Maasai Mara, Kenya
Set in the private 50,000-acre Mara Naboisho Conservancy, award-winning Encounter Mara offers some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa all year round from the understated yet lavish comfort of this superb eco-camp. The innovative conservancy model is a partnership between landowners and tourism companies in an effort to protect the precious ecosystem while improving the lives of the communities in the area. At the same time, it provides guests with an exclusive and uncrowded experience of one of the most renowned slices of wild Africa.
Sheltered under the canopy of an acacia forest, Encounter Mara blends so seamlessly with its natural surroundings that it's not unusual to see zebra or giraffe wandering through camp. The camp enjoys glorious views of the sprawling savanna, while at closer range a salt lick attracts a range of animals throughout the day, from plains game to big cats. As a result, guests may be inclined never to leave camp! Though of course we do, taking advantage of superb wildlife viewing on 4x4 game drives in the region. Species frequently seen on the camp doorstep include lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, buffalo, hippo, Nile crocodile, klipspringer, striped polecat and pygmy falcon. Because of Encounter Mara's location on a private conservancy, guests can also enjoy activities not available to visitors in the adjacent national reserve, such as bush walks and night drives in search of nocturnal hunters like serval and caracal.
This classically styled safari camp offers 10 spacious, comfortable and airy tents, furnished in neutral tones, and each with en suite bathroom with flush toilet and hot-water safari bucket shower. Outside, private verandas open out to the limitless plains: relax here on a day bed and soak up the inspiring views. Enjoy delicious, freshly made cuisine in the canvas dining tent in the center of camp, against the sensory backdrop of the bush. Meals are also served outside whenever the weather allows. Picnic-style breakfasts are an option during a morning game drive, and packed lunches are available for full-day outings. Sundowners and snacks welcome you back to camp at the end of the day as the sky slowly turns to orange, followed by a gourmet dinner in camp. Retreat to the cozy lounge area, furnished in a simple yet contemporary style that allows views of the Maasai Mara to take center stage—or gather round the campfire beneath a sky crowded with stars.