A game drive into the Mara Triangle is at the heart of your safari holiday. Shortly after leaving the lodge, you’re in vast grasslands dotted with acacias, surrounded by more animals than you can imagine: from Africa’s Big Five — lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo — to the massive herds of the Great Migration.
The question is often asked, ‘when is the best time to visit the Mara?’ To be truthful, there is not one correct answer, as safari travellers to the Mara are assured of astonishing and abundant wildlife sightings all year round.
For guests wanting to experience the Great Migration and the dramatic crossings of the Mara River, July through September or October are the best months to visit. Others prefer a gentler time with less visitors and have the Mara all to themselves – together with the numerous resident herds which quite rightly do not deem it necessary to leave this beautiful reserve by embarking on the annual trek to Tanzania.
On Safari in the Mara Triangle
The word safari means ‘a journey’ in Swahili — our safaris happen in one of Africa’s most iconic, year-round Big Five destinations — the Mara Triangle
Our safari vehicles seat up to six guests, with comfy seats, ample legroom, charging stations and canvas roofs for respite from the sun
Thanks to Angama Mara’s private access road down into the exclusive Triangle, you are in the heart of the action in under 20 minutes
From sunrise to sunset, there are no constraints as to when you can go on a game drive at Angama
Traditionally, in many other places in Africa, safaris take place twice a day at specific times. At Angama Mara, we aim to tailor-make your safari days with you, exploring this unique non-stop extravaganza of astonishing and abundant wildlife, often taking a picnic breakfast or lunch with you. Because the weather is generally mild, there’s never a bad time for a game drive.
There’s nothing like waking up with the birds and animals, the day fresh before you. Leave the lodge at dawn and get back in time for a late breakfast or brunch. Or take a picnic breakfast with you to have under an obliging tree with the morning light spread out around you — and be back in time for lunch.
Fancy a lie in? Do that, then go out for a lazy late-morning drive, without worrying about coming back for lunch — that will happen in a beautiful spot in the middle of nowhere. With its endless grasslands and sweeping horizons and dappled forests, the Maasai Mara is medicine for the soul.
Your afternoon safari is a post-lunch game drive. This is “the golden hour” as the sun dips towards the west, and the shadows lengthen across the plains making for incredible photography. Return in time for sundowners in the Boma or on the baraza.
An all-time favourite is the full-day double-picnic safari exploring the far corners of the Mara Triangle. Drive all the way down to the Tanzanian border for your picnic breakfast in the savannah, then take lunch under a desert date along the escarpment. This is one of the loveliest game drives of all, as you watch the landscape change along the way.
Angama Mara’s experienced guides make every effort to deliver life-changing wildlife adventures for their guests, be it for first timers, birding enthusiasts, photographers of all skill levels, or safari devotees whose great joy is just to simply be amongst Africa’s creatures, both great and small.
The Mara Triangle is also home to more than 470 bird species, including almost 60 raptors such as vultures and martial eagles. Surely the loveliest of them all has to be the graceful crowned crane, always found in pairs, together with secretary birds, lilac-breasted rollers, long-crested eagles, superb starlings, pygmy falcons and endangered ground hornbills to name just a few.
It is in the Maasai Mara that you can truly hear the call of the wild. Renowned for its lion prides, the Mara is also home to the other members of Africa’s Big Five – leopard, elephant, buffalo and black rhino – which can be seen together with hyena, cheetah and bat-eared fox. The Mara River churns with numerous pods of hippo and some of Africa’s largest crocodiles. Everywhere there are photographic opportunities: topi perched on anthills, Maasai giraffe moving gracefully across the plains, and gazelles grazing peacefully amongst Coke’s hartebeest, impala and herds of lovely eland, Africa’s largest antelope.
It’s the largest land-based animal migration on Earth: more than a million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras in a year-long cycle en masse in search of nutritious grasses that grow after the rains — to the delight of the Mara’s hungry predators: lion, leopard, cheetah and massive crocodiles.
July into October are the best months to see the Migration
Angama Mara is just 45 minutes from the main crossing point, so you’re sure to be one of the first in position for the dramatic Mara River crossings
Regardless of when you visit in the year, expect a plethora of creatures large and small — and the unexpected.
The famed Big Five can be seen all year round, with lion pride sagas keeping everyone wondering what will happen next
There’s another migration: from November to April, birds from Europe and North Africa arrive for African summer, many flamboyant in mating plumage
From February to May, the sights of newborns and fluffy youngsters are spectacular
Everything you ever needed to know about game drives at Angama Mara: Guides, vehicles and more
Angama’s guides are intuitive storytellers, interpreting the Mara in a way that immerses our guests in their surroundings. All members of the guiding team have a Bronze certification from the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association and five of them have completed their Silver certificate. During your game drives, your guide will delight you with their knowledge and stories while learning more about your interests to customise your safari experience.
Game drives are crafted around the guest: where they have been; what they have seen; what their great passions are; what they would like to do and when they would like to do it; and for how long they would like to be on a game drive at any one time – and game drives are structured accordingly. There’s always food and drink, so you never have to worry about going hungry on a drive!
All game drives have a maximum of six guests (two per row) per vehicle — other than families or groups where we can accommodate up to nine guests per vehicle. Should you prefer, private safari vehicles can be booked in advance for half or full days. Please request rates when making an enquiry.
Drives are in completely open game-viewing vehicles to which the animals are well accustomed – the vehicles are specially equipped and converted, offering comfy seats, ample legroom, charging stations and canvas roofs for respite from the sun or flaps that can be let down if it rains.
Guests staying at any of Angama’s camps and lodges are faced with the toughest of choices — how they wish to spend their day. Take a look at some of the daily adventures on offer:
James Tyrrell | 22 March 2022
This Is Africa at Its Very Finest
Liz Morris | 12 April 2021
Field Notes from a First Time Visitor
The Guides of Angama | 30 December 2022
The Best Safari Sightings of 2022