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The Masai Mara - an amazingly diverse and exciting safari tour experience

A region truly described by its people

The Masai Mara is named after the Masai people that inhabit the region and the Mara River which snakes through the reserve. It is home to the 'big five' amongst many other species making a Masai Mara safari tour one of the most popular destination and activities in Kenya. The Masai Mara also plays host to the incredible spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration. The area has an amazing concentration of wildlife, particularly when the migratory wildebeest and zebras are grazing on the lush plains from June to October. Surrounding the Masai Mara National Reserve are a number of private conservancies of varying sizes owned by Masai communities.

Set on the fringes of a riverine forest, overlooking the vast, game-filled plains of the Mara, this tented camp offers world-class style in the African bush.
This superior safari lodge overlooks the plains of the Masai Mara and lies directly in the path of the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra.
Located high above the floor of Africa's Great Rift Valley, Angama Mara overlooks Kenya's Masai Mara, considered by many to be the loveliest game reserve on the continent.
Drawing on eighty years of safari service, the Cottar family provide guests with the highest standards of personalized and professional guiding.
Part of the exclusive Elewana Collection, the Sand River Masai Mara Camp which opened in 2013, is Elewana's first bush camp in Kenya.
This camp, with its added touches that make it top of the range safari accommodation, is for those who are seeking that extra bit of luxury.
This member of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Limited Edition collection takes camping to a whole new level of sophistication.
This exclusive camp, the ultimate wilderness retreat, where, from the privacy of the verandah, or from the outdoor Victorian bathtub, elephants and giraffes can be seen drinking at the river.
This unique, stunning and intimate camp provides incomparable hospitality in magnificent surrounds and luxurious style. It blends unobtrusively into the lush forest on the meandering bends of the Ntiakatek River.
Mara Toto, a small, intimate camp, is situated on a bend in the Ntiakitiak River, just a few kilometres from its big sister Mara Plains Camp.
This oasis of beautifully designed safari tents is nestled amongst cordia and acacia trees, located in a gorgeous wilderness area teeming with game, and enjoys panoramic views of the plains.
Saruni Mara is a deluxe and intimate lodge tucked away in a secluded valley in the private Mara North Conservancy, a prime and private game-viewing area, which borders the Masai Mara National Reserve, the most famous wildlife park in Africa.
Welcome to Ashnil Mara Camp, perfectly positioned at the confluence of the Mara and Olkeju Rivers in the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Tucked away in the shade of a forest overlooking the Mara plains. This camp offers a comfortable environment with spectacular views across the plains.
A convenient base from which to discover the Masai Mara. The camp is positioned on the banks of an ox-bow bend in the Mara River, so that all tents have a view of the hippo and crocodile filled river.
Offering an authentic 'yesteryear' experience for visitors wishing to gain that little extra from their safari. Set on the banks of the Mara River where zebras, elephants and hippos come to drink throughout the day.
This bush camp is a classic, luxury camp set in a conservancy area bordering Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve. It is intimate and completely unfenced, so game wander freely past.
This bush hideaway is at the heart of the African wilderness. A world of majestic animals, dazzling birds, sweeping grasslands, flat-topped trees and breathtaking sunsets.
Kicheche Valley Camp is an intimate, luxury tented camp comprising 6 tents located on platforms amongst the trees and rocky outcrops.
An intimate tented camp that offers simplistic elegance and style in a relaxed environment. The camp is situated along a stream valley overlooking picturesque hills and rolling plains dotted with resident game.
Intimate in character, this camp is built around a small watering hole that is teeming with birds and wildlife. The camp is reached by boat and offers an exquisite, romantic setting which has a serenity all of its own.
The setting is magical. So much so that almost a century ago it was reserved, exclusively, for Kenya's colonial Governors and their royal visitors.
Overlooking the Masai Mara, the Lodge is on the edge of the Mara Triangle - this area is divided from the rest of the Masai Mara by the Mara River, rich in wildlife and home to all members of the 'Big Five'.
Sitting above a sweeping bend in the Talek River, at the convergence of the Masai Mara's four game viewing areas, the camp enjoys one of the most spectacular locations in the world's best-known wilderness.
The Serena lodge is set high on a bush-cloaked hill, embraced by arcing vistas and washed by a sea of richly rolling grasslands.
Naibor, meaning wide open spaces, is a spacious and stylish tented camp, set up seasonally in a beautiful grove of fever trees, overlooking a natural mineral salt lick area, to which the animals are drawn.
The perfect base for your exclusive safari adventure is the stunning Neptune Mara Rianta luxury tented camp, which is nestled in the heart of the Mara North Conservancy.
Olare Mara Kempinski offers travellers once-in-a lifetime safari experiences, which will live on in your memories.
Amidst the teeming mass of wildlife, this mobile camp is ideally situated for the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra from the Serengeti through the Masai Mara in Kenya.
Originally built as the Roberts' home while carrying out conservation work in the Mara, Richard's Camp is a tented camp where the pioneer traditions of hospitality and comfort continue.
Sala's Camp has the good fortune to be located on the convergence of 2 rivers and in the heart of the renowned Masai Mara.
This elegant and exclusive safari lodge has an enviable position right on the Mara River, over which thousands of wildebeest cross during the annual migration.
Saruni Wild is an elegantly and comfortably furnished tented camp. Owned and managed by Saruni in the Masai Mara, this is a very small, intimate and private camp which offers all the comforts you would expect from Saruni.
Overlooking the vastness of the Masai Mara plains from the banks of the River Talek is an exclusive, intimate, yet vibrant camp of luxuriously appointed riverfront tents. The camp exudes warm and rich colours of Africa.
The Mara Leisure Camp is situated along the banks of the Talek River, in one of Kenya's premier wildlife areas.
This eco-friendly camp is located in an exclusive 20,000-acre conservancy. There are no minibuses allowed and the number of vehicles are controlled, giving you an authentic safari experience, away from the crowds.
This small camp offers tented accommodation for a more 'real' safari experience. Set in pristine wilderness with savannah plains, riverine forest, springs, streams and rivers, rolling hills and great views across the Mara.
This camp offers luxurious tented accommodation in an area world renowned for its annual wildebeest migration, whilst also being home to the big five.
This lodge was the first of its kind to be built in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve. It offers top class comfort and luxury, yet still retains its intrinsic years of history, tradition, character and charm.
Overlooking a dramatic bend on the banks of the Talek River, a tributary of the Mara River, the lodge gently blends into the surrounding wilderness. It was conceived with an emphasis on exclusivity and comfort.
This lodge has been sympathetically built in traditional Masai style and its location provides ample opportunity for game viewing within the park, which is only a short drive away.
This small and exclusive seasonal tented camp offers a truly private, traditional safari experience with access to the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve.
The camp is located in the heart of the Siana Group Ranch offering guests a unique opportunity for thrilling walking safaris, night drives and fly-camping along the seasonal streams beneath the Ngama Hills.


A truly spectacular Rift Valley location

Located in the Rift Valley Province, in south-western Kenya, the Masai Mara is perhaps one of the most famous safari national reserves in Africa, and with an area of 1510km2, it is also the largest. Three major rivers drain the reserve: the Sand, the Talek, and the Mara, and all provide sanctuary for the abundance of wildlife that can be found here. With open grassland plains and shrubbery, the Masai Mara contains mostly flat terrain, which makes for easy wildlife spotting and is therefore the perfect place for a safari holiday. 

The Masai Mara's history provides a rich insight into an amazing African cultural gem

The Masai Mara is named after the Masai tribe who reside in the region, and the Mara River that weaves its way through the reserve. The word ‘mara’, meaning ‘spotted’, is of Masai origin and refers to the way the reserve looks from a distance with its scrub, trees, and cloud shadows that dot the plains.

The national park was established in 1961 as a protected wildlife sanctuary. At that time, it only covered 520km2 but soon grew to its 1510km2 in 1984. In 2001, the Mara Conservancy, a non-profit management company, took over the upkeep and management of the Masai Mara reserve. Their goal was to establish an effective and mutual partnership between conservation professionals and the Masai tribe, which continues to be successful to this day. 


What wildlife can you see in the Masai Mara?

The Masai Mara is home to an abundance of wildlife including the Big Five: lions, African elephants, cape buffalo, black rhinoceros, and leopards. In addition, there are herd animals living here including zebra, gazelle and antelopes. Crocodiles, hippos, hyenas, cheetahs and jackals can also be found on the reserve. For bird watching fans, there are more than 470 species of birds that can be viewed in the national park, such as vultures, ostriches, hornbills and Kenya’s national bird, the lilac-breasted roller.

Visitors to the national reserve can witness the incredible wildebeest migration as they traverse the Great Plains between the Masai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania. It’s a truly spectacular sight, with over a million wildebeest thundering across the savannah in search of greener pastures. 

What's the best time to go to the Masai Mara?

The Masai Mara offers amazing safari holidays year round, with each dry and wet season presenting its unique characteristics and attractiveness.

Masai Mara Dry season

  • January to February
  • June to October

During the dry season, wildlife is easier to spot because the bush is less dense and they frequent waterholes and rivers. Between July and October, you can even have the chance to see the annual wildebeest migration.

Dry season, as the name implies, means little rainfall, so you can experience sunshine and clear skies with fewer mosquitoes. However, due to the good weather, the reserve can be rather crowded and you can expect accommodation to be fully booked. Be prepared and reserve your safari holiday early to avoid disappointment.

Masai Mara Wet season

  • March to April
  • November to December

During the wet season, the Masai Mara is spectacularly lush and green. There is still a lot of wildlife to be seen as babies are being born at this time and migratory birds are also present. Even though it’s the wet season, showers tend to be in short bursts and occur in the afternoon or evening, thereby not likely to affect your safari holiday.

The reserve is often less crowded and rates for accommodation can drop significantly. If you’re looking to go on safari on a budget, visiting the Masai Mara during the wet season is the perfect option for you.


What to do and see in the Masai Mara

There is a myriad of amazing activities you can do while on safari at the Masai Mara. Take advantage of the game drives and trekking tours that are on offer, as they will allow you to see some extraordinary wildlife. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna of the Masai Mara from our excellent guides. For a different perspective of the Masai Mara, join a wildly exciting night drive. Experiencing the huge plains in the dark is an unforgettable addition to your safari adventure.

If you’re interested in learning more about the tribes people who have made the Masai Mara their home, visit a Masai village during your safari holiday. There you can experience what life is like for a Masai community and see their unique way of living first hand.

For something more unusual, you can take an incredible hot air balloon flight over the national reserve to embrace the beauty of the Masai Mara from the skies. Such a journey could bring a touch of luxury to your safari holiday and will definitely be something you’ll never forget.

Masai Mara is included in


Flying Ashnil Mara - 3 Nts Mara

3 Nights

This 3-night flying safari to the Masai Mara allows plenty of time to see the myriad of plains game and the 'big 5' in this renowned game reserve.


The Mara Migration

Eat. Migrate. Give birth. Repeat. This is the great migration in a nutshell, and it's a way of life for over 1.5 million wildebeest and over 200,000 zebras.


Kili Safari

5 Nights

A short itinerary packed with interest providing an exciting overview of Kenya and her wildlife. There are no age restrictions for children at the lodges, which makes this an ideal choice for families.


Governors Flying Safari

5 Nights

Governors' Camps, set in some of the most beautiful parts of Kenya, offer an old-fashioned pace of life, with the best of 21st century comfort, in the heart of some of East Africa's prime wildlife areas.