Game drives in the Masai Mara are unforgettable due to the abundance of wildlife and the spectacular landscapes. With gently rolling hills and wide open plains, this is the quintessential African safari experience. Travellers can expect to encounter large numbers of animals year round, with big herds of elephant, buffalo and other plains game. It is also common to see predator interaction. The Great Wildebeest Migration passes through the Mara for approximately three months each year. Game drives may last from a couple of hours to the whole day, with a picnic breakfast and lunch.
If you are lucky enough to experience nature’s greatest spectacle, the Wildebeest Migration, it is a sight to behold. From July to November each year over two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle embark on a cyclical movement through the Mara, driven by rainfall and the subsequent availability of grazing. Throughout their journey, the wildebeest face tremendous threats, crossing rivers teeming with wily crocodiles and encountering an abundance of predators following closely behind them.
In November the short summer rains begin and the wildebeest move south to their Serengeti calving grounds. However, the ample resident wildlife of the Mara stays in place, ensuring an unforgettable safari experience at any time of the year. Lion and hyena can be encountered in the reserve, as can cheetah and leopard. The Mara is famous for its magnificent, black-maned lion and you stand a good chance of viewing these powerful animals on a game drive. Up to six species of vulture are found in the Mara and one or more of them may often be seen on the sidelines of a lion kill.
The Masai Mara National Reserve is part of a huge conservation area that also includes the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in neighbouring Kenya. With no fences or man-made barriers, wildlife can move freely throughout this area, constantly recreating an ageless natural cycle.