Mara Plains Camp

Africa Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
Mara Plains Camp - Kenya
2 December 2021

“When we first considered Kenya’s Maasai Mara as a Great Plains destination, I actually verbalised “Agh…all those people” but then looked at the map more carefully and the location for Mara Plains Camp became apparent.

And then I saw it, the importance of the conservancies to the north of the Masai Mara Reserve. These are three private conservancy areas that embody the privacy of just a few camps and that contribute extensively to communities.

More than anything, these are conservancies that perform a vitally important role in protecting the famous wildebeest migration. We have selected an exciting combination of areas for you.

The key to the Maasai Mara experience is not in the wildebeest crossing but in the hidden gems along the way. Lions wait under the acacias, cheetahs run the plains, and we watched a single male leopard in an insignificant gully pick of 14 wildebeest in one day.

When others look one way, I like to see what is going on behind us! Mara Plains Camp hides in the thick forest on a bend in the Ntiakitiak River. A perfect luxury Kenya safari camp.

It is inside the 35,000-acre private Olare Motorogi Conservancy and borders Kenya’s Maasai Mara Reserve. Mara Plains Camp is a captivating and intimate experience of its own in one of the most iconic wildlife destinations on the planet.’ – Dereck Joubert, Great Plains Conservation CEO.

As you arrive at Mara Plains Camp, you cross a bridge and climb a few giant steps; an endless horizon greets you with a single, flat-topped acacia, the quintessential shape of East Africa.

“When I laid out the camp and its design, I incorporated the arrival, bridge, camp’s main area and one single distant tree in the plains that stretch out in front of Mara Plains Camp as a central line.

I tasked the tentmakers with the job of building a 25-metre tent (the biggest they had ever tried) with an arrival opening that was an exact proportion of the 35mm photographic frame.

At National Geographic, we often speak of these proportions as “the golden rectangle.” The Fibonacci formula strongly influenced Mara Plains Camp’s design. I love details like that.” continues Dereck.

The design and decor of this luxury Kenya safari Relais & Châteaux property pay homage to the essence of East Africa. These elements reflect the Swahili heritage of large wooden doors from the island of Lamu and accents of red to honour the great Maasai chiefs and warriors.

With the rich leathers, copper and brass used in campaign-style furniture, you have an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere that complements rather than overwhelms the surrounding wilderness.

This camp speaks to the intersection of cultures and a meeting place to talk, share ideas, and share experiences that you will have each day. One of only five camps in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Mara Plains Camp, has unrivalled access to more than 100,000 acres of exclusive land.

This area is prime habitat for a vast number of wildlife species, and this is in addition to offering unfettered access to the 375,000 hectare Masai Mara Reserve. “As someone who has studied predators my whole life, Mara Plains Camp has to be the finest luxury Kenya safari camp available.

I often go out and struggle to decide between viewing lions, cheetahs, hyenas and leopards within an hour or two. Mara Plains Camp is a proud member of our Great Plains Conservation Réserve Collection of safari camps.”

If you understand Great Plains Conservation and share our sensitivities, please do us one favour; even if we are full, please don’t stay in the middle of the Reserve!

There are ways to see this ecosystem without the traffic! Consider your safari stay at our Mara Nyika Camp (a fellow Relais & Châteaux camp) in the neighbouring Naibosho Conservancy or our Mara Expeditions Camp and Mara Toto Camp.

Consider, too in extending your luxury Kenya safari with us by staying at the impressive ol Donyo Lodge, set under the watchful gaze of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Fully inclusive of a wide range of wildlife viewing and outdoor activities, all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including imported spirits and champagne. Daily scheduled air transfers from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport are included in the nightly rates.

Number of Guests
Mara Plains Camp can accommodate 10 guests sharing in five raised guest suites, each with their own private lounge, indoor bathroom and private deck.

The private 2-bedroomed Mara Plains Jahazi Suite accommodates 4 adults sharing or a family of five with children and includes the services of a private butler, chef, wildlife viewing vehicle & guide.

An additional guide’s tent as required. Children from 6 years are welcome and can be accommodated in the Mara Plains Jahazi Suite.

Early morning, late afternoon and night game drives in an open 4×4 vehicle as well as the option of getting to know more about the local Maasai Community. Balloon flights across the Maasai Mara can be arranged but are at an additional cost.

On the 35,000 acre private Olare Motorogi Conservancy which lies on the northern border of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwestern Kenya.

The ‘perfect safari’ means something different to everyone.
For some it means stunning accommodation in a remote, private concession with as many wildlife-drives as you can fit into a day. For others it is being out on foot or in a canoe, active all day and totally disconnected from the world back home.

For some it is capturing the perfect photograph of one of Africa’s iconic species, for others it means spotting every bird on our 111 Club or introducing their children to the bush for the first time with our Young Explorers Programme.

Whatever your interests or travel style there is a Great Plains Conservation experience perfect for you. Use the pages below to help guide and inspire you as you plan the trip of a life time.

Toward that end, we own and operate some of the most luxurious, sustainable and lauded properties anywhere in Africa. Zarafa was awarded the first-ever accreditation by Relais & Châteaux of a safari camp in Botswana Zarafa has since been joined by Selinda Camp and Duba Plains.

Ol Donyo Lodge, Mara Plains and Mara Nyika hold the same distinction as the only Relais & Châteaux properties in Kenya. These properties are handpicked for their exceptional guest experience and commitment to sustainable practices.

At our luxury camps, guests can expect 1000 square foot tents, plunge pools, wine cellars, in-room massages and spa treatments and even a professional camera and lenses and high-quality binoculars in each tent.

Also available are two-bedroom suites like our Zarafa Dhow, Selinda Suite, Tembo Plains Suite and Mara Plains Jahazi Suite. Each offers guests a private game drive vehicle, guide, chef and staff, and are perfect for families or groups of friends wanting privacy and exclusivity.

Alongside these luxury touches, Great Plains’ sustainable ethos includes camps constructed from natural and recycled materials and run almost entirely off solar power.

We make use of UV reverse osmosis for drinking water and eco-friendly greywater recycling systems. Zarafa has a cutting edge biogas system that converts vegetable scraps into methane-based cooking gas.

We are committed to reducing waste and eliminating single-use plastic in all of our camps. At Great Plains, guests can experience a blend of 100% conservation with 100% luxury, compromising neither while maximising both.

Our camps are perfect for any level of photographer from professional to committed hobbyist to novice. From the Selinda Reserve’s herds of elephants, to sunrises over the Zambezi River at Sapi Explorers Camp to ol Donyo’s Lodge two photographic hides, perfectly placed in front of a water hole that draws some of the regions last “big tusker” elephants, our camps are a photographers dream!

Our vehicles are open 4x4s with a maximum of 6 guests (private vehicles available), many of which come with stabilizing bean bags and camera mounts. Duba Plains is even home to a specialist photographic boat for exploring the Okavango Delta.

At Duba Plains, Zarafa, Mara Plains and ol Donyo Lodge each tent has a Canon camera and lenses for guests to use with their images downloaded on departure. At Mpala Jena in Victoria Falls and at our camps in Botswana guests can book a scenic helicopter flight to capture stunning aerial shots.

For those looking to improve their photography skills at any level we have developed our Wild Studio Photography program which offers photographic tuition for all abilities taught by a professional photographer in both small groups and on a private basis.

Between July and October each year the Maasai Mara Reserve and the private conservancies that surround it are the best place to witness the power of this natural phenomenon. Mara Expedition Camp, Mara Plains Camp are perfectly positioned to put guests in the middle of the action.

Spend the whole day out with a packed lunch and cameras ready to capture a river-crossing or retreat to the calm of the conservancies and experience the herds without the crowds.

Outside of the July and October period not only is the resident game in the Maasai Mara outstanding year-round but the area is home to Kenya’s best-kept wildlife secret, a second migration!

Each year between late November and June more than 200,000 wildebeest move east to west from the Loita plains to the Mara traversing the Naibosho, Olare Motorogi and Mara North Conservancies, home to Mara Expedition, Mara Plains and soon Mara Nyika.

This means that almost 95% of the year the Great Plains camps in the Mara are at the heart of one of these two wildlife migration paths.

Not only are the majority of our properties from Zimbabwe to Kenya to Botswana accessed by air, via “hopper” flights between the camps, booking an additional aerial experience is always a thrilling addition to a stay with us.

At Mpala Jena Camp in Zambezi National Park or at any of our camps in Botswana guests can book a scenic helicopter flight to capture stunning aerial shots of Victoria Falls, the Okavango Delta or the wildlife-rich banks of the Selinda Spillway.

In Botswana you can even combine your scenic helicopter flight with our Life with Elephants tour, a cultural tour of the village of Eresha developed in partnership with the local community.

In the Maasai Mara enjoy a hot air balloon ride as the sunrises over the iconic East African plains or book a helicopter from ol Donyo Lodge to fully appreciate the size and scale of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Those who want an even more extensive flying experience might consider our Cape to Nairobi itinerary, taking advantage of the fully pressurized and air-conditioned Great Plains Pilatus PC-12 available for private charter or our Ultimate Flying Safari, a two-week private, fully-guided flying adventure, exploring Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe by private plane.

We invite you to confirm your love for each other in some of Africa’s most idyllic and romantic hideaways. Africa is the birthplace of humankind and let this be the birth of where your romance begins.

Swear your love in front of an imposing gathering of Maasai men women and warriors all dressed in their finest beadwork and carrying spears or celebrate your nuptials with a simple ceremony set out in the middle of an African plain or set against our finest Relais and Chateaux camps.

Instead of having your guests pile up gold wrapped gift boxes with toasters and wine decanters, tell your friends you want to buy a rhino’s freedom or solar lanterns for a local community.

Imagine making your marriage a symbol of the way you live your lives together, unselfishly, about experiences rather than things, about giving rather than taking and about making the world better…

We arrange weddings in all of our Kenya and Botswana camps and many a celebrity couple have elected to sneak off with a dozen or so close friends for a private and authentic African wedding.

While many couples opt to do a once-in-a-lifetime ceremony with us while obtaining a marriage license in their home country, those wanting to ensure a legal marriage while on safari should review the Marriage Requirements at the links below.

Safaris with kids are much the same – a time to stimulate all the senses. Safaris open up a whole new world to us all, but for kids it is magical.

While new animals are a huge part of the excitement of safari, stepping away from everyday life in favor of spotting animal tracks and practicing your newly learnt traditional bush survival skills is an experience that kids and parents alike will cherish.

The Great Plains Young Explorers Program blends fun with conservation learning. On arrival each child receives a Young Explorers pack full of all that is needed for them to become a Conservation Ambassador.

The pack includes an activity book full of interesting information including animal tracks, seTswana or Kiswahili vocabulary, facts on flora, fauna and stars, word games and a safari journal. Great Plains guides and staff seamlessly modify the level of activities according to age.

Like any vacation, a family safari is a time to connect with one another, but there is something extra special about sharing the first sighting of a favorite animal together and reliving it around the fire together each night.

The freedom and purity of Africa is the ideal way to escape the everyday and bond with the land and with each other.

Sustainability is at the heart of the Great Plains Conservation ethos, and sustainable technologies and systems are in place throughout our camps. With the opening of Zarafa 2008, we pioneered the concept of providing a luxury safari experience sustained entirely on solar power.

A decade later, we continue to innovate with, for example, the state-of-the-art Tesla solar battery system in place at Tembo Plains Camp.

Other best practices in our camps include the bio-digesters that convert vegetable scraps into methane cooking gas, composting, greywater recycling, use of recycled hardwood in camp construction, and the elimination of single-use plastic such as bottles and straws.

Numerous international and local ecotourism rating systems have recognised our commitment to sustainable practices. Selinda Camp, Selinda Explorers Camp, and Zarafa Camp have all achieved the Botswana Tourism Organisation’s highest rating – “EcoTourism”.

The Selinda Reserve has been named one of the world’s Top 100 Sustainable Destinations. In Kenya, Mara Plains Camp and Mara Expedition Camp each have a Gold rating from EcoTourism Kenya.

At the same time, ol Donyo Lodge is Silver, and Mara Plains Camp, Selinda Camp, Zarafa Camp, and Selinda Explorers Camp are all Fair Trade Tourism Certified.

Rooms: 5
Price: from 1.747 EUR per night


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