Welcome to Mara Toto Camp

A journey of discovery where lessons learned will change your life and the way you view the world…

“When I designed Mara Toto Camp, a perfect camp from which to enjoy your Masai Mara safari, it was based on an original 19th-century styled expedition camp with light canvas and high apex tents, supported by huge gum-poles. Right along the river’s edge and under some of the most spectacular ebony trees, its position creates a hidden haven to retire between exciting safari drives. This small 8-bed camp is ideal for families, or small parties, explorers, adventurers and photographers. Nearby leopard and lion’s calls are often heard from this safari camp.” – Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation.

This ever-popular seasonal Explorer-Collection safari camp opens for the Kenyan Masaai Mara safari season from mid-April to mid-November annually. 

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Mara Toto Camp sits in a slight bend of the Ntiakitiak River, where the thick forest meets savannah, and just a few kilometres from its sister camps, Mara Plains and Mara Expedition Camp. Mara Toto is a magical revisiting of the past, drawing from Africa’s original explorers’ designs and designed for those who search for East Africa’s romantic safari era. Here, you will experience the best of both worlds: the intense action of the Maasai Mara ecosystem and the more private 28 000-hectare Mara North Conservancy. Mara Toto is a stylish experience and adventure safari camp unique to the safari industry. The camp fits the service levels, specialised guiding, and design associated with Great Plains Conservation.

Mara Toto Camp, a Great Plains Conservation Explorer-Collection safari camp, is tucked away in a grove of trees, hidden from lights, noise and any sign of humankind – a perfect camp to stay at to enjoy your Masai Mara safari. Under the canopy of African ebony trees, its humble main area is lit by lantern and candlelit, simple in design but just enough for all the comforts. It is safari chic with four light and airy, spacious canvas tents, each with en-suite bathrooms where you enjoy piping hot water from huge brass ‘safari showers’ to a chorus of hippos lazing nearby. This camp’s ambience and ‘back to the classics’ safari design will be a sure hit with private groups and safari aficionados.

Mara Toto is a place for the ardent safari-goer looking for the best wildlife sightings when on a Masai Mara safari. It is locally famous for its leopard residents wandering the riverbanks. And is positioned to take the best advantage of two migrations – the famous annual Serengeti migration and the green season migration from Loita Plains, an additional 50,000 wildebeest and over 100,000 zebras vying for grazing rights. The seasonal camp is only open for select months of the year. With picnic breakfast (and often lunch, too), full days traverse some of Africa’s most prosperous game country, renowned for extraordinary predator density and frequent hunts. Access to both the Reserve and Mara North Conservancy give guests options for more privacy.

Big Cats Initiative
When Great Plains Conservation was founded, we identified where lions, leopards and cheetah populations were 15 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago and today – and where they might be in 5, 10 and 15 years, both in population and distribution, given the extraordinary expansion in the human population. It was a terrifying map.

Our response was multi-pronged – acquiring, supporting and securing habitats outside national parks including former hunting concessions, community conservancies and migratory corridors and working in partnership with local communities and other conservation stakeholders – making strides together to improve habitats for Big Cats in Africa.

As National Geographic Explorers, we (Dereck and Beverly) established the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative (BCI). More than a decade later, BCI has funded 150 projects in 27 countries. After inspiring conversations with National Geographic, and on the heels of their years of founding support, we are pleased to announce that BCI will be restructured to fall under the banner of Great Plains as a Great Plains Foundation initiative.

Current projects operate in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Botswana and utilize innovative approaches to generate maximum positive impact. In the past, BCI and Great Plains have supported initiatives like the Maasai Olympics which tackles human-lion conflict and emphasizes conservation and building bridges between communities, conservation and wildlife. In 2019, Great Plains moved five lions to Selinda, saving them from the immediate threat of poaching and human-wildlife conflict and in 2022/2023, we will be relocating whole prides of lions within Zimbabwe as part of the restoration and ReWilding of the Sapi Reserve.

Big Cats need land. They need hidden places, not always prime savannahs, to breed and to roam. They need this land now more than ever as a reservoir for their dwindling numbers. There are an estimated 44 million acres of land in Africa on which Big Cats roam that is currently unprotected or under hunting management. Sixty percent of Africa’s remaining 20-30,000 lions live under no protection at all on this land. We are working to change these numbers and protect more of Africa for Big Cats. www.greatplainsfoundation.com/big-cats-initiative/

Mara Toto Camp Gallery

In addition to our own programs, Great Plains Foundation keeps a list of school needs in the countries where we work.

Needed items can be hand-carried by travellers or we can help purchase them locally. To learn more or to help support students and educators as part of your trip please reach out to info@greatplainsfoundation.com