Top 10 Reasons to Add Masai Mara Safari to Your Bucket List 

A visit to Masai Mara national reserve is a dream destination for most wildlife lovers. The national reserve is filled with stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural experiences offering visitors an unforgettable experience. From witnessing the majestic wildebeest migration, staying in luxurious accommodation to interacting with the Maasai people, there are countless reasons why you should visit Masai Masai.

In this article, we explore 10 reasons you should add Masai Mara to your bucket list.

Stunning Wildlife

Masai Mara is famous for its abundant wildlife which includes the big five (lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and the rhino) as well as other species such as wildebeest, zebras, cheetahs, hyenas and birds. There are more rare animals such as the aardvark aardwolf, african hare, banded mongoose, lesser kudu and the hunter’s antelope. The reserve is one of the best places to view animals because it has a high animal concentration per square mile.


Spectacular Landscapes

The Masai Mara is characterised by rolling grasslands, dotted acacia trees and rocky outcrops. The landscape is vast and open with sweeping views that stretch to the horizon. The Mara river, which is the largest in the reserve, is a prominent feature and is home to the nile crocodiles and hippos. The several hills and the Oloololo escarpment form the splendid Mara landscape. In the rainy season, the Mara landscape turns lush and green providing ample pasture for the animals. In contrast, during the dry seasons, the grassland turns brown and sparse making it the best time to spot the wildlife. Overall, the Mara landscape is beautiful and provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable safari experience.

Photo credit: Trip Advisor

Great Wildebeest Migration

The Masai Mara Wildebeest migration is the largest overland migration in the world. The migrations i not only made up of millions of wildebeest but also thousands of other grazers such as zebras, gazelles, eland and impalas. The migration happens in the Mara -Serengeti triangle and is triggered by rainfall, where the herds migrate for greener pastures and water. The Mara river crossing is the highlight of the migration and occurs around late July to early September. 

Cultural Experience

The Maasai are a Maa speaking semi nomadic tribe in Kenya and Tanzania. They are one of the few tribes in Kenya who have retained most of their traditions and lifestyle. The Maasai community is well known for their brightly colored shukas (traditional cloth), colorful beaded jewelry and dancing style. If you’re visiting the Maasai Mara reserve, you must make time to visit the Maasai village. You will get a chance to be invited to their humble mud and stick manyattas and experience their way of life. A visit to the Maasai Mara provides an opportunity to learn about their culture and custom, and to interact with them in a meaningful way.

Bird Watching

The Musiara marsh in the Masai Mara reserve is an excellent spot for bird watching. There are almost 500 bird species including 47 species of birds of prey. In the reserve, you get to see birds of different sizes such as the ostrich which is the world’s largest bird and the sunbird which is tiny and is difficult to spot from far. Although Masai Mara offers good bird watching all year round, the best time is from November to April when the Migratory birds from Europe and North Africa reach the reserve.

Hot Air Balloon

Exploring the Masai Mara from the skies is the ultimate way to experience the beauty of nature and wildlife from a bird’s eye view. During the hot air balloon safari, you will be riding in a large basket suspended by a large balloon filled with hot air. Most air balloon safaris typically take place early in the morning or mid morning when the winds are calm and the air is cooler. With the hot air balloon safari, you can expect to experience breathtaking views of the landscape below. After the balloon safari, you can expect to have a bush breakfast waiting for close to where you land. Hot air balloons are safe, the pilots are professionally trained and licensed by the aviation authorities. 

Luxury Accommodation

The Masai Mara is an ideal safari destination for travellers seeking a luxurious experience. There are several high end accommodations in the Masai Mara that offer top notch amenities, personalised service and stunning views of the savanna. Here are some of the luxurious accommodations in Masai Mara.

  • Angama Mara
  • Mara Plains Camp
  • Mara Bushtop
  • Fairmont Mara Safari Club
  • Jambo Mara Safari Lodge
  • Entim Camp
  • Andbeyond Bateleur Camp
  • Mara Intrepids Tented Camp
  • Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara
  • Fig Tree Camp
  • Olarre Lodges
  • Mara Serena Safari Lodge

Guided Safaris

Guided safaris refer to a wildlife tour of the Masai Mara national reserve. They are offered all year round but the best time to visit the Mara is during the wildebeest migration which usually takes place between July and October.

A guided safari typically involves hiring a professional guide who leads you on a tour of the reserve by a vehicle or on foot. The guides are knowledgable about the best spots for wildlife viewing such as river crossings and swampy areas where you can view animals for a long duration. Guided safaris are mostly organised by tour companies, lodges or camps that offer a range of packages. Most camps and lodges are located within or close to the reserve which means you can easily access the wildlife.

Photography Opportunities

The Masai Mara reserve offers some of the best wildlife opportunities in the world. This famous photography destination is made up of distinct areas which are; the reserve, the Mara Triangle, as well as the community conservancies which offer amazing wildlife photography opportunities. 

The wildebeest migration is one of the major photography highlights. Most notably, the Mara river crossing is a dramatic wildlife spectacle which provides photographers and videographers with great opportunities to take pictures. 

Horseback Safaris

One of the unique and intimate ways to experience the Masai Mara is through a horseback safari. These safaris are led by experienced and knowledgable guides who take you to the most remote and scenic areas of the Masai Mara reserve. During the horseback safari, you can expect to ride through the plains and get an opportunity to get up close to animals such as zebras, giraffes, wildebeests and elephants. 

Horseback safaris are ideal for both experienced and novice riders. The guides are trained and will make sure you’re matched to a horse that suits your riding ability. The length of the horseback safari will vary depending on the time of day as well as the area being covered. 

Overall, the Masai Mara is a safari destination that has something for everyone, whether you’re interested in wildlife,culture, adventure, scenery or relaxation. 

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