If you get really lucky you might spot a cheetah and her cubs while on a game drive from Mara Plains Camp.

Mara Plains Camp | The Masai Mara Luxury Kenya Safari Lodge

Cross a narrow wooden bridge suspended over the Ntiakitiak River to reach Mara Plains Camp, located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy just north of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. This luxury Kenya safari lodge offers state-of-the-art safaris, top-quality guides and all the bells and whistles for the ultimate safari.

The place

With hearts pulsing, we carefully cross a wooden bridge suspended over the Ntiakitiak River, where a lone acacia tree heralds the entrance to the lodge. This very tree is rooted in the history of Mara Plains Camp, as it was a deciding factor when choosing its location. We’re on the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy, which borders Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Just seven tents are hidden within a grove of riverine trees, offering prime views across sweeping savannahs. Surrounded by the smells of the African bush, I breathe in deeply, feeling as if I’m taking in the very essence of the land.

With hearts pulsing, we carefully cross a wooden bridge suspended over the Ntiakitiak River, where a lone acacia tree heralds the entrance to the lodge. This very tree is rooted in the history of Mara Plains Camp, as it was a deciding factor when choosing its location. We’re on the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy, which borders Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Just seven tents are hidden within a grove of riverine trees, offering prime views across sweeping savannahs. Surrounded by the smells of the African bush, I breathe in deeply, feeling as if I’m taking in the very essence of the land.

The room

After a chilled hand towel and a welcome drink, we’re taken on a quick tour of the lounge, library and dining area – vast, marquee-style tents that open up invitingly to the endless savannahs. I love the interiors: wooden floors that come from recycled colonial railway sleepers, dark teak chests, rich leathers and burnt reds and purples conveying a sense of untamed Africa. I gaze upwards at a chandelier; it too is colonial, once gracing a train’s dining carriage. We’ll get to enjoy it every time we dine here, when we’re not dining al fresco.We head to our room, an octagonal tent fixed on a raised wooden deck. Three of its walls are comprised of netting, offering the most incredible views of grassy hills and riverine forest. We kick off our shoes and explore our new home. I love the exposed shower, made from a Lamu door studded with brass taps, but it’s the deep copper bath that takes my breath away. Before I fill it up, and soak away my cares, we lie down on our king-sized bed, taking a moment to appreciate finally being here after all our planning.

After a chilled hand towel and a welcome drink, we’re taken on a quick tour of the lounge, library and dining area – vast, marquee-style tents that open up invitingly to the endless savannahs. I love the interiors: wooden floors that come from recycled colonial railway sleepers, dark teak chests, rich leathers and burnt reds and purples conveying a sense of untamed Africa. I gaze upwards at a chandelier; it too is colonial, once gracing a train’s dining carriage. We’ll get to enjoy it every time we dine here, when we’re not dining al fresco.

We head to our room, an octagonal tent fixed on a raised wooden deck. Three of its walls are comprised of netting, offering the most incredible views of grassy hills and riverine forest. We kick off our shoes and explore our new home. I love the exposed shower, made from a Lamu door studded with brass taps, but it’s the deep copper bath that takes my breath away. Before I fill it up, and soak away my cares, we lie down on our king-sized bed, taking a moment to appreciate finally being here after all our planning.

What sets it apart

What a wonderful surprise to have the use of both binoculars and a professional camera during our stay, our photos conveniently downloaded for us before we left. Our state-of-the-art safari vehicles were even specially equipped for photography – and we got personalised photography lessons while out in the wild! Another real highlight was how well-trained our guide was. Marcus not only knew every species we came across, but he could identify many animals by name – telling us of their history and family relations as well as some of the more adventurous interactions with them.Then there’s the fact that this luxury Kenya safari lodge is constructed without any cement. It runs on solar energy, and the water we drank was bottled from a local spring. The conservation fees we paid directly support more than 1,000 local Maasai families – which incentivises them to conserve this natural habitat that ensures the survival of an incredible variety of wildlife.

What a wonderful surprise to have the use of both binoculars and a professional camera during our stay, our photos conveniently downloaded for us before we left. Our state-of-the-art safari vehicles were even specially equipped for photography – and we got personalised photography lessons while out in the wild! Another real highlight was how well-trained our guide was. Marcus not only knew every species we came across, but he could identify many animals by name – telling us of their history and family relations as well as some of the more adventurous interactions with them.

Then there’s the fact that this luxury Kenya safari lodge is constructed without any cement. It runs on solar energy, and the water we drank was bottled from a local spring. The conservation fees we paid directly support more than 1,000 local Maasai families – which incentivises them to conserve this natural habitat that ensures the survival of an incredible variety of wildlife.

At a glance

  • Luxury and very intimate tented camp in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy, which borders Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. It has just seven tents, raised on wooden decking and tucked away in riverine forest.
  • Private concession, private airstrip, four to six guests per safari vehicle, private vehicles available (additional cost), private dining available, flexible schedules, professional cameras and binoculars provided, vehicles equipped for photography and photos downloaded for you and opportunities to see the Great Wildebeest Migration.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, volleyball, soccer, photography lessons, beading and craft workshops, hot-air ballooning (additional cost) and cultural visits (additional cost).
  • Children from eight are welcome, and kids’ programme in place. Two family tents available.

  • Luxury and very intimate tented camp in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy, which borders Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. It has just seven tents, raised on wooden decking and tucked away in riverine forest.
  • Private concession, private airstrip, four to six guests per safari vehicle, private vehicles available (additional cost), private dining available, flexible schedules, professional cameras and binoculars provided, vehicles equipped for photography and photos downloaded for you and opportunities to see the Great Wildebeest Migration.
  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, volleyball, soccer, photography lessons, beading and craft workshops, hot-air ballooning (additional cost) and cultural visits (additional cost).
  • Children from eight are welcome, and kids’ programme in place. Two family tents available.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

This is the most popular time to visit the Masai Mara, and for good reason. The Great Wildebeest Migration returns from the Serengeti from July to September, and at its peak the plains of the Masai Mara are covered with the animals as far as the eye can see. You’ll also get to witness a Mara River crossing at this time – an awe-inspiring experience. While it can get somewhat crowded, there are many luxury properties in private conservancies that offer greater exclusivity. The weather also plays along now, being dry and cool, perfect for game drives.

As it dries out after the short rains in November, large herds of resident game and predators congregate closer to the Mara River and other water sources during these months. This, combined with thinning vegetation and fewer visitors, makes for exceptional game viewing, comparing favorably with safari experiences across Africa – despite that the Great Wildebeest Migration has moved on by now. To combine exclusivity with the migration, merge a Masai Mara safari now with a visit to the Serengeti, where the migrating herds will be.

The Masai Mara’s long rains, which fall steadily throughout April and May, are followed by short rains in November – generally quick afternoon bursts. While muddy roads can make getting around an adventure, as it’s a quiet time for tourism wildlife experiences are highly exclusive. As the vegetation is in a growth period, the game is easy to see too. All in all visitors get good-value holidays during this time, provided they pack their sense of humour (and their gum boots!).

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