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MASAI MARA TRIP IDEAS FOR YOUR KENYA SAFARI
When visiting Masai Mara National Reserve, we recommend combining your safari with a visit to Laikipia-Lewa, Naivasha and Nakuru Great Rift Valley Lakes. You may optionally extend out to other wilderness areas of Amboseli or Tsavo ending with a beach vacation and Swahili cultural tour in the exotic spice island of Zanzibar or Lamu, or even Mombasa.
TRIP IDEA & SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR YOUR SAFARI IN MASAI MARA CONSERVANCIES
On your arrival in Kenya, we recommend spending one or two nights in Nairobi to unwind but also to give you an opportunity to experience this diverse and thriving city. The metropolis offers many local attractions where you can learn about the history of the pioneer city and the cultures that make Kenya a unique destination for any type of traveler, as well as partake of international restaurants, shop, markets in a vibrant afro-urban scene.
Hotel Tier 1 - Giraffe ManorIf you seek the graceful giraffe during your bush tour of Kenya, a stay at Giraffe Manor will give you one-on-one and once-in-a-life-time experiences with these incredible animals. The hotel maintains much of the original 1932 design while offering you all of the modern amenities you require for your stay. What truly sets Giraffe Manor apart from other travel accommodations in Kenya, though, are the resident Rothschild Giraffe that roam freely on the property and you don’t need to worry about trying to sight these creatures on its grounds as they regularly stick their heads through open windows and over balconies to garner feed pellets from AfricanMecca guests.
Hotel Tier 2 - Palacina NairobiThe Palacina Nairobi is residentially located for your historical and cultural tours in Nairobi, yet the location borders the Nairobi Arboretum Park and the presidential greens of the State House means that you are not disturbed by the city noise or air pollution from the traffic vehicle. You may choose from 14 boutique suites, including 2 penthouse suites, and, for travelers on extended business in East Africa, the hotel offers the choice of one, two or three-bedroom apartments. The standard amenities in the suites and apartments include internet access, satellite television with DVD player and mini bar. Suites are designed with a comfortable and spacious floor plan that includes living room, full private bathroom and private balcony, Jacuzzi tub and front-facing balcony.
Hotel Tier 3 - Fairview HotelDespite being sited in Upper Hill close to the heart of the buzzing Kenyan city of Nairobi, Fairview Hotel is a tranquil property laid out among acres of lush greenery. Colonial style, two story buildings are scattered around offering guests on their Nairobi stopover tour a peaceful oasis, secluded from the pulsating activities of the city. A value accommodation, the Fairview Hotel is primarily suited to business travelers, but also a small number of leisure lodgers who are passing through the city on their safari adventures in Kenya.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF NAIROBI
Proceed to Laikipia for the next three nights. The private conservancies of Laikipia represent an outstanding model of wildlife management that provides AfricanMecca guests with a distinctive safari vacation in Kenya. Those who visit Laikipia during their bush travel in northern Kenya will not only see the Big 5 roaming freely, but also both black and white rhinos, African wild dogs, grevy’s zebras, reticulated giraffes, jackson’s hartebeests and other rare species. There are more than 70 different mammals and 440 avian feather species in the varied conservancies of Laikipia. Visitants also see some of Kenya’s most ferocious predators, including leopards, lions and cheetahs, and some distinct conservancies participate in important research studies to protect these mighty creatures. One of the greatest advantages of visiting Laikipia during your adventurous wildlife safari in Kenya is an opportunity to view an abundance of wildlife while partaking of activities that are restricted in national parks in Kenya. These multi-faceted activities are further enhanced by the low number of other guests due to the limited rooming capacity at the sub-conservancies, making Laikipia the perfect choice for those who desire an exclusive African safari experience. Dependent on where you are staying in Laikipia, activities include game drives, bush walks, horseback riding, camel walks and camel rides, aerial helicopter and bi-plan safaris, village visits, quad biking, mountain biking, fishing and much more.
Safari Tier 1 - Loisaba WildernessImmerse yourself in 61,000 acres of exclusive African bush at Loisaba, a community-based conservancy and lodge situated within the greater northern Laikipia. Loisaba Wilderness Conservancy is jointly operated by the Samburu and Maasai communities with part of the proceeds benefiting vital projects to enhance the quality of life of these native peoples. Choose from three accommodation options, each offering a unique African wilderness holiday experience. Loisaba Bush Camp features 11 classic tents with flush toilets and traditional hot bucket showers. Guest tents are available as family, triple and twin/double, as well as a special honeymoon tent for truly utopian trip to the Laikipia ecology. Loisaba Cottage offers the utmost pampering and personalized service, as guests who stay at the cottage are treated to dedicated staff, superlative safari guides and custom game drive vehicle. For an enchanting Kenyan travel experience with AfricanMecca, spend your nights sleeping under the stars in one of the Loisaba Wilderness starbeds, an outdoor four-poster bed that is draped in mosquito netting. The Kiboko Starbeds overlook a watering hole (dam) and valley while the Koija Starbeds are set on the bare banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River. There are three starbed platforms at each site with both having a twin platform with two double starbeds and a shared bathroom – perfect for families with two teenage children who can sleep together or two guests who require twins starbeds. An adventurous suspension bridge needs to be crossed to get to Koija while a pathway exists for Kiboko.
Safari Tier 2 - Lewa Safari CampUnique experiences and destinations are the centerpieces of your discerning Kenyan vacation with AfricanMecca, and Lewa Safari Camp is one of the deluxe accommodations in northern Kenya’s Laikipia wilderness. As one of the eastern Laikipia’s accommodations in the pioneered Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Lewa Safari Camp gives you unfettered access to 65,000 acres of authentic African bush that is home to one of the richest wildlife populations in Kenya. The wilderness is home to the world’s largest concentration of Grevy’s zebras, as well as rare species such as Beisa oryx and black rhinos and other herbivores include buffaloes, elephants, reticulated giraffes, impalas, hartebeests and more. The abundance of herbivores supports lions, cheetahs, jackals, leopards, hyenas and other carnivores, and the birdlife is astonishing at a count of 440 different species. Your wild African travel experience at Lewa Safari Camp has you resting and relaxing in your distinct, spacious guest tent, complete with full en-suite bathroom with ample hot water and verandah for enjoying the superb views. With only 12 guest tents, all shaded with a thatched roof, Lewa Safari Camp is where you find the quality personalized service, solitude and exclusive wilderness access that ensure a superior Laikipia tour of Lewa Conservancy. For your romantic couple’s holiday in Kenya, we recommend a tent on the end, and guests with limited mobility may prefer the tents that are closer to the main areas.
Safari Tier 3 - El Karama Eco LodgeEl Karama Eco Lodge is every bit the ecofriendly lodge as its name suggests. Sited on a 14,000 acre ranch, it is a part of the Ewaso Nyiro River biosphere, which flows nearby. The property, located in central Laikipia in northern Kenya, is owned by a local community under the management of Sophie and Murray Grant. Their commitment to the flora and fauna of the ranch is evident in the way it is operated. The entire lodge is constructed using locally available materials like rocks, tree trunks, mud and thatch melding beautifully to create a fascinating, value accommodation for AfricanMecca guests traveling in the wilderness of Laikipia. You will be welcomed in the main lounge of the lodge, which is an ovalish structure warmed by a fireplace augmented with a comfortable seating space with sofas and cushions, dining area, bar and mini-library filled with exciting books that discourses about Laikipia and its many inhabitants. El Karama operates so as to leave a minimal footprint on its delicate ecosystem. They use solar panels for heating water and generating power, LED lights are installed everywhere and traditional lanterns are used to provide additional light in the rooms at night. The water used for drinking is rain harvested that is later filtered for safe use. Choose from the 6 varied accommodations the lodge offers with a maximum of 18 guest beds, each structure delightfully unique from the rest. Each of the rooms is adorned in a simple, pastoral style that is comfortable and very inviting. If you are a solo traveler or touring East Africa with a companion, you could stay over in the fused tented banda (four available), which has canvas walls with netted windows and a rollback entrance.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF LAIKIPIA
GREAT RIFT VALLEY LAKES OF NAKURU & NAIVASHA
Proceed to the alkaline Lake Nakuru and freshwater Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley for the next two nights. Lake Nakuru National Park is a must for your central Kenya tour. See firsthand one to two million lesser and greater flamingos dip their curved bills into the warm, soda water of the lake to extract their favorite food -- special algae that are found in abundance in the unique lake. The most prominent wildlife in the park includes 56 mammals and 450 bird species. Exploring Lake Nakuru Park is an opportunity to see many of Africa's most prized fauna in a natural and beautiful setting. Resting at an elevation of 1890 meters is the serene freshwater Lake Naivasha, a superb oasis to include on your exploratory holiday in Kenya. Just beyond its shores are papyrus swamps, acacia woodlands, forests and unique geologic features that are remnants of the area’s volcanic past. The nutrient-rich soil is fertilized by an abundance of water, including the Gilgil and Malewa Rivers, to create an ecosystem that is known around the world for a diverse avian presence, as well as game animals. More than 450 bird species have been identified including varied small and large mammals. Lake Naivasha is a RAMSAR site, a designation that reflects the ecological importance of the wetlands around the lake.
Safari Tier 1 - Loldia HouseJust less than three hours travel by road or twenty minutes by air from Nairobi is a place that gives you a taste for Kenyan country living – Loldia House. Enjoy a personalized holiday in central Kenya at the 6500-acre working farm set on the north-west shore of Lake Naivasha, a freshwater oasis in the magnificent Great Rift Valley. The colonial masonry architecture reflects an early settler style that luxuriously extends into the indoor common areas and 9 guest rooms. The four double en-suite rooms in the Main House feature muted color palettes that brilliantly accentuate the understated elegance of dressing tables, thatch and corrugated roofs, nightstands with lamps and chairs. Most rooms are positioned to provide views of the wild grounds and lake upon wakening, and private outdoor verandahs with lounging chairs invite quiet relaxation and conversation with a glass of wine. Spend the morning with an experienced guide that takes you to see hippos, zebras, elands, giraffes and other large mammals.
Safari Tier 2 - Flamingo Hill CampLocated at the border of Lake Nakuru National Park, Flamingo Hill Camp, a deluxe accommodation, gives you a front row seat to one of the most spectacular avi-fauna performances in the world! Each year, one to two million flamingos arrive at the lake to feed on the algae that flourishes in the warm alkaline waters. Watching the long-legged, pink-plumed lesser and greater flamingos wade around looking for food is interesting, but when all these birds take flight, the show really begins! The spectacle has made Lake Nakuru a favorite East African travel destination for wildlife photographers and nature filmmakers. While back at the camp, you are offered 25 guest tents in a homely, welcoming setting to ensure you have a comfortable and serene tour of Lake Nakuru with AfricanMecca, and the attentive staff are very helpful and responsive to your needs. Guest tents are situated amidst landscaped campgrounds with views of the surrounding flora, trees and valley.
Safari Tier 3 - ElsamereElsamere is the one accommodation in Lake Naivasha that has an air of history and preservation about it. This is home where Joy and George Adamson spent their vacations and the later years of their life. Converted into a Great Rift Valley accommodation for value guest traveling in East Africa, Elsamere revives “Born Free” memories of the 1960’s and is famous for the European-style high teas that are served even today. The property houses a museum that preserves several items belonging to the Adamsons such as paintings, literature and other mementos from the movie that was adapted from the novel Elsa the Lioness. 10 rooms are located in single-story cottages with a portioned patio, overlooking the lake. Some of the lodge's rooms have a double bed while others have twin and triple beds making Elsamere an ideal budget accommodation for families sharing rooms. The cottages have names that bring back memories of Joy Adamson's pets, Pati (rock hyrax), Pippa (cheetah), Penny (leopard) and Elsa, the legendary lioness.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF NAKURU & NAIVASHA
CENTRAL MASAI MARA
You will proceed to Central Masai Mara for the next two nights. For our adventurous, thrill-seeking guests who desire a front row seat to the crossing of the Mara and Talek Rivers during the wildebeest migration season, the most well-known part of the Great Migration, we recommend the central zone of the reserve. Central Masai Mara is also a year-round game-viewing mecca with impressive populations of herbivores and predators which remain even after the spectacular hordes of wildebeests and zebras have gone.
Safari Tier 1 - Naibor CampNaibor Camp is an upmarket accommodation that is located along the Talek River, a superlative location for your boutique tour experience in central Masai Mara National Reserve. Being tucked away in the riverine forest that surrounds the camp makes you feel completely enveloped by some of Kenya’s untouched wilderness. The feeling is further enhanced by the proximity to wallowing hippos, crocodiles and other animals that are just meters away. With such an ambience, Naibor Camp is the perfect place to unwind and recuperate during your high-pace African safari activities. The camp is divided into three areas, and each area offers distinct facilities i.e. Main Naibor, Little Naibor and Naibor Wilderness. Naibor is a premium accommodation, so you are also treated to impeccable service by a staff that takes pride in helping guests feel at home. Their personable natures, excellent knowledge and outstanding professionalism exceed your every expectation. Main Naibor offers 7 guest tents with king size beds built from native fig wood, luxurious sofas, contrasting rugs along with other fused classic-modern design elements.
Safari Tier 2 - Rekero CampA blissful wildlife vacation in Kenya with AfricanMecca awaits you at Rekero Camp, a deluxe accommodation that is situated on the banks of the Talek River in the heart of Masai Mara National Reserve. The wilderness is known internationally as a premier destination for authentic African plains safari experiences, and Rekero captures the romantic and adventurous spirits of our guests. The entire camp is designed to celebrate the beauty of the Mara ecosystem with minimal environmental impact. All structures are under canvas, including a mid-size dining tent under shade trees and a small lounge area that rests upon a platform with incredible river views. 9 guest tents allow for a maximum of twenty guests, so you are assured the benefits of an exclusive Masai Mara tour, such as personalized service, exceptional food, immaculate tents with few in-camp guests, top notch personable guides and much more. The décor of your tent enhances the subtle romantic ambience of the setting through a tasteful use of natural blonde woods, neutral colors and rich fabrics.
Safari Tier 3 - Entim CampFor your modest bush travel in Masai Mara, we recommend Entim Camp located inside in the heart of the reserve. Situated at the meeting point of the Talek River and Mara River, the camp offers a secluded setting, fitting location for activities, palatable food and adequate service. Each of the 10 non-frill tents has the necessary furnishings that you need for a comfortable East African safari overnight stay, such as beds constructed of local wood, storage chest, nightstands, bedside lamps and curtains over the windows. Nature’s beauty is brought indoors with decorative fabrics and accents in chocolate brown, rich gold and bronze, burnt red, sage green, hints of white and many other contrasting colors. Your private verandah has safari-style chairs and a small table where you can enjoy some private game viewing and moments of complete relaxation. Your guest tent is set up to give you views of the river together with supplemented sounds of wildlife traveling to and fro, including hippos, elephants and other herbivores, as well as lions, hyenas and some other predators.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF CENTRAL MASAI MARA
MASAI MARA - NORTH, EAST, SOUTH & WEST
After your stay in Central Masai Mara, you will proceed for two nights to a private conservancy in the northern, eastern, southern or western regions of the main reserve along its border, which serves as wildlife management buffer zones. Each conservancy is founded upon a mutually-beneficial collaboration between landowners, conservation organizations and guest camps. The private-ownership status of the conservancies also means that a greater variety of safari activities are offered to guests, many of which are restricted in the main reserve.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF MASAI MARA NORTH, EAST, SOUTH & WEST
RECOMMENDED PRE AND POST SAFARI AND BEACH EXTENSIONS IN KENYA
After this distinct safari, we recommend a combination off-beat extension to Amboseli, Chyulu Hills, Tsavo, Shimba Hills or Meru in Southern and Eastern Kenya depending on your safari activity and wildlife preferences. Thereafter, harmoniously conclude with a beach rest and relaxation visit to the Eastern coast of Kenya with varied seashore, cultural and historic experiences available, including the Swahili islands and beaches of Mombasa (Diani, Galu, Tiwi, Nyali, Bamburi), Lamu, Malindi, Watamu, Kilifi, and the secluded Msambweni coast, idyllic islands of Funzi, Chale or also Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. The options are endless!
NORTHERN KENYA SAFARI EXPERIENCE - RECOMMENDED FOR 3 NIGHTS STAY
1. Samburu National Reserve - Note: You can swap Laikipia for SamburuEnjoy a quintessential Kenyan northern safari in Samburu with unrestricted access to authentic rugged East African wilderness. As you travel through Samburu, the diverse terrain transitions from rolling plains to volcanic remnants. The vegetation is concentrated along the Ewaso Nyiro River, the primary source of water in the reserve. You may not expect to see wildlife in such a stark landscape, but Samburu is home to an abundance of animal species. The most notable and sought after are known as the Samburu Special Five – Somali ostriches, Grevy’s zebras, gerenuks, reticulated giraffes and Beisa oryxes. More common mammals are Grant’s gazelles, impalas, waterbucks, dik diks, olive baboons, elephants, warthogs, hippos and carnivores, including lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, leopards, to name a few.
SOUTHERN & EASTERN KENYA SAFARI EXPERIENCE - RECOMMENDED FOR 2 OR 3 NIGHTS STAY
EASTERN KENYA BEACH EXPERIENCE - RECOMMENDED FOR 3 TO 6 NIGHTS STAYThe contrast of soft white sand and azure blue water lulls you into the enchantment of Kenya’s many beaches and islands. Each beachfront setting offers a unique experience to suit the personal style of every guest. Bury your toes in the soft white sand while watching soothing waves lap the shoreline. The aquamarine water of the Indian Ocean stretches as far as the eye can see, meeting the baby blue sky on the horizon. A lovely cocktail refreshes your spirit like the breeze in the swaying palm trees. The beaches and islands of Kenya melt away your every concern and rejuvenate your body, soul and mind. Below the Indian Ocean surface is a breathtaking world of marine life. Kenya is, in fact, home to some of the world’s greatest dive sites, including the second longest barrier reef on the planet. You can experience scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, kitesurfing, boating and angling for marlin, sailfish and other large game fish. Complement your beach vacation with Swahili historic and cultural experiences in Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi, Watamu and Kilifi.
CONTACT AND TALK TO OUR SAFARI EXPERTS TODAY TO KICK-START YOUR TOUR PLANNING PROCESS
Request Kenya Custom Or Tailor-Made Safari Pricing Based On Your Specific Travel Dates At Your Preferred Safari Tier Camp Or LodgeCONTACT AN EXPERT ON KENYA SAFARI PRICES & TOURS
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WHERE TO STAY IN MASAI MARA
The Mara accommodations we recommend are located in five zones: northern, eastern, southern, western and central. Staying at both the conservancy and main reserve offer a discerning experience.
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MIGRATION IN MASAI MARA
Masai Mara is the most noted location of the Great Wildebeest Migration due to its famed Mara River crossings. As such, our travelers place great importance on having front row seats to the event.
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SAFARI & TOUR IN MASAI MARA
Game drive experienced in varied outbacks from riverine woodlands to the great plains is the most widespread tour activity. Other activities are bush walks, village visits, ballooning trip and more.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT MASAI MARA
The migration season from July to October is considered the best time of the year to visit the Masai Mara. Game viewing is optimal at this time as there is plenty of predator and prey interactions.
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BALLOON SAFARI IN MASAI MARA
A balloon safari over the Mara is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As you ascend, beautiful features unfold before your eyes: rolling hills, meandering rivers, lush plains, all teeming with wildlife.
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MASAI MARA CONSERVANCIES
The Masai Mara conservancies offer the lowest density of guests, distint activities, unique accommodations, as well as incredible flora and fauna experiences in the most pristine wilderness areas.
What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWS
We had a fantastic trip to the Masai Mara. Thank you for helping to organise it. We will definitely recommend yourselves to our friends who are planning on travelling to Kenya. Thank you again.
Tadhg Jones - AIG Inc - Croydon, United Kingdom
We had a fantastic trip to the Masai Mara. It was well organized by AfricanMecca Safaris and I had no worries. We loved the baby lions and were also able to see the leopard stalking its prey.
Ken and Pam Daut - California, United States
Jambo Raza!!! The safari trip was spectacular! Everything went off without a hitch. We loved the Masai Mara. The migration was awesome. You listened to what I wanted and delivered it perfectly.
Judi & Chaim Platt - Toronto, Canada
My trip to Kenya was beyond fantastic. I loved every second of it and I must thank you and your staff at AfricanMecca Safaris for making my travels to Masai Mara possible and most enjoyable.
Katie Chakey - New Jersey, United States
Raza, Thank you for all your diligent assistance in coordinating our photo safari to the Masai Mara. Thanks again for all of your help in making this a truly dream vacation. I will be recommending you.
Rusty Phenix - (Phenix & Crump Attorneys At Law) - Texas, United States
We had an incredible experience in Masai Mara & on the beach. Everything went very smoothly and the AfricanMecca representatives were fantastic. Thank you for putting together this amazing trip for us.
Dr Cory M. Bryant - US FDA - Washington D.C, United States
I cannot say enough about the quality of AfricanMecca. Their teams in Kenya and Tanzania were top notch. Raza, again thanks to you and your entire organization! We will be repeat customers.
Dan Kobick - Managing Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers - New York, United States
MASAI MARA RESERVE SAFARI & TOUR PLANNING DETAILS
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MASAI MARA CAMPS & LODGES
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