HOW TO GET TO MAASAI MARA ( JOURNEY FROM NAIROBI TO MASAI MARA RESERVE)
How to get to Maasai mara national reserve: Maasai Mara national reserve is one of the must visit safari destination in Kenya, the reserve is the most popular Kenya wildlife tour destination located in the Rift Valley in the South West Kenya and about 22 kilometers from Nairobi city to the reserve’s nearest entry point.
Nairobi city is the Capital city of Kenya, the largest city and where most safaris to Maasai Mara national reserve and other Kenya tours destination start from, how to get to Maasai Mara national reserve is one of the frequently asked questions by tourists intending to visit reserve while on a Kenya safari.
Maasai Mara national reserve is served by several entry gates depending on the direction you are entering the reserve from on your way from Nairobi city, to get to the reserve one can use both road and air means of transport. On a road trip, it is a drive of about 6 hours from Nairobi to the park’s entry gates.
MAASAI MARA ENTRY GATES
- From Narok Side, there are Sekenani, Talek or Oloolaimutia gates accessed from the Narok side on a road trip of 6 hours including a couple of brief stops
- From the western side, there are Musiara or Oloololo gates, using these dates takes about 30 minutes longer while using a different route which turns west onto the B3 Highway toward Bomet just after passing Narok Town. In some places about the last 75 kilometers to the park, the road conditions are poor that is being bumpy gravel.
GETTING TO MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE BY ROAD FROM NAIROBI
Getting to Maasai Mara national reserve by road is the most popular used mode of transport from Nairobi, the road is currently tarred all the way from to Sekanani Gate, The driving distance from Nairobi to Maasai Mara national reserve varies from about 255 kilometers to 275 kilometers depending on which gate or entry point you are using to access the reserve.
The journey time from Nairobi City to the park is about 5.5 hours from the most eastern or Narok side entry gates such as Sekenani, Talek and Oloolaimutia gates. And approximately 6 to 6.5 hours from Musiara (Narok Country side but on the western side) and the Oloololo gate situated close to Maasai Mara Conservancy and the Mara Triangle. The driving/journey hours includes a couple of enroute brief stops for a fuel stop and washroom break in the small Narok Town.
From Nairobi City to Maasai Mara national reserve is the A104 highway heading out from Nairobi city and onto the B3 just before the Limuru Junction, if you are leaving from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – the best route to use is the Southern Bypass to connect to A104 at Kikuyu Town to cut out the city traffic. Once you reach the Narok Town, you will take the C12 road to Sekanani, Talek and Oloolaimutia gates or take the C13 to Musiara and Olololo gates and Rianta town. While driving on C13, 4X4 vehicles are the best vehicles to use as the road is rougher.
APPROXIMATE DRIVING HOURS FROM NAIROBI CITY TO MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Below is the approximate driving hours from Nairobi city to various entry points of Maasai Mara national reserve
- Nairobi to Sekenani Gate – 5.5 – 6 hrs
- Nairobi to Talek Gate- 5 – 6 hrs
- Nairobi to Masai Mara ( Oloolaimutia Gate ) 6 hrs
- Nairobi to Masai Mara ( Musiara Gate ) 6.5 hrs
- Nairobi to Masai Mara ( Oloololo Gate ) 6.5 hrs
Road conditions from Nairobi to Maasai Mara national Reserve
Most of the route used from Nairobi to Maasai Mara national reserve is tarred road starting with highway A104, B3 and C12. The last section of the route of about 1 hour drive is tarmac and it is in a sub standard condition in some places including a few stretches with potholes, the last unpaved portion can be bumpy and dusty.
Safari vehicles used to get to the park from Nairobi are of two basic types these are Safari Tour Minibuses (Tour Vans) and 4X4 Safari Jeeps typically Toyota Land Cruiser which are commonly used and Land rover vehicles which are less commonly used. These vehicles are the commonly used vehicles for safaris in Kenya and East Africa countries, all these types of vehicles have
- built in, pop-up game viewing roof hatches which are opened during game drives
- UHF Radio calls
- Cooler boxes
Note: The tour vans in Kenya cost less than the 4X4 wheel drive Safari Jeeps, tour vans in Kenya also have a4X4capability, both of these vehicles have a carrying capacity of 6 – 8 passengers with an extra seat fitted in the vehicle.
In these vehicles, luggage restrictions apply.
GETTING TO MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE BY AIR
Flying to Maasai Mara national reserve is a more convenient option to use, these flights are about 1 hour flight flying from Wilson Airport found in Nairobi to several airstrips serving the reserve.
AIRSTRIPS SERVING MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Maasai Mara national reserve is served by several airstrips situated close to the reserve in the surrounding game ranches and conservancies, these airstrips are in close proximity allowing easy transfer to Maasai Mara national reserve. Airstrips serving Maasai Mara national reserve include
- Keekorok Airstrip
- Siana Airstrip
- Serena Airstrip
- Musiara Airstrip
- Kichwa Tembo Airstrip
- Ol Kiombo Airstrip
- Ngerende Airstrip
- Ol Seki airstrip
- Olare Orok Airstrip
- Angama Airstrip
FLIGHTS TO MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Flights to the reserve are offered by several airlines from Wilson Airstrip in Nairobi to various airstrips in Maasai Mara, flights from the reserve reserve take approximately 1 hour. Airlines offering flights to Maasai Mara national reserve include
- Air Kenya
- Governors Aviation
- Silverstone Air
FLIGHT SCHEDULE TO AND FROM MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
- Morning Flight: Depart Nairobi 10am – Arrive Masai Mara 11am
- Return Morning Flight: Depart Masai Mara 11am – Arrive Nairobi 12pm
- Afternoon Flight: Depart Nairobi 3pm – Arrive Masai Mara 4pm
- Return Afternoon Flight: Depart Masai Mara 4pm – Arrive Nairobi 5pm
Types of aircrafts used for flights to Maasai Mara national reserve include propeller planes with seating capacities ranging from 40 seaters for DeHavilland Dash 7 and 8 air crafter to 13 seaters Cessna Caravans.
- Passengers are limited to 15 kilos of carry on and check in luggage combined.
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