OverviewThe Masai Mara is one of Africa’s most famous parks. The wildlife viewing is superb throughout the year. The grassy plains and regular rainfall supports a huge population of herbivores, in turn attracting many predators. All three big cats are relatively easy to see. The yearly wildebeest migration coming through the park is one of the world’s most amazing wildlife spectacles. Just outside the Masai Mara NR are a number of conservancies and private reserves run in partnership with local Masai communities
- Excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year
- Annual wildebeest migration (September and October)
- Open savannah makes for easy wildlife spotting
- Wide variety of accommodation for different budgets
- Hot air balloon safaris
The Masai Mara is one of the best parks in Africa for seeing big cats. Even leopards are generally relaxed, and their behavior can easily be observed. Cheetah are often spotted on the open savannah eyeing off their next meal. Of the other Big Five, elephant and buffalo are plentiful, but black rhino is trickier and can only be found in certain areas.More About the Wildlife
The Masai Mara’s scenery is dominated by grassland savannah, but pockets of acacia woodland, riparian forest and rocky hills intersperse the plains. The Masai word 'Mara', meaning spotted, refers to these dots in the landscape.
Best Time to Visit
The interlude between the short and long rains (January and February) and the Dry season proper (June to October) are the times to visit Masai Mara. The roads haven’t yet deteriorated because of rain, and thirsty animals crowd around the local waterways. The last two months of the Dry season are often when the spectacular annual wildebeest migration passes through.More About the Best Time to Visit
Weather & Climate
Masai Mara has a generally mild climate that doesn’t deviate too much from a comfortable 25°C/77°F in the region’s Dry season (June to October). Variations in temperature are mainly due to changes in altitude in the park, with conditions getting cooler the higher you climb. The Wet season (November to May) comprises a shorter and a longer rainy period that sandwich a brief dry spell.More About the Weather and Climate
Wildlife & AnimalsThe Masai Mara is Kenya’s flagship park. Sightings of four of the Big Five are pretty much guaranteed. Black rhino is more elusive, but can sometimes be spotted in the Mara Triangle. The Masai Mara is one of the best parks for big cats, but sightings of smaller predators like bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal and spotted hyena also tend to be rewarding. Antelope include impala, reedbuck, Thomson's gazelle, eland and topi, while buffalo, elephant and giraffe are relaxed and easily spotted.
Wildlife highlightsThe legendary wildebeest migration is one of the world’s most amazing wildlife encounters. Sometime in July and August, millions of animals leave the Serengeti and head into the Masai Mara around September. The crossing of the Mara River along the way is the most spectacular part of the migration. Around October, the migration slowly heads back into the Serengeti again. It should be noted that, although the pattern is well known, the exact timing of the migration is unpredictable as animals move with the rain looking for greener pastures.
Best time for wildlife viewingWildlife viewing in the Masai Mara is good throughout the year. The best months for the wildebeest migration are September and October. June to October is relatively dry, and offers the best general wildlife watching.
Best Time to Visit
- June to October and September to October
- June to October and December to March
- 1,510km² / 583mi²
- 1,435-2,143m / 4,708-7,031ft
June to October
best for general wildlife viewing and September to October are best for the wildebeest migration
June to October and December to March
It gets very crowded except in some remote areas
April and May
Some roads might be in bad condition and rain can sometimes interfere with your trip
June to October
Days are sunny, but not too hot
March and April
Peak of the Wet season
June To September- Dry Season
- Although rarely hot, it is sunny and dry
- Vegetation is short and animals gather around rivers and waterholes, making them easy to spot
- Depending on the rain, September and October are the best months for catching the wildebeest crossing the Mara River
November to May- Wet Season
- The park is less busy which makes wildlife viewing special
- The skies are clear of dust, the park is green, and there are lots of flowers
- Good time to see newborn animals
- Low season rates apply in April and May
- There are plenty of resident animals in the Mara, and wildlife viewing is still good
- Bird watching is excellent and migratory birds are present
Weather & ClimateThe climate in the Masai Mara is slightly colder and wetter than might be expected this close to the equator. This is due to the altitude which is subject to some variation, from 1,435 to 2,143m (4,708 to 7,031ft). Temperatures drop by around 6.5°C for every 1,000m you ascend (or 3.5°F per 1,000ft). So, within the park different climatic conditions exist. Temperatures tend to be reasonably mild. Daytime is pleasant with temperatures in the mid to upper twenties, while it cools off significantly at night.
Climate Chart- - 405-569M / 1,329-1,867Ft
Dry Season- June to September
The Dry season is an enjoyable time to be in the park with lovely weather. Typically, there are sunny days and it’s rarely very hot. Although the occasional shower can pepper the landscape, it doesn’t rain often. Don’t forget to pack winter clothing for early morning game drives.
- June, July & August There can be rain still around in June, but overall it is sunny and dry. Afternoon temperatures reach an agreeable 25°C/77°F, but the cold can hang around in the evenings and early mornings when temperatures of around 12°C/54°F are common.
- September & October Still a dry time of the year, although rain is possible some days. Temperatures increase slightly in October and hover around 27°C/81°F (and higher), before they decrease with the beginning of the rain. Chilly early mornings persist (around 12°C/54°F).
Wet season- November to May
Even though the Wet season stretches from November to May, there is a drier period in January and February. This divides the ‘short rains’ and ‘long rains’. There are many overcast, cloudy days. Afternoon showers are the norm. Daytime temperatures don’t vary much. The nippy early mornings have temperatures around 13°C/55°F. Bring warm clothing.
- November & December Short rains’: The rains normally break at some point in November. Average afternoon temperatures are around 27°C/81°F.
- January & February Rainfall eases between the short and long rains, although showers do still occur. The exact timing of this drier period is somewhat challenging to predict.
- March, April & May ‘Long rains’: April is the wettest month. It doesn’t often shower all day, but rainfall is regular. Tracks might become slippery and difficult to navigate. Early mornings are a bit warmer – average temperatures are about 13°C/55°F.
Getting ThereThe Masai Mara is located 270km/167mi northwest of Nairobi. The road is notoriously bad and the driving time is about five hours. Most people fly to the park. It is however also possible to drive from Lake Nakuru NP. The distance is about 235km/150mi and the driving time is roughly six hours. If you are getting here by road, note that from Narok (the last major town you pass through) there’s roughly half an hour of tarmac road, and then two hours bumping along bad to terrible dirt roads to get into the park. Getting to Nairobi is easy, as the city is a major African transport hub. International arrivals usually land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), 15km/9mi southeast of Nairobi. From Nairobi it’s easy to catch a domestic flight to Masai Mara
Airlines & Ticket Prices
To book your International and local flights, it is best to discuss options with our agents. They will be able to secure best tariffs and match it with your safari dates.
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