The Masai Mara is perhaps the most famous safari location in the world but due to bad government policies you do have to be very careful about where you go, since you may well find yourself amongst twenty minibuses, which we believe is death to a good luxury safari. Contrary to popular opinion there are many luxury safari camps in the Masai Mara which are off the beaten track and far from crowds. There is a reason the Masai Mara is so popular and those are the abundance of predators (there are more predators than anywhere in the world), and the scenery – those rolling plains are breath-takingly beautiful and sundowners here are very special – with every changing colours. The wildebeest migration from July to October draws in vast crowds but it is amazing game viewing all year round. The Masai tribe play a large part here and in many of the more remote camps one can have an authentic and natural cultural experience, only adding to your luxury safari. Here are our top ten luxury Masai Mara safari camps, in no particular order (please note every single camp we mention is in a remote and exclusive area, with fewer people):
Mara Plains has long been known as one of the Masai Mara’s most luxurious safari camps and with it’s refurbishment last year it only got better. Now you have vast tented suites with views of the plains. Much of the action often happens in front of this luxury camp and you will receive the best in everything, from food to guides. The suites are impossibly spoiling and you will never want to leave.
Richard’s River Camp is quirky and unique with beautiful luxury tents, with chic fabrics and furnishings. Although this luxury Masai Mara safari camp is very luxurious it also has a relaxed and informal feel, you are made to feel immediately at home by the staff and managers and will leave having made new friends. The location is pretty unbeatable when it comes to game, and again due to a small stream in front of camp you will often find much of the action happens in front of your luxury tent.
This camp has all the romance of a tented camp, with a mixture of modern and antique furnishings. It is extremely luxurious and has fantastic views of the open plains with a small tree line behind it. The camp is made up of hammocks, day beds and other little relaxing areas so your days are spent feeling exceptionally tranquil in between thrilling game drives.
4 Sam Stogdale or Paolo Parazzi’s Mobile Camp
Sam Stogdale and Paolo Parazzi are two of the best luxury safari guides in Kenya and either one of their private mobile camps is ideal for those that want to get off the beaten track, would like a private guide and private camp and would like to see some seriously good game. Sam and Paolo know the Mara (and all of Kenya) like the back of their hands having both been brought up here, and will get you into areas that others only dream of. The camp can be as luxurious or as rustic as you like – but rest assured the food, comfort and guiding are never compromised.
Saruni Mara is a lodge, and a very luxurious one. This luxury Masai Mara lodge is the best of it’s kind in the Mara and has some of the most charismatic and friendly staff in the business. Food here is a huge highlight as are the large luxury rooms with verandahs. It’s location in the Northern Masai Mara is fantastic for wildlife viewing and there really are very few people in this area.
Cottars Camp is a famous Masai Mara safari camp which continues to maintain it’s reputation as one of the best – it is furnished wholly with antique campaign furniture and is one of the most romantic camps in the whole of Africa. It’s location in it’s own private conservancy also means that you will not see another soul. Sitting sipping a G&T in an antique canvas bathtub, watching the wildlife go about it’s business before you is very surreal but makes this one of the most memorable luxury safari camps in the Mara.
Naboisho Camp is very luxurious and has a more permanent feel for those who do not want to spend too much time in a proper tented camp – it has a dreamy spot in the private Naboisho Conservancy which has amazing game viewing and no people. The Masai play a big part here and one can walk and take night drives, making a luxury Masai Mara safari here a little more adventurous. No special touch has been spared at this camp and you will have a memorable and unique experience here.
Booked on exclusive use this luxury mobile camp has the most exciting location of all in the Mara – it can be set up anywhere but due to the knowledge, experience and contacts of Willie Roberts (your guide and host) you will find yourself in some of the most spectacular and wild areas of the Masai Mara. The mobile camp itself is incredibly luxurious and you will want for absolutely nothing.
Salas Camp is practically on the border with Tanzania and has a rustic and homely atmosphere which means you leave as a friend, not as a client. Game viewing down here is remote and wild and you will enjoy coming back to this luxury camp to tell all about what you have seen. Salas has wonderful guides who are able to position you in the perfect spot to see the action.
10 Offbeat Mara
Offbeat Mara is a more rustic camp which offers a remote and unique location for those wanting game viewing with few people – again this camp is staffed with some of the friendliest and warmest people one could hope to meet, and it’s tents all have views of the surrounding bush in which plains game grazes happily around the camp, and you might well be lucky enough to see elephant, buffalo and lion from your tent too.0