Visit Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara covers an area of 1,800 square kilometres and is probably one of the most famous reserves in Africa. The most famous act played out anually is the Great Migration, which sees up to two million wildebeest undertake a journey of roughly 1,600 kilometres.
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
The wind whistles in the thorn trees. On a solitary acacia a vulture ruffles its feathers. Above are endless skies to match the endless horizons. This must be the Masai Mara, home to the greatest animal show on earth.
The Mara Game Reserve, as it was originally known, an area of some 1,812sq km, was established in 1961. Its southern boundary is contiguous with Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, and it is divided into two sections. The main reserve of 518sq km has been developed on the lines of a national park, where no intrusion of human settlement is allowed and game-viewing is only permitted on game-drives and horseback on organised riding safaris. Bordering the main reserve are numerous conservancies including Mara North, Olare Orok, Naboisho, Ol Kinyei and others. Here local Maasai are permitted to pasture their cattle and where there is a greater diversity of safari activities available, including walking safaris, fly-camping and cultural visits to learn more about the Maasai. A distinct benefit of staying in the conservancies is that the amount of accommodation and number of vehicles is strictly limited, meaning you can enjoy the wildlife to yourself!
The Mara is world famous for its vast assemblages of plains game, together with their associated predators. It is perhaps the only region left in Kenya where the visitor may see animals in the same super-abundance as existed a century ago. The Reserve extends from the edge of the Loita Hills in the east to the Mara Triangle and the Siria Escarpment in the west. Everything is big here; it is a country of rolling plains and rounded hills, of groves of acacia woodland and dense thickets of scrub. The reserve is bisected by the Mara River and its tributaries, which are margined by lush riverine forest and the site of spectacular river crossings during the migration.
The Mara possesses the largest population of lion to be found in Kenya. It also boasts large herds of topi and a small population of roan antelope, animals not found in many other Kenya reserves. Among the great variety of large beasts are elephant, buffalo, black rhino and hippo. Other mammals include leopard cheetah, Burchell's zebra, Coke's hartebeest, wildebeest, oribi, eland, Thomson & Grant's gazelle and warthog. The game is swelled during the months of July, August and September when the great migration comes onto the plains.
The bird life of Mara is as profuse as its mammalian fauna. The river is home to kingfishers, storks and Pel's fishing owl. The riverine forests see large flocks of crested guinea fowl whilst the ground hornbills, secretary birds and bustards can be seen on the plains. Finally, there are more than 53 species of raptor. Whatever you want to see, the Mara will not disappoint.
Speak to someone who's been there
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Accommodation in Masai Mara National Reserve
Olonana Safari Camp
Olonana is situated on the banks of the Mara River, in the Greater Mara Conservation Area. It is out of the really busy area of the Mara but within very easy reach of the rich game areas.
Ol Seki Mara Camp
Set on the Innisikera River just north of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Ol Seki Mara Camp is in an ideal location with plenty of game but very few tourists.
Olare Mara Kempinski
Hidden in a grove of riverine woodland on the banks of the Ntiakitiak River, the Olare Mara Kempinski tented camp has an atmosphere which blends rustic African ambience and the elegance of the Kempinski legacy.
Porini Lion Camp
Porini Lion Camp is located in the Olare Orok Conservancy, which borders the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Service is personal, the food is good and you will be well taken care of.
Offbeat Mara Camp
Offbeat Mara Camp is a luxury tented camp situated on the Olare Orok water system, on Koyiaki Group Ranch, north of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The camp is owner-run and very friendly.
Naibor is a spacious and stylish safari camp, located on the banks of the Talek River in the Masai Mara Reserve. The food and service is superb, as is the guiding. We warmly recommend it.
Mara Plains Camp
Mara Plains is a small, luxury camp located on the Olare Orok Conservancy to the North of the main Masai Mara Reserve. The food is superb and it's a fantastic area for wildlife.
Mara Intrepids is a medium size camp has thirty tents situated along the banks of the Talek River. This is a great camp for families.
Saruni is a luxurious tented lodge set in the Koyiaki Group Ranch, adjacent to the Masai Mara. Activities include guided bush walks, game drives, while fly camping is also possible.
Governors' Camp was the first tented camp to be established in the Masai Mara National Reserve. A new chef-training programme has brought the level of the food here to excellent standards, so you can be sure to enjoy some great food after a long day on safari.
Elephant Pepper Camp
Elephant Pepper is a lovely little bush camp set just outside the northern boarder of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. During the day they offer game drives and walks with excellent local guides.
Bogani Cottages & Tented Camp
Bogani offers a completely different experience to all of Kenya's safari camps and it provides a genuine opportunity to get involved in the great work undertaken by Free the Children. The comfortable accommodation provides a great base to explore the local area and contribute to making a real difference to local people.
Bateleur Camp is located just outside the Olololo gate to the park, in a Masai concession area. The plains in front of camp are often frequented by warthog and zebra and wildebeest are never far away.
Asilia Naboisho Camp
Asilia is a fantastic small tented camp, where standards of guiding, service and food are excellent. The Naboisho conservancy is proving to offer some amazing game-viewing which will only improve as the conservancy develops.
Il Moran is one of the Mara's most luxurious camps, situated above the Mara River. Sitting in camp you might hear hippo grunting, the bark of baboons, or the calls of hyena and lion.
As an exclusive use camp, it has a wonderful location and you will absolute spoilt by the brilliant staff. Should you want a completely private experience, it is highly recommended.
Little Governors' Camp
Little Governors' has a superb position above a small swamp where, during the day, you often see animals coming to graze and drink. Overall it is one of our favourite camps in the Mara.
Kilma is perched high on the Siria escarpment overlooking the Masai Mara. Where possible the camp tries to run along eco-friendly lines, operating on solar lighting and solar generated electricity.
Kicheche Naboisho Valley Camp
The latest camp from the Kicheche group is situated in the Naboisho Conservancy, to the northeast of the Masai Mara main reserve. There are only six tents here, keeping the atmosphere intimate.
Kicheche Mara Camp
Kicheche is a simple but beautiful small tented camp, located under trees surrounded by huge savannah grasslands. During the migration months (June to October) the plains are covered in wildebeest.
Kicheche Mara Bush Camp
Kicheche Bush Camp is a classic, luxury bush camp in the Mara. Its location is ideal with a huge amount of game in the area but few tourists.
Karen Blixen Camp
Karen Blixen Camp is located is a pretty valley outside the main Mara Reserve and overlooking the Mara River. Activities include day and night game drives.
Rekero Tented Camp
Rekero Tented Camp is located inside the Masai Mara Game Reserve, very close to the confluence of the Mara and Talek rivers. It is a firm favourite with repeat visitors to Kenya.
Serian is an exclusive wilderness camp set alongside a secluded valley flanking the Mara River in the Mara North Conservancy. Each of the eight tents is fitted with large double beds flanked by twin bedside tables and a writing desk.
Activities in Masai Mara National Reserve
Experience Life in a Rural Maasai Village
Me to We provides you with the opportunity to experience life with locals in rural Kenya and gaining real satisfaction of working on sustainable projects that benefits these communities in the longer term.
Hot Air Balloon Flight
Watch out for the giraffe hiding in the trees, antelope on the plains and roosting birds! As the sun comes up the views are superb - one of the most beautiful sights in Africa.