The Masai Mara in Kenya is a unique game-studded area with a rich and constant wildlife presence all year. It’s also home to the famous wildebeest migration. Every year it hosts what is dubbed the ‘greatest show on earth’. The annual migration is due to the search of seasonal grasses and permanent water. From July to October, 1.4 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 300,000 gazelles surge up from the Serengeti plains of Tanzania. But the Mara River is a great obstacle. Here the currents can be strong and the banks steep. But the gigantic Nile crocodiles is 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.
Masai Mara Safaris
Masai Mara safaris primarily take place in specially adapted vehicles. Hot air balloon flights are also a famous highlight. Even when the migratory herds have headed south back into Tanzania – there is a huge diversity of resident game in the Mara including topi, gazelle, impala, elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard and lion.
The scenery alone would make a Masai Mara safari worthwhile. Rolling savanna grasslands scattered with dark acacias, rocky outcrops and meandering rivers are home to hippo and crocodile. The Mara is also home to one of the great fighting tribes of Africa, the Maasai, whose culture is both fascinating and truly unique.
Different Types of 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, you will certainly not 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 of the Masai Mara lodges are located in private concessions adjacent to the National Park itself. 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. Full day excursions into the park can also be arranged in order to 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.