Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Park

This is, without a doubt, Kenya’s best wildlife area for viewing big game. The open plains, rolling savannah grasslands, and acacia-dotted bush of the Maasai Mara evoke the quintessential African wildlife image. Elephants tramping through sweeping sun-bleached parks, abundant plains game, and slumbering lions rising from their slumber are the norm.

The Mara was used to film the top-rated BBC Big Cat Diary television show, which follows the individual lives of Mara’s big cats. Those who have watched the series will be ecstatic to possibly run into the offspring of some of the show’s most iconic characters as they go about their daily lives.

The reserve’s annual Great Migration, regarded as one of the most impressive natural events globally, is the most spectacular of all. More than 1.3 million wildebeest, 500,000 Thomson’s gazelles, 400,000 zebra, and hundreds of thousands of other ungulates are expected to arrive at ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’ They start their foraging cycle in Tanzania’s Serengeti in the reserve’s southern part around July. They continue to face the dangerous, crocodile-infested waters of the Mara River.

Not surprisingly, this is Kenya’s primary tourist season, with visitors from all over the world. The good news is that, unlike many other seasonal reserves in Africa, the Maasai Mara is open all year.

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All of the big game is present, including elephants, lions (pride of up to 40 or more), leopard, hyena, and buffalo, as well as a small population of black rhino. The chances of seeing a cheetah are excellent, even though the Mara Cheetah Project recently discovered only 1.28 adult cheetahs per 39-square-miles (100 km2) in the great Maasai Mara (including the National Reserve and the surrounding conservancies), which equates to only 32 individual animals. Zebra, wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, Defassa waterbuck, eland, and Maasai giraffe are frequently seen. The Mara also serves as the only natural habitat for the topi, an elegant antelope with mask-like dark colouration on the face and dark patching on the upper legs.

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African Safari Wildlife

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African Safari Climate

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The Masai Mara National Park, located in southwest Kenya, has a pleasant year-round climate with cool nights. The region is located just south of the Equator but at 1,500 to 1,900 meters (5,000 and 6,200 feet). Temperatures are slightly higher between October and March and slightly lower between June and August. It can get a little chilly at night, with temperatures dropping below ten °C (50 °F), especially from June to August.

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The Mara is a birdwatcher’s dream. More than 400 bird species have been identified, with grassland and wetland birds being particularly well represented. Martial eagles, long-crested eagles, and bateleurs are common, while critically endangered vultures such as Ruppell’s vulture, white-backed vulture, hooded vulture, and white-headed vulture follow the great migration of wildebeest and zebra and feed on the remains of those who die of exhaustion, old age, or predator attacks are expected. The riverine forest along the Mara River and some of its tributaries is a haven for exciting birds like Ross’s turaco, black-and-white-casqued hornbill, blue flycatcher, and Narina trogon.

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African Safari Birding

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Best Time to Visit

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The migration and river crossings are best seen between mid-July and mid-October when large herds of wildebeest and zebra visit the Mara region and northern Tanzania before returning to the southern Serengeti. A large portion of the migration leaves Tanzania’s southern Serengeti and travels northwest toward Lake Victoria, then north across the Mara River into Kenya in search of grass, returning to Tanzania in late October. Because the park is teeming with resident wildlife, game viewing is excellent all year, and travelling out of season, from November to June, ensures fewer visitors in reserve.

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African Safari Attractions & Activities

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Game drives
Game drives are the primary event of your Masai Mara safari camp experience, taking you out and into the Masai Mara in search of the iconic animals. Enjoy unrivaled game viewing from camps in the heart of Masai Mara, such as the Mara Eden Safari Camp, accompanied by some of the area’s top guides.
Hot Air Balloon Safari
A hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara is arguably the most spectacular way to experience this incredible habitat. Get a bird’s-eye view of the area and admire the Masai Mara’s grandeur from above. The hot air balloon takes off from the Little Governors Camp shortly before morning, rising as the first sunlight illuminates the Mara. Enjoy the peace and quiet of a balloon trip as you drift over the plains and view the wildlife below. As we float across the Masai Mara’s trees and waterways, we get a very unique perspective. See why the Masai named this the ‘Mara,’ which means ‘spotted,’ as you look at the stunning panorama created by the rings of trees, cloud shadows, and scrubland.
The Great Migration
The wildebeest migration is an annual phenomenon in which over a million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle move in a continuous cycle from Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara, following the rains and fresh grass. The migration is usually between the months of July and October, and it is eagerly anticipated by both tourists and predators in the Masai Mara. This is also the time of year when the wildebeest give birth, and life reverberates across the Mara. Life begins not only with the birth of a wildebeest, but also with predator behaviors and the presence of lions and hyenas.
Cultural Visits with the Masai
The Masai have been living on the Mara for several hundred years and maintain traditional rituals and traditions, albeit with a little impact from the contemporary world. You can visit a Masai settlement, such as Mara Rianda, while in the Masai Mara. This is a village of 48 traditional huts encircling a cattle field for the Masai. This is an excellent spot to visit if you want to learn about Masai culture and appreciate traditions and practices that have stayed unchanged for years.
Big Game walking safaris
A walking safari is an excellent opportunity to experience the Masai Mara in the same way that early explorers did. Explore the area on foot with one of our highly experienced guides. Enjoy more excitement as you explore the Masai Mara in search of some spectacular animals now that you are not inside a custom-designed safari vehicle. Walking safaris are available as an add-on activity at Little Governors Camp, and your walk is followed by a full cooked champagne bush breakfast.
Birdwatching
The Masai Mara is an excellent area for birdwatching, with 470 species can be found. Although the huge creatures get most of the attention, there are some beautiful birds to be found as well. Ostriches, the world’s largest bird, small sunbirds, and 46 different birds of prey are among the many species.

African Safari Kenya Deals

Examples of Itineraries

Please take a look at our sample African Safari below for inspiration. Every Safari you take can be tailored to meet your individual needs. You can choose any number of days. You can choose any departure date. Feel free to choose any experience.

african safari to kenya

3 days Fly in Masai Mara

During a luxurious safari in Kenya three days Flying into Masai Mara takes you to the southwest…
3 Days

$1500/person

african safari to kenya

4 Days Fly in Masai Mara Safari

This tour is ideal for those who don’t have much time but still want to visit this well-known reserve….
4 Days

$1700/person

african safari to kenya

6 Days Fly in Safari Kenya Masai Mara

Masai Mara is located in the southwest of Kenya and has breathtaking views, endless plains…
6 Days

$5385/person

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Visa prerequisites and fees
Upon arrival at their port of entry, all tourists must provide a passport. This must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of their intended stay and contain at least two blank pages for entry and departure stamps. Technically, visitors should also have a return or onward ticket, as well as adequate means to pay day-to-day expenses for the duration of their stay, but these requirements are rarely enforced. Most travelers must obtain a visa to enter Kenya. This comprises people from almost every European, Asian, Middle Eastern, North or South American country, as well as Australia and New Zealand. For single-entry tourist stays of up to 90 days, eVisas can be purchased online if purchased at least two days before departure, and visas can also be obtained on arrival. Multiple-entry and non-tourist visas must be obtained from a Kenyan embassy or high commission in another country. Passport holders from some African and Caribbean nations, including South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, do not need visas for stays of up to 90 days. A tourist visa for East Africa enables multiple entrances into Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda, but not Tanzania or Burundi.
Medical requirements for Kenya
Malaria is the most serious medical concern for Kenyan travelers. It is present in most sections of the country throughout the year, while the danger of transmission is much more serious at low elevations and during the rainy season. There is no vaccination, but several different oral prophylactics are available, and it is important to seek advice from a travel clinic or other adequately competent medical practitioner regarding the choice best suited to your needs. Because no prophylactic is 100% effective, take all reasonable efforts to avoid getting bitten by the nocturnal Anopheles mosquitoes that carry the disease. In the evening, wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and socks, and apply DEET-based insect repellent clothing to any exposed body. Always sleep under a mosquito net, or if that isn’t possible, in an air-conditioned room, with a fan, or with a mosquito coil blazing. Malaria usually appears two weeks after being bitten, but it can take months, so if you notice any symptoms after returning home, see a doctor right once and ask to get tested. Travelers with small children or who prefer not to take medicine might consider visiting malaria-free safari destinations in Africa rather than Kenya.
Health care in Kenya

It is strongly advised that you obtain full medical travel insurance, which includes air evacuation from distant places. Be aware that some insurance policies may not cover paragliding or scuba diving, or other dangerous sports, and it may also be null and void in regions subject to travel advisories issued by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the US State Department.

On arrival
When you arrive at the airport, our guide will be waiting for you. During the safari, we use specially designed safari vehicles that allow us to have the best possible view of the wildlife. Luggage space is limited in safari vehicles (and small planes). It is therefore advised to travel with light bags, as heavy suitcases would overburden the plane and may be difficult to transport.
Money information
Money can be withdrawn from an ATM in the majority of cities. Travelers Cheques are not generally accepted, and paying by credit card is difficult or impossible outside of cities. The US dollar has typically been the preferred hard money. We recommend that you carry some US dollars with you for everyday costs and tips. Dollar banknotes should not be more than ten years old.
Currency Information
The Kenyan Shilling is the country’s currency. Please check the most recent exchange rates before traveling to your destination. This will be a guideline. Please keep in mind that the exchange rate will be better in larger cities.
AMREF Flying Doctors
We recommend that you apply for a Flying Doctors membership. If necessary, the membership enables a speedy and dependable air evacuation as well as medical assistance. AMREF Flying Doctors provides two covers (Annual and Tourist). You can pick from Maisha Silver (Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar), Maisha Gold (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi), and Maisha Platinum (Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar) (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia). Please visit the AMREF Flying Doctors website for additional information.
Language in Kenya
Kenya’s national language is Kiswahili, but English is widely used and is the primary language in tourist regions.
What Should You Wear in Kenya?
Daytime temps range from pleasant to hot, so pack plenty of light clothing. Evenings are cooler, especially at higher elevations, so bring a few light sweaters with you. Mountain hikers will be exposed to alpine temperatures and should dress appropriately. Remember to pack a hat, sunglasses, and a waterproof jacket. We recommend that you avoid wearing black or dark blue clothing on safari (because they can attract tsetse flies). Walking safaris and hiking safaris Solid walking shoes, and durable clothing are ideal for forest hikes, and if you plan on doing a community walk or visiting the locals, we recommend that you dress appropriately. Women, for example, may wear long skirts and a blouse that conceals their shoulders.
Kenyan Electricity
If you have electrical equipment, we recommend bringing a plug adaptor. Kenya uses a British system. The majority of lodges allow you to charge your batteries.
Driving in Kenya
Driving in Kenya is done on the left. Visitors who are unfamiliar with African roads are encouraged to travel in a 4WD vehicle driven by a knowledgeable driver/guide rather than self-drive, and all of our guides are properly educated in “Defensive Driving.”
Stopover Points
Please keep in mind that washrooms along the road are not always up to European standards, such as squatting toilets, no flushing toilets, or a lack of toilet paper. T.I.A. stands for This Is Africa, as the people say.
Facilities and accommodations
When traveling on a medium to low budget, bathroom facilities and accommodations may be more basic. Keep in mind that water reserves in eco lodges are limited, and in most cases, there are no plugs in the room, but you can always charge your electronics at the reception.
Tipping
Tipping is always graciously accepted. In hotels and restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip of 5-10%. Tipping guides, drivers, and carriers is always appreciated. Indication: USD 1-3 for carriers and USD 5-15 for your driver/guide each day, depending on group size, number of days, and your pleasure.
Need More Information ?
The Lonely Planet and Bradt Travel Guide are the most detailed guidebooks for Kenya. For wildlife, the best guidebook is ‘Watching Wildlife East Africa’ from the Lonely Planet and The Bradt ‘East African Wildlife’. For birding, the best guidebook is ‘birds of East Africa’. It is advisable to get the most updated copy.

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Meet Some Happy Safari Travellers

Sight View Safaris, thank you again for a brilliant safari and stay in Uganda. Everything scored on A plus. The Ugandan people are a joyful and welcoming…….

Martin and Stella

Canada

When traveling to Uganda, there are many choices for safari companies but the service and experience provided by Sight View Safaris cannot be matched……

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USA

We went on safari with Sight View Safaris in August 2015. We cannot rave enough about what a fantastic experience this was. The most memorable experiences of my life…..

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Australia

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