Masai Mara National Reserve safari Kenya

Masai Mara National Reserve

Have you ever seen the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara National Game Reserve? Have you ever seen such an epic safari destination in Kenya when thousands of wildebeest and zebra flood the plains of this world-famous Game Reserve in search of new grazing? Well, you simply must experience this natural annual event to absorb a time of extraordinary abundance and thrilling predator and prey interactions. Masai Mara National Reserve is an epic safari destination in Kenya, an essential part of any East Africa itinerary and a destination highlight.

Maasai Mara, locally known simply as The Mara, is a large national game reserve in Narok, Kenya, adjoining the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named in honour of the Maasai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the area, who migrated to the area from the Nile Basin. They named the area “Mara” meaning “spotted” in the local Maasai language because from afar, the reserve features many short bushy trees which dot the landscape.

Maasai Mara is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa, world-renowned for its exceptional populations of lion, leopard, cheetah, elephants and more. It hosts the Great Migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest every year and was therefore proclaimed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and as one of the 10 Wonders of the World.

The Greater Mara ecosystem encompasses areas known as the Maasai Mara National Reserve, the Mara Triangle, and several Maasai Conservancies. 

Mind Blowing Scenery

Explore the 4 different terrains in the Mara:

  • NGAMA HILLS: to the east with sandy soil and leafy bushes.
  • OLOOLOLO ESCARPMENT: forms the western boundary, rising to a glorious plateau.
  • MARA TRIANGLE: borders the Mara River with lush grassland and acacia woodlands supporting masses of game especially migrating wildebeest.
  • CENTRAL PLAINS: form the largest part of the reserve, with scattered bushes and boulders on rolling savannahs.


  • The Maasai Mara is the only protected area in Kenya with an indigenous black rhino population that is also big enough to support one of the largest populations of these rare animals in Africa.
  • See how many of the charismatic carnivores you can find: lions are the most dominant; spotted hyenas often compete with lions for food; leopards are found anywhere in the reserve where there are trees for them to escape to; many East African cheetahs love the open savanna, hunting gazelles and wildebeest; African wild dogs are quite rare here due to the widespread transmission of diseases and competition for prey.
  • Embark on a silent but thrilling and romantic hot air balloon drift, over the reserve at sunrise – what an experience – expensive but worthwhile!
  • Ask for a nature walk in the main Mara reserve but if want longer safari hikes or walking safaris, you have to head to the conservancies outside the main reserve.
  • Canter through the grasslands on horseback if you want to game view in a unique way – find an operator that suits your needs in the larger Mara eco system.

The Lay of the Land in Masai Mara

How amazing to think that the total conserved area of the Greater Maasai Mara ecosystem reaches some 1,510 square km which is the northernmost section of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, covering an incredible 25,000 square km in Tanzania and Kenya. The Sand, Talek River and Mara River are the major rivers draining the reserve where rainfall is limited and where stunning shrubs and trees grow along drainage lines and cover hillslopes and hilltops.

So many visitors head to Kenya just for the landscape, mainly open grassland with seasonal rivulets and dotted with those picturesque clumps of the distinctive acacia tree. The western border is the Esoit (Siria) Escarpment of the East African Rift, a system of rifts some 5,600 km long, from Ethiopia’s Red Sea through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and into Mozambique. Wildlife viewing is best here as the ground is wetter and tourists don’t come here as much as other areas.

River Crossings

The action does not end in the plains during the epic Annual Great Migration. Witness the electric drama unfolding as the wildebeest cross the Mara River into the Masai Mara. It is survival of the fittest as crocodiles and lions lie in wait. See how both fatalities and victories are lost and won. Visit the Masai Mara any time of year to see the big cats and all the big game still in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem. July to October is the best time to visit if you want to watch the wildebeest migration.

Best Wildlife In Kenya

Experience Kenya’s premier wildlife park, the Masai Mara, a haven of beauty that guarantees outstanding sightings of the Big 5 and an enormous variety of regal predator species. Hundreds of majestic big maned lions, large numbers of splendid leopards, sprinting cheetah and spotted hyenas all competing for food. See the estimated 1 500 elephants, enormous herds of buffalo, unusual topi, baboons, warthogs, giraffe and impala. Watch high volumes of hippo and crocodiles wallowing. This is the lifeblood of the Masai Mara, along with the Sand and Talek Rivers. Drive along these lush waterways to find more than 95 species of mammals and 570 recorded bird species!

Family Safaris to Masai Mara are Hot

Pack up the entire family for a safari holiday to Kenya that they will never forget. Intrepid journeys into Africa introduce your kids to the biggest classroom in the world, nature! Game viewing, nature walks, river cruises and camping under the stars are all part of a safari adventure your family will talk about for years down the line!  

Bring your children into the true wilderness of Kenya, our top African safari destination of all time – so check out the luxury lodge and bush camp accommodation where children are made to feel at home and book your special family package today.

Did you know?

The Maasai people are a pastoral community spanning across northern, central and southern Kenya and northern parts of Tanzania. They believe that they own all of the cattle in the world and they rely on their lands to sustain their cattle, as well as themselves and their families. They were forced off their lands to make way for the Masai Mara Game Reserve.

The Best of the Best Safaris in Masai Mara

Plan a Kenya tour and safari with Voyage2Africa, the African travel experts, and enjoy signature experiences to the premier wildlife destination south of the equator. We bring you thrilling adventures in the Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park, the Great Rift Valley, Mount Kenya National Park and even Nairobi.  We offer you the best of the best safari accommodation in Kenya, in lavish lodges, family resorts, modern hotels, eco villas and rustic wild campsites in nature. Bring your camera and you hat, your binoculars and your sense of spirit to an African land that is home to humankind.

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