National Parks

Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya

Home to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and considered one of the continent’s greatest wildlife reserves, the iconic Maasai Mara National Reserve is a proud feather in Kenya’s cap, offering a safari adventure like no other in the world.

wildebeest migration

Great Wildebeest Migration

big-game

Big game

game drives

Game drives

balloon safari

Hot air balloon safari

Everything you need to know about Maasai Mara National Reserve

Arguably one of Africa’s most spectacularly diverse and magnificent eco-systems, with some of the best game viewing on the planet, the iconic Maasai Mara National Reserve plays host to one of African’s Seven Natural Wonders, and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – the Great Wildebeest Migration. Stretching over 580 square miles, this wildly sought after destination is a land of astonishing views, endless plains, and an abundance of wildlife all year round.

Where is the reserve located?

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is situated in the south-west of Kenya and shares a border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. The reserve lies in the Great Rift Valley – a remarkable series of contiguous geographic trenches in the earth’s crust, that stretches approximately 3,700 miles from the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon, all the way to Mozambique in Southern Africa, through Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi. This wide valley and the parks within it are open, and the wildlife can roam around freely. There are many traditional Maasai villages located on the borders of the reserve and, over centuries, the Maasai people exist in a symbiotic relationship, living in harmony with the animals. 

What can you expect of the terrain?

Together with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, the Maasai Mara is one of the continent’s most diverse ecosystems with some of the most spectacular wilderness in all of Kenya. Open rolling grasslands, riverine forests, giant escarpments, Acacia woodlands, and evergreen thickets are home to a wide diversity of animal and plant life. The reserve also has two permanent rivers – the Mara and Talek – that flow through it.

About the reserve

What type of wildlife will we see?

The reserve is home to a year-round abundant concentration of game, including the more than 1.5 million wildebeest and thousands of zebra and antelope that make up the Great Migration. Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino, crocodile and hippo make up the entire of Africa’s Big 7, and other residents such as cheetah, hyena, giraffe, roan antelope and the bushy-tailed bat-eared fox also call the Maasai Mara home. The reserve is also home to over 450 bird species

Top experiences to enjoy in Maasai Mara National Reserve

The Maasai Mara delivers many star attractions – the Great Migration being the feather in its cap, of course – and there are many experiences and activities that attest for it being considered one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves. One of the most thrilling experiences one could have, however, is the truly unique Hot Air Balloon safari – an adventure activity like no other. Taking off at the break of dawn, and ending with a champagne bush breakfast, the flight glides gracefully over the vast savannah below, offering breath-taking vistas of the landscape and wildlife below.

When to visit

Much like all of Sub-Saharan Africa, the seasons and the wildlife are driven by the rains. The Great Migration generally happens between mid-September through mid-October but can start as early as July and run into November. This is all dependent on the rains.

January to February is generally considered the dry season and is the best time for high-quality game viewing. 

From March to May, the rainy season takes place and can sometimes be so severe that some camps become inaccessible.

 June to October sees a brief dry season with scattered and short-lived showers. This is generally the time of the migration and is a great time to visit.

In November and December, the temperatures get very hot and dry and the animals are more scattered around the reserve in their search for water.  

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Ker & Downey® Africa > Destinations > Kenya > Parks > Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya