Masai Mara – Lake Nakuru Safari Guide 2023/24

If you want to visit a densely populated Park and a vast Savannah full of wildlife, you need to visit both Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara. They are very different, but each offers something that the other doesn’t and makes for a great combination of sites. In Lake Nakuru, you’ll find a large lake surrounded by plenty of bird life, as well as the chance to see grazers like impalas, zebras, and more. There’s also plenty of opportunity for camping or short nature trails if you’re feeling adventurous.

Masai Mara, on the other hand, is a vast open Savannah full of wildlife. There are regular game drives to take part in with plenty of sightings of all your favourite African animals like lions and elephants. Or if you prefer, there’s also the option to stay in luxury lodges and enjoy the sights from their vantage points. It’s up to you whether you prefer a more active experience or something a bit more luxurious.

3 Day/4-nights Safari Itinerary:

Day 1:

Upon your arrival, our driver guide will greet you and provide a comprehensive briefing about your safari. We will then embark on a journey to Lake Nakuru National Park, with a quick stop at the magnificent Great Rift Valley along the way. Upon reaching Nakuru, a delectable lunch will be served, allowing you to relax and recharge. In the afternoon, at 1600 Hrs, brace yourself for an exciting game drive, immersing yourself in the captivating wildlife of the park.

You’ll spend your night at either Lake Nakuru Lodge or at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge.

Day 2:

After enjoying breakfast, you will check out and depart for Masai Mara Game Reserve. Upon arrival at the lodge, you will be served a delicious lunch. The drive from Lake Nakuru National Park to Masai Mara is about 3 hours through Mau forest. According to Google Maps, the drive from Lake Nakuru to Masai Mara takes 3 hours 26 mins.

At 4:00 PM, get ready to embark on an exciting afternoon game drive. Take in the breathtaking sights and wildlife as you explore the reserve.

By 6:00 PM, return to the camp where a delightful dinner awaits you. Afterward, settle in for a restful and comfortable overnight stay.

Depending on your package, you can stay at affordable Kambu Camp or opt for more luxurious accommodation at Mara Serena Lodge.

Day 3:

Embark on an exhilarating day-long adventure of game drives, exploring the vast savannah in search of the majestic Big Five and other fascinating wildlife that call this land home. Indulge in a delightful picnic lunch at 1:00 PM, followed by afternoon game drives along the Mara River, where you can observe the magnificent hippos, crocodiles, and a plethora of other captivating wildlife. Immerse yourself in the wonders of this beautiful landscape and create unforgettable memories.

Day 4:

After enjoying breakfast, check out and depart for Nairobi. You will arrive around lunchtime and be transferred to the airport to check in for your homeward flight. You may choose to have an optional lunch at the renowned Carnivore Restaurant, at an additional cost.

What is included in the package:

  • All accommodations in 4 star hotels and camps per your selection
  • Airport transfers
  • Private transportation on tour in a pop-up top safari vehicle.
  • All meals while on safari
  • Professional English-speaking driver guide
  • Park entrance fees
  • Preparation of packed lunches for game drives
  • Unlimited game viewing drives
  • All government taxes, levies and service charges.
  • 24 Hrs Emergency support on safari.
  • Guaranteed departure every day for the safari you have booked.

What’s excluded:

  • Drinks and beverages
  • International airfares and airport taxes
  • Optional activities such as hot air balloon rides, guided walks in the Masai Mara, cultural visits with the local tribes, etc.
  • Tips and gratuities for your driver guide and lodge staff.

What to expect in Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara:

Lake Nakuru is most famous for the large concentration of flamingos that flock to the lake. It is also one of Africa’s most important bird reserves, home to over 500 species. It features a variety of habitats including grasslands, woodlands, and rocky escarpments providing plenty of game viewing opportunities. You can expect to see predators like lions, leopards, and cheetahs as well as large herbivores like buffaloes, antelopes, and giraffes.

In Masai Mara you will be astounded by the vastness of the Savannah that serves as a home for different species of animals. You can expect to see some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife including lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, cheetahs, and more. There are also plenty of bird species to spot as well as a spectacular variety of flora. Be sure to bring your binoculars for some amazing game-viewing opportunities!

The weather in the area is mild throughout the year. The best time to visit however is during July and August when the Great Migration is taking place. This is when millions of wildebeest and zebra migrate from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya in search of greener pastures.

Top highlights in Lake Nakuru:

  • Birdwatching
  • Wildlife safari
  • Sightseeing within the park
  • Photographing the flamingos
  • Both black and white rhinos
  • Nature trails and nearby camping sites

Top highlights in Masai Mara:

  • Game drives to spot the Big Five and other wildlife
  • Balloon safaris over the magnificent landscape
  • Guided bush walks for a more intimate experience
  • Visit to local Masai villages
  • Spectacular views from the Mara River
  • Photographic safaris to capture amazing memories.

How much will the trip cost?

The cost of a safari that combines both Lake Nakuru National Park and Masai mara National Reserve is dictated by the type of accommodation you choose. If you are on a budget, tent camping is definitely the best choice. A review of the cheapest non-camping accommodation will cost you around $70 on camps such as Mara Siria and Royal Mara Camps. You can also opt for accommodation that will cost you upwards of $300 per night such as Mara Crossing Camp or Kandili Luxury Camp ($250).

A review of top-selling packages for this 4-nights/3-days safari in these two destinations goes for about $980 for two people sharing and luxury accommodation options can push the package to the $1200 and $1500 range.


As a budget-friendly tour operator, we are biased towards the following economy accommodation options;

How Camping can save you $$$:

You can opt to camp at both Lake Nakuru and in Masai Mara. At Lake Nakuru, you can book Mbweha Camp which offersbeautiful views of the Eburru and Mau ranges. The camping site hides behind big lush trees where you can view some of the 450 resident and migratory birds, including the famous flamingos.