Best time to visit Maasai Mara National Reserve : Maasai Mara National Reserve, also known as just The Mara, is the most well-liked safari and tour destination in Kenya, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors year to enjoy the African savannah and observe a wide variety of animals, many of whom come to see the Great Migration. The type of wildlife encounter you will have in the Mara will depend on when you schedule your safari excursion. Knowing the ideal time to visit depends on what you hope to see or experience.
So, what is the best time to visit the Maasai Mara national reserve for your best safari & bush experience?
The great migration season (June – Oct).
The greatest time to go on a safari in the Mara is most likely during the huge migration. A mass movement of millions of zebra, antelope, and wildebeest moves from Tanzania’s Serengeti into Kenya’s maasai mara national reserve during the migration season.
In June, a small number of migratory animals begin to arrive in the Mara. By July, the numbers continue to rise, and by August, zebras and wildebeests cover the whole migration route. Such a spectacle that is.
If seeing the migration is your goal, July through October is the ideal time to visit the Mara; nevertheless, July and August are also the busiest travel months, when the park is most crowded with visitors.
Are lions best seen during the migration?
Because there is easy prey for them, it is assumed that the greatest time to watch lions and other cats is during the great migration. It is true that they have easy prey to catch, therefore they don’t have to search far for food. This implies, therefore, that they do not travel far in pursuit of prey. They spend the days slouching beneath thickets with fewer movements as they can easily locate prey and are usually well-fed. Undoubtedly, your dream lion sighting is probably not sneaking up on idling lions hidden beneath dense foliage.
Best time to see cats is not during the migration.
Lions and other cats are forced to wander extensively and energetically in order to kill the remaining zebras, wildebeest, and antelope when the migration from the Mara is gone. This is because there is less prey available for the cats. Additionally, the lions will try their luck with larger creatures like elephants and giraffes. Therefore, when there is a shortage of prey, it is simpler to spot lions in maasai mara national reserve.
Do you want to witness lions hunting and killing an antelope or buffalo once in a lifetime? The best opportunity, however, might come after the migration has long since passed and there is less prey in the Mara.
Large herds of elephants roam the plains of the Mara, and it’s a satisfying sight to watch them interact. It is preferable to visit the Mara after the migration has left if elephants are your favorite animal and you hope to see the largest tuskers and their young.
The elephants will make every effort to avoid the wildebeests since they find their incessant “groaning” to be annoying. Elephants relocate to the thickets and hillsides where they can live in peace and quiet away from the cacophony of the migratory “horde.”
It should be noted that although observations of elephants can occur on any day, including during the migration, the finest sightings occur in the Mara outside of this period.
Wet season vs Dry season.
When arranging a safari to maasai mara national reserve it is important to know whether it will be a wet/rainy season or dry season in Kenya.
The dry season is June, July, August and September. During this time the days are warm with little chances of rainfall. The dry season is also the great migration season which is a good by chance. The benefit of the dry season is you will enjoy the warmth of the sun. You can easily explore any part of the park without a 4X4 vehicle because the drive tracks are dry. The park’s massive tourist numbers are a drawback since they create rivalry for sightings. Additionally, the drive tracks are dusty, which can cause lung infections and influenza in people with delicate respiratory systems.
Keep in mind that July has the coolest morning temperatures of the entire year. You might decide not to go in July if you want it to be warmer.
October to May is when the wet season occurs. On the other hand, almost daily rain falls occur in March, April, and May, when the most rain falls. Covering the park during the rainy season presents issues, particularly during the protracted March to April rains. But with verdant hills and plains, the view is at its most picturesque. Additionally, they are less migratory, making for amazing observations. Now that the dry season is over, the cats that huddle under thickets to avoid the sun are out in the open, pining for warmth. There is a lot of rushing water in the rivers, so your experience will be better if you stay at a resort or camp by one. If you want less competition for sightings, the wet season is an excellent choice because it also sees fewer tourists.