How To Book A Masai Mara Safari : A Comprehensive Guide From Focus East Africa Tours : When planning an African safari, two East African national parks are likely to come to mind: Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Both of these national parks have been regarded as the best in Africa, owing to their notable great wildebeest migration and the Big Five. In short, an Africa safari tour isn’t complete unless you visit the Maasai Mara National Reserve or the Serengeti National Park, and if you do, how do you book a safari there? That is a valid question to ask yourself.
In short, booking a safari in the Maasai Mara National Reserve is not difficult, though it may appear complicated, especially for first-time visitors. Maasai Mara safari booking is simple and follows the same steps as booking safaris in other famous African safari parks such as the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kruger, Etosha, Bwindi, and Amboseli.
With so many factors to take into account when making a Maasai Mara safari reservation, including the best time to travel, the best accommodations for your needs and budget, how to get there and how long to stay, the mode of transportation to use, additional optional activities, the method of payment, and documentation of all necessary travel documents, the process can seem a little overwhelming. Due to these difficulties and complications, Focus East Africa Tours can assist in making all the best Masai Mara safari plans. We’ve included some of the best advice for organizing and booking a Masai Mara safari in this blog. And our experts are available to help if you have any further inquiries.
THE BASICS OF BOOKING A SAFARI
If you’re thinking about where to go on your next safari vacation, consider Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. It is a premier wildlife destination in Africa and Kenya’s premier conservation area. Due to its diverse population of animals, including elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, hyena, eland, gazelle, and the Mara’s renowned big cats, the reserve provides excellent year-round safari game viewing.
The next step after choosing your vacation spot is to look online for a reputable tour operator in Kenya such as Focus East Africa Tours or from your home country who can provide you with a quote and help you with the planning. The following is a list of some of the fundamental details that tour operators will need from you when you make an inquiry:
Choose your travel dates
Even if it’s a month, you must provide your travel dates because this will influence how much your safari tour will cost. What time of year is the best to visit the Masai Mara? The Masai Mara is regarded as an all-year-round safari destination because it has a generally ideal climate and a wealth of wildlife for fantastic game viewing.
The best time to visit Masai Mara, however, if you want to see the Great Wildebeest Migration, is from late July or early August to mid-October, which also happens to be the reserve’s peak season. Prices tend to increase during the peak season as a result of the high demand for rooms brought on by the large number of visitors. Therefore, if you have a tight budget, it is best to avoid peak season and schedule your trip for low (April to June) or shoulder season (January to March), when rates are lower and accommodations are more plentiful.
In order to better plan for your Maasai mara safari tour, let your tour operator know how many people will be traveling, and if you are bringing children, please also include the age of the children at the time of travel. The needs of lone travelers are also well met.
It is important to specify your preferred room type, such as a single room, double, twin, triple, or family room, depending on how many people will be traveling. This aids in determining the cost of your tour.
Mode of Transport
You have two options for a Maasai Mara safari tour: a road trip that includes transportation in a safari tour van or a 4×4 Land Cruiser Jeep, or a luxurious fly-in safari that includes a roundtrip flight from Nairobi to Masai Mara.
Choose a Tour Operator
Prior to selecting the travel company that will assist in organizing and scheduling your Maasai Mara safari tour. You can be sure to get value for your money if you conduct in-depth research online and choose a tour operator that is based in Kenya, has a solid reputation, and is a member of KATO (Kenya Association of Tour Operators).
Select Level of Luxury
The Masai Mara National Reserve is home to some incredible hotels that provide a wide range of lodging options to suit every budget. The various types of lodging include everything from ultra-luxurious safari lodges to adventurous budget camping. Therefore, it’s crucial to specify the kind of lodging you prefer, keeping in mind that your decision must fit within your spending limit. Budget, mid-range (lower to upper mid-range), or luxury camps and lodges are all options.
Luxury tents and lodges: are typically intimate, boutique-style establishments that are built to blend into their surroundings and run according to the strictest environmental regulations. The guiding principle is to provide luxury while remaining as close to nature as is practical.
Medium-sized camps: This category includes a number of camps and lodges in the Masai Mara. They offer travelers a first-rate experience at a reasonable cost. These camps typically come with swimming pools, roomy common areas, well-stocked gift shops, and some even have purpose-built spas. They also tend to be larger than the small, exclusive, or mobile camps.
Budget camps: are designed to meet the needs of budget-conscious tourists. The majority of hotels that are categorized as low-cost lodgings are situated outside the main Masai Mara Reserve boundary.
Add optional activities
Besides the typical Masai Mara Safari package, which covers your primary safari expenses like lodging and meals, transportation to and from Nairobi, safari game excursions, and park entrance fees, you can also decide to include extra activities like a hot air balloon safari, a visit to a Maasai village, nature and bush walks, as well as sundowners and bush meals. All of these extracurricular activities are fun and add to your safari experience, but they are optional and cost extra.
GET A QUOTE
You can now ask for a quote based on your itinerary after providing the information above. Please confirm that the pricing includes all of your requirements. It is crucial to confirm whether the lodging is bed and breakfast, half-board, or full-board.
Check the type of vehicle if you decide to book a road safari; it could be a Safari Tour Van or a 4×4 Land Cruiser Jeep that can accommodate up to 7 people. Due to their lower cost compared to other vehicle types, tour vans are the most popular form of transportation for safari tourists. It makes sense that the 4×4 Toyota Land cruisers cost more than the Tour Vans because they are larger, four-wheel-drive vehicles that provide a little more comfort during rough road travel.
BOOK YOUR SAFARI
Select a price that pleases you, then reserve the tour. Normal booking terms call for a deposit and the remaining balance to be paid one month before the start of the arrangements. Your tour operator will provide booking terms, including deposit payment and cancellation terms and policies.
Safari companies in Kenya frequently accept credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) through a safe online payment system or through PayPal. You will receive an email with a link that takes you to a secure online payment system where you can enter your information and complete your payment after your booking is confirmed and your sales consultant emails you the invoice. Depending on your credit card provider, a fee of between 3 and 7% is added to every credit card payment.
In the same way as credit cards, debit cards can also be used to make payments; however, bank transfer fees of between 3 and 5% will be charged.
Make sure you receive a receipt for any payments you make. Obtain all receipts, hotel vouchers (which you will use to apply for a visa), the itinerary document, the COVID indemnity form, and the terms and conditions for your reservation after making the full payment.
Don’t forget your travel documents. Before your safari begins, make sure you have your passport, health cards (and any necessary vaccination records), airline tickets, credit cards, and insurance documents. Verify that all of the documents are current and in order. A minimum of two blank pages and six months’ validity from the planned date of departure from Kenya are required for your passport.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PLANNING A MAASAI MARA SAFARI
ENTRY REQUIREMENT TO KENYA
All passengers flying into Kenya are required to complete a health surveillance form online after checking in and before departure. When you submit the form, you will receive an email with a QR code that you must present to port health officials before you can go through arrival immigration.
A COVID-19 PCR test that was completed less than 96 hours before your departure must also come back negative. It is advised that anyone who intends to visit the Masai Mara and needs a visa to enter Kenya submit their application for the visa in advance via the Kenya eVisa website. An e-visa takes two business days to process.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT MASAI MARA
- Months: June, July, August, September, and October
- The long dry season and little to no rainfall make these the ideal months to visit the Masai Mara.
- The bush is less dense, the grass is mowed down, and animals congregate around rivers and water sources, making it simple to spot animals.
- The Masai Mara is home to the Great Migration!
- The Great Migration herds are best seen during this time as they cross the Mara River’s crocodile-infested waters.
- Additionally, because this is the busiest time, safari vehicles on game drives may be overcrowded. Safari lodge rates will also be higher.
- Bookings in advance are crucial because camps and lodges fill up quickly.
- Months: December, January, February, and March
- Temperatures start to drop during these transitional shoulder months, and migratory birds depart.
- Animals begin to congregate in areas where they anticipate finding water.
- This time of year is ideal for birdwatchers because, in addition to the resident species, migratory birds that are coming from Europe to spend the winter are also present.
- The best months to see the birth of an antelope, zebra, or wildebeest are January and February.
- With so many newborn calves, there are plenty of predatory behaviors to observe.
- There are fewer people in the Masai Mara.