Introduction to the Masai Mara
The Masai Mara is one of the best game reserves and most sought-after safari destinations in Africa and for good reasons. It is a definite bucket list item for wildlife enthusiasts.
It is the Africa of dreams; it is nature in its raw form. The savanna landscape consists of endless reaches of acacia-dotted grasslands studded with rolling hills. Here breath-taking vistas, endless plains, mighty rivers, and abundant wildlife are the essential ingredients that make for an unforgettable safari experience
The Masaai Mara National Park is a vast area of pristine wilderness located in southwestern Kenya. It stretches along the Tanzanian border and forms the northern region of the Serengeti. The Masai Mara together with the Serengeti National Park arguably offers some of the greatest game viewing on Earth.
The reserve spans some 1,510 sq km (580 sq miles) of magnificent wilderness. Add the private concessions and the area is at least twice that size. This savanna landscape has grassy plains and hazy hills and is crossed by the Mara and Talek rivers.
This area is home to Maasai people, their villages (enkangs) and their cattle. The mighty Mara river sustains this incredible wildlife ecosystem. Hence the name Masai Mara.
The animals of the Masai Mara
The reserve is home to about 100 species of mammals and over 570 recorded species of birds. Its animal species include lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hyena, hippo, plains game and many more. Rarer species such as serval cats are also found. Masses of wildebeest and zebra traverse its plains during their annual migration.
One of nature’s greatest events take place here. The annual migration and river crossings. Between July and October the Mara is a much-welcomed pit stop as well as obstacle for masses of wildebeest and zebra during their migration. Millions of wildebeest and Zebra follow the rains on their 2 900-kilometre (1 800-mile) death defying circular journey. Crocodiles lie in wait for the anticipated river crossings. Land based predators are also close.
Although the spectacle of the great migration takes place in the dry season, The Maasai Mara is a year-round destination. There is always an abundance of wildlife in the Masai Mara. Game viewing in the Masai Mara is excellent all throughout the year.
The climate of the Masai Mara
The Masai Mara is located near the equator so the days are warm throughout the year. Due to the higher altitude the weather is not as hot as one might expect close to the equator. Mostly you will wear summer clothes but do pack warm clothes for nippy early morning and chilly evenings.
Dry season – June to October
The weather is pleasant and days are mostly sunny. Day time temperatures are nice and warm. Evenings and early mornings can be chilly. Though occasional rain is possible, it is mostly sunny and dry.
Wet season –November to May
The days are mostly cloudy and overcast. Afternoon showers are frequent. Daytime temperatures are still nice and warm and don’t vary much. Early mornings can be a bit nippy. The short rains occur during November and December. There is a lull during January and February before the long rains.
The wettest months occur between March and May. They call it the long rains. During this period tracks can be slippery and challenging to navigate.
Weather wise, the best time to visit the Masai Mara is from June to October for the low rainfall and comfortable day time temperatures, although wildlife viewing is good in the park all through the year.
Safaris to the Masai Mara
We offer several safaris that include the Masai Mara. If you only plan to to visit the Masai Mara, a 4 day safari is a good option.
For longer safaris that include Tanzania you should consider around 10 days.
In addition to thrilling land-based game viewing there are other great activities such as Maasai-guided nature walks, hot air balloon safaris and cultural village tours. These are often optional add-ons to your safari.