WELCOME TO MARA PLAINS
“When we first considered the Mara as a Great Plains destination, I actually verbalized “Agh…all those people” then looked at the map more carefully.” Take a look at the map attached. “And then I saw it, the importance of the conservancies to the North of the reserve, three areas that embody the privacy of just a few camps and that contribute extensively to communities, but more than anything, these are conservancies that perform a vitally important role in protecting the famous wildebeest migration.”
We have selected an interesting combination of areas for you, and the key to the 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. It is inside the 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy and bordering Kenya’s Maasai Mara Reserve, and the camp itself Mara Plains is a stunning and intimate experience of its own in one of the most iconic wildlife destinations on the planet.
As you arrive at the camp, you cross a bridge and climb a few giant steps, you are greeted by an endless horizon with a single, flat-topped acacia, the quintessential shape of East Africa. “When I laid out the camp and design, it was using the arrival, the bridge, the main area and one single distant tree as a central line. I tasked the tentmakers with the job of building a 25-metre tent (eh 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.” It is based on the Fibonacci formula. I love details like that”
The design and decor pay homage to the essence of East Africa; Swahili heritage is reflected in 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 a lavish yet comfortable atmosphere that complements, rather than overwhelms the surrounding wilderness. This camp speaks to the intersection of cultures and as a meeting place to talk, share ideas and to share experiences, like the ones you will have here each day.
One of only five camps in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Mara Plains has unrivalled access to more than 100,000 acres of exclusive land, prime habitat for a vast number of wildlife species, as well as unfettered access to the 375,000 Maasai Mara Reserve. “As something who has studied predators my whole life, Mara plains has to be the finest place in Africa. I often go out and struggle to decide between the lions, cheetahs, hyenas and leopards within an hour or two.”
If you understand Great Plains, and share our sensitivities, please do us one favour… even if we are full, please don’t stay in the Reserve! There are ways to see this ecosystem, without the traffic!”