Mara Plains Camp: The Experience

Located in Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Kenya

There is no set routine here—you are encouraged to pursue the experience you envision, whether that means rising at dawn and heading out after dark to find wildlife at every opportunity, or interspersing your wildlife encounters with time to read or write or learn crafts with the Maasai.

See our sample itinerary describing how you would experience this lodge during a 4-day stay.

Things to Do

The following experiences are included in the cost of your stay.

Game Drives

The wildlife here is extraordinary, and morning and evening game drives with lodge guides in open 4x4 vehicles make sure you see as much of it as possible. With access to the private Olare Motorogi and Mara North conservancies open to lodge guests, as well as the great expanse of the Masai Mara National Reserve, there are hundreds of thousands of acres to explore.

Walking

Exploring on foot offers a fascinating and intimate perspective of the ecosystems here. Take a walk in the company of a guide and examine the plants and smaller animals that call the bush home. Learn how to identify signs of larger wildlife, and immerse yourself in the silence and the sounds of the African bush.

Bird-watching

Everyone loves the lions, but learning to identify the dazzling spectrum of birds of the region can be one of the most rewarding parts of a safari. Your guide will point them out on game drives, but you’re also welcome to ask guides or the manager to join you for a birding walk around the camp, as both resident and migratory species reside in the riverine forest here.

Craft Workshops

The lodge can arrange for Maasai women to visit the lodge to set up a small market and lead a workshop in beading or another handicraft. Try out the craft for yourself, and peruse the women’s wares; proceeds are shared among the women’s craft group.

Optional Activities and Experiences

The following experiences are offered at an additional cost.

Village Visits

Drive an hour and a half north to a Maasai community nestled at the base of the Aitong Hills, watching for game along the way. Step into homes and speak with the villagers, and get to know the everyday traditions of this iconic culture. Depending on the season, pay a visit to the Endoinyo Erinka Primary School, recently refurbished with the support of Great Plains Conservation, and meet with the students and teachers.  The excursion costs $20 per person, which goes into a community fund managed by the villagers that supports local projects.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Soaring in a hot air balloon is an incredible way to experience the vastness of the savanna, with aerial views of the landscape and wildlife below. Rise at dawn to watch the sun rise over the plains during a one-hour balloon ride and cap it off with a champagne breakfast in the bush. The excursion (about six hours in total) is $450-$500 per person.

Food and Drink

Mara Plains Camp is your home while you’re here, and you can choose to have your meals whenever it suits you. If you prefer a more regular schedule, lunch is typically served around 1 pm and dinner around 8 pm in the main lodge. Or, alternatively, you can pause your bushwalk or game drive and enjoy a breakfast or lunchtime picnic in a pretty spot prepared by the lodge chef. Meals are a delightful mix of international flavors prepared with local ingredients, and all special diets can be accommodated.

Other ways to visit this lodge

  • Customize a Trip

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    See a specially crafted National Geographic itinerary featuring this lodge.

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