Mara Plains Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve | Kenya Safari
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Mara Plains Camp

Location: Northern border of Masai Mara, Kenya Safari

Just north of the legendary Masai Mara National Reserve, in the quiet wilderness of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, there are seven tents hidden within a copse of riverine trees. To get to them, you follow a wooden walkway that leads straight between an acacia tree’s branches, which curve upward like a candelabra. Acacia trees, flat-topped and seemingly frozen in motion, are a symbol of East Africa, and this tree was a deciding factor when National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert and their partners at Great Plains Conservation set out to build a lodge here. The tree is a natural gateway to an exceptional safari experience.

Mara Plains Camp is at once elegant and unassuming. The seven elevated tents and the main camp area are crafted of rough-hewn wooden floors and billowing canvas and filled with an exquisite collection of furnishings and decor that recall the colonial influences of bygone centuries, as well as Kenya’s Swahili and Maasai roots.  Whether you come for the thundering wildebeest, the rainbow-colored birds, or to experience the culture of the Maasai person firsthand, Mara Plains Camp is the perfect setting for immersing yourself in the mystique and the beauty of the East African savanna.

Highlights:

  • Set out on game drives over 100,000 acres of protected private land, encountering wildlife of all sorts in a setting away from the crowds.
  • Relax in the enchanting atmosphere of safari expeditions of old in your spacious tent—or its deep copper tub.
  • Get acquainted with the Maasai on visits to schools and villages, and learn local crafts at workshops with Maasai women.
  • Go on a walking safari with a seasoned guide to get a close-up view of the lesser-known flora and fauna of the bush

Amenities at Mara Plains Camp, Northern border of Masai Mara, Kenya Safari

  • Seven canvas tents accommodating 14 guests
  • Main camp with a dining area and cozy lounge
  • Wi-Fi and cell service in tents
  • Swarovski 8×42 binoculars and professional camera equipment for guests’ use
  • Bottled water from a local source
  • Complimentary laundry service
  • A staff of Maasai watchmen to escort guests at night
  • A boutique with a range of safari clothes, locally made jewelry, and Maasai arts and crafts

Tented Suites at Mara Plains Camp, Northern border of Masai Mara, Kenya Safari

There are seven spacious tented suites of Mara Plains Camp. The tents, each with its own Maasai name, feature a king-size bed, an en suite bathroom with a deep copper tub, a private veranda, and a sitting area with cozy leather armchairs. Biodegradable bath products are provided, all made in Kenya using essential oils instead of chemicals. The tents run on solar power and cannot support hairdryers or electric razors, but the lodge insists that wet hair and fashionable stubble are part of the dress code. Other amenities include a large wooden chest that can be locked to serve as a safe and a solar-powered flashlight.

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What to do at Mara Plains Camp, Northern border of Masai Mara, Kenya Safari

  • Game drives (day & night)

Game drives (day & night) take place in some of the Mara’s most coveted vehicles. Each of the four Toyota Land Cruisers is open-sided, canopied and customized for photographers (fold-down screens, raised roofs, photographic bars, multi-plug invertors). With just four to six guests each, the Cruisers also have fully-stocked fridges stocked with drinks and snacks. No two days are the same on safari. Game drives typically start at sunrise, returning for lunch and depart again in the mid-afternoon before returning just after sunset. However, very often we will go out all day, deep into the Reserve or Conservancy with a packed breakfast and lunch. One visit per guest per 3-night stay
included, additional visits subject to park fees. Very often, our safaris will continue into the night, a possibility because of our location on a private conservancy. Night drives are particularly prolific in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, and while they take patience, sightings commonly include lesser known nocturnal mammals and even lion and hyena hunts.

  • Guided Walks

Mara Plains also offers walking safaris (at additional cost) within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy subject to prior booking and walking guide availability.

  • Cultural Visits

If a chance to learn about the Maasai is of interest, then cultural visits to a nearby Maasai village (locally known as an “enkang”) are also a highlight. Locally produced crafts are available for purchase at the camp, all proceeds of which go toward the community, and particularly the women’s groups and schools. Guests are also able to visit the local ladies beading workshop to try your hand at beading or just to learn about how these beautiful goods are made.

  • Photography

Each of Mara Plains’ guest tents has a professional Canon camera set, including a Canon 7D camera body and Canon 100-400mm and 24-70mm lenses. Photos will be downloaded to a memory stick on guest’s departure. Each tent comes with a pair of Swarovski binoculars for guest use as well. Photographic tuition can be arranged for guests (at an additional cost) and we recommend prior booking if possible. Tuition can be either on company cameras or own guests’ personal cameras.

  • Hot Air Balloon (Additional Cost)

Hot air ballooning is available, but should be booked in advance and is subject to availability and additional cost. Departures are very early in the morning to allow time to transfer to the nearest launching point.

  • Horseback Safari (Additional Cost)

From gentle rides on the open plains of the game rich Maasai Mara to more adventurous explorations for the experienced rider. Mara Plains Camp offers you a horse riding experience that will remain a memory for years to come. The Ride Kenya – Mara stables offer well schooled horses of various sizes and breeds with a choice of high quality saddles and tack. Bookings available for morning or afternoon rides up to 2 hours in duration. Some riding experience is required with boots, helmets, half chaps and more supplied.