Masai Mara National Reserve - Kenya
Fig Tree Camp is one of the original Mara camps, located on the banks of the Talek River and enjoying breathtaking views across the plains. Recently completely refurbished it offers a welcoming ambience and a range of both tented and chalet accommodation. It is also one of the main sites for balloon safaris in the Mara.
World renowned for the breathtaking spectacle of ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth', the awe inspiring annual migration of the wildebeest, the Mara is Kenya's most visited wildlife protected area. Technically an extension of Tanzania's renowned Serengeti National Park, the Mara constitutes only 4% of the entire Serengeti ecosystem but its rolling grasslands, meandering rivers and towering escarpments offer one of the world's most rewarding and evocative wildlife arenas.
The camp is located on the banks of the Talek River on the northern border of the reserve, 240 kilometres from Nairobi (4-5 hours by road). The camp is 40 minute's drive from Keekorok Airstrip and 30 minutes from Olo-kiombo airstrip - both of which are less than an hour's flight time from Nairobi.
All the time, when on the move, the wildebeest emit harsh grunts, something like the sound of frogs, something like that of old men clearing their throats. People have called them ungainly because of their high shoulders and sloping hindquarters and also clowns because of their long pale faces and white beards, but in fact they move with grace and sometimes playfulness, leaping and cavorting with apparent joie de vivre. (Last Days in Eden - Elspeth Huxley and Hugo van Lawick).
Between the end of July and November, over one and a half million wildebeest accompanied by half again as many zebras and gazelles, migrate from the short-grass plains of the Serengeti to fresh pasture in the grasslands of the Mara; thus creating one of nature's grandest spectacles. Moving in groups of up to 20,000 at a time they thunder across the plateau hesitating only briefly to cross the Mara River, where many fall prey to the waiting crocodiles. Towards the end of October they begin crossing back into Tanzania. The actual timing of the migration, however, is dictated by the weather and does not always ‘run to schedule'.
Kenya hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.
The camp offers a choice; there are 38 luxury safari tents overlooking the Talek River, each with a double and a single bed. There are also 10 superior 'Ngamboli Super Luxury Tents', also on the banks of the river; or 22 'Garden Chalets' also with double and single beds. All rooms/tents are ensuite with private balcony and generator electricity.
Dining and bars
The camp offers two bars, a central dinning room, an open-air dining area, a riverside dining area and a 'tree house' coffee deck. Meals are served on a buffet basis and include a broad selection of international and local cuisine.
Offering an abundance of herbivores, the Mara makes the ideal hunting ground for Kenya's famous ‘big cats' and hosts her largest population of lions. It also offers the best chance of spotting a leopard in the wild. Other predators include cheetah and spotted hyena. Historically teaming with wildlife, the Mara is famous for the large herds of elephant and buffalo that meander its plains; also for the fat pods of hippo that wallow in its mud-brown rivers. Other stars include the distinctive Masai giraffe, plum-coloured topi, Coke's hartebeest, Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, zebra, impala, Kirk's dik-dik, bushbuck, waterbuck and red duiker. The Reserve also boasts plentiful Nile crocodile, monitor lizard, baboon, vervet, blue and red-tailed monkeys, nocturnal bush babies, and tree hyrax. There are over 550 resident and migratory species of birds.
All tents/rooms offer both double and single beds. Educational talks are offered on a complimentary basis nightly. Children's mealtimes can be arranged.
Conferences and events
The camp has its own conference facility.
What to see and do
The camp offers its own swimming pool and sun-lounging area. Nightly lectures and videos are also offered in the private lecture theatre. The camp has resident medical services and a curio shop. When it comes to game-viewing, there is nowhere in Africa richer in wildlife or more eventful in encounters than the Mara. A pristine wilderness of haunting beauty, it promises its visitors a profusion of wildlife, prolific bird life and the unprecedented opportunity of catching up with all the members of the ‘Big Five' in one morning. As to scenery, the 1,800 sq kilometres of this veteran reserve offer the classic mix of African imagery; miles of lion-gold grasslands, shoals of lilac-misted hills, a meandering river, acres of thorn-bush and mile upon mile of undulating wilderness.
• Game drives
• Complimentary nightly lectures and video shows about the Mara ecostystem.
• Cultural dance performances.
• Guided (by Masai Morans) game walks - at small additional charge.
• Champagne Bush Dinner - night game drive and barbecue 'bush dinner' on the Mara plains.
• Balloon Safari with champagne breakfast on landing.
Fig Tree Camp - Masai Mara • Traditional Safari Camp • Kenya Hotels, Safari Lodges & Tented Camps
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