Best Time to Visit Masai Mara - Activities, 5 Seasons, & Great Migration
What is the best time to visit Masai Mara? Choosing the best time to go to Masai Mara is something you should consider to ensure that the adventure meets your needs.
But there is no “best time for Masai Mara safari” for general game viewing because it’s abundant with wildlife all year, and the climate is favorable. Masai Mara is also a wide-open plain that allows viewing the animals from a long distance.
With that said, our AjKenyaSafari.com Masai Mara safari guides have developed this piece to help you plan your trip effectively. It is a handy guide that will help you decide the Best month to visit Masai Mara.
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|1-Day Nairobi National Park & Giraffe Center Tour||From USD 119||See the Itinerary|
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Best Season to Visit Masai Mara - The Activities
The best time to visit Masai Mara and Serengeti, at large, depends on what you want to do and see. There is a season for the different activities as outlined here:
- The Great Migration: The time to plan your Kenya holidays to catch the great wildebeest migration is between July and early October.
- Birdwatching: Birdwatchers should visit the reserve from November to March when other migratory birds are at the park.
- Game Viewing: No one month is recommended for game viewing, but you can avoid the crowd from March to May (long rains or low season).
Best Time to Visit Masai Mara: The Five Seasons of Masai Mara
The best time to go to Masai Mara also depends on the different seasons experienced in Mara and Kenya. There are at least five seasons that can affect your Masai Mara trip, as seen below:
Lion Season: January to March
The lion season happens when most wildlife like giraffes, zebras, buffalos, and wildebeests give birth. It occurs between January to March. The reserve usually is dotted with mothers and young ones.
The tremendous numbers of calves attract predators, including leopards and cheetahs. You can expect to see several lions prides when visiting this game reserve during the lion season. The season also has little to no rain and less dense vegetation, making it ideal for spotting these predators.
Green Season: April to June
The green season sets in early spring, a great time to visit the Masai Mara. The season receives the heaviest rainfall, which helps clear haze and dust. You can easily see the beautiful landscape of the savannah and spot the animals from a distance.
The green season also gives birth to hundreds of waterbucks, kudus, impalas, and antelopes. It is the ideal time to enjoy a game drive tailored toward spotting cheetahs in action. You also get to view hundreds of birds that set up camps in the grassland due to the beautiful blooming flowers and trees.
The heavy rain season also decreases the number of visitors that come to the park – it is less crowded and more affordable. Hence, if you ask, “is May a good time to visit Masai Mara?” you know it is best for budget travelers.
Migration Season: July to September
Masai Mara Migration is a season that deserves the title of a natural world wonder. It is well known as the Great Migration or the Great Wildebeest Migration and sees over 1.8 wildebeest, antelope, and zebra cross the river Mara from Serengeti.
The best time to visit Masai Mara for migration starts from late June to early October; a time you can find the reserve dotted with this wildlife. Most people witness the crossing (July and August) of river Mara, where crocodiles go on a feeding frenzy.
Wildlife Season: October to November
Masai Mara in October and November see the wildlife season picks up when the great migration ends. The grass is short due to the previous month’s activities of the large herds of wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes.
The land becomes dry, and the wildlife head south to look for greener pasture. It is a great time to catch the last act of the migration while viewing the resident animals with little cover.
Festive Season: December
The Masai Mara plains are covered with wildlife rather than snow during December. It is the right destination to take your family for a celebration, reflection, and setting goals for the coming year.
Masai Mara in December sees most hotels organize end-of-year parties, making your stay even more exciting.
Best Month to visit Masai Mara: Great Migration Guide
What month is the Great Migration in Kenya? Which months are ideal for catching the Great Migration? The Great Migration is a continuous event that occurs all-year long.
However, this phenomenon has different aspects, and you should plan your Kenya Safari accordingly.
- Late June to July: It is the start of the Migration, and you can see wildebeest, zebras, and antelope cross the Mara River. This is the best time to watch crocodiles, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and birds of prey in action.
- August: The Migration slows as the wildlife settles in Masai Mara National Reserve. It is the best time to see more lions, leopards, and cheetahs in action as animals graze.
- September: Expect Masai Mara to be dry and the temperatures to be high. Though dust is expected, you still enjoy a good view of the migrating animals.
- October: The dry season might be coming to an end, and so is the migration season. You can see the wildebeest, zebra, and antelope as they cross into Tanzania’s Serengeti on the southeastern part of Masai Mara.
What is the Best Time to Go on Safari in Masai Mara?
What is the best season to visit Masai Mara? Here are the highlights of what you should expect when visiting Masai Mara.
Masai Mara in June to October - Dry Season
- Days are sunny, the sky is clear, and no chance of rain
- Easy to spot the wildlife as animals gather at water holes and bushes are thin
- The Great Migration happens during these months
- Fewer mosquitoes
Masai Mara in November to May - Wet Season
- Beautiful sceneries with lush-green color
- Less crowded, and the Masai Mara Safari cost is low
- A lot of newborns keep predators active
- Migratory birds come to the park
- Short rains in the afternoon, except in March and May, that clear dust