Why Visit the Maasai Mara National Reserve?

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is undoubtedly Kenya's most notable and revered reserve. Its sheer size – extending to and eventually joining Tanzania's Serengeti National Park – and stringent anti-poaching systems have made it famous for its thriving lion, cheetah, and leopard populations.

Maasai Mara is also a starting point for one of the oldest pilgrimages in history. Every year from July to October, the Great Migration sees thousands of zebra, wildebeest, and gazelle leave clouds of dust in their wake as they stampede toward (literally) greener pastures in the Serengeti. When on the move, their pace is frantic and panicky as they attempt to avoid being singled out by a watchful pride of lion or unsuspectingly clamber too close to a crocodile lying in wait near the riverbanks.

The reserve's name is attributed to the Maasai tribe, who call the area home. Their original name for the land, "mara", refers to the vast landscape "speckled" with animals and acacia trees and the cloud shadows that characterise the area. Maasai Mara is home to a range of lodges and camps where visitors can immerse themselves in an authentic safari experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

We've taken the liberty to answer everything you may need to know about visiting Maasai Mara National Reserve

  • Each year the animals move at different times because their pilgrimage is determined by rainfall, becoming increasingly unpredictable. But here's a rough breakdown of where they’ll be at specific points of the year and where you should stay:

    The grasses of the western Serengeti are turning yellow, and the herds continue north. After crossing the Grumeti River in Tanzania, the wildebeest and zebra head to Kenya's Lamai Wedge and the Mara Triangle. Before they get to the lush plains of the Mara, they have to make another river crossing. This time it's the world-famous Mara River, and that too is filled with hungry crocodiles. The Mara River crossing has been immortalised by Attenborough over time, with scenes of nature ruthlessly sorting animals into those who live and those who die. Consider witnessing the spectacle from Angama Mara.

    September through November
    The Mara plains are filled to the brim with large herds, naturally followed by predators. The best place to stay while the migration is in the Mara is Governors’ Camp.

    November and December
    The rains start in the south again, and the herds begin their long trek back down to Tanzania to give birth to their young. During the short rains of November, consider Klein’s Camp when deciding where to see the Great Wildebeest Migration.

  • Many international flight connections fly to Kenya, including a direct flight from New York City, JFK, into Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. 

    Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is listed as one of the five largest airports in Africa. It will likely be your first point of entry into Kenya and first introduction to this beautiful country.

  • Men’s Clothing
    - Sunhat
    - Light windproof/waterproof jacket
    - One fleece and one jumper or sweatshirt
    - Two pairs of safari trousers and shorts
    - Six pairs of sports socks
    - Four short-sleeved shirts and/or T-shirts
    - Two pairs of casual trousers (for evenings)
    - Three long-sleeved shirts (for evenings)
    - Pyjamas (nights can be cool)
    - Swimming trunks and six sets of underwear

    Women’s Clothing
    - Sunhat
    - Light windproof or waterproof jacket
    - One fleece and one jumper or sweatshirt
    - Two pairs of safari trousers and shorts
    - Six pairs of sports socks
    - Four short-sleeved shirts and/or T-shirts
    - Three long-sleeved tops/blouses (for evenings)
    - Pyjamas (nights can be cool)
    - Swimming costumes and six sets of underwear
    - One sarong (you can buy kikoys or kangas here)

    Men’s & Women’s Shoes
    - Light tennis/walking shoes for everyday use
    - One pair of sandals/flip-flops/thongs
    - One pair of closed shoes for the evening

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