How To Get To Masai Mara : Journey From Nairobi To Masai Mara Reserve . Nairobi city, the capital city of Kenya is the getaway to Masai Mara national reserve and it is from this city where most Masai Mara safaris start from. It is in this same city where Kenya’s major international airport ”Jomo Kenyatta International airport” is located, this airport handles most of the international travels in and out of Kenya.
From Nairobi city, Masai Mara national reserve is in a distance of about 225 kilometers (140 kilometers) to the nearest entry point, however the distance differs depending on which entry gate you plan to use when accessing the reserve. One of the most frequently asked questions by the tourists or travelers is how long is a drive from Nairobi to Masai Mara national reserve, a road trip from Nairobi city to Masai Mara national reserve takes about 6 hours of drive including a couple of brief stops. 6 hours drive is to the nearest entry gate in the Mara
The entry gates on the western side of Masai Mara such as Musiara or Oloololo take about 30 minutes longer using a different route which turns west onto the B3 highway towards Bomet, just after passing Narok Town. Road conditions are poor in some places with the last 75 kilometers to reach the reserve being on a bumpy gravel road.
Another option to get to Masai Mara national reserve is by flying which is the most convenient option, flights to Masai Mara’s several airstrips are about 1 hour from Wilson Airport.
Here is the relevant information on how to reach Masai Mara by road and air from Nairobi City.
BY ROAD FROM NAIROBI TO MASAI MARA
Road means of transport is so far the most popular mode of transport to get to Masai Mara national reserve from Nairobi, this road used is currently tarred all the way from Nairobi to Maasai Mara’s Sekenani Gate. From Nairobi City, the distance to Masai Mara varies from 225 kilometers (140 miles) to275 kilometers (170 miles) depending on the entry gate or entry point you use to access the reserve such as Sekanani, Talek and Ololaomutia and about 6 to 6.5 hours from Musiara o(Narok county side but on the Western side) and Oloololo gate which is closer to the Masai Mara conservancy and the Mara Triangle. This journey includes a couple of brief en-route stops for a fuel stop and washroom break in the small town of Narok.
Route to Masai Mara from Nairobi
From Nairobi city to Masai Mara national reserve, use the A104 Highway heading out from Nairobi city and onto the B3 just before the Limuru junction. If you are leaving from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, use the southern Bypass to connect to A104 at Kikuyu Town to cut out the city traffic. Once at Narok town you now take the C12 road to Sekenani, Talek and Ololaomutia gates or C13 to Musiara and Olololo gates as well as Rianta Town. This latter road is rougher thus using 4X4 vehicles are the best option.
APPOXIMATE DRIVE TIMES TO MASAI MARA
|ROUTE||APPROXIMATE DRIVING HOURS|
|Nairobi to Masai Mara (Sekanani Gate)||5.5 – 6 hours|
|Nairobi to Masai Mara (Talek Gate)||5.5 – 6 hours|
|Nairobi to Masai Mara (Oloolaimutia Gate)||6 hours|
|Nairobi to Masai Mara (Musiara Gate)||6.5 hours|
|Nairobi to Masai Mara (Oloololo Gate)||6.5 hours|
Road conditions from Nairobi City to Masai Mara is an often asked question by prospective clients planning their Masai Mara safari, most the route used to get to Masai Mara is actually a tarred road starting with highway A104, B3 and finally C12, except the last section of approximately 1 hour. The tarmac portion of this route is however in sub standard condition in certain places which includes a few stretches with potholes while the last option which is unpaved can be bumpy and dusty, this condition adds on the adventure of getting to the grand African wilderness.
Safari Vehicles to Masai Mara
A safari vehicle to use for a Masai Mara safari plays a great role in your experience, in Masai Mara there are two basic types of vehicles commonly used for safaris in Kenya and East Africa in general. These vehicles are Safari Tour Minibuses (Tour Vans) and the 4X4 Safari Jeeps (Toyota Land cruiser or less commonly Landrover vehicles), these vehicles have built in, pop-up game viewing roof hatches which is opened during game drive in the reserve. There are also UHF Radio Calls and cooler boxes, in terms of costs the Tour Vans cost much less that the 4X4 wheel drive safari jeeps. Note that there are some tour vans which also have the capability of 4×4, albeit with the lack of ground clearance or off road ability that comes with a land cruiser. Both of these vehicles typically seat a maximum of 7 passengers with 6 being ideal and 8 passengers being the upper limit with an extra seat fitted into the vehicle. Also note that Luggage restrictions apply.
FLIGHTS TO MASAI MARA
From Nairobi City to Masai Mara national reserve there are several airlines flying from Nairobi’s Wilson airport to several airstrips serving the reserve with one way flight taking approximately 1 hour. After dropping or collecting the passengers from a number of airstrips in Masai Mara, same plane usually turns around back to Nairobi.
All domestic and chartered flights from Nairobi City to Masai Mara national reserve take off from Wilson Airport as opposed to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). On the day of your flight you need to be at the airport about 45 minutes prior to the flight, these flights are operated by two main airlines that are Air Kenya and Safarilink, there is also a new airline Governors Aviation.
Timetable schedule for Masai Mara flights
|Type of flight||Departure time from Nairobi||Arrival time in Masai Mara|
|Morning flight||10 am||11 am|
|Return morning flight||11 am||12 pm|
|Afternoon flight||3pm||4 pm|
|Return Afternoon flight||4pm||5pm|
AIRSTRIPS IN MASAI MARA
Masai Mara national reserve is served by a dozen of airstrips situated inside the reserve and surrounding game ranches and conservancies, these airstrips are spread out in different areas or the reserve and able to serve several lodges and campsite which are situated in close proximity so as to cut down transfer time from the airstrip to the hotel. Airstrips in Masai Mara national reserve include
- Keekorok Airstrip
- Siana airstrip
- Serena Airstrip
- Musiara Airstrip
- Ol Kiombo Airstrip
- Ngerende Airstrip
- Ol Seki Airstrip
- Olare Orok Airstrip
- Angama Airstrip
Flights to Masai Mara national reserve are done using several aircrafts including propeller planes with seating capacities ranging from 40 seaters for DeHavilland Dash 7 and 8 aircraft to 13 seater Cessna Caravans.
Note: during the flights, passengers are limited to 15 kilos of carry on and check in luggage combined.