Masai Mara 3 Day Safari
The Mara 3 day Safari to Maasai game reserve is a Three-day game drive safari to see big five animals.
The Masai Mara 3 days budget trip includes a full day game drive on day 2, 2 nights’ accommodation, park entry fees, transport in shared van, services of a driver guide, optional Masai village visit and all meals as per itinerary.
The Masai Mara 3 day’s budget safari includes some 3 main attractions among others. Below are things to do in your three day safari to Masai Mara game reserve.
- Big five Game Drives in Masai Mara Game Reserve on day 1, 2 and 3
- Stay in a tented camp for 3 days in Mara budget safari
- Visit a Maasai village next to the Masai Mara Game Reserve on day 2
- See the Masai Mara wildebeest Migration in a 3-day tracking safari
- Fly over the Maasai Mara reserve in a hot air balloon safari on day 2 morning
- Enjoy a 1-day Walking safari in private conservancies around the Mara
- Go on bird watching game drives in Masai Mara plains
- Witness the Mara River crossing by the wildebeest in a 3 day trip
1. Big Five Game Drives in Masai Mara Game Reserve On Day 1, 2 And 3
Driving to the Masai Mara is exciting as you get to drive through the Great Rift Valley floor. The Mara is like no other place in the world with its flat plains stretching for miles on either side. In some areas, there is only a solitary tree in a sea of grasslands that are teaming with plains game. The Sekenani gate ushers you into unending expanses of green or gold grass fields depending on the seasons.
Right at the gate, you will start to see tens of herbivores including zebras, gazelles, topis, hartebeests, wildebeests, impalas and many others. A little further on, the predators begin to reveal themselves hidden under shrubs or just frolicking under the tall grass. A bold cheetah mother and her adolescent cubs will climb on your vehicles bonnet or roof to get a better view of the prey further afield. To them, you are just a convenience and nothing more.
Mara is known for its abundance of the big five animals including lions, buffalos, rhinos, leopards and elephants. These are the big five animals that the Mara guarantees you will see before your 3 days are over. Watch the lion pride of 25 members sprawled on a rocky patch or on the grass in between prey kills. Occasionally, one or two of them will stand up and try to launch a hunt but give it up as soon as they start. In between the false starts is a real lion hunt. Lions are very organized hunters and they do this by encircling their prey from all fronts. A lone lioness then proceeds to openly chase the prey towards the waiting ambush until they get a kill.
Leopards in the Masai Mara 3 day safari are relatively easier to see as compared to other places. This is not to mean you won’t put in much effort to find it. As the driver navigates closer to the riverine bushes, a monkey cries out or the go-away bird chatters incessantly. That is your cue that a leopard might be on the move close by. A few meters further on will expose a leopard on the prowl along the river bank or just lazily snuggled on an acacia tree branch after a busy night hunting.
Elephants are everywhere and make their presence known with large herds moving across the plains of Mara. Masai Mara game drives are much fun since it’s easy to see most animals from far distances and drive up to them. The Mara game reserve is a 1500 sqkm area of unending plains, teaming with millions of wildlife. The flat plains for miles and the fact that there are fewer trees to obstruct your view makes the Maasai Mara national park an amazing natural theatre for wildlife viewing.
You move to the next ridge and meet with a thousand eyeballs from a herd of buffalos grazing 5 feet from the game drive track. They all stop their feeding and raise their heads to stare at you for a full 5 minutes, unsure if you are friend or foe. It’s unnerving to have all those eyes on you, even from the safety of your game drive vehicle. That’s a group stare from 50 to 100 individuals made of a tonne of brawn and horns each. You decide it’s safer to move on to the next less intimidating animals down the plains.
You are lucky if you see the flirting image of a black rhino. These creatures are so shy that you play a game of hide and seek with them all day in the Masai Mara. It doesn’t help that they also love to stay in the more wooded edges of the park. The white rhino however is more comfortable around vehicles and you can see a family grazing 3 feet from the road without a care in the world. At this point make sure your driver guide tells you the difference between a white and black rhino. It’s not their colours as it suggests!
It is only in the Masai Mara 3 day safari that you are guaranteed to see all the big five animals in a single day. Three days is actually an overkill and just to be sure you don’t miss out on any of the animals. Day 2 is actually your full-day game drive in Mara game reserve. But if you think the Masai Mara attractions are done with you, you got another thing coming!
2. Stay in A Budget Tented Camp for 3 Days in Mara Trip
If you are like most people that want to enjoy the Masai Mara three day joining safari without breaking the bank, then you need to stay in budget or mid-range tented camp. The Mara has tens of budget tented camps mostly located just next to the park boundary. There is no fence around the Mara and the animals are able to move in and out of the park. Don’t be surprised to see an elephant herd strolling inside your camp in broad day light or hear a hippo mowing the lawn at night.
Budget tours usually use the budget tented camps for accommodation. These, no frills basic but comfortable tents come with a comfy bed, a private bathroom, a hot water shower and some safari furniture. They are very clean and well-kept with mosquito nets around your bed. You can occupy the tent as a single, double or twin room depending on how many are in your group.
The experience in a budget tented camp is sublime with evening bonfire stories and buffet meals. You are able to relax by the tent verandah in between your game drives and engage with the local Masai people employed at the camp. Since most Mara budget tours are shared, you will have a chance to meet people from all over the world here and share stories and exploits.
3. Visit a Maasai village next to the Masai Mara Game Reserve on day 2
The Masai people are located right next to the Masai Mara game reserve. These people have learned to live with the wildlife in their small mud walled homesteads. The Masai people still practice their age old traditions and are known as the warrior tribe of east Africa. Masai culture is very rich and guests are awed at their way of life.
Masai people are happy to share with you their lifestyle including a visit to their homes. You will also be invited to participate in their dances like the levitation Ajuma dance where men jump to unimaginable heights. Learn how to make fire from 2 sticks without matches and how to throw a spear or shoot an arrow.
Visiting a Masai village is a great value ad on to the wildlife viewing package in Mara. The Masai people are very welcoming and you will learn a lot on how indigenous African cultures operate. Most importantly is their love for colours ranging from their red ochre hair, to the red sheets on their bodies and the varied beadwork jewelry that they adorn. Your driver guide will be happy to arrange a visit to the nearest Masai village on your day 2 in a 3-day Mara shared safari.
4. See the Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration in a 3-Day Tracking Safari
July to October of every year brings along the largest animal migration into the Mara. The great wildebeest migration is an exodus of 1.5 million wildebeests in a 3,000km journey in search of pasture. The wildebeest move in a cyclic clockwise pattern crossing 2 countries of Tanzania and Kenya as they follow the fresh grass from recent rains. This phenomenon is so great it can be seen from space as a dark moving mass across the Mara plains.
You will drive among the thousands of wildebeest strewn across the plains with their young calves. Your driver will drive you to the migration hotspots where you will be immersed into the huge herds of the animals in the Mara plains. The predators including lions, cheetahs and leopards see this season as a time of plenty. They will gorge themselves to sleep with heaps of carcass. So much so that the predators usually escort the herds for miles away from their territories. On your day 2 of the 3 days Masai Mara budget tour, you will go for the Mara river crossing.
5. Fly Over the Maasai Mara Reserve in A Hot Air Balloon Safari on Day 2 Morning
If you fancy an air game ride, then the balloon safaris of the Mara are up your alley. Some of the best panoramic scenes of the great wildebeest migration are captured from a hot air balloon. The fact that these Masai Mara hot air balloon safaris are done at dawn ads a magic of calmness to the ride. The drifting shadow of the balloon startles the wildebeests below into a run as the giraffes bend their necks to see what’s aloft. A hot air balloon ride allows you to see the real extent of the wildebeest migration as you can see the herds stretching for miles on either side.
You will be picked at 5:00am from your lodge by the balloon company 4×4 Landcruiser to assemble at runway. It’s still dark and most of the operations of setting up the balloon are done under vehicle headlights. It’s still dark and things move fast to be able to catch the sunrise from the air. The chilliness of the morning air still infiltrating your nostrils as you struggle with the last remnants of your sleep. Soon you are bundled into the balloon basket which can take 12 pax per flight. The pilot increases the throttle, the burner roars into life and soon your balloon starts to gain height.
A full hour of exceptional views gets you to appreciate the actual size of the Masai Mara and the hundreds of wildlife in the park. Its mind boggling. On landing, which is not always a gracious affair, you will be welcomed to a bush breakfast with a glass of champagne. Your table is set on the grass and the servers will make sure you are served with fresh food. After this, you will go on a 1hr game drive in the 4×4 as you return back to your lodge. Usually taken on day-2 of your three days tour, the balloon ride in the Mara is the icing of the cake in a Masai Mara 3-day luxury safari. Hot air Balloon ride is the most popular activity in a three-day Masai Mara wildebeest migration safari.
6. Enjoy a 1-Day Walking Safari in Private Conservancies around the Mara
Nothing compares to the experience of walking on the savannah as you watch the hundreds of plains game and the predators as a distance. The thrill of being on the ground with the animals is so exciting. To get this experience once needs to visit the conservancies outside of the Masai Mara Park itself. They will offer you an armed guide or local Masai guides who are adept at seeing wildlife from miles away.
The guides will be able to point out the trees with medicinal value. They will show you how to track animals and how to tell which foot print is from which animal. You will even learn to tell how long an animal passed a certain place from the nature of the footprint or the warmth and state of their dung. You will be able to approach elephant herds safely by telling the wind direction using your own spit or a piece of grass. You then move downwind and approach to a safe distance where you can see them close by and yet they can’t notice you.
Going on a Masai Mara walking safari is usually done on day-2 in your 3 days budget safari from Nairobi. You will also learn a lot about the different animal behaviors and how the Masai have managed to live with them peacefully. It’s always an exciting experience to be out there in the savannah with the local guides watching wildlife in the sun.
7. Go On Bird Watching Game Drives in Masai Mara Plains
Ardent birders will be spoilt for choice in the Masai Mara game reserve. You can go on a 3-day Masai Mara bird watching safari from Nairobi and identify over 200 birds. The Mara has more than 400 species of birds to see. Your birding game drive will take you to see birds in the riverine forests and the savannah grasslands.
The birds to see in Masai Mara include the egrets, African fish eagle, African jacana (Jesus bird), martial eagle, go away bird, hammerkorps, pelicans, hadada ibis, sacred ibis, kingfishers, black smith plovers, wagtails, marabou storks, wood peckers, ostriches, kori bustards, secretary birds among others.
The best way for a birder to experience and identify most of these birds is to get a specialized bird guide. Although this may come at an extra cost than a normal wildlife viewing safari, the experience for the birder is priceless. You will get to learn a lot, even how to identify some of these birds by their calls.
8. Witness the Mara River Crossing By the Wildebeest in a 3 Day Trip
From July to October every year, the Masai Mara teams with millions of wildebeest herds streaming from Tanzania’s Serengeti national park. These wildebeests have to cross the Mara river at multiple locations in pursuit of the greener pastures on opposite banks of the river.
Mara river wildebeest crossing is singularly the most captivating event to watch of the migration. Here, thousands of the animals congregate along the Mara river bank. For hours, none is brave enough to enter the flooded river which is also full of 18 feet long Nile crocodiles. So the animals bleat in trepidation for hours. In the meantime the rear flanks are filling up with new arrivals at the river bank. The pressure on the front runners keeps building up until the tipping point when one brave wildebeest makes the jumps. As if on cue, the rest of the animals stampede and jump into the water in fits of madness. The higher they jump, the bigger the splash, and in their minds, the scarier they look to the crocodiles below. Sure enough the crocodiles are wise to keep to the flanks of the animals.
One by one, the crocodiles start to grab the wildebeests on the sides of the file. At the opposite bank, there is a welcoming committee of leopards and lions, who, so far have not had a taste of the wildebeest fiesta. As soon as the first wildebeests make it across and up the river bank, the lions and leopards will grab them. The scene is chaotic as they run in the midst of safari vehicles trying to escape the predators.
Many wildebeests lose their lives here as they stampede on to each other braking bones while others drown from raging floods, the crocodiles will eat their fill. At times, the opposite bank gets so trampled that a thick layer of mud traps the weaker individuals to their death. It’s a carnage. But it’s important to keep their population in check.
Request for more details from Robert or book a 3 days or 1 day trip to Masai Mara on whatsapp +254 722 661 827 or email Rmuhoho@gmail.com