A top safari destination in Africa.
An African safari is a trip that everyone should take with Kenya being a top destination. Masai Mara in Kenya is the country’s pride and best known in the whole world as this is where the annual wildest migration takes place before animals cross over to Tanzania. You cannot visit Kenya without exploring the Masai Mara and that is why it is important that you plan a perfect trip to Masai Mara and this article is to show you how to plan your trip to the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Masai Mara which is located along the Kenyan and Tanzanian border in the south-western part of Kenya. As you plan on taking a trip to the Masai Mara, you will need to put a few things into consideration in order to enjoy the trip and these include first finding out the days that you would like to spend in Masai Mara and the activities you would want to engage in.
The Masai Mara is divided into three main sections and these are the Masai Mara National reserve, the Mara Triangle and the Mara conservancies. These three sections have different entry prices with the Masai Mara National Reserve going at $70, the Mara conservancies at $100 and the Mara Triangle at $40 although the prices are liable to change and that is why you need to first inquire from the tour operators to find out if there are any changes before planning for your trip to the Masai Mara.
The Masai Mara National reserve has the largest number of animals in the Park and the best spot to go for game viewing. Game drives around the Masai Mara Reserve can be done all year round and it is always crowded due to the high concentration of animals.
The Mara Triangle which is located in the western part of the Masai Mara is known to be the best spot for tourists visiting the Reserve. It is a spot where most of the animals in the wildebeest migration get to rest before continuing on their journey. The Mara River separates the Mara triangle from the rest of the Reserve making it its own heaven where you can park, watch the animals resting and others crossing the Mara River to Tanzania.
The Mara conservancies, most of which are privately owned, are the most expensive in Masai Mara. Entry fees per day in the Mara conservancies can start from as high as $100 but every penny spent is worth it as you will get the best spots for game viewing especially the big five and live a luxurious life on your safari. However note that staying in the conservancies does not guarantee that you get to see all the animals before the rest of the tourists.
Park entry fees to the Masai Mara normally depend on where the accommodation facility you are staying in is located for example there are accommodation facilities that are located inside the Reserve and there are those that are outside the Reserve. The entrance fee per person for tourists who have booked their accommodation within the Reserve is $70 per day for the adults and $40 for children ages 12 years and below. The entrance fee for those who are staying outside the Reserve is $8o per day per adult and $45 for children aged 12 years and below.
There are several activities that you can engage in while in Masai Mara which need to be mixed up so that they do not become boring and monotonous at the end of the day. Some of the activities that you can engage in include game drives, guided nature walks, balloon rides, birding, and village tours with the Masai people and these are done outside the Reserve and many more others. Contact your tour operator to find out the different activities that you can try out and if they fit into your budget.
Masai Mara has a wide range of accommodation facilities that you can choose from and these can be classified into three categories and these include the budget accommodation, mid-range accommodation facilities and the luxury accommodation facilities. There are lodges, mobile camps that can easily follow the wildebeest migration and the basic camps for those on a budget.
Getting the right accommodation facility in Masai Mara will increase your chances of enjoying your safari while on a safari in Masai Mara. In most cases when you go to the different tour sites, you will realize that the cost of accommodation is extremely high but note that this cost in most cases includes the different activities that the accommodations offer.
Getting accommodation outside the National Park is the best way to explore the Masai Mara on a budget. There are several accommodation facility options that you can choose from ranging from budget friendly accommodation facilities, mid-range and luxurious accommodation and you are free to choose which one fits into your budget. The downside about staying outside the National Park is that you miss out on seeing the animals very early in the morning and enjoying a birding session from the comfort of your room. However you can enjoy guided walks with the Masai people and the best place to get the accommodation is in the towns of Kawai, Talek and Keekorok at almost half the price of the facilities found within the National park.
Getting accommodation within the National park can be easy and at the same time depending on the season. During the peak season accommodation is hard to come by and that is why you need to book in advance (at least 3 to 4 months prior). The accommodation ranges from budget, mid-range to luxurious and they normally start from as low as $150 per night. Although they are expensive, the best part about staying inside the National Park is that you get to see the animals all the time even when you are in your room making the experience a memorable one.
The Reserve has a lot of roads that take you to the different parts of the Reserve and although they are dusty during the dry season and some muddy during the rainy season, they are well maintained by the Reserve authorities. The best way to get around is by taking game drives with an experienced tour guide. You can also take guided walks with an armed ranger and a tour guide.
Self-drive through the Masai Mara is one of the ways you can get around and to the National Park and although you get a chance to drive at your pace and time, it is expensive due to the fact that you are driving through an unfamiliar place on unfamiliar roads. The transport costs, insurance fees and accommodation fees will be a bit high and it might also be difficult for you to see the wildlife if you don’t know the exact place where to get them from.
The best way to get around the Masai Mara is by doing a group tour and this is where you join other tourists to travel to the tourist destination. During a group tour, you share all expenses with fellow tourists thereby reducing the cost of your safari to the Masai Mara.
You can as well opt for a private tour with a local tour operator to help you organize your tour. The operators can easily plan your trip according to your budget catering for everything from being picked from the airport, driving you to Masai Mara, booking accommodation and then taking you back to the airport on the last day of your safari.
Safaris to Africa in general are considered to be extremely expensive but on the contrary they can be quite affordable if you cut a few costs off. In most cases it is hard to really determine how much you are going to spend but a few tips on how to travel on a budget include the following:
This is one of the most frequent questions asked by tourists and the answer is there is no best time to visit the reserve because game viewing van be done all throughout the year however the best time normally depends on the activities that you want to engage in and your budget. The best time for tourists who are on a budget and don’t do well with large crowds to travel to Masai Mara is during the low season whereas the best time for game drives is during the peak season when the animals are plentiful and easy to view.
The best time to visit the Masai Mara especially for tourists who enjoy game drives is during the wildebeest migration which takes place from June to October. The wildebeest migration gives you a chance to see animals amounting to millions migrating from Kenya to Tanzania. This same season is known as the peak season due to the large number of tourists who come to the Reserve for the wildebeest migration.
The prices on accommodation, transport and all other services are high and therefore tourists are advised to book at least months before their planned visit in order to avoid inconveniences at the last minute. November to February is also considered to be a peak season however the prices during these months are not as exorbitant as they are from June to October.
The low season is experienced from March to May and this comes with reduced prices on everything that is transport, accommodation and other services. It is a low season because heavy rains are experienced during these months and the grass is in plenty making it hard to view the animals on a game drive. However you will be able to see some wildlife during the low season.
The animals spend most of the cycle in the Serengeti in Tanzania, but also spend several months wandering the lush plains of the Masai Mara. Every year, over two million wildebeest, zebras and other herbivores migrate from southern Serengeti to the lush green grasses of the Masai Mara. In a “normal year”, the short rains have begun that have led the wildebeest to leave the now-bared grasslands of the Masai Mara and return to the rejuvenated Serengeti. The herds lay 800 kilometers in a clockwise circle through the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems in search of greener, mineral-rich pastures and water..
While the exact route changes every year, the herds inevitably have to cross the Mara and Talek rivers. Around 400,000 calves are born here within two to three weeks, or almost 8,000 new calves per day. Towards the end of January or February, the herds occupy the plains of short grass that stretch across the lower northern slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands and around the Olduvai Gorge. The annual movement of wildebeest and other herbivores in the Serengeti Mara ecosystem consists of more than 1.5 million wildebeest, 400,000 zebras, 18,000 eland and 200,000 Thompson’s gazelle.
It is unclear how the wildebeest know which path to take, but it is generally believed that their journey is primarily determined by their reaction to the weather. They follow the rain and the growth of new grass. The Masai Mara National Reserve covers 1510 square kilometers of open, hilly grassland that stretches north from the Tanzanian Serengeti.. It is an annual movement of millions of wildebeest, accompanied by a large number of zebras, Grants Gazelle, Thompson’s Gazelle, Elands and Impalas in the larger Masai Mara Serengeti ecosystem. Over two million wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and other animals travel across the Serengeti to Kenya’s Maasai Mara to pursue greener pastures.
One of the largest and longest animal migrations in the world takes place in East Africa every year between June and December. The months most frequently mentioned as the best time of year to visit the Great Migration, July to October, are also the busiest months in the Masai Mara. The Masai Mara and the Serengeti are easy to combine and can also form the focal point of a larger safari route.. It peaks every July and August when over a million wildebeest and herd animals migrate here in search of lush grass, then turn south for greener pastures in October and November.
The constant year-long migration is an iconic natural phenomenon, the timing of which depends on environmental factors, the weather and, of course, the animals themselves. While there is no scientific evidence to support this, some experts believe that the animals respond to distant lightning and thunderstorms. The private nature reserves that border the Masai Mara offer exclusive, luxurious accommodation and excellent game viewing in sole use areas. After calving in the southern part of Tanzania’s Serengeti near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the animals migrate clockwise through the Serengeti to the Masai Mara in Kenya before returning towards the end of the year.
Although there is no real beginning or end of this migratory circle other than birth and death, it seems reasonable to call the birth time of wildebeest the beginning of migration.. Migration takes place every year using the animals’ primal instincts, which lead them to greener pastures by following climatic rainfall patterns over the Serengeti Maasai Mara ecosystem. Around 8 percent of the country is protected and is home to nearly 400 species of mammals and more than 1,000 species of birds The Ruaha in southern Tanzania is one of Africa’s largest national parks and remains blissfully off the beaten track, even though around 10% of the world’s lion population lives. With 1.5 million wildebeest, 400,000 zebras, 12,000 eland and 300,000 gazelles from Grants and Thomson migrating from southern Serengeti to the Masai Mara, the “Big One” in “Great Migration” could be a bit of an understatement.
In this year-round cycle through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, over 1.5 million wildebeest, 400,000 zebras, 300,000 Grants and Thomson’s Gazelle, and 12,000 Eland crowd the landscape in search of fresh pastures. This is the perfect time of year for epic safari game drives in the Masai Mara National Reserve. Every year, more than 2 million animals (wildebeest, zebra and gazelle) migrate clockwise through the ecosystems of the Serengeti (Tanzania) and the Masai Mara (Kenya).
There are plenty of things to do in Masai Mara, ranging from luxurious experiences such as hot air balloon rides across the plains where you can spot wildlife below, to more cost-effective bush meals and nature walks or wildlife walks.. With its own airstrip to the Masai Mara, the house is a fantastic place to start your savannah adventure. A hot air balloon over the Masai Mara may be the most incredible way to see this fantastic ecosystem. The hot air balloon leaves Little Governors Camp shortly before sunrise. The balloon rises when the first sunlight illuminates the Mara..
Loldia House offers an experience like an early African settler and allows you to enjoy early Kenyan rural life amidst beautiful views. The larger Masai Mara ecosystem consists of the reserve, the Mara Triangle, and private Maasai nature reserves. The Masai Mara is one of Africa’s most popular wildlife destinations and Kenya’s flagship sanctuary. See why the Masai called this “Mara” which means “spotted” when you see the tree circles, shadows of clouds and scrubland that make up the beautiful landscape.
Although it is the large animals that dominate people’s attention, there are also some fascinating birds to be found. Mfangano Island is a land area in Lake Victoria where you can enjoy a relaxing experience after or before your Masai Mara experience. In the variety, you can find ostriches, the largest bird in the world, tiny sunbirds and 46 different birds of prey. Here, the local Maasai people tell you more about their culture, their traditions and how they lived decades before globalization.
The house itself sits on 6,500 acres of private farm on Lake Naivasha, which is itself one of Kenya’s top attractions and offers tours to explore other areas in the Rift Valley. The camp can either be booked individually to share the camp with others, or it can be booked exclusively by a group to occupy 6 of the tents for a first-class and exclusive experience. If camping isn’t your thing and you want to make the most of your experience in Masai Mara, this may be the right option for you. Some people complain that most of these Maasai do these activities for the money they provide and that the experience is not “real.”
Cultural safaris or a community visit to the Masaai community are one of the most active and lively activities in Masai Mara not to be missed at Maasai Mara, from their dancing stanzas jumping up and down to the iconic way of milking their native cows, how to get fresh blood from n animal , cooking, building their local houses with mud and many more active activities. The main places to visit during a three-day safari in the Masai Mara National Reserve are the Mara River, Musiara Swamp, Maasai Villages, Narok Museum, Mara Triangle, and neighboring private Maasai Conservation Areas. Some are included in virtually all safari packages and may want to book special night game drives or all-day photographer drives. Enjoy unmatched game viewing from camps in the heart of Masai Mara, such as the Mara Eden Safari Camp, accompanied by some of the region’s best guides.
Experience the charm of a romantic, nature-based experience. Horse safaris are only offered by limited operators in the larger Mara ecosystem. Before visiting Masai Mara, consider how many days you want to spend in the National Reserve, where you want to stay and what activities you plan to do. Other attractions that you can enjoy from Loldia House include Lake Nakuru, Hell’s Gate National Park, visiting Bogoria Lake, visiting a museum and wildlife safaris.
The Mara is the only sanctuary in Kenya that everyone wants to visit, and the easiest way to find a lion is often to look out for a group of minibuses. Without a doubt, the Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most breathtaking wildlife destinations in the world.. On your trip to the Masai Mara, you can explore the countryside, choose game drivers, and meet the Masai tribe. In fact, the Masai Mara Safari is the most popular of all Kenyan safari tours and especially the wildebeest migration, which takes place from July to October..
I also have to spend more than a few more days in the Mara without seeing leopards or cheetahs, while other predators, especially jackals and hyenas, are also common. The logistics are great, the reserve is well maintained and it is easy to reach with regular flights from Wilson airport in Nairobi. The management company that handles the operation is a partnership between the Maasai community and conservationists.. In this blog, I tell you how to do a great budget safari in Masai Mara in Kenya, a great game drive with beautiful animals.
Many of the more budget-friendly lodges and camps are located outside of Masai Mara, in private nature reserves, or close by — which isn’t a bad thing. Also in the west, towards Lake Victoria and up into the Masai Mara, the landscape becomes more hilly and includes the iconic acacia trees, which are found at a higher density throughout the region. More specifically, most accommodations in Masai Mara (also called Maasai Mara or The Mara), the famous wildlife park, start at just under 1500 euros. Over a million wildebeest and zebras traverse the crocodile-infested waters of the Mara River in search of fresh pasture.
There is a steep escarpment rising from the plains — luxurious lodges like Angama Mara were built here to make the most of the far-reaching views (remember, the higher you are, the longer you drive to the plains to see game). The Mara Conservancies cover an area of 336,191 hectares — almost the size of the National Reserve — owned by 13,236 landowners. Due to the size of the Serengeti, it takes you several days while you can see a large part of the Maasai Mara in one day. With almost 90 species of mammals and birds, not to mention the biggest spectacle in the world, the annual migration.
The Mara is out of reach for everyone except the super-rich and the unique dream trip. Every year, many thousands of tourists visit and stay in the Masai Mara National Reserve, making it a big income gain for the country. With a world-class reputation that makes Masai Mara a must for any animal lover, the rugged beauty of the park will baffle you. Grasslands with graceful acacias, hundreds of big cats and enough natural drama to keep wildlife documentaries on their toes year after year — the Masai Mara has it all.
The Greater Serengeti ecosystem also includes private game reserves and nature reserves, as well as the Masai Mara Reserve and Serengeti Park.
This could mean a more exclusive safari experience unless you opt for a private nature reserve in the Masai Mara.. For wildebeest migration, September and October are the best months to visit the Mara, as the herds that cross the Mara River make their way to the Masai Mara plains, where they graze on the fresh grasses until November. The Masai Mara can be quite crowded in high season (June to October), especially at river crossings. So it’s important to book up to a year in advance if you want a front-row seat. This may cause them to think Masai Mara and the Serengeti are identical and discard the idea of seeing one above the other..
Depending on the region you visit, you’ll find that the sheer size of the Serengeti has surprising twists and turns, bringing with it a wealth of natural resources and diverse ecosystems. The Serengeti is huge and covers a good 30,000 square kilometers, while the Masai Mara is much smaller at 1,510 square kilometers.. The Serengeti is located in northern Tanzania and covers 30,000 square kilometers (11583 square miles) and can be divided into three distinct regions — the Northern Serengeti, the Serengeti Plains and the Western Corridor. There are also regular flights from Mombasa and most other Kenyan safari destinations to the Masai Mara.
Its wide rolling plains with secluded thorn trees and distant purple hills characterize the landscape of the Masai Mara. Tanzania and Kenya border each other — in fact, the Masai Mara and the Serengeti share an unfenced border for animals, but not for humans. The Mara is home to rich and diverse wildlife throughout the year and is particularly suitable for large herds and their predators. There are many things to consider when considering a trip between Masai Mara and Masai Mara.
Although the Serengeti has huge wildlife populations, wildlife is spread over a much larger area as the park is so much larger than the Masai Mara.. Together, they make up the Serengeti Mara ecosystem, one of the largest (about twice the size of New Jersey) and best protected ecosystems on Earth. Tented camps, budget tents and large resort style lodges are available in both Masai Mara and Serengeti. Although the Serengeti is a huge area, many visitors want to be close to the Mara River in the north, where wildebeests migrate in the middle of the year.
There are flat, golden savannas, lush grassy vegetation, wild flowers in the rainy season around Ngorongoro Crater during the green season, small rocky outcrops called kopjes, and dense forests and lakes. This river crossing, possibly the most exciting moment of the great migration, can be observed from the Serengeti and Masai Mara sides of the ecosystem. This huge wilderness area provides the stage for one of the biggest natural spectacles, Wildebeest Migration. Especially in the western section known as the Mara Triangle and where you have an excellent chance of encountering one of these heavyweights.
The Masai Mara National Reserve, Serengeti National Park and Kruger National Park each offer a range of experiences and adventures for every traveller — from honeymooners and solo adventurers to families and friends.. Interestingly, Kenya and the surrounding area of the Masai Mara have more private concessions than the Serengeti in Tanzania. For anyone interested in migration, it is important to know that the animals migrate from Masai Mara to the Serengeti in July and August and back in October. Private nature reserves in the Masai Mara and Serengeti offer exclusive safaris away from potentially crowded public areas, especially when the migratory wildebeest are in transit.
The Masai Mara National is Kenya’s best preserved wildlife sanctuary and accommodates travelers on a modest to higher budget. The Masai Mara represents the northern quarter of the Serengeti ecosystem that extends to Tanzania..
Kenya’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and the core area, the Mara National Reserve, is estimated to generate 13 million pounds each year. The Mara is also best known for the annual wildebeest migration that takes place between July and October, as large herds of over a million wildebeest or wildebeest, as they are also known, migrate north to Masai Mara from neighboring Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the crocodile-infested Mara River on the way. As an article from Vision Adventure Safaris reports, the Maasai Mara is home to an excellent concentration of game throughout the year and is known for its annual visit to the two million animals that make up the Great Migration.. The reserve is one of the largest reserves not only in Kenya but in the whole of Africa as it is home to a wide variety of wildlife, plants, birds and cultures..
Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular safari destinations in the world and offers travelers an authentic African vacation experience. The reserve’s fame is based on the main attractions and a large population of wildlife in the park. So they are getting safety from the Kenyan wildlife services and all our travelers who have visited Mara admit that nothing will make them uncomfortable during their stay in the National Reserve.. These individuals are more than happy to welcome and interact with tourists and really anyone who decides to visit the reserve.
The park has six Masai Mara gates that can be used to reach its outskirts. Attractions include Sekanani Gate, Talek Gate, Olemoi Gate, Sun River Gate, Musiara Gate, Talek Gate, Olololo Gate, Musiara Gate. The hike, consisting of wildebeest and zebra, will throw shivers down your spine at the sound of thundering hooves making their way across the Serengeti to Masai Mara. Wealthy investors in the former Masai rangelands 30 km south of Nairobi have driven land up to 12 million shillings (£93,000) per acre. All visitors outside the country — Kenya can fly to Maasai Mara Kenya via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi “NBO”.
your safari vacation in Masai Mara, you won’t be disappointed as you may want to do more than just catch a glimpse of the animal. However, the visitors said that they were never in the position where they felt anything but completely safe with Maasai Mara.
The reserve benefits from its location and offers a wider range of activities including horse riding, bush walks, off-road safaris and night drives. Cottar’s 1920s Camp is located in a beautiful family-run nature reserve on the edge of the Masai Mara Game Reserve in a timeless setting. The exclusive Angama Mara is famous as the setting for Robert Redford and Meryl Streep’s romantic picnic scene in the film Out of Africa. Masai Mara Reserve offers magnificent plains scenery, unparalleled safari activities and diverse wildlife and is considered Kenya’s best park and one of Africa’s highest wildlife densities for predators.
Sala’s is located in the heart of the northern corridor of the Mara and is one of the first Masai Mara Lodges to witness the migration of wildebeest from the Serengeti to the Mara. Directly from the main area – as if straight out of The Lion King – is a huge acacia tree that slowly became the camp’s “icon”. Located on a bend of the Ntiakitak River, Mara Expeditions Camp is a sweet and intimate tented camp where safari meets comfort. Although Mara Expeditions is less lavish than its sister hotel, Mara Plains, it has a pleasant “safari feel”.
Many families who visited the Maasai Mara National Reserve loved the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, Keekorok Lodge and Walabi Mara Hotel. Get back to the authentic Porini Lion Camp in time for a refreshing cocktail as you get entertained by the exuberant hippos in the adjacent Ntiakatiak River. Or relax on the lush lawns of this luxurious Masai Mara Lodge with a drink and a good book under the shady canopy of an acacia tree.. Many elephants and all kinds of wildlife without all land cruiser traffic in other areas of the Mara.
Wander the polished hardwood floors of your spacious tent, step out onto a private porch and be greeted by magnificent morning views of the Sand River and its rolling flood plains. However, due to its popularity, there are several factors to consider when choosing your accommodation in Masai Mara.. When you walk over a wooden bridge to Mara Plains, the first view of the camp is very luxurious and elegant.. Travel back in time to a golden era of safari, to elegant accommodation in Masai Mara right next to the pages of Hemingway’s safari diary.
Mara Ngenche Tented Camp is a comfortable tented camp at the meeting of the Mara and Talek rivers in the Masai Mara.. Embark on thrice daily game drives from this magnificent Masai Mara accommodation in the private Olare Motogori Conservancy, known for its excellent big cat sightings. Lodge Location Mara Triangle Lodge Location Olderkesi The Mara Triangle is the most beautiful, lush area of the Masai Mara. Bateleur Camp The Intimate %26Beyond Bateleur Camp The intimate %26Beyond Bateleur Camp is nestled in forests at the very edge of the Masai Mara and reflects the ambiance of Kenyan explorers of ancient times.
Its geographical location is one of the biggest attractions. This wild-rich region is one of the first camps in the Mara to experience the Masai Mara Serengeti migration every year. The luxurious character of this camp is further enhanced by the feel-good factor that comes from staying there, as Mara Plains has a real positive effect. Naboisho Camp is located in a quiet and rich nature reserve on the edge of the Masai Mara Reserve and offers an intimate and authentic safari experience. The Masai Mara National Reserve and nature reserves are full of life and offer safari travelers a variety of activities to choose from..
The camp, once reserved exclusively for Kenyan colonial governors, is still one of the favorites in the Masai Mara today. Another vintage-style accommodation is Cottar’s 1920s Bush Villa, which borders both the Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park if you want to go on a safari holiday in Kenya and Tanzania..
You can visit Masai Mara National Park Official website on the main Kenya Wildlife Authority website. This is an independent guide to visiting Kenya and lake Manyara National Park.