When planning a trip to Masai Mara, choosing the best time to visit this Kenyan gem and its surroundings is important.
Guests should be aware of the differences in climate, availability, activities and pricing when choosing between the various months and seasons.
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Best time to go to Masai Mara: Seasons
Masai Mara is a beautiful park to visit, regardless of the season and popular with visitors from the U.S, U.K, India, Norway, Zimbabwe and New Zealand.
The long cool-dry season from July to October is considered by most to be the best time of year to visit Masai Mara but also the costliest season too.
The absence of rain means that the flora is less dense, so animals are easier to observe. Additionally, insect levels, including mosquitoes, are lower during the dry season.
- January – February: This is the dry spell between the short and long rainy season, with only an incidental rain shower.
- March – May: This is the long rainy season with April being the wettest month. You don’t have to worry about it raining all day long, but it does rain regularly.
- Safari trails can get a little slippery. Early morning game drives are slightly now with average temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit).
- June – August: The average daytime temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Nighttime lows are around ten degrees Celsius and (50 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s generally sunny and dry, with only an incidental rain shower.
- September – October: This time of year you can expect occasional rain showers, but it’s mostly dry.
- Daytime temperatures in October are slightly higher at 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit). It can be slightly cooler after rain. Early morning game drives can be chilly at around twelve degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit).
- November – December: This is the lighter of the two rainy seasons. Expect short rain showers during these two months.
- Average afternoon temperatures are approximately 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit).
Best time to visit Masai Mara for wildlife
Approximately 1.5 million wildebeests and hundreds of thousands of zebras, elands and gazelles cross the crocodile infested Mara River in the reserve in search of food and water.
Although their arrival varies from year-to-year, in general, the herds arrive in late July through August and also parts of September.
Understanding the best time to visit Kenya is important as this will impact accommodation, flight prices, things to do, availability and the weather that visitors can expect on their safari vacation. Wildlife game viewing inside the Masai Mara is superb at all times.
Climate in Masai Mara
In the Masai Mara National Park, the climate is pleasantly warm, with cool nights, all year round. The area is located just south of the Equator, but at an altitude between 1,500 and 1,900 meters (5,000 and 6,200 feet).
Temperatures in Masai Mara
Days are often overcast, with showers in the afternoon, and chilly mornings with temperatures that hover around 13°C (55°F). November & December – You will experience “short rains” throughout these months. Average afternoon temperatures are 27°C (81°F).
Temperatures are slightly higher from October to March, while they are slightly cooler from June to August. At night, it can be a bit cold, and the temperature can drop below 10 °C (50 °F), especially from June to August.
When to go to Masai Mara: Activities
Maasai Mara can be accessed throughout the year with the most rewarding time during the green season when millions of animals both migratory and permanent residents are present at the reserve.
The green or rainy season in Kenya begins roughly from mid-late March and lasts more or less until the end of June. In Masai Mara, the rains fill the rivers and waterholes, bringing renewed life and transforming the landscape into lush green landscapes.
Gifted by nature, the reserve has more to explore during your stay around Maasai Mara and this can be done through the use of safari land cruisers or even walking.
The reserve is monitored and taken care of by the local community, hence giving much opportunity to guests to have leisure walks both inside the park and around the local community.
Game Drives and wildlife viewing
- Experience the Masai Mara on twice-daily game drives
A veritable wildlife haven blessed with a year-round, rather mind-boggling concentration of animals, the Mara certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Embark on twice-daily interpretive game drives with expert rangers who will uncover the wonders of the Mara.
And while we’re on the topic of reconnecting the magnificent Maasai with their ancient, most unforgettable land, it seems like the perfect time to share our Top 10 bucket list things to do in the Masai Mara.
Take to the skies in a hot air balloon
Awake before dawn and embark on a life-changing hot air balloon safari high above the mighty Mara plains.
Soar peacefully and enjoy the magnificent bird’s eye view of all the animals below (and the Great Migration if you’re lucky). This extraordinary experience concludes with an unforgettable, hearty champagne breakfast in the middle of the Mara.
Maasai community visit
No journey to the Masai Mara would be complete without an authentic cultural experience that gets you up close and personal with the fascinating Maasai people.
They will invite you into their humble mud and stick manyattas (homesteads) and reveal their pastoral world and ancient, time-honoured traditions.
Like the explorers of old, this is a truly unique way to experience the Mara. Once again without the hum of the safari vehicle, it is an invigorating way to explore the vast landscape.
Imagine galloping past the dazzles of zebras, journeys of giraffes and, if the time is right, the mighty herds of the Great Migration.
The great migration
Undoubtedly one of the most dramatic spectacles of the natural world, the Great Migration is the annual trek of two million herbivores across the Serengeti/Mara ecosystem.
Although the enormous herds of grunting gnus can be seen year-round, the world-famous, nail-biting Mara River crossings (July to October) are an absolute must for every wildlife enthusiast’s bucket list.
Dust off your lens & perfect your photography skills. Be the envy of the Mara in state-of-the-art, fully-customised photographic safari vehicles.
They boast unobstructed views, 360° degree swivel chairs, a fully-stocked personal bar and air conditioning – this is the ultimate photographic experience and the wildlife certainly plays its part as photographic subjects.
What is the best time to visit Masai Mara?
The long cool-dry season from July to October is considered by most to be the best time of year to visit Masai Mara.
What type of climate does the Masai Mara have?
In the Masai Mara National Park, the climate is pleasantly warm, with cool nights, all year round. The area is located just south of the Equator, but at an altitude between 1,500 and 1,900 meters.