Nothing Best says “HAKUNA MATATA” in Kenya like The Mara Lodges and Camps Image courtesy of Mara Sarova
21 January 2013 Written by 

Nothing Best says “HAKUNA MATATA” in Kenya like The Mara Lodges and Camps

Kenya's most popular Game Reserve - The Masai Mara National reserve - is located within the Great Rift Valley to the South-West of the country. It boarders with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and is renowned for the passionate life-and-death struggle that takes place at the swollen Mara river from July to October each year. This is the Great Migration of herds. A most spectacular phenomenon of the natural world that has been affirmed as one of the "New seven wonders of the world."

Viewing of this great spectacle is largely determined by one's accommodation in the Mara. There are many eco-friendly lodges and camps within the Mara that offer this rare opportunity. A visit to the Masai Mara National Reserve will undoubtedly spoil you of choice on where to stay – but not to worry, here are some considerable options.

Sarova Mara Game Camp

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This is a tented camp located centrally in the Masai Mara. It comprises of 51 standard tents, 2 family tents and 20 club tents set on an elevation offering a unique view of the rolling savannah plains dotted with exotic trees and indigenous shrubs. The savannah plains around the camp are abundant in wildebeest, gazelles and zebras as the camp is situated right in the center of their migration path.

At Sarova Mara Game Camp you can opt for Boma dining in an African village setting, for rich cultural experience, or the Bush dining set out in the wild, for a great outdoor experience.

Next to the camp there is a Masai village, a worthwhile visit that gives unique insight into the Masai culture - a people after which the Mara Reserve is named. You can also enjoy guided safari walks around the camp, sport fishing, bird watching and game drives. For a bird's view of the Mara plains, a hot-air balloon safari can be facilitated at the camp - at an extra cost.

This camp is advantageous for its strategic location in the Mara reserve with most activates centralized in one area.

Mara Serena Safari Lodge

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It is located in the famous 'Mara Triangle' of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Apart from Little Governor's camp, the Mara Serena is the only lodge situated in the Triangle offering unparalleled long views across the savannah and the vicious Mara River. From here, you can enjoy 'the greatest show on earth,' the famous migration of wildebeest, Topi and Zebras. It is, however, worth noting that the lodge contains 74 luxury rooms with some facing the savannah plains while others face the Mara River. Therefore, you may want to inquire for your choice of view before booking.

Mara Serena is a beautiful place that provides a relaxing ambiance with a paradise-like environment. The rooms are spacious, peaceful and comfortable. You can enjoy dining at the restaurant; have breakfast by the Hippo pool or at the comfort of your room overlooking the wild savannah. Other scenic activities at the lodge include day and night game drives, balloon safaris, guided nature walks, bird watching and a healthy daily dose of Vitamin D as you watch the African Sun sink beneath the horizon.

Mara Serena is divided from the rest of Masai Mara Reserve by the Mara River, therefore, making it a focal-point with more animals grazing on the plains. The lodge is likable to many and can get overbooked during migration. It is, thus, advisable to make your reservation early enough if you plan to visit between the months of July to October - to avoid any possible inconveniences.

Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

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This is a stylish lodge located just at the periphery of the 'Mara Triangle' on the Oloololo escarpment of the Great Rift Valley. It comprises of 40 safari tents with stunning game viewing experience across the Mara grassland. Kichwa Tembo is closely located to Bateleur camp and their synergy creates the ultimate wilderness experience for their inhabitants.

The camp is notable for well organized game drives with knowledgeable and experienced guides. You can expect to see an array of animals from these drives; The Big 5, cheetahs, jackals, zebras and giraffe. Of particular interest are the hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebras of the inspiring Great Migration that pass by the camp offering a magnificent chance for photographic safari and beautiful scenery! I would also suggest a visit to the local Masai village for a true taste of culture and African Heritage.

Due to the vast open plains surrounding the camp it can be very hot at day time and quite chilly at night, beware of the dropping temperatures. It is also notable that the luxury tents are fitted with power outlet sockets and cost more than the regular tents which lack the power outlets. However, one can access charging stations with a number of outlets in the main bar area.

Kichwa Tembo is a magical place with amazing views over the Mara. If you want a serene environment with seemingly endless scenic views then this is the place to stay at.

Mara Siria Tented Camp

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It is located on the Siria escarpment within the 'Mara Triangle' and comprises of luxury tents, deluxe tents, Masai cottages and double tents – a total of 14 in number. The luxury tents are laid out along the escarpment with balconies from where one can soak in scenic views of the grassy Mara landscape. The cottages are designed in traditional Masai architecture having a natural external look but with comfortable internal ambiance guaranteed to offer peace and tranquility with a real village experience.

Mara Siria has a small plunge pool located just on the edge of a cliff giving a most incredible and eye-catching view of the Great Rift Valley below. Your eyes will repeatedly roll with the plains as far as they can reach. Like many other camps, you are more likely to sight the Big Four more easily with the leopard exhibiting its elusive character. But with the help of the experienced guides, you just might see it.

The things to watch out for here are the winding roads to and from the camp that can get very muddy especially when it rains causing your vehicle to get stuck. Mara Siria Camp is a small camp (14 tents) hence it is less crowded and allows for effortless interaction with other guests. For those who like privacy with an option of game viewing and meeting other people at you own convenience, this will definitely be a plus.

Mpata Safari Club

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This is a prestigious – Japanese designed – structure that sits high on the Oloololo escarpment overlooking the Masai Mara Reserve. The club has invaluable views, undoubtedly beautiful, bound to sweep you off your feet. The landscape is scenic with lots of exotic plants at the lodge.

The lodge has two scheduled game drives per day; early morning and mid afternoon with an apparent long (20 – 30min) bumpy ride from the resort to the Mara Reserve. If you only have a few days (1 -2days) to visit the Mara, I would recommend staying at the more centrally located lodges and camps. Other than the access road to the Mara reserve, all other facilities at Mpata club are top-notch with lovely photography views and sites. It has 23 individual cottages consisting of 11 Suites and 12 Deluxe units, each with interlocking curves that separate the bedrooms and bathrooms before opening to the attractive verandas. You can also enjoy a relaxing Jacuzzi bath in the late afternoon as you watch the African Sun go down across the Mara plains.

I can't emphasize enough of the comfortable rooms with glass fronts and distinctive interior decor. Mpata Safari Club is extremely peaceful due to its remote location far out on the Oloololo escarpment; it is definitely the ultimate get-away for those who want to rid themselves of the bustling city life.

I hope this article gives you an insight on some of the superb accommodations in the Masai Mara Reserve. Whether you choose to stay at the lodges or the tented camps, be prepared to witness the true taste of 'the Mara experience.'



Benjamin Wayumba

Benjamin Wayumba is a scientist and fervent writer. He is a graduate from the University of Nairobi and has his passions in Medical Research, Languages and Culture studies. He is currently studying Korean language to satisfy him of this continuous thirst and quest for new understanding. Benjamin is a believer in and investor of peer mentorship among his circles. He has a peaceable personality and enjoys an occasional travel too. Get to know Benjamin better on

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