Positioned in the southwest of Kenya and reaching into Tanzania, the Masai Mara National Reserve comprises over 589 sq. miles of breathtaking landscapes and exhilarating wildlife encounters. The reserve is also home to the hot air balloon excursions famous for observing the animal migration from the sky. With so much information available on the internet, planning a trip to the Masai Mara can become increasingly daunting. Lucky for you, our expert team is here to provide you with everything you need to plan the perfect Masai Mara Safari.
When Should I Plan My Trip?
A lot of this depends on what you’d like to experience while exploring the park. June – October is often considered to be the best time to visit due to the famous wildebeest migration. Although it is not guaranteed that the wildebeest get to Masai Mara, their migration pattern has yet to let our team down.
Looking to get away from the crowds? I’d recommend March to May or November and December. While there may be a rain shower or two, animals will still be easily-spotted, with the added benefit of having fewer vehicles around you. No matter when you choose to go, the Masai Mara is an all year round destination with the big cats, and all the big game still venturing within the Masai Mara Ecosystem.
How Many Days Should I Spend There?
The Masai Mara has a great deal to see and experience. For an ordinary game viewing safari, we suggest around three or four days. Those contemplating a photography safari would, however, want to stay longer to obtain the best shots. Due to the variety of wildlife encounters possible and a number of activities that you can take while in the reserve, 3 to 4 days is the perfect amount of time to check those “must-sees” off your bucket list.
Is The Hot Air Balloon Ride Worth It?
This is probably one of our favorite excursions and we recommend this to anyone who is taking a trip into the Mara. The adventure begins early in the morning where your guide will take you to the launch zone before enjoying some of the most memorable scenes one can experience during their time in Africa.
A big reason why this is so popular is that you can see so much from up above and into a great distance, providing you with a new perspective of the Mara. Our advice is to book the hot air balloon ride ahead of time to avoid any trouble finding a spot, particularly in the peak season.
What Animals Can I Expect To See?
The Mara reserve showcases around 100 animals and over 500 recorded species of birds, making it one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in the continent. This provides guests with a real look into nature’s marvelous cycle of birth, growth, survival and inevitable death.
Aside from the Big 5 – lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant – there is a relatively never-ending array of vibrant and unique creatures that call this place home. You can find Hippos and Crocodiles perusing the rivers, and reptiles such as lizards, geckos, terrapins, and tortoises venturing on the hard, dry ground.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of a safari in Kenya usually depends on the number of days, the tier of accommodation, the number of people traveling and the season they intended on going in. In my opinion and experience, it really comes down to who is leading your safari.
There are plenty of “affordable” options, but do you really want to risk your safari experience with someone who just considers you as another guest?
It does not matter whether you join a guided small group open vehicle safari, stay at an affordable, rustic bush camp, or pay top dollar for a top-end luxury safari lodge.
The quality of your safari guide is the most important factor that will influence the overall experience and enjoyment of your safari.
Lucky for you, our incredible wildlife guides are what our travelers remember and reminisce about most when they recount their experience.
Make 2020 the year when all your safari dreams come true. Get in touch with us about your dream trip to Africa planned and executed by experts, and perfectly tailored to all your needs.