Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 1,510 sq km (580 sq miles) and raises 1,500-2,170 meters above sea level. Add the conservancies and the area is at least twice the size. It hosts over 95 species of mammals and over 570 recorded species of birds. This is the World Cup of Wildlife, and together with the Serengeti National Park, there is no better place to witness the best wildlife viewing in the world.
Maasai Mara (Masai Mara) is situated in south-west Kenya and is one of Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserves. Together with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, it forms Africa’s most diverse, incredible and most spectacular ecosystems and possibly the world’s top safari big game viewing eco-system.
Wildebeest migration: Make sure you have your safari book planned out that includes the Maasai Mara. I am sure you have heard the wildebeest migration is nothing short of amazing. It is one of the things you have to add to your bucket list. Best time to be in Kenya for it is JULY – OCTOBER.
Narok museum: The town’s only official attraction is the small Narok Museum and its displays on traditional and contemporary Maasai culture, as well as that of other Maa-speaking people
Wildlife: The legendary wildebeest migration is one of the world’s most amazing wildlife encounters. Sometime in July and August, millions of animals leave the Serengeti and head into the Masai Mara around September. The crossing of the Mara River along the way is the most spectacular part of the migration. Around October, the migration slowly heads back into the Serengeti again.
It should be noted that, although the pattern is well known, the exact timing of the migration is unpredictable as animals move with the rain looking for greener pastures.
The Masai Mara is Kenya’s flagship park. Sightings of four of the Big Five are pretty much guaranteed. The black rhino is more elusive, but can sometimes be spotted in the Mara Triangle. The Masai Mara is one of the best parks for big cats, but sightings of smaller predators like bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal and spotted hyena also tend to be rewarding. Antelope include impala, reedbuck, Thomson’s gazelle, eland and topi, while buffalo, elephant and giraffe are relaxed and easily spotted.
The Masai Mara is located 270km/167mi northwest of Nairobi. The road is notoriously bad and the driving time is about five hours. Most people fly to the park.
It is however also possible to drive from Lake Nakuru NP. The distance is about 235km/150mi and the driving time is roughly six hours.
If you are getting here by road, note that from Narok (the last major town you pass through) there’s roughly half an hour of the tarmac road, and then two hours bumping along bad to terrible dirt roads to get into the park.
Where To Stay:
For guests who desire a fair balance between quality and price, we recommend Tier 2 deluxe accommodations with similar variables but a notch down augmented with a possible slight increase in camp capacity, variable location and access.
Tier 3 value lodging options are perfect for the budget-conscious travellers who prefer general wildlife availability and access to modest larger camps and lodges with a high number of guests rather than indulging aesthetics, super-rated guides and secluded locations. Exceptions do apply to few intimate value camps and lodges in Masai Mara but most still fall under their designated tier experience.