseli Sopa Lodge.
- Activities include: Game drives in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park and the Amboseli National Park.
- Highlights include perfect opportunities to spot the Big 5 and to capture some diverse scenery.
- 1 night Lake Burunge Tented Camp, 1 night Endoro Lodge, 2 nights Kati Kati Tented Camp, 1 night Speke Bay lodge, 1 night Mara West Camp, 2 nights Ashnil Mara Camp, 1 Night Flamingo Hill Camp, 1 night Silver Spring Hotel, 1 Night Ol Tukai Lodge
- Includes meals, game drives, 4x4 game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater, visit to the Karen Blixen Museum
- Includes all road transfers between lodges & Arusha
From luxury tented camps and decadent safari suites to comfortable lodges and family-friendly hotels, the Masai Mara National Reserve features an extensive array of accommodation options. Whether you are a couple seeking a romantic retreat or a family looking for an affordable adventure, you are certain to find a variety of accommodation options to suit your needs.
Below is a list of properties in the Masai Mara.
Need some advice?
Our friendly safari experts are on standby to find you a place that suits your every need and will assist you with every step of your journey.
- The location of the Mara Serena Safari Lodge is at the very centre of the famous ‘Mara Triangle' in the world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve. Set high on a bush-cloaked hill with long views over the savannah and the hippo-filled Mara River
- Situated along the Sabaringo River in the Masai Mara National Game Reserve. Comfortable interiors and a lovely en-suite bathroom offer a traditional tented safari experience, while secluded private verandas offer a shady spot to while the afternoon away.
- Stay close to the action. Rekero Camp is the best place to watch the Great Migration while enjoying a romantic stay in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Revel in all that nature offers. Just outside camp is where wildebeests make their river crossing.