The Masai Mara is legendary as the setting for the spectacular annual Great Migration: in July and August, over a million wildebeest and zebra brave the crocodiles of the Mara River to reach the fresh grasses of the savannah – where they are hunted by predators like lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena. Throughout the year, the Mara offers the most diverse wildlife in Kenya. Here you will encounter animals in the huge numbers similar to those found in the 19th century. Permanent rivers sustain wildlife through the dry seasons. The riverine forest around the Mara River supports elephant and giraffe. The abundant plains game attracts prides of lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, jackal and the smaller nocturnal cats. Over 500 bird species – including 53 birds of prey - have been recorded in the Mara’s varied landscapes.
The Masai Mara area is in the southwest of Kenya and forms the northern part of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. ‘Mara’ means ‘spotted’ in the Maasai language and accurately describes the land lying north of the Mara River, which is stippled with acacias. For several centuries, the wildlife shared these lands with the pastoral Maasai people and their cattle.
The Mara encompasses the Masai Mara National Reserve and the equally extensive Maasai group ranches which, up to now, have served as wildlife dispersal areas. There are various concession arrangements between the group ranches and private safari operators, with large tracts of land dedicated to conservation. Game-viewing within the reserve is more strictly regulated. Beyond the boundaries of the national reserve, in the concessions, game is equally prolific, there are fewer visitors and game walks and night drives are permitted.
Important: please check the notification about 2024 park fee increases in our Travel Guide section.
Getting to the Masai Mara
The Masai Mara is a 4-5 hour drive from Nairobi. The route takes you down the escarpment and along the bottom of the Great Rift Valley before climbing the foothills to Narok and passing the Loita Hills.
The Mara also has seven airstrips served by scheduled flights from both Nairobi (about 45 minutes) and the coast. Most of our clients choose to fly between game reserves.
- Big Five Safari in the Masai Mara
- Down time on the pristine beaches of Zanzibar
- Walking tour of Stone Town
- Wildlife galore in Naboisho Conservancy
- Watch the famed Wildebeest migration (in season)
- Explore the heritage of Stone Town
- Rest & relaxation time at the Zanzibar coast
- Explore one of the world's great wildlife-viewing locations
- Chance to seek the Big 5 on safari
- Superb accommodation and hospitality
- Luxuriating in style at the beach in Mauritius
- Seek wildlife in the great Masai Mara
- Day and night drives, bush walks and bush breakfasts included
- Romantic stay in a former Zanzibari palace
- stay on the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar
- Search for big cats and an abundance of other wildlife in the world renowned Masai Mara
- Seek dry-country wildlife best sought in Samburu
- Enjoy intimate bush camps with a relaxed safari ambience and exceptional service
- Exclusive itinerary to Rainbow Tours
- Wildlife rich areas
- Small boutique camps
- Fly betweeen parks - maximising time on safari
- Big five game viewing in the Masai Mara
- Quintessential African savannah and bush scenery
- Sublime beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters of the Seychelles
- Superb accommodation and hospitality
- Golden hour with the incredible Mountain Gorillas
- Spotting the Big 5 and an abundance of other wildlife in the renowned Masai Mara
- Sublime relaxation at the beach in Zanzibar
- Kenya's wildlife-rich Great Rift Valley
- Visits to Lake Nakuru and Naivasha
- Safari in the Masaai Mara
- Supporting Responsible Tourism
- Amboseli for its magical landscapes and excellent wildlife sightings including an abundance of Elephants
- Lewa, where you have the strongest chance in Kenya to seek Black rhino
- Masai Mara, one of the world's premier wildlife-watching destinations
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Why Choose Us?
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- We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
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- You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
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- For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
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