The Masai Mara is one of Africa’s iconic safari regions. Together with the Serengeti, it is the stage where the Great Migration is played out. It is home to large densities of antelope and the predators which follow them. In fact, the Mara is renowned for its predator sightings and the show Big Cat Diaries was filmed by the BBC there.
The Masai Mara forms part of the same ecosystem as the Serengeti in Tanzania. During the Great Migration, herds of over two million wildebeest and zebra cross the Mara River between July and November each year. They must avoid death as they brave the crocodile-infested waters, creating moments of high drama. These river crossings are the most thrilling events which guests can witness on safari. It is the most popular time to visit the reserve and when it is most crowded with tourists. However, the Masai Mara offers excellent game viewing throughout the year.
Apart from the Great Migration, the Masai Mara has excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year, and sightings of four of the Big Five – leopard, lion, elephant and buffalo – are pretty much a given, making it a perfect first timer’s safari destination. The Mara is famous for its leopard, lion, and cheetah, but there’s plenty more game to see on the wide-open plains such as giraffe, eland and eland.
The Masai Mara National Reserve makes up just one part of the Greater Mara Conservation area. The rest is comprised of community ranches and private conservancies owned by local Maasai. Footprints Safaris work closely with luxury lodges and community conservation areas which support local Masai communities so that our guests help ensure that the Masai Mara is managed sustainably for both the Masai people and the wildlife.
These conservancies are less crowded than the reserve and offer exclusivity. They also allow additional activities such as walking safaris which allows guests to get out on foot with the Masai guides and learn about the Masai way of life while surrounded by amazing African wildlife.