The African Safari – as we know it today – was born in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. All you need to do is watch Out of Africa to understand the heritage and history of this magical place. From the Great Wildebeest Migration to the awesome density of big cats, the Mara rarely disappoints. But these days, the story extends beyond the boarders of this famous national park. Private conservancies adjacent to the park have massively extended the protected area in recent years, and the entire Mara ecosystem is thriving.
Last month we spent time in the Maasai Mara meeting with our guides, experiencing new areas and checking in on our favorite camps and lodges. Curious about what’s new in the Maasai Mara Kenya? Here you have it!
Angama Mara, one of the newest properties in Kenya, is on the larger side with 30 rooms. And the WOW factor here is definitely the views. To fully experience these magical views, if you are celebrating an anniversary, honeymoon or birthday, you can live out one of the most iconic moments in the film “Out of Africa” by having us organize a romantic champagne lunch on the side of the hill! Sip champagne and enjoy a gourmet lunch on a blanket while gazing out over the African savannah in total privacy.
Angama Mara is also a great property for families. The rooms are massive, and include several options for adjoining rooms, which means parents and children can stay close yet with enough privacy. One of the highlights from our recent trip to Kenya was beading at Angama Mara with some local Maasai ladies. Adjacent to the property’s beautiful boutique is a small beading room. Here, local ladies create beadwork for the hotel and boutique. They will also teach children how to bead and help them make a few beautiful creations of their own to take home!
And for our most active travelers, this is an excellent place to go for a morning run. We were able to grab one of the guards and head out for a run from the property up to their private airstrip. And yes, rest assured this Kenyan runner did set a very aggressive pace for us!
Private Mobile Camping
After being in the custom safari planning business for two decades, you can be sure we have the best private guides and mobile safari operators in Africa on speed dial. Our relationships ensure that our guests looking for an exclusive safari experience gain access to the best game regions of Africa and enjoy the best guiding while on safari.
We recently visited one of our favorite private mobile camp locations. This is actually in the Maasai Mara reserve, which means you are only minutes away from the exciting Mara River crossing points to watch the wildebeest and zebra make the dangerous journey across as they follow the annual rains. But, as this is a private and exclusive use area, you won’t see other vehicles or people around. This hidden gem offers the best of both worlds.
Last but certainly not least, while not a new property, Mara Plans and the Mara North Conservancy continue to be at the very top of our list. Located in a private conservancy in a truly private and exclusive area, the camp itself is a stunner. The rooms are spacious, dinners are fun and intimate and the main area offers the perfect setting to take in the views looking out on the rolling African plans. We love Mara Plains for honeymooners as well as for travelers who may have limited time in Africa but want to be sure and see the most amount of game in the shortest amount of time. And during the Wildebeest migration – this is the place to be as one of the main river crossing points is only a few minutes from camp!
While on safari, novice photographers can capture professional level photos, and professional photographers have nonstop opportunities to further hone their craft. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, Mara Plains is the place for photographers. Here, the safari vehicles have a high roof and a really narrow frame so there are minimal obstructions when taking photographs.
Located on a stunning bend in the river, Ngare Serian is one of our go-to camps for families. Kids (and adults) love the hanging bridge over the river used to access camp. And from the moment you arrive, the atmosphere is relaxed and feels like home.
Walking on their private concession is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon. Kids learn to track game as they head out with local Maasai guides. And intrepid families can choose to spend a night in the Ngare Serian tree house!