MARA PLAINS CAMP
ONE OF THE MOST ECOLOGICALLY SENSITIVE AND IMPRESSIVE CAMPS IN ALL OF AFRICA
This intimate camp, among the smallest and most personal camps in the Mara region, blends the finest wildlife viewing with the absolute best of safari hospitality and guiding.
The enchanting Mara Plains Camp is one of the most ecologically sensitive camp in all of Africa. The camp lies secluded on the north border of the renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve, in the 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy. The location of the camp is at the heart of some of the greatest predator country in Africa. Rarely does a night pass without lion roaring nearby. Leopard is regularly found to wander the camp and cheetahs have established territories on the savannah near the main area. The wildebeest migration seasonally congregates outside camp. This is one of just five camps currently operating within the Conservancy that boasts the region’s lowest vehicle density.
Mara Plains Camp remains extraordinarily eco-friendly despite its luxury and comfort. The entire camp runs on solar power.
Filmmakers, conservationists, and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, Dereck and Beverly Joubert are behind the property. Their well-known conservation approach is woven into every aspect of this spectacular lodge. In spite of being one of the finest eco-lodges in Africa, it’s also one of the most luxurious due to the focus on guest experience and access to extraordinary wildlife encounters.
This camp is open year round.
Mara Plains Camp is located on the Ntiakitak River, nestled in lush forest on the meandering bends of the river. The camp is made up of just seven canvas rooms on raised decks with sweeping views across Kenya’s notable savannah. Each of the beautifully decorated luxury tents has deep-canopied canvas ceilings, rough-hewn wood floors and accents of East Africa’s bountiful safari history. Richly colored rugs are spread over the large wooden decking. A large marquee-style tent tops each individual unit with a wrap-around veranda overlooking the magnificent plains. The well-appointed en-suite facilities, including deep copper bathtubs, complete the genuinely stunning concept. The stylistic details, coupled with thoughtful environmental elements such as solar power and no cement, make Mara Plains a modern-day safari retreat.
Superb meals are served al fresco or around a communal dining table, lighted by an elegant chandelier. Expect excellent food and charming service under the Stars of Kenya.
Each guest at Mara Plains contributes considerably to the success of the success of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy’s flourishing ecosystem. Conservation fees paid safeguard this habitat, while supporting over 1,000 Maasai families. This partnership agreement ensures the survival of an astounding variety and volume of wildlife. The camp help fund the Predator Compensation Fund, under Big Life, by paying fair value for cows killed by lions, while Maasai warriors have agreed to stop spearing lions. Dereck Joubert tells about a Maasai warrior; “The warmth of a warrior’s smile one day, a six foot tall man in red checked robes with beads and spears and swords is something I will not forget but when he told me that real warriors don’t need to kill lions anymore, my heart swelled with pride, compassion and a sense of shared hope”.
At Mara Plains the safari experience is intimate and personal with no set camp schedule or meal times. The day’s activities and dining arrangements are tailored around guest preference and the wildlife opportunities of the moment. Flexibility is a focus at Mara Plains, lunches are often served out on the plains under the shade of an acacia tree. This camp offers one of the widest ranges of activities anywhere in the greater Maasai Mara – early morning, late afternoon and night game drives, authentic local village visits, wildlife walks and unrivaled access to superior wildlife habitats.
The staff and management at Mara Plains are very willing to tailor guests safari depending on their needs and desires. One idea might be to go out for an all-day safari, driving deep into the Reserve or Conservancy with packed breakfast and lunch. Another option would be putting hiking boots on and enjoying a guided bush walk within the camp’s private concession. Venturing daily into the Maasai Mara National Reserve is particularly popular during the wildebeest migration. In order for the full day expeditions to work well for guests, lavish picnic boxes with cold drinks are provided.
Unlike the Mara itself, this conservancy is private to the very few camps located there, so one will not experience the larger crowds present inside the Mara National Reserve. There is always the option of driving into the Mara each day, although the game viewing is equally good, if not better in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. There is also the option of returning to camp after dark since the Conservancy is not subject to the rules of the National Reserve.
Unforgettable riding safaris at the nearby Ride Kenya Mara is a must for any horseback riding enthusiasts. You will be able to ride in the wildlife-rich and exclusive Olare Motorogi, Mara North and Naboisho private conservation regions, as well as in the Maasai Mara itself. Wildlife abounds as you cross the tree-dotted plains, cross rivers and ravines and live an extraordinary experience. You find yourself riding in one of Africa’s most game-rich wildlife areas – areas of outstanding natural beauty, famous for the annual wildebeest and zebra migrations in their millions, on their annual trek in search of fresh pastures. Throughout the year expect to encounter a vast array of plains game. To experience an early morning, or afternoon, ride throughout this iconic landscape and its majestic wildlife is to create memories that last a lifetime. Read more »
The Olare Motorogi Conservancy is reputed to have the lowest vehicle density in the Maasai Mara region, while also having the highest concentration of big cats anywhere in Africa in one of the most wildlife rich regions in Africa. The Moniko lion pride is, undoubtedly, the most successful pride in the Conservancy. They are a formidable pride that has successfully raised many cubs over the seasons. The latest count for this pride is eighteen, with seven cubs, spread around their territory, which sits in the very heart of the Conservancy. Two dominant males roam between the lionesses keeping the pride intact and securing the next generation.
Experiencing the legendary Great Migration is an amazing experience for any photographer. At the time of year the Great Migration moves through the National Reserve and surrounding private conservancies, the vast herds can be found right at the Mara Plains Camp’s doorstep. The annual movement of wildebeest and other grazing herbivores across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world and a must for any keen wildlife photographer.
Mara Plains Camp combines some of Africa’s finest wildlife photography experiences, superb accommodation and expert guiding. It provides an excellent location and has the best opportunities for lions, cheetahs and hyenas hunting their prey. As it is located on private land, guides have the permissiion to drive off-road in order to get the best angles possible of the subjects.
Each of Mara Plains’ guest tents has a professional Canon camera set, including a Canon EOS 5D mark III and Canon 100-400mm and 24-70mm lenses. Photos will be downloaded to a DVD on guest’s departure. Each tent comes with a pair of Swarovski binoculars for guest use as well. All four of the Toyota Land Cruisers are open-sided, canopied and customized for photographers with fold-down screens, raised roofs, photographic bars and multi-plug invertors.