Masai Mara

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.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

June to mid-March

Overview

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.

Features

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

The Masai Mara lies on the inland plateau at 1500m (5,000ft). So, it’s warmer than the higher Nairobi but cooler than the coast. The summer is warm at 26-27C in the day and cool at night. Occasional afternoon showers cool it down. It rains every month (at least 100mm). This is a good time to visit. There’s plenty of resident wildlife so game-viewing remain good all year round. Plus the park is much less busy, the skies are clear, the landscape is lush and babies are being born.
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 113mm
HOURS OF SUNSHINE 9 Hours
MAX TEMP 28 ℃ / 82 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

Mid-March to May

The long rains

The long rains here take the form of hard afternoon showers that make park roads more tricky to navigate. April is the wettest month.
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 150-210mm
HOURS OF SUNSHINE 7 Hours
MAX TEMP 26 ℃ / 79 ℉
MIN TEMP 13 ℃ / 55 ℉

June to mid-October

Best time to visit, but busy

This is the best time to visit of your safari as it is the driest time of the year with pleasant daytime temperatures. It’s the best time for game-viewing (though game-viewing remains excellent throughout the year. And August sees the arrival of wildebeest migration who remain in Mara until October. But it's also extremely busy from July to September. Though it is generally dry, it can rain at any time in the Mara in the form of short thunder showers. Nights are noticeably cool.
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 60-95mm
HOURS OF SUNSHINE 7½ Hours
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 11 ℃ / 52 ℉

Mid-October to mid-December

Short rains

November is the time of the less intense short rains with a max of 155mm in the month. However the rain comes as afternoon or night showers so there’s plenty of sunshine as well. October is still a good month to see the migration (and less busy than earlier in the year). Plus game-viewing remains good throughout the year.
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 123mm
HOURS OF SUNSHINE 8 Hours
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 81 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

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Get our Wildebeest Migration Guide

How the great migration of wildebeest and zebra moves month by month... Get our complimentary guide here
 
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Kate Bergh

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