Plan Your Trip: Masai Mara Safari Packages, Great Migration, Safari Lodges, and When to Go
The Masai Mara National Reserve is the most popular safari destination in Kenya, thanks to its large diversity of beautiful scenery. Meandering rivers, towering escarpments, and rolling grasslands provide the perfect habitat for an abundance of game, including the Big 5: lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and black rhino.
Game viewing here is spectacular at any time of year, but the big attraction is the Great Migration. From approximately June to November, thousands upon thousands of wildebeest, zebras, and more cross into the Masai Mara chasing the seasonal rains. Luxurious mobile camps change location throughout the year to follow the Great Migration and find the best position for wildlife viewing. There are also countless permanent, tented-style safari camps in the Mara, which may have 4 solid walls and a tented roof, or a permanent structure with canvas walls.
We recommend staying at a safari lodge in a private concession adjoining the Mara. This way, you can access dramatic Great Migration river crossings (where you’re likely to see several other vehicles since the national park is open to everyone). But you can also leave the crowds behind to explore more exclusive wilderness areas.
Outside of the Great Migration months, the Masai Mara National Reserve still boasts an exceptional safari experience, with grazers and predators found in large numbers on the open plains. Authentic cultural interactions with local Maasai tribe members are also on offer at nearly every safari lodge in the area.
Best Time for a Masai Mara Safari
Masai Mara National Reserve is an extremely seasonal safari destination. The best time to go depends on what you most want to see. The cost for Masai Mara safari lodges is at a premium during the peak months of June to November.
June to November: Best time for Great Migration safaris
July to August: Best time to see a river crossing
November to March: Light rainy season; good wildlife viewing with few crowds
April to May: Heavy rainy season; roads turn to mud and many camps are closed