Wildlife & Animals – Masai Mara NR

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

The Masai Mara is Kenya’s flagship park. Sightings of four of the Big Five are pretty much guaranteed. Black rhino is more elusive, but can sometimes be spotted in the Mara Triangle. The Masai Mara is one of the best parks for big cats, but sightings of smaller predators like bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal and spotted hyena also tend to be rewarding. Antelope include impala, reedbuck, Thomson's gazelle, eland and topi, while buffalo, elephant and giraffe are relaxed and easily spotted.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantCommon
GiraffeCommon
HippoCommon
BuffaloCommon
ZebraAbundant
WildebeestAbundant
LionCommon
LeopardOccasional
CheetahCommon
HyenaCommon
Wild DogVery Rare

Wildlife Highlights

The legendary wildebeest migration is one of the world’s most amazing wildlife encounters. Sometime in July and August, millions of animals leave the Serengeti and head into the Masai Mara around September. The crossing of the Mara River along the way is the most spectacular part of the migration. Around October, the migration slowly heads back into the Serengeti again.

It should be noted that, although the pattern is well known, the exact timing of the migration is unpredictable as animals move with the rain looking for greener pastures.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing in the Masai Mara is good throughout the year. The best months for the wildebeest migration are September and October. June to October is relatively dry, and offers the best general wildlife watching.

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