With one of the most expansive plains in Africa, Kenya is also home to the revered Masai Mara. This destination hosts arguably one of the most quintessential Kenyan holidays and is home to most of Kenya’s wildlife, including every member of the Big 5. Kenya is famous for the Great Wildebeest Migration, which happens every year – and is a true spectacle to behold.
We can’t think of a better place for a Kenyan safari than heading into the Masai Mara. Choose from a variety of tours from hot air balloon safaris through to walking safaris – all of which are possible on a Masai Mara safari!
We’re going to share more about some of the sights and adventures you can expect to encounter on a Masai Mara safari in Kenya, as well as some things to remember when packing for your trip. A Kenya wildlife safari is truly an unforgettable experience – so you’ll want to be well-prepared upon arrival!
When is the best time to go on safari in Kenya?
The good news is that you can go on a Masai Mara safari year-round due to the benign climate and abundant Kenyan wildlife throughout the year.
You can expect maximum daytime temperatures of between 26-28C (79-82F), while the nights are mild and temperate. Kenya enjoys rain year-round, but the two major rainy seasons include heavy rains from March to May and shorter periods of rainfall from September to November.
One of the biggest attractions in the area is to visit during the Great Wildebeest Migration, which happens from mid-June all the way until the end of November, with peaks of movement near the Masai Mara river in July and August. Later, the wildebeest spread out over the broader Masai Mara region. You won’t want to miss this event, where over 1.5 million wildebeest cross the Mara River in the Masai Mara as part of an annual migration all the way from the Serengeti.
Outside of the migratory seasons, you’ll still be able to spot ample wildlife gathering for water. This Kenya wildlife safari experience is definitely one for photographers as it presents a ton of opportunities for incredible pictures, with great sightings year-round.
Kenya safari tours: What to expect
There’s a ton of things you can choose to do on a safari tour in Kenya! Some of the most exciting options include:
- Watching the Great Wildebeest Migration from June until November. The rivers are teeming with crocodiles and prey, and there’s sure to be constant action and movement.
- Walk with the Masai herders, learn more about local culture and community, and engage with village life.
- Go on a balloon safari tour and watch the savannah from above! Having a hot air balloon experience provides the best possible views of the safari landscape below.
- If you’re a fan of big cats, you can track lions, leopards and cheetahs on your Masai Mara safari. Chances of seeing them are heightened around the time of the Great Wildebeest Migration.
- There’s a lot of room for privacy by opting for romantic getaways, private reserves, exclusive sightings and night rides.
- The Masai Mara is home to many family-friendly accommodation options if you want to bring your whole family along.
- A safari in Kenya is optimal for a photographic retreat if you’re into snapping pictures as a hobby! The diversity of Kenyan wildlife makes for ample subject matter.
Wildlife in the Masai Mara
If you’re looking for wildlife sightings, you’ve come to the right place. Some of the most common wildlife in the Masai Mara region include elephants, Masai giraffes, hippos, buffalos, zebras, wildebeest, lions, cheetahs and hyenas. Rare animals in the region include black rhinos, leopards and wild dogs.
This region is particularly known for its high concentration of lions and other big cats, as well as rarer predators such as black-backed jackal, bat-eared foxes, impalas, eland and many more. The Masai Mara is also home to over 500 bird species and over 57 species of raptors!
You won’t get bored when faced with so many diverse wildlife species to look out for!
What to pack for a Masai Mara safari
As with any trip, you’ll need to pack appropriately to get the best out of your Kenyan safari tour at the Masai Mara!
Some essentials that you’ll need to pack for this trip include:
- Soft-sided bags for trips between reserves. Bags are often restricted to a strict limit of around 15-20kg per bag. The planes are small and only allow one item of carry-on luggage per person.
- Loose-fitting, and breathable clothing for your Masai Mara tour. You’ll be spending hours outdoors and you’ll want to ensure you are comfortable – there’s no real limit as to what you can wear, but neutral tones like brown, grey and khaki colours are best. Remember that black clothing will attract heat and flies, which could become quite uncomfortable in the hot climate. Read some of our recommendations for what to wear on safari in Southern Africa.
- Specific clothing to pack: 2-3 long sleeve shirts, 2-4 t-shirts, 2-3 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of cotton trousers, a light jacket, a wide-brim hat (preferably with a tie for under your chin), comfortable shoes for walking daily, sandals or flip-flops for camp activities, cotton socks and underwear, swimwear (if applicable to your accommodation), scarves/bandanas for dust and sunglasses with polarised lenses.
- You should bring your camera with you if you’re keen on snapping some pictures of the incredible Kenyan wildlife!
Accommodation for your holiday in Kenya
There’s a variety of accommodation you can choose from for your Masai Mara safari – it all depends on what kind of trip you want and who’s coming along with you!
One of our favourite kinds of accommodation is staying at a luxury tented camp within the Masai Mara area to truly experience the bush atmosphere. There’s also the choice of opting for a luxury safari lodge if you’re looking for something more romantic and private.
Regardless of what type of accommodation you decide, you’ll still experience the unforgettable atmosphere of the bush, complete with incredible wildlife, natural beauty and an overall amazing Masai Mara safari experience!
Ready to book your trip?
Going on a Kenya holiday is an amazing treat. Witnessing the Kenya wildlife within the incredible Masai Mara region is sure to be an unforgettable safari experience.
We recommend travelling in time to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration during the latter half of the year.
If you’re starting to plan your next safari trip to Africa, get in touch with us to start the planning process! If you’re looking for a holiday packed with adventure, we’ve got you covered.