Game drives in the Maasai Mara are an essential part of any safari experience. The thrill of encountering wild animals in their natural habitat, the unexpectedness of what you might encounter around the next bend, and the sheer wonderment of the vast landscape are all part of this incredible experience. Here is more information about game drives:

What are Game Drives?

Game drives are essentially wildlife viewing experiences in the comfort of a safari vehicle. They are conducted in specially adapted, open-sided or pop-up roof safari vehicles that allow for maximum visibility of the wildlife.

When to Go on a Game Drive

Game drives are typically scheduled at times when animals are most active, which is usually during the early morning and late afternoon into the evening.

Morning game drives usually start at dawn and last for a few hours. The early morning is a magical time in the Maasai Mara, as the park wakes up, the sun rises, and the animals start their day. This is a good time to spot predators as they are most active during the cooler hours of the day.

Afternoon game drives usually start after lunch and continue until sunset. As the heat of the day dissipates, animals start to become more active again.

Full-day game drives are also an option, where you can pack a picnic lunch and spend the whole day exploring different areas of the reserve.

Some camps and conservancies also offer night game drives. Night drives offer a chance to see nocturnal creatures that are hidden during the day.

What You Might See

The Maasai Mara is renowned for its abundance of wildlife. You have a chance to spot the Big Five – lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinoceroses – and a multitude of other species. The reserve is particularly known for its large populations of lions, cheetahs, and leopards.

In addition, if you’re visiting between July and October, you’ll likely witness the Great Migration, where over a million wildebeest, zebras, and other antelopes cross the Mara River from the Serengeti in Tanzania in search of fresh grazing. This is considered one of the most impressive natural spectacles on earth.


An experienced and knowledgeable guide will accompany you on your game drive. These guides have a deep understanding of the animals’ behavior and movement patterns, ensuring you have the best chance of wildlife spotting. They will also provide fascinating insights about the flora and fauna, helping to enrich your understanding of this complex ecosystem.

Pack for a Game Drive

Remember to pack essentials such as binoculars, a camera, sunblock, a hat, sunglasses, and a warm layer of clothing, as it can get chilly during early morning drives or after sunset. It’s also advisable to wear muted colors to blend in with the environment and not startle the wildlife.

Each game drive in the Maasai Mara is unique, offering a new and exciting adventure. The unexpected nature of what you might see is part of the thrill – from a pride of lions feasting on their latest catch, a herd of elephants wandering majestically, to a solitary leopard lounging in a tree.