The Masai Mara: Africa’s most famous safari destination
The Masai Mara: Africa’s most famous safari destination
Start planning your dream trip today
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’.
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.
The Wildebeest Migration
It’s known as the Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth. The largest single movement of wildlife on the planet, the annual migration of the wildebeest is a spectacle unrivalled in grandeur. Between the end of July and November, over one-and-a-half million blue wildebeest, accompanied by equally vast numbers of zebras and gazelles, migrate from the short-grass plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to fresh pasture in the grasslands of Kenya’s Masai Mara. It’s a hazardous journey.
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.
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.
Masai Mara tours
Simba Safari – KS8A
‘Simba’ means ‘lion’ in Swahili. A budget safari that delivers optimum variety in the minimum time without…
Masai Mara Safari – KS4
For those with limited time looking for a value-added safari that highlights Kenya’s most famous sights, this…
SkySafari Kenya Classic – SSKC
This exclusive flying safari showcases some of Kenya’s most famous and most diverse wilderness areas, while travelling…
Masai Mara features
How Kenya is saving the African Wild Dog
African wild dogs, also known as painted wolves or Cape hunting dogs, have seen drastic population declines over recent decades. In this article from 2017, we looked at Kenya’s efforts to save the African wild dog from extinction, and discovered how these endangered animals are beginning to recover here. Painted wolves in the morning The…
Richard Branson – Why I Love Kenya
In this article, world-famous entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson – English business magnate, investor, philanthropist and founder of the Virgin Group – tells us why he loves Kenya. What were your first impressions of Kenya? I found Kenya to be a beautiful country – full of wonderful people, wildlife and landscapes. It’s always such a pleasure…
Friends with benefits: taking a ride with an oxpecker
It’s a common sight: a small bird with a bright red beak is taking a ride on a zebra. It might be perched on its neck or riding between its ears. The zebra doesn’t seem to mind and the bird seems to be having fun. With good reason. Bed and breakfast The bird, which is…
A Mother’s Love
Elephants are expressive creatures. They display joy, anger, grief, compassion and love. But a mother’s love for her calf is the strongest emotion of all. Elephant mothers carry their babies for almost two years before giving birth. Mother and child remain in constant touch, the calf never straying more than a trunk’s length from its…
The Maasai – the keepers of God’s cattle
It’s one of Kenya’s most iconic images. The Maasai warrior, spear in hand, scarlet shuka cloak thrown over his shoulder, one leg raised to rest on the other and his gaze turned to the far horizon. Certainly the most visually striking of the many colourful tribes of Kenya, the Nilo-Hamitic Maasai are a nomadic people…
Kenya’s conservancies, the new safari experience
Ask any motorcyclist why they prefer a bike to a car and they’ll probably tell you that they prefer to be IN the moment rather than looking at life through a window. It’s the same with the safari experience and that’s where Kenya’s conservancies come in. The majority of visitors explore Kenya’s globally-renowned national parks…
A Mara Balloon Safari
It is Kenya’s most iconic safari experience: floating over the vast plains of the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon. There’s simply no better way to see the wildlife and experience the scale and beauty of Kenya. A balloon safari is simply a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; so we asked travel writer Jane Barsby to give…
Planning a Maasai wedding
A Maasai-themed wedding in the wilderness is a magical option for your big day. And, as with all Maasai ceremonies, the wedding will be a riot of sound, colour and joy.
The migration of the wildebeest in the Masai Mara
The migration of the wildebeest in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is the largest single movement of wildlife on the planet. It’s also known as the Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth – with good reason. The annual migration of the wildebeest in the Masai Mara is a spectacle unrivalled in grandeur. Pure theatre, it is…
A Maasai village visit
One of the highlights of a visit to Kenya is the chance of experiencing an authentic Maasai village visit. Such visits will generally be arranged by your tour guide or lodge and are well worth doing. This feature aims to give you an idea what to expect of your visit. Once outside the boundaries of…
Want Inspiration in your Inbox?
Sign up for FREE to receive our monthly e-newsletter with features
and ideas to help you plan your Kenyan adventure
© 2023 Kenya Holidays