Home to the Great Migration, where every year millions of wildebeest thunder across the plains in search of fresh pasture, Kenya‘s Maasai Mara is one of the most famous game reserves in the world.
At some point between July and October, the herds pour into the Maasai Mara from the dry plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. The wildebeest must cross the Mara River on the border, marking the most treacherous point in the journey, with hungry crocodiles waiting patiently beneath the surface. The sound of millions of clattering hooves and the spray of the water as they crash through the river is an incredible sight and one of Africa’s premier wildlife experiences.
It must not be forgotten, however, that the Maasai Mara has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife year-round. The big five can all be ticked off your list on a visit here, and you’ll also get to see huge pods of hippos basking in the rivers, cheetahs racing across the savannah and giraffes ambling between the acacia trees.
The Maasai Mara is located in the south west of Kenya on the border with Tanzania, forming part of what is known as the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. The reserve is named after the Maasai people, who inhabit the area, and the Mara River which courses it way through the plains.
The distinctive red shawls of the Maasai tribe are a common sight while on safari here. Originally from what is now South Sudan, the Maasai have been grazing their cattle on these lands for hundreds of years and is still common practice for many. You’ll have the opportunity to learn all about their culture while in the Maasai Mari, adding another dimension to a trip in this incredible region.
When to go
January to March is hot and humid but game will be condensed around water. July to October are the ideal months to travel, with the Great Migration in action.
What to do
- 4x4 game drives
- Guided bush walks
- Hot air balloon rides