blieusong

photo: blieusong

View Map

Overview

One of Africa’s greatest safari destinations, the Masai Mara National Reserve lies in southwestern Kenya where it shares an unfenced border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, and forms a part of the same migratory ecosystem. Although it is smaller than the Serengeti, and generally a lot busier with tourist traffic, the "Mara" (as it’s known locally) offers even better game viewing. It is here that the popular TV program "Big Cat Diaries" was shot, and excellent lion, leopard and cheetah sightings are almost certain at any time of year. Buffalo and elephant are also plentiful, and there’s a good chance of spotting black rhino. The ...

One of Africa’s greatest safari destinations, the Masai Mara National Reserve lies in southwestern Kenya where it shares an unfenced border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, and forms a part of the same migratory ecosystem. Although it is smaller than the Serengeti, and generally a lot busier with tourist traffic, the "Mara" (as it’s known locally) offers even better game viewing. It is here that the popular TV program "Big Cat Diaries" was shot, and excellent lion, leopard and cheetah sightings are almost certain at any time of year. Buffalo and elephant are also plentiful, and there’s a good chance of spotting black rhino. The reserve is best known for the crossings of the Mara River associated with the wildebeest migration, which is usually in the area from August through October (also the busiest tourist season). Other ungulates are well represented, with impala and gazelle being most numerous (except when the migrating wildebeest pass through) and eland, zebra, giraffe, topi, Coke’s hartebeest, reedbuck, Defassa waterbuck, hippo and warthog all present. The Mara provides a fine introduction to East Africa’s savanna birdlife, with more than 500 species recorded, including conspicuous safari favorites such as southern ground hornbill, lilac-breasted roller, superb starling and little bee-eater. The riparian forest along the Mara and Talek Rivers is an important niche habitat for the eagerly sought Ross’s turaco and Schalow’s turaco.

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

view full overview

Philip Briggs for Triporati

Must See, Do

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: is a large game reserve in south-western Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
  • Language: English, Kiswahili & numerous indigenous languages
  • Currency: Kenyan Shilling
  • Research: Wikipedia

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Game viewing is excellent at any time of year, particularly when it comes to lions and other large predators, but it is truly outstanding between August and October, when the wildebeest migration crosses over from Tanzania.