Road Trip to Masai Mara from Nairobi

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Road Trip to Masai Mara from Nairobi

It was early morning in Nairobi, I was the first hotel guest in the restaurant for breakfast. The weather was crisp and cool but eventually got warmer through out during the day. Extremely excited that I am taking a road trip to one of the most famous wildlife reserves in East Africa, the beautiful Masai mara home of the big five – Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo.  


Road side gift shops (curio shops) with toilet facility, in case you need to go badly!

At 7:30 am my tour guide from Africa Flash Mc Tours  picked me up from Nairobi hotel and we departed for Masai Mara. It is about 170 miles (270 km) and took us approximately 6 hours. The 2 lane highway ride was smooth sailing until we reached the last 70 miles, where we experienced extreme bumpy roads. It was so bumpy and dusty in fact that I was in fear of taking my camera out of its case. 

Road Trip: Nairobi –> Narok –> Masai Mara  

1st Stop at the Great Rift Valley Lookout

After little over an hour of driving we finally came upon the rural side of Kenya. While driving through the winding roads on the mountain top we stopped at the view point of Great Rift Valley, one of the world’s natural wonders. You definitely need to make a stop up there not just because of it’s stunning beauty but also for a great photo opportunity.  

Great Rift Valley

One our way to Masai Mara – A view of picturesque Great Rift Valley from the view point

After a quick 30 minute break, we were back on the road again heading towards Masai Mara. October weather was comfortable and perfect for traveling to Kenya.   

Masai Mara road trip

Nakuru (NRK) is only 97 km from here, same highway towards Masai Mara !

Cruising through the bad patches of the thrilling road trip, there were times we had to roll up the window frequently to protect us from the dust getting inside the 4×4. Even with the air conditioning not working, it still was not an uncomfortable ride.

road trip to masai mara

Road side restaurant en route to Masai Mara

While driving through the valley I enjoyed watching the native Masai herdsmen leading their cattle to the grazing fields wearing their traditional dress like shukas and beads. I could only see animals grazing on both sides of the highway as far as my eyes could reach.

road trip to masai mara, kenya

Highway to Masai Mara – Local Masai people leading their cattle to the grazing fields

Lunch at Seasons Hotel, Karok

At around 1:00 pm we arrived at a small town of Narok, and our driver stopped at Seasons Hotel for lunch. The hotel’s restaurant was serving both buffet, as well as, cook to order items such as their traditional Nyama Choma – goat meat. I also tried some cabbage with string beans, mashed potatoes and lamb curry with a bottle of Tusker along with my long time wish list item – Nyama Choma.

Nyama Choma

Nothing can beat the delicious taste of Nyama Choma after an ice cold local Tusker beer !

nyama choma

Having our lunch along with delicious Nyama Choma at Seasons Hotel, Narok, Kenya

Road to Masai Mara from Narok

After the lunch break, we hit the long road to Narok and Masai Mara and that was the beginning of our exotic fun ride on the bumpy dirt road. Can you believe I had to use Scarf (Shemagh) to protect me from wind and dust. I even had to cover my luggage, backpack and camera gears with plastic (trash bags).

On the way we passed through many small towns and saw traditional Masai villages surrounded by tree branches filled with thorns to protect them from wild animals.

Finally after 2 and half hours of bumps, dust and pain we arrived at our destination to the great Masai mara. 

Interesting Road Side Activities

Along the highway I saw many shops selling produce mainly red onion, potato, cabbage and fruits. 

road trip to masai mara

I saw many road side shops like this, red onion, potato and cabbage are of the noticeable items

Cart pulled by donkeys are common scene in all over Kenya. 

donkey cart for transportation !

I saw water tanks were transported using these carts pulled by donkeys.

Final Destination Rhino Tourist Camp, Masai Mara

Finally at late afternoon after about 6+ hours of driving we arrived at Rhino Tourist Tented Camp in Masai Mara where I stayed two nights. 

Checked in to a tent (numbered as 1954), it was a budget accommodation so nothing fancy, just a double bed and a single bed in a tiny tent with a toilet, shower and a washroom.

Rhino Tourist Camp, Ololaimutia Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve


Are you looking for a nice place to stay, here is where I stayed

The Concord Hotel31 Wangapala Road | 4th Parkland, Nairobi

Rhino Tourist Camp, Ololaimutia Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve 

My Opinion and Tips

Have you been to Kenya? Any additional tips to share?

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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