Where is the Masai Mara Game Reserve?
Also known as Maasai Mara and locally as The Mara, this National Reserve can be found in southwestern Kenya’s Narok County. It shares a border with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania’s Mara Region and was named after the Maasai people, a Nilotic ethnic group found in Kenya and northern Tanzania.
This large game reserve is an area of preserved savannah wilderness, famous for its abundance of big cats including Masai lions, Kenyan cheetahs and African leopards.
An interesting fact about the Masai Mara Game Reserve…
Enormous herds of around 2 million animals try to survive predators and avoid dying of thirst, hunger and exhaustion in this survival of the fittest, yet around an eighth of them will die on the journey.
How do I get to the Masai Mara Game Reserve Safari?
Nairobi International Airport (NBO) is around 225km from Maasai Mara’s Mara Serena Airport (MRE). While you can use miles to get to NBO, you can’t use miles to fly directly into the park, so you’ll need transfers to get to your safari, too. You could drive the 280km from Nairobi, which takes around 5 or 6 hours, or fly into MRE, which is a 45-minute drive to the reserve. If you have plenty of cash, you can actually land a plane in the reserve itself, though you’ll have to pay a particular entry fee.
Where can I stay in the Masai Mara Game Reserve?
There are many lodges, safari hotels, tented camps and lots of other accommodation options in the Masai Mara. The central region is very busy and much more expensive during migration season. You can get discounted rates off-season but your safari experience will be very different, so you need to weigh up which is best for you. Better options inside the park can easily cost hundreds of dollars, like the gorgeous, luxury Elephant Pepper Camp:
For more of a budget option, you could camp just outside the game reserve. but you’ll still need to pay the high entry costs and probably hire a driver to explore the park itself.
How much does the Masai Mara Game Reserve Safari cost?
It’s not cheap. Before you even consider the cost of your accommodation, you need to know the entry fees. There are various park fees, stated as per person per day, and they vary for residents, citizens and non-residents. There’s also a vehicle charge per day. For example, a non-resident adult parking inside the game reserve costs US$70 for 24 hours and a vehicle with up to 5 seats costs KSh 400 (US$4). If you intend to spend a few days there and there are several people, the adult entry fees can get expensive quickly. You can see the full list of fees here – even how much it costs for a hot air balloon to land in the park!
When should I visit the Masai Mara Game Reserve Safari?
To enjoy the great spectacle of the migration and to see more animals, the best time to visit is between the months of late June/early July and October. During this time it’s cooler and drier, though it’s peak season so more expensive. Outside of these months, the Masai Mara is still a wonderful place to visit, as it has abundant wildlife year-round, but you may be there during the wetter seasons.
What are the rules of the Masai Mara Game Reserve Safari?
As with many reserves, you should follow basic regulations and etiquette to both stay safe and protect the animals while visiting. These include:
- Observing a speed limit
- No off road driving
- No littering
- No feeding or harassing the wildlife
- No night driving
What animals can I see on a Masai Mara Game Reserve Safari?
The reserve is home to a large variety of wild animals, so you could see a…
You could also see a gazelle, hippo, Nile crocodile, dik-dik, caracal, aardwolf, baboon, mongoose, warthog, hundreds of kinds of birds and so much more.
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