Amazing African Safari Animals during Great Migration – 40+ photos from Masai Mara to inspire you to go on safari in Kenya

What African safari animals can you see during the Great Migration safari in Kenya? Each year millions of wildebeest and zebra travel to Masai Mara from the fields of Serengeti in Tanzania, followed by numerous predators. This is the bucket list spectacle of nature that took our breaths away! Have a look what African safari animals you can see during the Masai Mara migration in Kenya and how to experience the best safari in Kenya on your own.

African safari animals Masai Mara safari kenya great migration

African Safari Animals in Masai Mara, Kenya

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Wildlife, nature and being outdoors is what I love the most. Initially, our trip to East Africa was supposed to consist of a week of hiking and watching animals on the safari. Due to my broken ankle in the snowmobile trip to Svalbard, the plans had to change. African safari in Kenya was still a must, especially that we were travelling to Kenya during the Great Migration. After my previous trip to Madagascar, I knew that wildlife in Africa is just spectacular and couldn’t wait to experience more.

The Great Migration happening in Masai Mara in Kenya is a spectacle of nature, that makes an African safari a trip of a lifetime. I really think that thanks to that, Masai Mara safari is one of the best safaris in Kenya. The longer you stay in the park, the more you can see. Of course, the Masai Mara safari is not cheap, but there are options to go on the safari on the budget. And it’s totally worth it!

We went on the 4 day Masai Mara safari, which gave us 2 full days in the park and one afternoon game drive. We also went on the morning hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara plains with bush breakfast to admire the migrating animals from above. What an experience! If you considering going on safari, I’ve also written a post about what to wear in safari in Africa – a full guide on what to pack for safari in Kenya, which might be helpful for you.

Tip: In Africa, the safari drives to see animals are called “game drives”. Therefore, during your safari, you have full day game drives, morning game drives, and afternoon game drives.

Recommended best safari in Kenya – Masai Mara safaris with Get Your Guide:

 

 

Masai mara rainbow


Read more: How to travel more with limited time?


What African Safari Animals can you see during the Masai Mara migration safari in Kenya?

We’ve seen a lot. During only two and a half day in the park, we managed to witness many different animal species and also see four animals from the Big Five.

Tip: “Big Five” are the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard. The terminology comes from hunting time when those animals were said to be the hardest to hunt. I do not support hunting, but the same terminology has been now adopted by the tour operators marketing the safaris. Some of the animals from the Big Five are very hard to spot in specific parks – for example, rhino and leopard in Masai Mara. Of course, seeing other types of animals is amazing as well, but the adrenaline of watching a rare sighting is amazing.

African safari photography

I am an amateur photographer, and all the photos below were taken by me. If I could do it, you can easily do it too. For safari photography, I used my mirrorless FujiFilm X-E1 with the  Fuji zoom lens 50-230 mm,  F 4.5-6.7. Occasionally I used my landscape Samyang 12 mm lens and  AKASO EK7000 action camera (cheaper GoPro equivalent) for recording. More about my travel and photography gear here.


Read more about what to pack for safari in Kenya.


African safari animals by the sunset in Masai Mara, Kenya

Sunset in Masai Mara, Kenya

African Safari Animals in Masai Mara 

Lion

Lion is probably the most popular African animal that people want to see on the safari. I mean, who doesn’t want to see the lion? They are the kings of Africa! We managed to see 11 lions, which I find quite impressive. We’ve also spotted the lions mating – an interesting sight 😉 Apparently, the mating, which lasts for a week is very exhausting for lions. I’ve been told that they can do it even 100 times a day, resting in between. Impressive, right?

The lions are also very active during the Great Migration, due to many animals in the park. Killings can happen quite frequently, but mainly during the morning or evening hours.

African safari animals king - Lion resting under the tree, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Lion resting under the tree, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
African safari animals in Masai Mara Great Migration, Lions mating, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Lions mating, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Mating lions, Masai Mara safari in Kenya
Mating lions, Masai Mara safari in Kenya
Lions resting under the tree, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Lions resting under the tree, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
African safari animals, masai mara safari in Kenya, Lion walking towards the wildebeest, Masai Mara, Kenya
Lion walking towards the wildebeest, Masai Mara, Kenya

Rhinoceros (Rhino)

Rhino is supposed to be one of the hardest animals to spot during the Masai Mara safari in Kenya. Unfortunately, persistent poaching for their horns and the habitat loss made many rhino species to be critically endangered. They kind of look like the last cousin of the dinosaurs, don’t you think?

Elephant

African elephants are the world’s largest land animals. At the same time, they look so cute! We’ve seen so many of them in Masai Mara, as well as during our train ride from Mombasa to Nairobi. Unfortunately, they are still being at risk due to poaching for the ivory.

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Just hanging out with the elephants 🐘 Can you spot the baby one? :::: My first ever safari in Masai Mara in Kenya just blew my mind. The amount of wild animals that we’ve seen over 2,5 days in such close proximity is unbelievable! More photos on the blog (link in bio👆), including the mating lions 🦁 and hot air balloon 🎈 I tried to do a recap, so here it is what we saw: 1 rhino 11 lions 25 elephants 5 cheetahs 20 giraffes 2 hyenas 10 buffalo 5 ostriches 10 warthogs 2 crocodiles Several big groups of hippos Group of baboons and blue ball monkeys (so funny 😂) Several groups of Vultures Different species of antelopes Many many zebras Hundreds and hundreds of wildebeest :::: Have you ever been on the safari before? . . . #worlderingaround #magicalkenya #visitkenya #masaimara #masaimaranationalpark #elephant🐘 #wildelephants #wildlife_photography #safarioutfit #safaripark #africansafari #outdoorgirls #adventuregirls #femaletravel #travelgirls #travelgirlsgo #goneoutdoors #femaletravelbloggers #postcardplaces #stunningnature #ladiesgoneglobal #outdoorwoman #shetravels #travelphotooftheday #glt #polishgirltravelling #travelbloggers #cnntravel #natgeowildlife #travelpost

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African buffalo

Buffaloes have quite unpredictable nature what makes them dangerous to humans. They can, however, be safely seen from the safari jeep in Masai Mara. We’ve also seen them while starting the trek in Uganda, which might have been more dangerous, but ended up fine.

African safari animals, African buffalo, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
African buffalo, Masai Mara safari, Kenya

Cheetah

I adore wild cats and cheetahs are among my favorites. They are especially beautiful when they move with grace and big speed. The one pictured below was running in the field, when we spotted it. Such a beauty!

African safari animals in Kenya, Hunting cheetah, Masai Mara, Kenya
Hunting cheetah, Masai Mara, Kenya
Resting cheetah, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Resting cheetah, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Hunting cheetah, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Hunting cheetah, Masai Mara safari, Kenya

Giraffe

With the cute face and long eyelashes, giraffes are very nice to watch! The Masai giraffe has a special pattern, which distinguishes it from other types of giraffes in Africa. Can you see it in the pictures?

Masai giraffe, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Masai giraffe, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Masai giraffe, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Masai giraffe, Masai Mara safari, Kenya

Ostrich

Brown is a female and the black one is a male. There were also some big ostrich eggs that they were protecting!

Female ostrich, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Female ostrich, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Male ostrich, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Male ostrich, Masai Mara safari, Kenya

Read more: Essential travel and photography gear (that I used for this trip!)


Hyena

Not having the best reputation (especially in the “Lion King” ;)), hyenas are interesting animals. According to our hot air balloon pilot, they are responsible for the majority of the killings in Masai Mara (no, it’s not the lions).

Hyena, Masai Mara, Kenya
Hyena, Masai Mara, Kenya

Hippos

Sleepy during the day, active when the sun goes down, they can be very dangerous but fun to watch!

Hippos, Masai Mara, Kenya
Hippos, Masai Mara, Kenya

Zebras

Zebras stripes are like DNA – everyone has different ones. Can you believe?

African safari animals in Kenya - Zebras, Masai Mara, Kenya
Zebras, Masai Mara, Kenya
Baby zebra scratching on the tree, Masai Mara, Kenya
Baby zebra scratching on the tree, Masai Mara, Kenya
In Masai Mara, all the animals live next to each other. Zebras and wildebeest with the hot air balloon in the background. Masai Mara, Kenya
In Masai Mara, all the animals live next to each other. Zebras and wildebeest with the hot air balloon in the background. Masai Mara, Kenya

Wildebeest

The star of the Great Migration in Masai Mara. Wildebeest travel from the Serengeti plains to Masai Mara in the search of the fresh grass. There are hundreds of thousands of wildebeest that can be watched walking through the park and feeding on the grass. Did you know that they follow a scent from the hoofs of the leading animal, and that’s how they walk in lines?

Running wildebeest, Masai Mara, Kenya
Running wildebeest, Masai Mara, Kenya

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Wildebeest Great migration Masai Mara Kenya
Wildebeest, Kenya
wildebeest great migration masai mara
Wildebeest great migration, Masai Mara, Kenya

Warthog 

I find them super cute and clumsy, especially after watching Pumba from Lion King. What do you think?

Warthog, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Warthog, Masai Mara safari, Kenya

Vultures

They are a bit scary, especially if you see their size and how they feed on the dead zebra, uh. Their wings are spectacular.

Vultures resting in the heat of a day in Masai Mara, Kenya
Vultures resting in the heat of a day in Masai Mara, next to the dead zebra, Kenya
Vultures on the tree, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Vultures on the tree, Masai Mara, Kenya
African safari, Flying vultures, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Flying vultures, Masai Mara safari, Kenya

Crocodiles

They live in the Mara river and hunt for wildebeest crossing during the migration.

Crocodile, Masai Mara safari in Kenya
Crocodile, Masai Mara safari in Kenya

Blue ball monkeys (Vervet monkeys)

I’ve never heard about them before, but the moment we saw them and the guide mentioned their name – I knew I’m gonna like them – just look!

Blue Ball monkeys, Masai Mara Kenya

Baboons

We’ve seen them in the park, as well as on the Kenyan coast in Diani Beach. They are massive!

African safari animasl Baboon masai mara kenya
Baboon in Masai Mara safari park, Kenya

Antelopes

Masai Mara has many different antelope species. They include Impala antelopes with beautiful horns, Eland antelopes that are the biggest antelopes and Topis, very fast antelopes living in Masai Mara and Serengeti.

Impala antelope, Masai Mara, Kenya
Impala antelope, Masai Mara, Kenya
Topi antelope, Masai Mara safari, Kenya
Topi antelope, Masai Mara safari, Kenya

Hot air balloon safari in Masai Mara

Great addition to the Masai Mara safari is a hot air balloon safari with champagne breakfast in the bush. This is when you can really see the extension of the Masai Mara park up to the borders with Tanzania when it turns into Serengeti. The hot air balloon ride is particularly interesting during the Great Migration. You can see the thousands of the wildebeest from the air. It was my first ever balloon ride and I loved it!

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Bird's eye view of wildebeest, Masai Mara hot air balloon safari, Kenya
Bird’s eye view of wildebeest, Masai Mara hot air balloon safari, Kenya
Wildebeest and zebra seen from the hot air balloon, Masai Mara, Kenya
Wildebeest and zebra seen from the hot air balloon, Masai Mara, Kenya
Champagne in the bush, Masai Mara, Kenya
Champagne in the bush, Masai Mara, Kenya

How to organize a Masai Mara safari in Kenya?

Organizing Masai Mara safari in Kenya that will give you a chance of seeing amazing African safari animals is not very difficult. There are tons of companies who can create a great experience for you – from budget safaris in the simple tents (usually outside of the park) through mid-range facilities to luxury safaris including private jeeps and stay in the resorts inside Masai Mara. There are also a few things that you need to know – like how many days to spend in the park or what to pack for safari.

How many days?

The most important decision about the Masai Mara safari in Kenya is how many days you want to spend there. If you are going to Kenya during the Great Migration, as we did, I would recommend a minimum of 3 or 4 days spent on safari. We went for 4 days safari including only Masai Mara and I was very sad that we had to leave – I could easily stay there longer. However, with an additional day, the price of the trip goes up. This is mainly because the entry to Masai Mara Reserve costs $80 per person (for foreigner) and is only valid for 24h. The longer you want to stay in the park, the more you have to pay. The price of the tour also includes the car, the driver and the accommodation (usually with full board).

Safari tour companies

Below you can see some examples of good safari tours.

 

They typically include 3 days in Masai Mara and 1 day in Lake Nakuru, which can give you a taste of two different parks. However, the drive to Lake Nakuru from Masai Mara is a long one (hello Kenyan traffic and bad roads), so if you have more time, I would spend 2 days there and also visit Lake Naivasha and Hell’s Gate on the way back to Nairobi.
The journey to Masai Mara from Nairobi also takes minimum 6 hours or longer, depending on the traffic and the weather (the roads are very bad, especially closer to the park).
A hot air balloon safari is usually organized separately and can be either pre-booked with your tour company or booked at your accommodation in Masai Mara. The typical price is $450 per person per flight, including the bush champagne breakfast. It is pricey but it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience to fly over the savanna filled with animals. This is when you can really see the extent of the park and the size of the Great Migration.

All in all, the Masai Mara safari in Kenya is a great experience and worth every penny!


Would you like to see some of the African safari animals and go to the Masai Mara safari in Kenya during the Great Migration? Or maybe you’ve already been? Let me know in the comments!



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Photos of Masai Mara safari animals to inspire you to travel to Kenya. Have a look what African safari animals you can see in Masai Mara, Kenya. The best safari experience in Kenya | Worldering around #Kenya #MasaiMara #safari #Africa #EastAfrica #wildlife #photography

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