Our People
  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Sunset and vehicle, Offbeat Mara Camp, Masai Mara

Masai Mara

Picture Africa in your mind’s eye and chances are you will visualise the vast, acacia-dotted plains of the Masai Mara, teeming with game.

Situated in the south-west of Kenya, the Masai Mara is part of the Serengeti ecosystem. Huge herds move through the sweeping plains on their annual migration followed by a supporting cast of predators. It has gained an unfair reputation as being too busy or too commercial, but this is simply not true.

Bush walk, Elephant Pepper Camp, Masai Mara
Mara North Conservancy, Masai mara, Kenya
Lion and wildebeests, Masai Mara, Kenya
Lion and wildebeests, Masai Mara, Kenya
Masai Mara, Kenya
Masai Mara, Kenya
Outside Area-Alex Walkers Serian-Masai Mara-Kenya
Masai Mara, Kenya

Stay in private conservancies

The knowledge of Steppes’ Kenya experts highlights this misconception of the Masai Mara as too busy. We know the places to avoid – where the crowds can seem overwhelming. Instead, we can take you to small, privately owned conservancies, where the wildlife is every bit as prolific, but the viewing is private and infinitely more memorable.

Beautiful sunset, Masai Mara, Kenya
Masai Mara, Kenya
Lioness Napejo of Rongai Pride at sunset in Masai Mara, Kenya
Golden hour, Masai Mara, Kenya
Elephant family mud bath after rains, Masai Mara, Kenya
Masai Mara, Kenya

When to go to the Masai Mara

Every month is different. Peak time in the Masai Mara is August and September, when the migration is in full flow. The promise of rain and fresh grass in the north brings more than a million wildebeests together – into a single massive herd, which pours across the Tanzanian border and into the Mara.

That said, the Mara is always full of wildlife, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking the reserve is void of game for the rest of the year. One of our favourite times to visit is during the green season, from February until March or between October and November. The showers clear the air, the plains are a lush green and the animals look healthy. There are also very few tourists.

View from deck at Angama Mara, Masai Mara
Angama Mara, Masai Mara, Kenya
Lounge, Cottar's 1920 Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya
Masai Mara, Kenya
Exterior of Main Lounge Tent, Kicheche Mara Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya
Kicheche Mara Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya
Tent Exterior-Alex Walkers Serian-Masai Mara-Kenya
Masai Mara, Kenya

Where to stay in the Masai Mara

With so much choice, there is a camp to suit everyone. Kicheche Mara Camp is a tried and tested classic bush camp. Delivering great wildlife experiences, it is particularly popular with photographers. If you are looking for a safari with added style, then Alex Walker’s Serian is the perfect choice – it features commanding views across the Mara River and a private walking concession.

Somewhere like Cottar’s 1920s Camp provides a true Out-of-Africa experience, with a safari heritage going back to the turn of the last century. Alternatively, jump right into the 21st Century, with the show-stopping design and striking setting at Angama Mara.

 

Experiences

Bush School for Children

Learn bush skills, such as tracking and making bows, under the tutelage of fantastically knowledgeable local guides.

Meet the Maasai

Spend time with one of Africa’s most iconic and misunderstood tribes. Visit a local school or Maasai boma to understand more about the Maasai way of life.

Private Conservancy

Stay in one of the Masai Mara’s renowned private conservancies, benefiting from exclusivity, as well as the option of off-road driving, bush walks and night drives.

Dawn Balloon Flight

Take off at dawn and float over the landscape of the Masai Mara, as the wilderness begins to wake.

Owner-run Lodges

Experience some of the warmest and most characterful lodges in Africa, built, managed and hosted by their owners.

The Great Migration

Witness spectacular river crossings during the Great Migration.

Masai Mara Photography

Photograph thrilling wildlife encounters and spectacular scenery. Make the most of the golden hour to capture that perfect shot.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Jackie Devereux

I was born in Zimbabwe. With a dad who was in the police force, we moved from place to place. I have always been passionate about travel. My grandparents mentioned that our ancestors set off from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia – looking for better cattle pastures. They ended up settling in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, in the Great Zimbabwe area.
Talk with our experts
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Illona Cross

Illona has visited Kenya numerous times, as well as spending time in the Masai Mara as a safari guide at one of the camps. Having explored much of the country and stayed at a variety of camps and lodges, she always enjoys the diversity of activities on offer, including her personal favourite, horse riding.
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Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
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Chris Johnston

Chris has explored much of Africa over the years, yet holds firm the belief that Kenya offers the best big-game experience in the world. He has walked, driven, mountain-biked, ridden and paddled past some of Africa’s most exciting wildlife whilst on safari in Kenya. And such is the style and comfort of the country’s lodges, all this was whilst within easy reach of an ice-cold G&T.
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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes