The Masai Mara National Reserve has unfenced borders with a number of private conservancies, including Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. This vast protected landscape is one of the top wildlife destinations in Africa, and Kenya’s flagship conservation area.
Game viewing in the Masai Mara is excellent all year around thanks to the diverse population of resident game – including lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo – plus popular species like zebra, giraffe, hyena, eland and gazelle. The Mara’s big cats are even the stars of a popular wildlife TV series.
From July to November one of nature’s greatest spectacles, the Wildebeest Migration, reaches the Mara – the sheer number of wildebeest arriving in the area is staggering. The migration is a dramatic mass movement of almost two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle in a seasonal annual cycle driven by rainfall. To reach the Mara’s fresh grazing, wildebeest make dramatic river crossings, facing enormous crocodiles to feast on the Mara plains and regain their strength. November’s short summer rains trigger the last leg of the migration, when the wildebeest move south to their Serengeti calving grounds. The calving season also happens in the Mara between December and January. Known as the green season, it’s a time when surface water is plentiful and wildebeest, zebra and antelope give birth to their calves, foals and fawns. With so much easy prey around, it is also a good time for predators to raise their cubs and pups, making for wonderful photographic opportunities.
The Masai Mara and its neighbouring private conservancies offer a range of accommodation, from child-friendly to romantic. The park can be crowded in high season, which is why we recommend staying in one of the neighbouring private conservancies where you’ll enjoy the advantage of easy access to the Mara for the superb game-viewing and migration scenes, but can also retreat to the conservancy’s crowd-free setting where off road game viewing, night drives and guided nature walks are permitted. We highly recommend taking a hot-air balloon flight and experiencing an authentic cultural interaction with the Maasai people. Chat to your safari expert about combining a Mara safari with Kenya’s other top destinations, such as Amboseli National Park or a beach break to the glorious sun-drenched islands of the Seychelles.