Destinations

Masai Mara

The Masai Mara is one of Africa’s most renowned parks. The wildlife seeing is amazing consistently. The grassy plains and regular rains support an immense population of herbivores, thusly drawing in numerous predators. All three big cats are relatively easy to see. The yearly wildebeest migration coming through the park is one of the world’s most amazing wildlife spectacles.

Top reasons why you should visit Masai Mara during your Kenya safari;

  • Wildlife seeing in Masai Mara.
  • Excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year.
  • Annual wildebeest movement (September and October).
  • Open savannah makes for easy wildlife spotting.
  • Wide varieties of accommodation for different budgets.
  • Hot air balloon safaris.
  • The park gets occupied, particularly during high season.
  • Access roads are terrible, flights are recommended.

The Wildebeest Migration: The Serengeti-Mara environment is home to the yearly wildebeest relocation where 2.5 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles pursue the downpours looking for new grass They make their way from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara somewhere around July and August, and usually arrive in September. The crossing of the Mara River along the way is one of the highlights of this spectacular event. They gradually head over into Tanzania around October.

Wildlife viewing in Masai Mara: The Masai Mara is perhaps the best park in Africa for seeing the big cats. Indeed, even leopards are commonly relaxed, and their behaviours can undoubtedly be watched. Cheetah are frequently spotted on the open savannah looking at off their next feast. Of the other Big Five, elephant and bison are abundant, yet dark rhino is trickier and must be found in specific zones.

Scenery: The Masai Mara’s landscape is ruled by grassland savannah, but pockets of acacia woodland, riparian forest and rocky hills intersperse the plains. The Masai word ‘Mara’, meaning spotted, refers to these dots in the landscape.

Climate and Climate: Masai Mara has a generally mild climate that doesn’t deviate too much from a comfortable 25°C/77°F in the region’s Dry season (June to October). Variations in temperature are mainly due to variations in altitude in the park, with conditions getting cooler the higher you climb. The Wet season (November to May) comprises a shorter and a longer rainy period that sandwich a brief dry spell.

Best Time to Visit: The interval between the short and long rains (January and February) and the Dry season proper (June to October) are the times to visit Masai Mara. The roads haven’t yet worsened because of rain, and thirsty animals crowd around the local waterways. The last two months of the Dry season are often when the spectacular annual wildebeest migration passes through.

The Masai Mara is Kenya’s flagship park. Sightings of four of the Big Five are pretty much guaranteed. Black rhino is more elusive, but can sometimes be spotted in the Mara Triangle. The reserve is one of the best for big cats, but sightings of smaller predators like bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal and spotted hyena also tend to be rewarding. Antelope include impala, reedbuck, Thomson’s gazelle, eland and topi, while buffalo, elephant and giraffe are relaxed and easily spotted.

The Masai Mara offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year, but the rainy months (March, April, November and December) make some of the roads challenging to navigate. The driest months (from late June to October) are the best for wildlife viewing because vegetation is thinner and animals collect around rivers and water holes. The wildebeest migration and the river crossings in particular are difficult to time, but your best chance to observe this spectacle is in late September and October.

The legendary wildebeest migration is one of the world’s most remarkable wildlife encounters. Sometime in July and August, millions of animals leave the Serengeti and head into the Masai Mara around September. The crossing of the Mara River along the way is the most outstanding part of the migration. Around October, the migration slowly heads back into the Serengeti again.

It should be noted that, though the pattern is well recognised, the exact timing of the migration is volatile as animals move with the rain looking for greener pastures.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing in the Masai Mara is good throughout the year. The best months for the wildebeest migration are September and October. June to October is comparatively dry, and offers the best general wildlife watching.

 

Getting there: The Masai Mara is located 270km/167mi northwest of Nairobi. The road is notoriously bad and the driving time is about five hours. Most people fly to the park.

It is also possible to drive from Lake Nakuru NP. The distance is about 235km/150mi and the driving time is roughly six hours.

Getting to Nairobi is easy, as the city is a major African transport hub. International arrivals frequently land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), 15km/9mi southeast of Nairobi. From Nairobi it’s easy to catch a domestic flight to Masai Mara.