Mara Plains Camp (Olare Orok Conservancy - North of the Masai Mara Game Reserve) Kenya
Mara Plains Camp is a small, high quality, six-roomed camp under canvas that is located within the private Olare Orok Conservancy and just a few hundred meters to the north of the Masai Mara National Reserve boundary.
Guests can game drive in both the Masai Mara National Reserve and in the privacy of the neighboring Olare Orok Conservancy away from the crowds.
The Conservancy is a fabulous wildlife reserve of nearly twenty thousand acres, rich in wildlife (including the predators and big cats in particular), It boasts Mara's lowest vehicle density, no mini-buses and only one guest room per 700 acres.
The camp is located in a private conservancy bordering the world famous Masai Mara National Reserve. Guests inside the conservancy are allowed to enjoy nature-based walks and productive night game drives that would otherwise not be possible if you were staying inside the park.
The Olare Orok Conservancy
Some of the most valuable land on earth lies within proclaimed national parks and game reserves. Yet many of the world's poorest communities live on the boundaries of these same parks and reserves. For conservation to be sustainable, this anomaly needs to change. The land that surrounds game reserves, if zoned and developed carefully and sensitively, could become some of the most valuable land left on earth if converted to wildlife.
One of the conservation movement's biggest opportunities is to capitalize on this and to expand the amount of land under formal conservation protection while simultaneously uplifting the lives of impoverished rural communities. The Olare Orok Conservancy is an initiative that addresses both community upliftment and wildlife conservation. The 30,000 acre Olare Orok Conservancy on the boundary of the Masai Mara National Reserve is an intriguing new conservation and land-use initiative that is now just three years old and is set to become the blueprint for a sustainable Mara. Until recently, these 30,000 acres of prime rolling grasslands and riverine forest were filled with rural homesteads and large herds of cattle and goats.
Today, the homesteads, cattle and goats have moved away and the conservancy has become a magnet for big cats, offering some of East Africa's finest year-round game viewing. The Conservancy has created a win-win for both the Maasai land owners and for the wildlife of the Mara eco-system. Today, the Maasai people earn guaranteed monthly income from their land all year, regardless of how few Tourists have visited the area, paid by the camps within the conservancy.
Visitors to the Olare Orok Conservancy have the best possible wildlife viewing away from the crowds. The Olare Orok Conservancy now offers a premium wildlife experience, with a strict minimum of at least 700 acres per guest tent and has banned its camps from using mini-buses. Nature walks and night game drives, activities which are not possible in the reserve, are additional activities offered in the Olare Orok Conservancy. One of the three camps currently operating within the Olare Orok Conservancy is Mara Plains Camp.
As Mara Plains Camp is located just north of the Masai Mara National Reserve's northern boundary, guests of Mara Plains have the privilege of game-viewing both in the Masai Mara National Reserve and in the Conservancy.
As luck would have it, Mara Plains Camp is surrounded by territories of a number of prides of lion. Rarely a night passes without lions roaring nearby, while leopards are regularly found to wander through the camp and cheetahs have established territories close by.
Mara Plains Camp opened in 2008 in a extraordinary location that appears to be the epicenter and hunting grounds for many of the big cats. Hardly a night passes without the exciting sounds of predator activity and lions roaring nearby. The camp caters for only 12 guests in six spacious and comfortable en-suite canvas rooms built on raised decks.
There is an additional tent for a pilot or private guide. The camp is situated along the Ntiakatek River with uninterrupted views of the surrounding plains and riverine forest. The camp has been designed and built to be as environmentally friendly as possible and we can proudly boast that not even a teaspoon of cement can be found anywhere on the property!
In addition to the tented rooms, the camp has a raised dining room under canvas as well as a comfortable lounge. The outdoor dining area is a great place to relax in the cool shade of the large trees along the river.
Game Viewing / Activities:
The 4x4 open game-viewing Landcruisers have been designed for comfort with only four to five guests per vehicle. This ensures increased maneuverability for better viewing, photography and an easy environment in which to communicate with our highly experienced guides. All Mara Plains guides are Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association qualified. They are from the area and thus possess intricate knowledge of the local flora and fauna as well as the tribal traditions and customs of the people. Access to Mara Plains Camp is via the Ol Kiombo airfield which is serviced daily by Safarilink and Air Kenya from Nairobi.
At Mara Plains we believe in keeping the experience intimate and personal, so there are no set camp schedules and no set meal times. The day's activities and meals are tailored around your preferences and the wildlife activities of the moment. A typical morning starts with an early wake-up call at first light before we set out to explore what animals traversed the area during the night and early mornings when the big cats in particular are most active.
Returning to camp for breakfast allows for conversation around the table about what was seen and what were the highlights of the morning's drive. Getting closer to nature on foot is a highlight for many guests and this can be arranged after breakfast for those who are interested. Your armed guide will introduce you to the abundant birdlife and can help you identify trees and local plant species, or sharpen your wildlife tracking skills.
There is usually time for a siesta after lunch. Game drives are arranged for late afternoon / early evening so we can savor the African sunset with refreshing sundowner drinks and snacks before continuing our drive to witness the nocturnal animals as they become more active.
A hearty dinner awaits you back at camp. Share stories of the day with other guests and staff, whilst listening to the sounds of the African bush come alive. Mara Plains guests can also take advantage of the fascinating cultural opportunity to visit a Maasai village (or "Enkang" as it is known locally) and experience the traditional ways of the community.
For those who are interested in a hot air balloon safari we can take you to one of the ballooning launch sites for a fabulous early morning experience (This is at extra cost).
Accommodation Rates:- From $990 per person per night sharing. Please contact us for a quote and suggested itinerary