Maasai Mara, Kenya
Imagine an intimate safari camp set in the very heart of some of the greatest predator country in Africa. That is Mara Plains, located just over the northern border of the famed Maasai Mara Game Reserve in the private Olare Orok Conservancy. As the only camp in the area with access to both the Olare Orok (30,000 acres) and Mara North (80,000 acres) conservancies, as well as the Maasai Mara (375,000 acres) itself, Mara Plains offers the most comprehensive wildlife experience in the region. Superb sightings of predators are a regular happening here. Rarely a night passes without lion roaring nearby, while leopard are frequently found wandering through camp and cheetah have established territories on the savannah off the main area.
Opened in 2008, Mara Plains Camp is small and highly personal. In every respect the camp is designed to maximize luxury while minimizing its ecological footprint. It features just seven canvas tents on raised decks with panoramic vistas across Kenya’s legendary savannahs. Each is shaded by riverine forest, to keep temperatures comfortable in the heat of the day. Tents are octagonal in design with high ceilings, dressing area, flush toilet, double basins and shower. The camp’s main area consists of three tents on raised wooden decking with library, lounge, dining and bar area.
As one of just three camps currently operating within the Olare Orok Conservancy, which boasts the region’s lowest vehicle density, guests will encounter no mini-buses and a visitor density of just one guest room per 700 acres. At Mara Plains, it is possible to find the best game-viewing in Kenya while avoiding the tourist crowds of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve proper – an idyllic combination. The camp offers the widest range of activities anywhere in the Mara region, including game drives, superb night drives, nature walks with armed guides, balloon safaris (extra cost), and visits to authentic local Maasai villages.