Mara Plains Camp
Mara Plains Camp is a one-of-a-kind, seven tent camp located in the private 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy, just on the northern boundary of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. This intimate camp, one of Kenya’s only two Relais & Chateaux properties (other being sister property ol Donyo Lodge), blends the finest in wildlife viewing with the absolute best of safari hospitality and guiding. No other camp offers the extensive traversing area of Mara Plains Camp, with access to a total of 100,000 acres of private conservancy land as well as the world-renowned Maasai Mara, home to the Great Migration. Each guest at Mara Plains contributes considerably to the success of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy’s flourishing ecosystem; conservation fees paid safeguard this habitat, while supporting over 1,000 Maasai families. This partnership agreement ensures the survival of an astounding volume and variety of wildlife.
The camp is nestled in lush forest on the meandering bends of the Ntiakitiak River, and careful thought was given to every detail. The camp is not an imposition on the landscape, but rather a subtle refuge among the wild. Its presence does not detract from the visual beauty of the ecosystem, but incorporates it with sweeping views across the plains and careful position among the riverine forest. It is captivating on arrival. The camp’s main area takes your breath away. After crossing the bridge, Africa is revealed. Positioned just so, the horizon lies ahead, punctuated by a single acacia tree. It’s the Africa of the mind’s eye. Flanking the main mess area is the library, an area to enjoy a quiet afternoon passing the time reading books or editing your photographs. Flowing fabrics, open-air spaces and strong teak structures ground the space.
Each of the seven tents has deep canvas canopied ceilings, rough hewn wood floors and accents of East Africa’s rich safari history. Thick Lamu wood doors, deep purples, and brass accents – these small details transport guests to a time and land far away. The well-appointed en-suite facilities (including a deep copper bath) plus the extensive private verandah complete what is genuinely a stunning concept. These stylistic elements coupled with thoughtful environmental elements such as solar power and no cement make Mara Plains a modern-day safari retreat.
Olare Motorogi Conservancy is reputed to have the lowest vehicle density in the Maasai Mara region, while also having the highest concentration of big cats anywhere in Africa. There is only one guest bed per 350 acres, leaving the land unadulterated for the wildlife to roam and thrive, as nature intended. By day and night, the camp is a sanctuary for resident species, including many of the Maasai Mara’s 300 bird species. After dark, larger mammals frequent the camp and Maasai warriors escort guests to and from their rooms. Hippos snorting and leopards barking often provide the night’s chorus.
But most of all, Mara Plains is a showcase for one of the world’s most magnificent wildlife havens. And it must be done right. We believe in keeping the safari experience intimate and personal, so there is no set camp schedule or set meal times. The day’s activities and dining arrangements are tailored around guest preference and the wildlife opportunities of the moment. Each guest tent has a set of professional Canon camera and lenses available to them. Add to it the pair of Swarovski binoculars, and it is impossible not to see and capture the region’s incredible wildlife scenes.