"How to See Masai Mara Game Reserve On Your Own" Top 5 Page for this destination Masai Mara Game Reserve by Waxbag

Masai Mara Game Reserve Travel Guide: 526 reviews and 1,640 photos


This is Africa; grassy plains that stretch for miles speckled with umbrella trees. Herds of animals march across the horizon silhouetted by a rich mixture of pinks and oranges that is the African setting sun. There is a constant singing of birds and humming of insects with the occasional screeching of baboons and moans of lions and hyenas in the distance. The sky is blue with puffy white clouds that create shadows on the otherwise sun-lit earth. The storms roll in quickly and the sky releases a steady stream of water to quench the parched earth. The Mara is an extension of the Serengeti and covers over 1500 sq km. It contains a staggering amount of game especially during the annual wildebeest migration. There are no fences around the reserves in Kenya and Tanzania allowing the animals to roam freely in search of new grasses for grazing. The Maasai people are indigenous to this region. They are very proud and despite government opposition and decreasing lands they continue to live a traditional lifestyle. Their livelihood depends on their livestock and now the tourism surrounding the reserve.

Check out our video at Masai Mara

Rent a car in Nairobi and Drive to the Reserve

If you are not too fond of being couped up in a tiny van and you like doing your own gamedrives, rent a car from the numerous outfits in Nairobi and drive to the reserve. Masai Mara is 4-5 hours from Nairobi. Half of the drive is on good road, the other half is bad as is the reserve itself. But, if you take it slow and be careful it is really doable. Check out my tips for more in depth information on how to do it yourself.

Once in the Park

Once you have made it to the Mara, you can find budget accomodation near Talek gate, and base your drives from here. You can hire a guide to show you the roads. This is good because there are no signs on the roads and there are numerous tracks. It is easy to get lost. However, we didn't use a guide and slowly figured out the roads and tracks. If you are there a long time like we were, you get to know the park. You discover where the lions are and where the carcasses are. It doesn't take a naturalist to do this. It is incredibly rewarding to be independent and go where you like and spend as much time or as little as you like at each find along the way.

We will give you are insight on how to do this on your own. I wish the information was available to me when we went to Kenya. So we will do our best to provide it here if you too decide that the reason you are going to Kenya is to see great game, and you don't want to be hassled in Nairobi to take a tour, and 3 days in the park is just not enough!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:One of the Most Spectacular Game Parks in the World
  • Cons:Expensive, Little Infrastructure, Very Poor Roads
  • In a nutshell:Phenominal Place, Best Game Park in Africa
  • Last visit to Masai Mara Game Reserve: Sep 2005
  • Intro Updated Jan 11, 2010
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Reviews (12)

Comments (8)

  • samitbabu's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Loved your Mara Tips and reviews. Thanks

  • SanguiniA's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2010 at 6:27 AM

    Superb pictures here and one of the very few accounts of self-driving in the area - very helpful. Love the cheetah pics!!

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2009 at 7:45 AM

    Enjoyed reading about your Masai trip - and funny the "wild" guides have cellphones for calling their gf's, hehehe....I hear they jump high and hopefully I'll jump with them someday, JumpingNorman :)

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2009 at 6:32 PM

    Wonderful pages. We are so excited to go on our first safari in the fall this year. Tahnks for sharing.

  • betako3's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2008 at 7:40 AM

    Stories are the best thing you can bring from travels, yours are great, and shown through fantastic pictures, too. I loved the one with the cheetah cub :)

  • onlinerep's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2006 at 3:37 AM

    Cheetahs - SO cute!!!

  • ncfg's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2005 at 1:04 PM

    Great tips! I loved your pics! The cheetahs are so beautiful. thanks for sharing with us :) Nat

  • safardreams's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2005 at 4:55 PM

    hi john, one minor flaw in driving your self. don't rent a toy to get you through double-cross hehe. talk soon david


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