Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve - All About Masai Mara

Maasai Mara National Reserve

All about masai mara national park

Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the largest national reserves in Kenya, with an approximate size of 1510 KM2. Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to the famous National Geographic Big Cats like lions, leopards, cheetahs, and other big five wildlife species like rhinos, elephants, and buffaloes. 

Its also the best place to spot the wildebeest migrations and the actions of the big cats during the migration in Masai Mara Park. With the beauty of the flora and fauna, the vast land scapes and wide spaces with dotted acacia trees, and other plant species within the reserve. 

Masai Mara National Park is surrounded by conservancies around such as the Naboisho Conservancy, Mara North Conservancy, Olare Motorogi Conservancy, among many others that act as buffer zones for wildlife and help in wildlife and human conservation. 

Masai Mara National Reserve - Masai Mara Safaris - Wildebeest Sightings
Best Time for Wildebeest Migration - All About Wildebeest Migration - Serengeti and Masai Mara Migration - Month By Month Wildebeest Guide

Best time to visit masai mara

When to Visit Masai Mara National Reserve

You wonder when is the best time to visit Masai Mara? Well, you can visit Masai Mara any time of the year. Still, due to different seasons and wildlife activities, the best time is recommended to visit the reserve for optimum wildlife sightings and great experiences. Below are months by season of when to visit Masai Mara:- 

January to March (High Season):- 

During this time, the weather is hot and dry, and January to March is the best time to spot the big cats and other wildlife species. Wildlife animals spend time at the water holes and water pans, making it easy to spot them. We refer to this season as the high season. 

The long rains that start in mid-February, help wildlife and especially the wildebeest calves during the calving season in Ndutu Conservation Area and Serengeti South to feed and have enough food and water. But also the rains are quite important in Masai Mara Reserve as lots of animals depend on the much-awaited rains for food and water.

April to June (Low Season):- 

In the April to May Season of the year, the months are wet with lots of rain and muddy terrains, lots of greener grounds, and a bit chilly and cold. It’s not recommended to visit this time if you would love to spot wildlife, it will be difficult to see them, due to the abundance of water and food. 

It is recommended to visit this time if you would love to enjoy the exclusivity of luxury camps at great offers in Masai Mara. There are a lot of safari accommodation offers that tend to run during this season in Masai Mara and to enjoy the luxuries, it’s best to visit this time.

July to October (Peak Season):- 

This is the best month to witness the amazing wildebeest crossings in the major Mara Rivers in Kenya and Tanzania. The months of July to October, are noted to be the peak season in terms of tourist guests visiting East Africa due to their best time and great weather for safari and beach holidays. 

Thousands of Wildebeests cross to Masai Mara for their annual great wildebeest migration and create amazing scenes, that are thrilling and captivating as they cross the Mara river high cliffs. 

November and December (High Season):- 

During November and December, the weather is favorable with little showers in November, which are short rains, and hot temperatures in December all through the holidays till January. This is also one of the best times to visit Masai Mara National Reserve. 

Masai Mara National Reserve - Maasai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve - Maasai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara Weather and Climate

Weather and Climate in Masai Mara

Without knowing any better, you would probably think that the Masai Mara climate would be very hot and dry. It’s typically what you would expect when thinking of Africa, a hot and dry place, but rather receiving good rainfall. 

However, the Masai Mara altitude causes its climate to be cooler and wetter than you would expect it to be. Situated at an altitude varying from 1500 to 1900 meters, you can expect pleasantly warm daytime temperatures and much cooler nights. So, don’t forget to pack a sweater for the early morning game drives.

The weather and climate in Masai Mara are ideal for safari travel year-round. Average daytime temperatures are comfortable, evening temperatures can become quite chilly. It is located on the lower side of the Mau Forest serves water to the main Mara River, and brings rain frequently into the reserve.

On average it rains approximately 1400 millimeters (55 inches) per year in Masai Mara. You are most likely to encounter a rain shower in April and least likely to feel raindrops in July. The Masai Mara has two rainy seasons: the short rainy season is in November and December and the long rainy season is from March–May. The heaviest rainfall can be expected in April, however flooding can occur in both rainy seasons.

The average daytime temperature of Masai Mara is around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). Nighttime lows are around 15 degrees Celsius and (50 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s generally sunny and dry, with only an incidental rain shower.

Masai Mara National Reserve - Maasai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve - Maasai Mara National Reserve

How to Get to Masai Mara

Ways to Travel to Masai Mara

Masai Mara National Reserve is located in the South West of the capital city Nairobi. It’s 7 hours drive by road, and 45 minutes by flight. You can access Masai Mara easily by road, which is the commonly used form of transfer used to take guests to Masai Mara. You can access Masai Mara by road through the 5 most known gates such as Sekenani Gate, Talek Gate, Musiara Gate, Oloolo Gate, Ololaimutiek Gate. 

If you love exclusivity and not staying on the road long, a flight from Nairobi to Masai Mara would be ideal for you. The Masai Mara has numerous airstrips that serves different safari camps and lodges. A few of the best airstrip in Masai Mara such as Ol Kiombo Airstrip, Kichwa Tembo Airstrip, Keekorok Airstrip, Mara North Airstrip just to mention a few.

Masai Mara National Reserve - Maasai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve - Maasai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara Park Fees Entrance

Park Fee Entrance to Masai Mara

Masai Mara Park Fees 2024 – Non Residents

Details Non Residents RatesPeak Season July to DecemberLow season January to June
AdultsUSD 200USD 100
Children / StudentsUSD 50USD 50

Masai Mara Park Fees 2024 – Residents and Kenyans

Details – Kenyans and Residents RatesPeak Season – July to DecemberLow season January to June
AdultsKES 3000KES 1000
Children / StudentsKES 1000KES 1000

Masai Mara Park Fees 2024 – Vehicles

DetailsPeak Season –July to DecemberLow season January to June
Less Than 6 SeatsKsh 400Ksh 400
6 – 12 SeatsKsh 1,000Ksh 1,000
13 – 24 SeatsKsh 3,000Ksh 3,000
24 – 44 SeatsKsh 4,000Ksh 1,000
45 Seats And AboveKsh 5,000Ksh 5,000

Masai Mara Park Fees 2024 – Other fees and Charges

Details – Kenyans and Residents RatesAdultsKids – Children

Hot Air Balloon Landing Fee (Per Person Per Landing) Note –

This Is Usually Included In The Balloon Flight Prices

US$ 50US$ 20
Horse Riding Fee (Per Horse Per Day)Ksh 1,500Ksh 1,500
Annual Research Permits (Non-Resident)US$ 400 


How to Pay for Masai Mara Park Entrance Fees 

How to Pay / Mode of Payment to Masai Mara National Reserve: Payment in Cash US Dollars or Kenya Shillings is accepted at the entry gates except if you are paying for entry to the western side of the reserve, namely Mara Triangle – Mara Conservancy area, where only cashless payment is accepted ( either Visa / Mastercard or Mpesa Mobile Money). 
Cashless modes are also accepted as an option for all the other Masai Mara gates including for Sekenani and Talek gates. Citizens and Residents of Kenya are required to carry identification and proof of residence to avail of the cheaper Resident rates. Pre-payment (obtain tickets in advance) is possible through the KAPS company located in the KATO office, Longonot Road, Upper Hill, Nairobi.

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