The Masai Mara
Kenya’s primary wildlife attraction especially with the annual migration in abundance usually from around July to October. The larger eco-system includes the National Reserve plus a much larger expanse of Maasai tribal lands on the Group Ranches. We support a small selection camps offering first class guides in quieter spots in the Mara. Available on a first-come-first-served basis only.
Famous for the herds of wildebeest that congregate around the Mara River as part of the annual migration.
The secret to safari success here in the Masai Mara is crowd avoidance – find some top tips on how to plan a migration safari.
The Reserve has been home to the BBC Big Cat Diary and other award-winning wildlife documentary teams from around the world. It comprises around 1500 square kilometres of open plains, woodlands and permanent river systems between the Loita Hills in the east and the Oloololo escarpment to the west.
The Mara Group Ranches are a much larger expanse of Maasai lands abutting most of the Masai Mara Reserve itself. There are 4 main group ranches (Koyiaki, Lemek/Ol Chorro, Olkinyai and Siana) which make up the conservation area.
Still a wild area in which there’s a fairly delicate balance between Maasai grazing their cattle here as they’ve done in the reserve for around 200 years. Predators are generally scarce (despite 20-odd local lion prides) but there’s still good resident game and the “Loita Migration” moves down from the north-east during June/July.
Outfits in the greater Mara see fewer crowds, are known for their excellent guides and the freedom to explore on foot from excellent camps and lodges.
Access to the Mara is easy, a 4-5 hour drive or a short flight from Nairobi. Regional connections are mostly very simple.
Here’re some key tips on how to plan a safari around the wildebeest migration.
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Celebrated in history for their courage and strength when they roamed most of Africa, parts of Asia and Europe. Nowadays the best places to see lions on safari are the Zambezi, Hwange, Okavango and Linyanti – ideally May to November; Queen Elizabeth NP’s Ishasha area for tree-climbing lions; Katavi’s Kapapa River in September to November; Kidepo Valley in north Uganda.
Gnu gnu gnu – get my drift? Gnuuing is the language of the wildebeests not dissimilar to mooing cows! Gnuu’s are also called wildebeest and are related to cattle, goats, sheep as well as antelope. The blue wildebeest is East Africa’s most abundant big game species. Many thousands form the annual wildebeest migration from Masai Mara to the Serengeti Plains, following the fresh new grass.
Sociable animals congregating in large herds or small harems. Related to horses there’re three species: mountain, plains and Grévy’s zebra. They have excellent eyesight and it’s believed, colour vision. Although slower than horses they have great stamina and zig-zag to escape predators. When cornered their horse like tendencies come to the fore as they rear up, kick and bite in defence.