Virtually all lodges organise wildlife drives through the park. At some cheaper places it will be in a battered old Land Rover or similar, while in the more expensive places safaris will be conducted in 'pop-top' minivans with other guests. The super-exclusive lodges will use state-of-the-art customised vehicles with open sides. Self-drive safaris in your own vehicle are also perfectly possible.
Guided Nature Walks
One of the best ways to experience the African bush is on foot. You’ll learn all about the medicinal properties of various plants, see the telltale signs of passing animals and have some thrilling encounters with wildlife. As it's forbidden to walk within the reserve due to predators, guided walks generally take place in the company of a Maasai moran (warrior) outside the park itself, but in the nonetheless wildlife-rich conservancies that surround the reserve to the north and east. Guides can be arranged through your accommodation or safari company.
Several companies operate dawn balloon safaris and there's no better way to start your day than soaring majestically over the rolling grasslands. Flights can be booked at most of the lodges or campsites and include a champagne breakfast, wildlife drive and transport to and from the launch point. Two recommended companies are Hot Air Safaris and Governors' Balloon Safaris.
Maasai Manyatta Visits
The Maasai are synonymous with the Masai Mara, and their slender frames, blood-red cloaks, ochre hairstyles and beaded jewellery make them instantly recognisable. Despite their reputation as fearsome warriors with somewhat lofty dispositions, some Maasai manyattas (villages) now welcome visitors (around US$20 per person).
Village visits can be organised through any lodge or camp or, if travelling under your own steam, you can just turn up at any of the villages (look for the signs saying something along the lines of 'cultural village' – don't just stroll into a proper Maasai manyatta unannounced!).