Masai Mara, Kenya

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

Private conservancy stays

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 a 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.

Lions roaming, Masai Mara, Kenya

A Passion for Lions by Brian Jackman

“It was 1974 – my first visit to Africa – and the first time I had ever flown in a tiny six-seater bush plane. 45 minutes after leaving Nairobi, we reduced altitude to touch down in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, bouncing from thermal to thermal over endless plains on which herds of buffalo stampeded away and elephants stood and watched us.”

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What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Kenya Mother elephant with a baby, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Mara Elephant Project

Join Mark Goss, the CEO of the Mara Elephant Project, on an aerial reconnaissance mission to track the collared elephants, enjoy the view of the Mara from above and support the work of the project.

Holiday idea

Walking Safari, Masai Mara, Kenya

Bush School for Children

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

Balloon flight over the plains, Masai Mara, Kenya

Dawn Balloon Flight

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

Ekorian's Mugie, Laikipia, Kenya

Owner-run Lodges

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

Masai decoration, Masai Mara, Kenya

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.

Bush walk, Elephant Pepper Camp, Masai Mara

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.

Wildebeest Migration, Kenya

The Great Migration

Witness spectacular river crossings during the Great Migration.

Lioness Napejo of Rongai Pride at sunset in Masai Mara, Kenya

Masai Mara Photography

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

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to Stay

Every captivating tailor-made itinerary needs a perfect base. Our team has handpicked this collection of properties to give you luxury options in styles to suit any adventure.

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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.

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.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

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.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Why Choose Steppes?

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