Maasai Mara National Reserve | Great Wildlife Migration in Kenya

The Maasai Mara National Reserve, situated in the picturesque mountain savannah of southwestern Kenya, shares its border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to the south, making it Kenya’s most sought-after safari destination. Encompassing an area of 1,510 square kilometers, this reserve is recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Nestled within the Great Rift Valley in Narok County, the Maasai Mara National Reserve derives its name from the Maasai people, honoring their ancestral ties to the region. Even today, the Maasai coexist harmoniously with the abundant wildlife within the reserve. The term “Mara” refers to the local name for the Maasai people, signifying the sprawling bushes, savannas, and grasslands that characterize the endless plains of Maasai Mara.

Initially established as a game reserve in 1961, covering an area of approximately 520 square kilometers, it was later elevated to national reserve status, expanding its boundaries to 1,821 square kilometers. A portion of this protected area, comprising 159 square kilometers, is allocated to local communities, while the remainder was officially designated as a national reserve in 1974. Subsequently, in 1976, the protected area was reduced by 162 square kilometers, resulting in its current size of 1,510 square kilometers.

Proposed East Africa Safari Journeys to Maasai Mara National Reserve


5 Days Masai Mara Kenya Safari

5 Days Masai Mara Kenya Safaris Tour Wildlife Adventure to Masai Mara National Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park, and Naivasha Budget Medium and Luxury Safari in Kenya.

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Kenya Wildlife Safaris

7 Days Best Kenya Safari Tour

7 Days Best Kenya Safaris Tour four beautiful parks in Kenya. Located at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak at 5,895 meters, Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya’s most popular parks.

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Uganda Safaris Tour

8 Days Kenya Discovery Safari

The 8 Days Kenya Discovery Safari covers the best wildlife spots in Kenya. Look out for the large Elephant herds in Amboseli National Park situated on the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Enjoy the experience of staying in a Treehouse in Mt. Kenya National Park.

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Kenya Wildlife Safari

8 Days Kenya Discovery Safari

The 8 Days Kenya Discovery Safaris Tour covers the best wildlife spots in Kenya. Look out for the large Elephant herds in Amboseli National Park situated on the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Enjoy the experience of staying in a Treehouse in Mt. Kenya National Park.

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Uganda Wildlife Safaris Tour

9 Days Classic Kenya Safari

Explore the remote wilds of Samburu, the rolling plains of Masai Mara, and the Natural beauty of Amboseli on a 9 Days Classic Kenya Safari. The 9 Days Classic Kenya Safaris tour that covers three of the best safari parks in Kenya.

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10 Days Kenya Safari

10 Days Complete Kenya Safari

This 10 Days Complete Kenya Safaris tour takes you through seven of Kenya’s most popular safari destinations, giving you a complete overview of this fascinating country. Each of these seven parks offers something unique.

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July – December Maasai Mara National Reserve (Narok County ~ Sekenani, Talek, Musiara & Oloolaimutia Gates) Applicable 2024

Category Non-Residents East African Residents (KSH) Kenyan Citizens
Adult $200 Adult 4,500KSH Adult 2,000KSH
Children $50 Children 2,000KSH Children 500KSH
Students $50 Student 2,000KSH Students 500KSH


What is the Size of the Maasai Mara National Reserve?

The Maasai Mara National Reserve spans an area of square kilometers and encompasses three ranches: Mara Triangle, Sekhnani, and Musiala. The reserve’s landscape comprises expansive plains, rolling hills, and is traversed by two major rivers, the Mara and Talek, which flow northward. The southeastern region is characterized by the dominance of acacia trees, while the Rift Valley’s Eliot rock composition adds to its geological diversity.

Stretching over 5,600 kilometers from Ethiopia’s Red Sea through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, the Great Rift Valley is a prominent geological feature. Within the Maasai Mara National Reserve, this escarpment boasts the highest concentration of wildlife amidst its grasslands and adjacent coastal waters.


Kenya safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve

Embarking on a Kenya safari adventure in Kenya’s iconic Maasai Mara National Reserve is an unforgettable experience that immerses visitors in the raw beauty of the African wilderness. As one of the most renowned safari destinations globally, the Maasai Mara offers unparalleled opportunities to witness the legendary Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest and other wildlife traverse the sweeping plains in search of greener pastures.

Guided game drives unveil a mesmerizing tapestry of wildlife encounters, from majestic lions prowling the savannah to graceful giraffes grazing against the backdrop of breathtaking sunsets. Cultural interactions with the Maasai people add a rich dimension to the safari experience, offering insights into their traditional way of life and deep connection with the land. Whether witnessing the drama of predator-prey interactions or simply savoring the serenity of the vast landscape, a safari in the Maasai Mara promises an adventure filled with awe-inspiring moments and cherished memories.

  1. Wildlife Watching
  2. Witness the Magnificent Wildebeest Migration
  3. Bird Watching
  4. Cultural Exploration
  5. Wildlife Expeditions in Maasai Mara
  6. Hot Air Balloon Excursion


Wildlife watching

The national reserve stands as a globally acclaimed destination for wildlife excursions in Kenya, boasting diverse fauna set amidst stunning landscapes. The optimal approach involves traversing the reserve via established trails, allowing visitors to witness the abundant wildlife. Game drives are conducted in open safari vehicles under the guidance of seasoned professionals, offering opportunities to marvel at a plethora of species including zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, and cheetahs. Wildlife viewing in the Maasai Mara National Reserve is available throughout the year, with the dry season presenting the ideal conditions as animals congregate around waterholes for drinking.


Witness the Magnificent Wildebeest Migration

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Kenya Safaris Tour Holidays

Renowned as one of the world’s natural marvels and the largest wildebeest migration globally, this awe-inspiring spectacle unfolds annually in the Masai Mara. The migration, comprising over 1.5 million wildebeest, alongside thousands of Thomson’s gazelles and zebras, is most notably observed during their traverse across the Mara River from the Serengeti National Park to the expansive plains of the Masai Mara.

Believed to be driven by the quest for fresh grass and water, the river crossing poses a perilous challenge as the migrating herds confront crocodile-infested waters. Subsequent encounters with predators such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs along the riverbanks add further drama to this epic journey. Experience the thrilling action firsthand during a Kenyan wildlife safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, with the peak viewing period spanning from July to September.


Bird watching

The national reserve emerges as a premier birding destination in Kenya, boasting an impressive array of avian species, with over 470 documented bird varieties. This diverse population includes 60 arboreal species, numerous raptors, and several endemic birds unique to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Endemic species are predominantly sighted along the Mara River, while migratory birds grace the reserve from October to May.

Embarking on a bird safari in the Masai Mara National Reserve offers opportunities to encounter a myriad of species, including the Lesser-speckled, Gray Tit, Hildebrand’s Thrush, Jackson’s Widow, Sloth Thrush, Ostrich, Purple Grenadier, Red-necked Tit, Rose Turaco, Red-necked Egret, Red-bellied Heron, Red-throat Sparrow, Saddle Stork, Shalo Turaco, Secretary Bird, Silver Bird, Southern Ground Hornbill, Swahili Sparrow, and more.


Cultural Exploration

The reserve stands as a remarkable safari destination in Kenya, where a harmonious coexistence between people and wildlife thrives. Embarking on a Kenyan wildlife safari tour in the Maasai Mara National Reserve presents a unique opportunity to explore renowned sites steeped in rich cultural traditions, particularly those of the Maasai people. Delving into a cultural tour of the Maasai Mara National Reserve allows for a deeper immersion into the Maasai way of life, offering insights into customs such as circumcision rituals, encounters with traditional bomas (circular thatched huts constructed from local materials like soil, wood, and straw), and insights into animal husbandry practices. Additionally, visitors have the chance to explore the bustling Talek town market and engage with local communities by visiting schools, fostering meaningful interactions and cultural exchange.


Wildlife Expeditions in Maasai Mara

Maasai Mara National Reserve

10 Days Kenya Uganda Safari

The Maasai Mara National Reserve stands as a breathtaking Kenyan safari hotspot, ideal for adventurous treks amidst its diverse landscapes. Within the reserve lie numerous protected areas, with Naboisho Reserve emerging as a highly recommended destination for trekking enthusiasts. Renowned for its abundant wildlife and awe-inspiring vistas, Naboisho offers an unparalleled trekking experience. Exploring the Maasai Mara National Reserve on foot provides adventurers with an immersive encounter with nature and wildlife. This exhilarating journey presents ample opportunities to encounter iconic species such as lions, leopards, buffaloes, rhinos, cheetahs, wildebeest, and more, creating unforgettable memories amidst the untamed wilderness.


Hot Air Balloon Excursion

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Adventure Holiday Tour

Embark on an exhilarating Kenyan safari adventure with a Hot Air Balloon Safari experience in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. This unforgettable journey offers a mesmerizing encounter with nature from a unique aerial perspective. Operated by a skilled team of over 20 individuals, the inflated balloons gracefully take off and land, providing passengers with a thrilling ride high above the savannah. From this vantage point, participants have the opportunity to marvel at a plethora of wildlife, including migrating wildebeest, majestic cheetahs, and regal lions, herds of elephants, formidable buffaloes, elusive leopards, and graceful antelopes. As the balloon drifts gently across the reserve’s neighboring plains, guests are treated to a spectacular vista, creating memories to last a lifetime.


How to get to Maasai Mara National Reserve?


Maasai Mara National Reserve

Kenya Wildlife Safaris Adventure

Getting to the Maasai Mara National Reserve typically involves traveling by road or air, depending on your preferences and budget. Once you arrive in the vicinity of the Maasai Mara, whether by air or road, you’ll likely need to arrange for further transportation to your specific accommodation within the reserve. Many lodges and camps offer transfer services from the airstrips or nearby towns to their respective locations within the reserve. Alternatively, if you’re on a guided safari tour, transportation arrangements will typically be included as part of the package.

Here are the primary transportation options

By Air

Flying into one of the nearby airstrips is a convenient option for those seeking to minimize travel time. There are several airstrips near the Maasai Mara, including Keekorok, Musiara, Ol Kiombo, and Siana, among others. Many domestic airlines offer scheduled flights from Nairobi and other major cities to these airstrips. The flight duration is usually around one hour, providing a quick and scenic journey to the reserve.

By Road

For those who prefer overland travel or are looking to explore more of the Kenyan countryside, traveling by road is an option. The Maasai Mara is accessible by road from major cities like Nairobi, Nakuru, and Kisumu. The journey from Nairobi, for example, typically takes around 5-6 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic. It’s advisable to hire a reliable tour operator or use a reputable transportation service to ensure a comfortable and safe journey.


Where to stay in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Elephant Pepper Camp

In the Maasai Mara National Reserve, visitors have a variety of accommodation options to choose from, catering to different preferences and budgets. From luxury lodges to mid-range tented camps and budget-friendly campsites, there’s something for everyone.

Some Popular Accommodation Choices within the Reserve

  1. Maasai Mara Serena Safari Lodge
  2. Elephant Pepper Camp
  3. Mara Bush Camp
  4. Kikwa Tambo Tented Camp
  5. Kicheche Bush Camp
  6. Orseki Mara Camp
  7. En Kund Tented Camp
  8. Loik Mara Camp
  9. Ndutu Moto Safari Camp

These establishments offer a range of amenities and services, including guided safari tours, dining options, and opportunities to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the Maasai Mara. Whether you’re seeking a luxurious retreat, a rustic camping experience, or something in between, you’ll find suitable accommodation options to enhance your safari adventure in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.