An important function of wireless networks is to support mobile computing. Mobile Ad hoc NETworks (MANETs) consist of a collection of mobile stations communicating with each other without the use of any pre-existent infrastructure. The self-organization characteristic of MANETs makes them suitable for many real-world applications where network topology changes frequently. As a result, the development of efficient MAC (Medium Access Control) protocols in MANETs is extremely challenging. Self-similar traffic with scale-invariant burstiness can generate bursty network loads and thus seriously degrade the system performance. This paper presents an adaptive MAC scheme which dynamically adjusts the increasing function and resetting mechanism of contention window based on the status of network loads. The performance of this scheme is investigated in comparison with the legacy DCF (Distributed Coordination Function) under self-similar traffic and different mobility models. The performance results reveal that the proposed scheme is able to achieve the higher throughput and energy efficiency as well as lower end-to-end delay and packet drop probability than the legacy DCF.