The majestic Masaai Mara

This is the third of a four-part series on national parks in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Masaai Mara is a national reserve in Kenya, about a 4-5 hour drive southwest of Nairobi, and encompasses a hilly region (that continues into the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania) that is home to probably the greatest population of wild animals in Africa. Several rivers criss-cross the Masaai Mara, providing the animals with an abundant source of water and food. The lush vegetation along the banks of the rivers forms a stark contrast with the grassy plains where massive herds of wildebeest (gnus), buffalos and zebras roam. The region is also home to large populations of giraffes, lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, hyenas, crocodiles and various antelope species. The annual wildebeest trek (between the Serengeti and Maasai Mara) takes place between the months of July and November – the times of the actual migration are difficult to predict. A fantastic way to view this mass migration is by means of a hot air balloon safari. Floating silently above the hundreds of thousands of animals, you’ll be witness to a true spectacle of nature, one that will never be forgotten.

This region is also home to the Maasai, a fiercely proud tribe who are renowned for the vibrant colours of their traditional dress and their fascinating customs. It is an intriguing and worthwhile experience to visit a Maasai village but expect steep entrance fees and souvenir-pushers. Take it in stride, be respectful but above all, take the time to truly appreciate the wondrous Maasai culture and their (often torturous) history.

Scroll down to view some of my best pictures of this magnificent park. Read the other editions of this African safari series: ‘Serengeti Magic‘, ‘The Splendor of Lake Nakuru‘ and ‘The Splendid Tarangire‘.

baby elephant

baby elephant

Masaai Mara sky

Masaai Mara sky over the expansive plains



Masaai Mara sunset

Masaai Mara sunset



more lions

more lions

Masaai tribe

The ladies of a Masaai village

Masaai men

...and the Masaai men

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14 Responses to “The majestic Masaai Mara”

  1. Ross 07/01/2014 5:17 pm

    Great photos. I was there years ago and so want to go back to see it now as an adult. I still have a scar where I got bitten by a monkey to remind me of it!

  2. Aamlorie 30/07/2013 12:32 am

    I want so bad to visit Kenya. I will, i’m sure.
    Thanks for the sharing, i have learned and i’m more inspired for my future travel to kenya

  3. rob hermans 14/09/2012 3:58 pm

    Hi Keith, beautifull pics… It’s been so long since I had the opportunity to travel through Africa 89/90 but I still remember the colors of the Masaai!

  4. santafetraveler 20/07/2012 6:29 am

    Great photos. I soooo want to go there.

  5. Life for Beginners 18/10/2010 10:03 am

    The Masaai Mara sunset is awesome. I’ve never been to Africa before and this, this sure gets me rather tempted! 🙂

  6. Jeffrey 21/07/2010 10:00 pm

    Ooh again Kenya is now enjoying very big number of visitors coming to visit the Mara reserve. This time around in the month of August the biggest ever mass movement of wildebeest migration is coming you better book yourself a place before hotels get full.

  7. The Africa Travel Blog 24/09/2009 2:33 am

    I remember my first trip to Africa as a 16 year old was to Masaai Mara. I was completely surprised by the massive amount of wildlife there! Of course I knew I would see animals, but I had never imagined anything like that. I can’t wait to go back one day!

    But before I return I have to check Kruger Park of my to-go-list.

  8. Kenya 21/09/2009 2:57 pm

    Great article on the Masai Mara. Everyone should make a point of going to see the great wildebeest migration. It is quite spectacular.

  9. velvet 14/09/2009 12:59 pm

    Thank you Liz & Alf for your wonderful comment. Really appreciate your kind words.

    Best regards,

  10. Liz and Alf Welch 14/09/2009 7:39 am

    Well Keith, the last time I was in The Masaai Mara was a couple of years ago when sitting in our lounge watching David Attenborough.I wish we could just pick up and go there.The photos are just beautiful and we like the article.Keep up the good work mate,you are bringing the world to our front doorstep.
    Liz and Alf.

  11. Dave and Deb 12/09/2009 8:01 pm

    We didn’t make it to Kenya when we were in Africa. The civil unrest that was happening last year kept us away unfortunately. But I am so looking to going back and visiting the Masaai Mara. Beautiful Photos Keith! and as usual very useful information


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