The scene of the Great Migration is a year-round stunning landscape of savanna plains, rivers and a huge range of wild animals, especially big cats.
June to mid-March
The Masai Mara in Kenya is a unique game-studded area with a rich and constant wildlife presence all year.
From July to October, 1.4 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 300,000 gazelles surge north from the Serengeti plains in search of seasonal grasses and permanent water. And the Mara River is a great obstacle. Here the currents can be strong and the banks steep. But the gigantic Nile crocodiles are their biggest adversary. The view of the vast herds sweeping across the grass is punctuated by individual struggles with the predators. This is what makes the Masai Mara migration all the more dramatic. See our Insiders Guide to the Migration below.
Masai Mara Safaris
The scenery alone would make a Masai Mara safari worthwhile. Rolling savanna grasslands scattered with dark acacias, rocky outcrops. Resident game includes topi, gazelle, impala, elephant, buffalo, rhino and of course leopard, lion and cheetah. Whilst hippo & crocodiles are at home in its meandering rivers.
Choosing between the Masai Mara Lodges & Camps
It’s true that the Mara can be busy at times. If you want to see the spectacle of the Masai Mara wildebeest migration crossing the rivers, don’t expect to be alone. But there are areas within the park which are more secluded than others.
Some Masai Mara camps stake their reputation on their location being close to the Mara River. Thus you won’t have to drive long distances during the migration time.
Alternatively many Masai Mara lodges are located in private concessions adjacent to the National Park. These concessions are leased from the traditional Maasai people. Here you can avoid the crowds. And learn about the way of life of one of Africa’s most charismatic people. These private concessions also allow guided bush walks and night drives which are not allowed in the Mara. Plus full day excursions into the park are on offer so you get the best of both worlds…
Your ideal safari camp will depend on your interests, the time of year and your budget. Smaller tented camps are invariably more expensive than the larger traditionally-built lodges. Discuss your preferences with us so we can help you make the right choice.
Tasha EygelaarAfrica Travel Specialist
Why you may love it
- Home to the famous wildebeest migration – the ‘greatest show on earth’
- Mara River crossing presents difficulties for the migrating herds, making it an unforgettable experience
- Huge diversity of resident game in the Mara, even when the migratory herds have left
- Safaris primarily take place in specially adapted 4×4 vehicles
- Hot air balloon flights are also a famous highlight
- Mara is home to one of the great fighting tribes of Africa, the Maasai, whose culture is both fascinating and truly unique
Explore the Masai Mara map
When to visit Masai Mara
Mid-December to mid-March
Summer in Masai Mara
Mid-March to May
The long rains
June to mid-October
Best time to visit, but busy
Mid-October to mid-December
The short rains
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- SizeStretches 1,510 km² and raises 1,500-2,170m above sea level
- ConservationServes as a Hyena Research Centre