Mara Plains Camp
Luxury in the heart of Africa's greatest predator country
Mara Plains Camp
Expect nothing but luxury at Mara Plains, a camp so highly regarded it's been added to National Geographic's list of Unique Lodges of the World. Set in the private 35,000-acre (14164-hectare) Olare Motorogi Conservancy on the northern boundary of Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve, the camp allows you to explore an area far larger than that offered at any other camp. Mara Plains hunkers inconspicuously in a copse of riverine trees on the banks of the Ntiakitiak River. The interior reminds you of Hemingway and all you've ever dreamt about African exploration in colonial times. And yet, the atmosphere is unassuming.
At the lodge
The camp’s main area is perfectly positioned to face the horizon, with a single acacia tree intersecting the view. Indoors all is luxury, with a boutique and curio shop, a dining area (with cuisine to delight your heart), a comfortable lounge and a library in which to settle back and read or edit your photographs. The floors are teak, the fabrics are softly draped and the open spaces are cool. There's a complimentary laundry service and free wi-fi.
A raised wooden walkway leads between curved acacia branches to the seven canvas tents. Each has a canopied canvas ceiling, wooden floors and accents redolent of East Africa’s fascinating safari history – rich colours, plush beds and leather trims. The en-suite bathrooms are gloriously spacious, with a deep bath and shower of copper (the water is heated using solar power). Outside is a private veranda for admiring the huge expanse of wilderness. The tents have both wi-fi and cellphone connectivity.
Take various game drives in a Landcruiser customised for photographers, with fold-down screens, photographic bars and multi-plug invertors. Look out for lion (especially the magnificently dark-maned males), giraffe, hyaena, cheetah, wildebeest and birds. Ask about the camp's projects to preserve the region's wildlife and ecosystems, such as the Big Cats Initiative. Walk through the bush with a guide, visit a Masai village, take a photographic workshop (with camp equipment or your own), or float above it all in a hot air balloon.