The Masai Mara: Africa’s most famous safari destination

The Masai Mara: Africa’s most famous safari destination

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The Masai Mara is undoubtedly Kenya’s most popular safari destination. It sets the stage for the ’greatest wildlife show on earth’, the annual migration of the wildebeest, and provides sanctuary for all the members of the legendary ‘Big Five’.

Masai Mara cheetah
Cheetah in the Masai Mara

The Masai Mara at a glance

An extension of the Serengeti, the Masai Mara excels in its photo-perfect game drive experiences boasting an incredible 95 animal species and 550 bird species. The Mara is unrivaled for its huge elephant herds, its buffalo-teeming plains, its roaming rhino, and its uniquely accessible lion prides. The Masai Mara is also where you have the best chance of spotting a leopard in the wild.

Uniquely positioned as both a National Reserve and a collection of private conservancies, the Mara delivers unique experiences such as night game drives, guided walks, horse-riding, and ballooning. The Masai Mara also invites unprecedented insights into the rich weave of Maasai cultural practices and beliefs.

The Mara Conservancies offer visitors the lowest tourism densities and are managed according to a model that protects the delicate ecosystem and benefits the landowners themselves – the Maasai people.

Masai Mara Out of Africa sundowner spot
‘Out of Africa’ and out of this world © Angama Mara

The home of the safari

The Masai Mara reigns supreme as the world’s oldest, most renowned and most atmospheric safari destination. In fact, the word ‘safari’ is a Swahili word, meaning ‘journey’.

The Mara first achieved fame in the 1900s when royalty and aristocracy flocked to experience the wonder of its game-rich savannah. Since the 1950s it has provided the backdrop for some of Hollywood’s most enduring epics including ‘Out of Africa’. And more recently it inspired the global phenomena of the ‘Big Cat Diaries’.

The incredible diversity of the Masai Mara experience ensures it remains Kenya’s most visited attraction. The Mara is as ideal for high-adventure holidays as it is to family escapes, and as well suited to ecologically inspired retreats as it is to enchanting weddings and honeymoons.

  • Factfile

    Location: South Kenya on the border with Tanzania.

    Accommodation: Options range from ultra-luxurious tented camps to classic safari lodges. There are also campsites available. The facilities are first-class: from atmospheric bush dining and campfire cocktails to spa indulgence and poolside sun.

    Getting there: Travel time from Nairobi: By air - 40 mins; by road - approximately 6 hours.

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