WHEN TO GO IN MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
When To Go in Maasai Mara National Reserve : Maasai Mara national reserve is one of the most visited safari destinations in Kenya and the African continent at large, the reserve is situated in the South-west region of Kenya , Maasai Mara national reserve together with Serengeti national park of Tanzania create the large Mara-Serengeti eco-system which is Africa’s most diverse incredible and most spectacular ecosystems and possibly the world’s top safari big game viewing ecosystem.
As tourists plan on visiting Maasai Mara national reserve for a Kenya tour, their first question is which is the best to go in Maasai Mara national reserve . This article details what to expect in Maasai Mara national reserve throughout the 12 months of the year (from January to December).
MAASAI MARA IN JANUARY
In January, there is less rain in Maasai Mara national reserve than in December with an average of 15 days of rainfall, if it does rain in January there are usually a short shower in the afternoon. January is one of the warmest months of the year in Kenya and Maasai Mara national reserve, temperatures in this month can reach 28°C with nights dropping to a minimum of 12°C.
January is a great month to visit Maasai Mara national reserve for bird watching, for birders this is your perfect time as there are many migratory bird species to spot. January is also a birthing season for most of the wildlife in Maasai Mara national reserve and if you are interested in sighting baby animals January is your perfect time.
MAASAI MARA IN FEBRUARY
In February, more rain is received in Maasai Mara national reserve than January with an average of17 rainy days a month. Temperatures in this month are the same as January with average highs of about 28°C and a average night-time lows of 12°C.
February is a good month to visit Maasai Mara national reserve for tourists interested in seeing lots of baby animals, while visiting in this month-expect afternoon thundershowers. Wildlife viewing is good in this month and bird watching is excellent as there is a presence of many migratory species in the reserve.
MAASAI MARA IN MARCH
March is a rainy month in Maasai Mara national reserve with rain received every day of the month, afternoon thunder showers are received every day and there may be continuous rain.
Because of the high rainfall received, the roads get very muddy and very challenging to drive on. Also some camps close down until May, in this period a fewer visitors visit Maasai Mara national reserve.
In March the landscapes in Maasai Mara national reserve are lush and green, March is a good time of the year to visit the reserve for spotting migratory birds.
MAASAI MARA IN APRIL
April is the wettest month of the year in Maasai Mara national reserve with an average of 23 days of rain, this month is slightly cooler than March but still warm with average maximum high temperatures of 26°C.
Because it is a wet season, roads become impassable and muddy, some lodges also close down and because of these two factors. This is month is the least ideal months of the year to visit Maasai Mara national reserve, April is a low season so expect discounts on lodging and the reserve is quieter due to few tourists.
April is the last good month to visit Maasai Mara national reserve to see the migratory bird species.
MAASAI MARA IN MAY
In May, there is slightly less rain than in April but still it is one of the wettest months of the year in Maasai Mara national reserve. The month of May marks the start of several slightly cooler months in the reserve with average daytime highs of about 25°C lasting until September.
May is not an ideal time to visit Maasai Mara national reserve for wildlife viewing, this is because of the too much rainfall received making driving challenging due to muddy roads and wildlife viewing hard due to long vegetation cover.
Some of the lodges and camps close down because of too much rain, the advantage of visiting Maasai Mara national reserve in May is the discounted rates on package tours and lodgings. There are also few visitors in the reserve.
MAASAI MARA IN JUNE
June is a much drier month in Maasai Mara national reserve with an average of 12 days of rain, June marks the start of the busy season with Maasai Mara.
In June, the weather is dry and the days are cooler than other months of the year. In this period, wildlife viewing is excellent though the majority of the herds of the Great migration have not yet arrived in Maasai Mara national reserve.
MAASAI MARA IN JULY
July is the coolest month of the year in Maasai Mara national reserve with temperatures dropping down 10°C during night times, July is the driest month of the year with an average of only 11 days of rain.
Day time temperatures in July are pleasantly warm, however if you are planning on visiting the reserve in this month bring warn clothes and lots of layers with you for early morning game drives.
In July, the herds taking part in the Great wildebeest migration start moving from Serengeti national reserve into the plains of Maasai Mara national reserve. This month is an ideal month to travel to Maasai Mara national reserve to witness the thrilling Great Wildebeest migration and the Mara River Crossing.
July is a dry month with lack of rain meaning the bush cover is thinning making it easier to see animals, animals are also see congregating at watering holes drinking and bathing in the waters. July is the best time to visit Maasai Mara national reserve for wildlife viewing and bird watching, however the downside of travelling in July is that it is one of the busiest month of the year with high numbers of tourists visiting the reserve. This means prices go up and the reserve can be very crowded.
MAASAI MARA IN AUGUST
August is one of the driest months of the year in Maasai Mara national reserve with cooler temperatures similar to July, the month experience average low temperatures of 11°C at night and high temperatures of 25°C during the day.
August is a high season in Maasai Mara national reserve with a lot of people visiting the reserve to witness the daily dramas of the Great Migration, because of the month being a dry season – it is easier to see animals in the thinning bush. August is one of the best months of the year to visit Maasai Mara national reserve for wildlife viewing and witnessing the Great Migration, this month is the busiest and most expensive month to visit the reserve.
MAASAI MARA IN SEPTEMBER
September is a slightly warmer month in Maasai Mara national reserve than August with average daytime temperature being as high as 27°C, however the nights are a bit chilly with average temperatures of 12°C so you should bring along warm gears to keep you warm.
September is still a dry season in Maasai Mara national reserve with little rain to disrupt your game viewing experience, like August- September is the most popular month to visit Maasai Mara national reserve. So expect lots of fellow tourists watching the spectacle of animals and herds participating in the Great migration which is in full swing.
In September prices on packaged Kenya wildlife safaris and lodgings go high.
MAASAI MARA IN OCTOBER
October is one of the warmest months of the year in Maasai Mara national reserve, however the temperatures do not rise much above an average of 28°C during day. October is a relatively dry month with little rainfall making it one of the wonderful months of the year to visit Maasai Mara national reserve to witness the Great migration as majority of the herds are in the reserve.
Though, October is a good time to visit the reserve, it is less crowded as compared to August and September.
MAASAI MARA IN NOVEMBER
November marks the start of the second rain season “the short rain” in Maasai Mara national reserve with an average of 20 days of rain and thundershowers on most of the days of this month, although they are often only short afternoon rain showers after which the skies clear up.
November is a good time to visit Maasai Mara national reserve to witness the end of the Great Migration as they start making their way back down to Tanzania’s Serengeti national park. November is also good month for birders as migratory bird species arrive in the reserve. The downside of visiting Maasai Mara national reserve in November is the rain, however the thundershowers are usually short bursts of rain in the afternoon and are unlikely to disrupt your game viewing to much.
MAASAI MARA IN DECEMBER
The December is a continuation of the short rains in Maasai Mara national reserve with average of 17 days of rain, though rain can be heavy. It usually only pours for a short time in the afternoon and should not affect your game viewing too much.
As a result of rains, the grass grows longer making wildlife viewing a little more challenging in this month. However, December is a fantastic month for bird watching in Maasai Mara national reserve as migratory species are present and can be spotted. Also, the birthing season which is called the “Toto Time” starts in this month, if you are interested in watching baby animals as they take their first steps then December is your perfect time to visit. December is less busy in December but it gets very busy during the Christmas holidays.