So which is the best month to visit Masai Mara ? This is a question often asked by many travelers planning that special once in a lifetime trip to the park. August is the best month to visit if you want to see the annual Wildebeest Migration. However, we cannot emphasize this enough - Masai Mara National Reserve is a superb year round safari destination as it offers ideal climate with an abundance of wildlife for excellent game viewing throughout the calendar year. The average daytime temperatures remain comfortable while nights are marginally cooler, needing just a cardigan or light jacket at the most. Generally speaking these conditions make for excellent game viewing any time of the year. Like any other location in Kenya, the reserve experiences mildly distinct weather patterns, with two rainy seasons through the year that last 2 to 3 months, namely April to May and September to early November. The seasonal rainfall affects vegetation and water sources thus impacting movement and concentration of animals.
However, with many tourists come for the Wildebeest Migration which typically starts mid July, peaks in August and lasts through early September, and this is regarded as the best time to visit Masai Mara especially for those who want to see the Great migration and large herds. As mentioned, due to varying rainfall patterns, the timing of the migration varies slightly year to year.
Therefore you may want to factor in the climate, the wildebeest migration and seasonal price changes while making your plans to visit Masai Mara so as to meet your expectations.
The climate in Masai Mara is pleasantly warm, with cool nights all year round. This area is located just south of the Equator, but at an altitude between 1,500 and 1,900 meters. 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 , especially from June to August. Rainfall amounts to about 1,400 millimeters per year. The wettest month is April, the driest is July.
|December - February
|March - May
|June - mid September
|Mid September - November
|Generally drier & warmer with clearer skies and lower rainfall. Excellent for Photography
|Pleasant temperatures but with higher rainfall. Despite the rain, several hours of daily sunshine & clear skies still encountered.
|Cloudier & cooler but drier with little rainfall but more overcast days
|'Short' rains are a possibility but sky also tends to be clearer with sunny days possible
Weather patterns in Masai Mara are not as predictable as in the decades gone by and last minute climatic variations may be experienced.
Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the major parks in Kenya, known for excellent wildlife viewing through out the year. The park is dominated by an incredibe variety of mammals from large herds of herbivores which include the wildebeest, zebra and Thompson's gazelle to the famous 'big five' (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant & bufallo).It is also home to Nile crocodile, the continent's largest reptile. The region also provides habitat for a variety of birds with over 450 species having been recorded.
However for those visiting to watch as the great wildebeest migration unfolds, with approximately 1.5million of wildebeest, hundreds of thousands of zebras, ellands and gazelles crossing Mara River in the reserve in search of food and water. The best time to visit is between late July/early August to October. Although the timings may vary from year to year due to rainfall patterns.
|July - August
|September - October
|Rest of the year
|Higher wildlife numbers due to annual Wildbeest migration typically between early July to late August
|Good time to spot game with large herds of plains game still being in the Mara before they migrate back to Serengeti
|There is always a good amount of wildlife in Masai Mara through the year
There are quite a number of factors that influence how much you will pay for your Masai Mara Safari Packages. This include:
a. The number of persons travelling: Obviously, when travelling in a group the cheaper it is for everyone, as you get to share the costs compared to when one or two persons are travelling. Also, depending on the ages of the children who are on the trip, it will affect the cost. Children under the age of 12 will pay a reduced cost compared to what adults will pay.
b. The season you are travelling: Prices tend to be high during the peak season which is normally during the wildebeest migration as more people visit the reserve making it more expensive to secure rooms. Peak season months are July to October. If you are on a limited budget best to avoid the peak season.
|Jan - March
Nov- mid Dec
|July - October
|April - June
|Mid to High Season
July and August are the most expensive months to travel to Masai Mara. September to October are equally expensive but due to higher room availability it is possible to enjoy slightly lower prices. The cheapest months to visit Masai Mara are April to mid June excluding Easter period.
c. Transportation: Depending on which mode of transport you prefer either flying or going by road, it will affect the cost. Flying to Masai Mara is more expensive compared to travelling by road. For road transport, there are normally two types of vehicles that are used for safaris i.e Toyota Landcruisers or safari tour vans that carry upto 7 persons. Note that the landcruisers are more expensive than the tour vans but more comfortable. You hardly feel the rough road as you travel.
d. Type of accommodation: Depending on your preference, you have an option to book for your accommodation either in lodges or tented camps. There are different classes of accommodation ranging from the very basic to midrange to the most luxurious depending on what you want.
e. Number of days on the safari: The cost for your safari is dependent on the number of days you are planning to be on safari. The more days you stay, the more you pay.