Kifaru Discover Safaris

best time to visit masai mara

Best Time to Visit Masai Mara (Month by Month Guide)

You probably know Maasai Mara is found in Kenya and is a well-known attraction. It has been one of the best safari destinations in Africa due to its Great migration wonder of the natural world. But when is the best time to visit Masai Mara?

In this guide we are going to advise you on the best time to visit Maasai Mara so that you can enjoy the best of your Kenya safari.We have been planning Masai Mara Safaris for many years and always strive to our clients the best travel experiences.

Maasai Mara got its name from the Maasai people who inhabit the region in their native language of Maa, Mara means dotted. Masai means plain, in full Maasai Mara means dotted plains. It is not a park but a national reserve that belongs to the Maasai people under the management of the County Government of Narok.

Maasai Mara has an area of 1920km in Mara region and it is located in the southern part of The Great Rift VaIIey and is in south west of Nairobi city and it’s approximately 7hrs drive from Nairobi passing through the great Rift Valley.

It is the most famous place to find almost every kind of animals including the big five (African Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Leopards, and Buffalo). Other animals found in Masai Mara include cheetahs, gazelles, wildebeests, ostriches, serval cats, giraffes, and hundreds of bird species (look out for the colorful national bird of Kenya the Lilac-Breasted Roller  which also happens to be my favorite bird).

The Best Time To Visit Masai Mara

From experience, the best time to visit Masai Mara is definitely during the Great Migration between June and October where about 1.5 million wildebeests and zebras migrate between Kenya (Maasai Mara) and Tanzania (Serengeti).

You can witness this amazing spectacle, which one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, on the Maasai Mara side. For good scenes be sure to visit the Mara River to witness herds and herds of wildebeests braving the deep fast moving waters and hungry crocodiles.

Best time to visit masai mara

The migration of wildebeest takes place in month of June, July, August, and September, and that is the time that travelers are able to see the migration. It involves about 1.5 million wildebeests, 0.3 million zebras and various antelope species where predators like lions, cheaters, and crocodiles lay in wait. They cross the heavily infested Mara River.

The best time to visit Masai Mara for migration is the month of September when most herds are grazing on the Sekenani regions of the Mara. During this month there is almost no migratory herd in Serengeti.

The best time to visit Masai Mara and Serengeti as a single safari is in the months of July (when Wildebeest are migrating North from Serengeti to Maasai Mara) and November (when wildebeests are migrating Southwards from the Mara towards Northern Serengeti). This answers those people who are wondering ‘is November a good time to visit Masai Mara? ‘.

You can inquire more about Maasai Mara Safari or book your safari with us as local guides at Maasai Mara and Nairobi.


Here are a few months in which a number of our clients are usually asking what is happening in Maasai Mara and our responses as local guides:

Masai Mara in December

December is a dry season in Maasai Mara and only experiences a few days (less than 10) of short rains. The short rain usually happen in the afternoons do not affect game drives significantly. However, you will still be able to see several herds of wildebeests which are usually resident in the Mara region.

The less and short vegetation also makes it easier to spot other animals like lions, cheetahs, serval cats, gazelles , or even leopards among others.

If you are a bird watching enthusiast, December is a very ideal month to visit Maasai Mara because it experiences flocks of migratory birds which fly across the Mara. Species of birds which can be spotted during this period include Rufous-bellied Herons, White Storks, Double-Toothed Barbets, Black Storks, and Spoon-Billed Storks.

Some plants like Teclea bushes produce fruits during this season and the Bullbuls and White Casked Hornbills birds love these delicacies making it easy to spot them. We thus recommend December as bird watching safari month in the Masai Mara.

December is also the best time to visit Masai Mara and Serengeti because wildebeests are migrating South from Maasai Mara towards northern Serengeti.

Masai Mara in January

If you have been wondering what Masai Mara in January looks like, January is a dry month in most parts in Kenya including the Mara Triangle. January is usually drier than December.

This means less green vegetation which means you expect to see less grazers like wildebeests but still a good opportunity to see other animals like Cheetahs and Lions as the grass and other ground vegetation are short and sparse.

In January, the temperatures in Masai Mara usually average around 20°C  during the day but can go as high as 32°C  especially during midday. The humidity is usually low and can go as low as 20% and sometimes as high as 70% when there is cloud cover. 

If you are wondering, ‘is February a good time to visit Masai Mara?’, it is also the same dry season like January but you will still witness all the big 5 animals and smaller herds of wildebeests.


The Maasai People

The Maasai people are the dominant tribe that lives around Maasai Mara. They are nomadic people moving from one place to another in search of water, pasture and food for their cattle. There is also the Maa culture which is the best culture in Kenya.

The Maa culture has may sectors e.g. dances, tools/craftsmanship, housing, circumcision as a rite of passage, ornaments like necklaces. The Maa culture is one of the most hospitable communities in Kenya, they are very welcoming.

Maasai Mara has some of the best luxury safari camps and lodges in East and South Africa. Maasai Mara camps and lodges are well designed to fit every kind of traveler looking to enjoy its experiences.

Maasai Mara can be accessed by either road (7 hours from Nairobi) or 1 hr flight Nairobi and or 1 hr 45minutes flight from Mombasa. At Kifaru Discover Safaris we have both road Maasai Mara Mara safari packages (cheaper) and Fly-in Masai Mara Safaris. The Masai Mara trip cost ranges from 500 USD to about 3500 USD depending on the umber of days, class of hotel (budget, mid-range or luxury) and whether road or fly-in package.

Best time to visit masai mara


You can send us your travel inquiry in the form below with your preferred travel dates. We respond immediately.


 Interesting Things to do in Maasai Mara

a] Morning and evening game drives

b] Explore the open savanna

c] Intermingle with the Maasai on a visit

d]Taking a saddle on a horse back safari

e] Witnessing the thundering hooves of the great migration

f] Celebrate the sunset with Maasai warriors

g] Photograph lions in ‘BIG CAT DIARY’ territory

Closing Remarks

It is evident that the best time to visit Masai Mara is between June and October every year when the thundering hooves of the great migration are hitting the ground. You will witness thousands of wildebeests doing multiple crossings at the Mara river.

Maasai Mara is the best place to be and that is why it is one of the leading safari destinations in Africa. It offers the Big 5 animals, and one the seven wonders of natural world!


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