Lying in the south-western part of Kenya is Masai Mara Game Reserve which has what many consider the best climate in the whole country. The different variations in altitude lead to the variations in temperature that are experienced in the different parts of the Masai Mara. The game Reserve also experiences two seasons and these are the dry and wet seasons which are influenced by the Ecosystem of Masai Mara Game Reserve.
The Masai Mara Game Reserve is located along the equator which brings about the wet and dry seasons below is a summary of the weather that you should expect throughout the year in Masai Mara however it is liable to change due to the many factors affecting the weather in the area with the main one being the large increment of human population around the reserve.
Masai Mara weather per month
January to February
These two months experience a short dry spell during the rainy season which starts in November and ends in December. There are a few rain showers in these months but they are rare.
March to May
These months receive heavy rainfall with April having the heaviest showers. Although it is considered to be a wet season, it does not rain the whole day but it does rain regularly. Tourists during this season can still enjoy their safari in Masai Mara, especially those who love birding. The trails and roads will be slippery but worth it and the temperatures during these months especially in the morning go to an average of 13 degrees Celsius.
June to august
The months of June to August are generally dry and receive a few showers of rainfall, especially in June marking the end of the wet season. During these months, you will get to see the first batch of animals (small numbers) start gathering around the Grumeti River as they prepare to cross over to the Masai Mara Game reserve.
September to October
With chilly mornings, the September to October dry season sees many of the animals including the wildebeests from Serengeti start preparing to cross over again back in search of food and water. There are occasional showers of rain with degrees reaching 27 degrees Celsius. Activities that can be carried out in these months include game drives, nature walks, and birding.
November to December
November is the start of the first rainy season which is experienced in the Masai Mara and unlike the second rainy season which sees heavy rainfall, the months of November and December receive minimal showers and the temperatures go to about 27 degrees Celsius.
Seasons experienced in the Masai Mara
The Rainy season
The rainy season in Masai Mara is experienced from November to May and sometimes it can push to early June. The best way to understand the rainy season is by separating it into three phases with the first one being low or zero rainfall received low rainfall and heavy rainfall. The months of November to December receive low rainfall and this is the start of the rainy season in the Masai Mara. January to February receive little or zero rainfall and this period is normally termed the dry spell season. The months of March to June receive heavy rainfall with April receiving the heaviest amounts of rainfall. Below is a summary of the three rainy seasons experienced in the Masai Mara.
There are two dry months between the rainy month and these are the months of January and February. The temperatures during the rainy season are always around 55 degrees Celsius but this is liable to change due to different reasons and circumstances.
- November to December, these months receive few showers and the temperatures can go up to 27 degrees Celsius.
- January and February are generally known as dry months and receive little or no rainfall.
- March to May, these months receive a lot of rainfall (heavy showers) with April being the wettest month.
Rainfall in the Masai Mara Game Reserve
The Masai Mara Game Reserve receives an approximation of about 1500mm per year. Masai Mara has two rainfall seasons with the first showers coming from November to December. The long showers are experienced from March to May with the heaviest rains being experienced in April.
The Masai Mara rainy season starts in November and goes on through till April or early May. There
Note that even though Masai Mara has two seasons of rainfall, sunshine is received in the reserve throughout the year enabling tourists to carry out the different activities around the game reserve.
The rainy season also known as the green season is the low season in Masai Mara Game Reserve and this is because it receives few tourists as compared to the dry season. It is a low season because there are few animals to see during this time but it is the best time to go for birding, for tourists who want to avoid huge crowds and those that are traveling on a budget. The roads during the rainy season are also muddy and slippery making them impassable. You can still however visit the Masai Mara during the rainy season.
The Dry season
The dry season in Masai Mara Game Reserve is experienced from July to October. During this period, there will be low showers of rainfall for a short while. This is the best season for activities like game drives, and nature walks, and the most anticipated activity during the dry season is to watch the wildebeest migration from the time the animals start crossing the Mara River to the time when they start crossing back to Tanzania.
The effect of weather on the activities carried out in Masai Mara
The two seasons that are experienced in the Masai Mara have a great effect on the different activities especially game viewing which is the main activity that most tourists engage in. The dry season is the best time for game viewing because due to lack of rainfall, many of the animals will converge around the River banks and watering holes within the Reserve making it easy for game spotting. The thin vegetation is seen during the dry season also makes it easy for game viewing. Nature walks are made easy because the roads are not slippery and can easily be accessed on foot. The wet season on the hand makes it hard for game viewing due to the lush green vegetation in the area which sees many of the animals keeping to their habitats. It is however the best time for birding. So as you plan for your safari to the Masai Mara Game Reserve, you should put the weather and climate into consideration.
The climate in Masai Mara
Masai Mara game Reserve experiences different temperature levels due to the alternating altitudes and these keep on changing throughout the year. With an elevation of 1500m to 1700m above sea level, Masai Mara experiences warmer temperatures at the beginning and end of the year whereas cooler temperatures are experienced during the dry season in the middle of the year. Note that the temperatures experienced in Masai Mara are not always harsh with about 25 degrees Celsius in the dry months and 15 degrees experienced in the wet months. Masai Mara Game Reserve has high temperatures between October and March whereas the lower temperatures are experienced in June to August at night.
What to wear while in Masai Mara Game Reserve
The different weather seasons that are experienced in Masai Mara will highly contribute to what you will wear while on your safari. During the wet season you should carry the following:
- Raincoat or jacket
- String hiking boots
- Heavy clothing for when it is cold, especially during the night
The clothes that you might need while in Masai Mara during the dry season include light clothes, good hiking boots, long-sleeved shirts, and trousers among others.
The Weather experienced in Kenya
The weather that is experienced in the rest of the country is similar to the one that is experienced in Masai Mara and this is due to the Equator. Kenya also has two seasons and these are the dry season which is experienced in the months of r and the wet season which is experienced from November to May.
The global warming effect on Masai Mara
Global warming just like in other countries has affected the weather pattern in Masai Mara and this, in turn, has affected the movement patterns of the animals. This was seen in 2020 with the short dry season and early onset of the rainy season which was experienced in the Masai Mara. This saw many animals start migrating from the Serengeti National Park to the Masai Mara earlier than when they were expected to.
Besides global warming, the other thing affecting the weather is the increase in several humans living around the Game reserve. The increase in humans means that there is also an increase in the domestic animals, cutting down of trees to create space and hence affecting the weather patterns.