Mara Plains Camp
Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya
Take the mystical terrain of the Mara and couple with the wondrous intimacy of beloved Mara Plains Camp. Then, as if that weren’t sublime enough, it’s all made even more magical with the guarantee of privileged access to the private 35,000 acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy. Renowned for its celebrity population, this region is positively a-go-go with white-toothed lions, cheeky cheetahs and tail-flicking leopards. Meeting these megastars up close and personal must be our most-treasured takeaway of each and every visit to Mara Plains Camp.
Among the smallest camps in the region – maximum 14 guests and most intimate — its bijou seven rooms whisper safari serenity and all its attendant privileges: extremely low density of vehicles, abundant prides of predatory cats, and yon-and-hither access to the Mara’s unrivalled opportunities for game-viewing. In big cat country this means but one thing: we can go where the action is.
Your tent, a tent in name alone: gracefully furnished with hand-carved furniture, silky hand-woven carpets and sumptuous en suite facilities. From starry nights under canvas on raised platforms to choir-filled dawns of trilling birds and growling beasts, by the banks of the Ntiakitiak River giraffes munch, elephants lope, baboons tussle and African life unfolds apace from the comfort of your private verandah. Low-impact and high-luxury, the Mara Plains Camp experience is justly characterized as one of the most select and sought-after in the region.
Understated yet comfortingly lavish octagonal tents are uniquely designed and decorated—hurricane lanterns, hand-carved furnishings, and lush warm-toned fabrics that invoke the deep reds and purples favoured by the great Maasai warriors who have roamed this land for millennia. And in the colonial tradition, you’ll find rich leathers, copper and brass featuring in expedition-style campaign furniture. All camp structures are on raised decks, one of many innovative green-build components. (The Camp’s commitment to respecting the local environment also stretches to solar-generated 24-hour electricity, and lashings of hot water.) When the languid temps of the Mara are on the rise, it’s possible to roll open canvas walls to the great outdoors. Each tent has its own cossetting en-suite bathroom, dressing area and viewing terrace. In the centre of camp, three open-air marquis-style tents serve as social HQ: lounge, library, writing room and dining room. The ever-popular campfire ringed with comfortable chairs plays our favourite station, fondly known as “African TV”, a heaven-sent excuse for a few post-prandial drinks and an unlimited stargazing.
A note for families & children
Children from 8 years are welcome and can be accommodated in a family suite.
Why shouldn’t the journey be as romantic as the there? Cross the river via pretty foot bridge, plunge through a mystical riverine forest, ascend the giant steps… et voila: the timeless horizon of Africa punctuated by a single, flat-topped tree – a quintessential vision and the poetic backdrop for the elegant tents of Mara Plains Camp. Leisurely, ever-stimulating game drives in open, 4×4 vehicles are ours each morning and afternoon. As fancies go, perhaps it’s time for a lazy picnic by the river, a fascinating visit to the local village to experience how life has been lived here for a long, long time (and indeed to see how it’s changed), or even a lofty languid hot-air balloon flight skimming over the immortal shoulders of the Maasai Mara. Its perennially stunning panorama is as flawless as ever: the lone lion, the galloping gazelles, the long-necked giraffes craning curious glances overhead at our colourful bird in the sky. Touch down for a champagne breakfast on the savannah and get stuck into a life time of wonderment that a morning on the Mara brings.