Lodges

Governors' Camp

Nothing beats the original

Governors' Camp

Think Masai Mara, think Governors' Camp. The small collection of properties has become synonymous with the Masai Mara and none more so than the original Governors' Camp. Set in the shade of the riverine forest along the banks of the iconic Mara River and overlooking the vast, rolling plains, the camp was originally built in 1972 to set the standard for a new breed of luxury camps. Save for a few (welcome) changes here and there, the camp remains largely as it once was. Entirely under canvas, in a magical location and with an excellent selection of activities on offer, this is a classic and hard-to-beat Mara safari.

At the lodge

The hotel

As with all camps worth their salt, the heart of Governors' is the campfire. Surrounded by classic safari chairs, this is the perfect spot for morning tea, an evening G&T and anything else in between, accompanied by views of animals grazing on the plains. Just behind is the dining tent and on the other side, with equally as splendid views of the Mara River, is the bar tent and an open deck for al-fresco dining.

The rooms

There are actually 37 rooms at Governors', but you really wouldn’t know it. Each canvas tent is a considerable distance from the next and hidden amongst the trees for maximum privacy. Inside, there are either king or twin beds and the beige canvas and pretty African textiles create a light, airy atmosphere. Bathrooms are big and have a flushing loo and traditional bucket shower and the verandas at the front look out either over the river or the surrounding plains – both are fabulous.

On safari

Experiences

Governors' has all the ingredients for an excellent Mara safari and activities are no different. On offer are day game drives, walking and tracking with experienced Maasai guides, ornithological tours, sunrise balloon safaris and visits to the nearby villages and communities. And if you visit anytime between July/August and October, the plains will be filled with the 1.5 million wildebeest of the Great Migration as they cross the Mara River from the Serengeti in Tanzania. Spectacular.

When to go

Masai Mara by month

January

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are reasonably high, with moderate humidity and a handful of rainy afternoons.
  • Game viewing is good throughout the year with impressive numbers of resident game and plenty of predators.
  • Migratory birds such as bee-eater, rollers, eagles and huge flocks of swallows and swifts soar through the skies.
  • A beautiful time of year with Mocker and Green Banded Swallowtail butterflies flitting from flower to flower.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

February

Season: Dry
  • Weather experienced is hot with moderate humidity and low rainfall.
  • Game viewing is good throughout the year with impressive numbers of resident game and a good density of predators.
  • Migratory birds are present and strengthening their wings for the long flight North.
  • Vast herds of buffalo congregate during this time with plenty of newborns, offering the opportunity to witness a late season birthing.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

March

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are high with lower humidity and rainfall increasing, especially towards the end of the month.
  • Game viewing is still good at this time of the year, as long as you don't mind the chance of seasonal rains.
  • Migratory birds are strengthening their wings and begin to fly North into Africa and Europe.
  • Roads can get muddy during this time of year making game viewing a little more tricky.

April

Season: Wet
  • Game viewing is still good at this time of the year, as long as you don't mind the chance of seasonal rains.
  • Wildflowers are in bloom with the beautiful whites and pinks of the Tissue Paper Flower as well as the red and yellow blooms of the Flame Lily.
  • Various herds of elephants move out of the forested areas to feed on the lush grasses of the open plains, providing exceptional viewing opportunities.
  • Roads can get muddy during this time of year making game viewing a little more tricky.
  • Temperatures drop slightly, humidity increases and a 1 in 2 chance of rainfall is expected.

May

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures continue to drop but are still hot, with high humidity and a 1 in 2 chance of rain.
  • Game viewing is still good at this time of the year, as long as you don't mind the chance of seasonal rains.
  • The grasses are longer during this time of year with cheetah making good use of the cover, hunting Thomson's and Grant's Gazelles.
  • Butterflies are present in good numbers with swallowtails in the woodlands and African Monarchs in the grasslands.
  • Roads can get muddy during this time of year making game viewing a little more tricky.

June

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are relatively hot and humid, with a sharp decline in rainfall.
  • Game viewing is good throughout the year with impressive numbers of resident game and good densities of predators.
  • Grasses are still long, concealing lions on the hunt for warthog and recently born eland calves.
  • An interesting month for birding with Saddle Billed Stalks and Crowned Cranes nesting on the outskirts of the marshland areas.
  • A good month to avoid the peak season numbers with a dramatic improvement in weather.

July

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are at their coolest but still relatively hot and humid, with rainfall unlikely.
  • The arrival of the Great Migration takes game viewing from impressive to exceptional.
  • Grasses are long hiding the newborn Thomson Gazelles from the numerous, hungry cheetah of the Masai Mara.
  • In the forest the Warburgia tree is fruiting, drawing in elephants, baboons, Blue monkeys and Brown parrots to feed.
  • July is known for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets, painting the sky pink, red and orange.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

August

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are slightly cooler but still relatively hot and humid, with a lower chances of rainfall.
  • The presence of The Great Migration takes Game Viewing from impressive to exceptional.
  • A great period for river crossings as the crocodiles make easy work of the sick and weak individuals in the herd.
  • The Quinine trees are in flower and fruiting in the forests attracting spectacular birdlife including hornbills, Turacos and barbits.
  • The sunrise experienced during the cool mornings is reason in itself to visit this region.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

September

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are hot and humid, with occasional afternoon rainfall.
  • The presence of the Great Migration takes Game Viewing from impressive to exceptional.
  • River crossings are frequent in this month, although crocodiles have, for the most part, had their fill.
  • Migratory birds begin to arrive from North Africa and Europe creating a splash of colour in the treetops.
  • Expect beautiful colours with the reds and oranges of the fireball lilies and the stripped blues and whites of the pyjama lilies.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

October

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures have reached their peak, with lower humidity and the potential for occasional rains.
  • Catch the end of the action packed Great Migration with plenty of predator prey interactions.
  • Vegetation is lush and in bloom with migratory birds present in breeding plumage.
  • With the shorter grasses, rarely seen species such as the Bat Eared Fox and Serval Cat are more frequently spotted on the open areas.
  • Sunrises and sunsets are impressive with pinks and oranges cascading across the sky.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

November

Season: Wet
  • The start of the 'Green Season', temperatures are high with lower humidity and an increase in rainy afternoons.
  • The Great Migration has now left the region, leaving behind the impressive numbers of resident wildlife, including a high number of predators on the open plains.
  • A great month for seeing young animals with topi, impala and giraffe choosing to calve during this period.
  • Vegetation is lush and in bloom with migratory birds present in breeding plumage.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

December

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures begin to drop slightly, with lower humidity and fewer rainy afternoons.
  • The Great Migration has left the region, leaving behind the impressive numbers of resident wildlife, including a high number of predators on the open plains.
  • Migratory birds are present during this time of the year, providing plenty of activity in the treetops.
  • The rutting season for antelope has kicked of with males approaching their prime, posturing and fighting for territories and mates.
  • Another good time to visit the Masai Mara, avoiding the peak season crowds experienced in this region.

Wildlife


The Masai Mara is Kenya's flagship conservation region: a place of rolling plains, bush scrub and acacia thicket— known for the seasonal great wildebeest migration, a mass movement of more than two million, wildebeest, zebra, kongoni, topi and gazelle. As exciting as this phenomenon is, there is so much more to this wilderness. Encounter elephants, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, crocodiles and a variety of cats including lion, cheetah, leopard and the shy serval during a stay in these parts.

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