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Royal Mara Safari Lodge - Masai Mara, Kenya

Masai Mara National Reserve - Kenya

The Royal Mara Safari Lodge is magnificently sited on the Siria Escarpment, which forms the western boundary of the Masai Mara Reserve. Offering just eight luxurious and spacious tented suites and a tented dining room and bar, the lodge stands directly on the wildebeest "Great Migration" route, near the two world famous wildebeest migration Mara River crossing points and near Leopard Gorge, all made internationally known by the BBC's Big Cat Diary television program.

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 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.

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.

Location
The Masai Mara is 270 miles from Nairobi (five hours by road). All weather air strip - less than an hour from Nairobi by plane. The nearest airstrip is at Kichwa Tembo; 15 minute's drive from the lodge.

The Background
The Masai Mara National Reserve
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.

The Miracle of the Migration of the Wildebeest
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'.

Accommodation
The camp offers eight luxury tents, each of which are built on elevated mahogany wooden decks with private verandahs. All tents feature two four-poster beds, traditional hand-carved furniture, polished wood floors and ensuite bathrooms. 24 hour electricity is provided.

Dining and bars
Meals are served in the large canvas dining tent, which enjoys a magnificent view of the surrounding scenery. Breakfast takes the form of a lavish hot and cold buffet (or can be taken in the bush or by the hippo pools). Lunch is served in camp, as a BBQ by the Mara River or in the bush. A 5-course dinner is served nightly in the dining room (or can be taken in the bush or on your private verandah). There is a comfortable bar and lounge area as well as an outside campfire.

Wildlife highlights
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.

Child-friendly
The Lodge welcomes children, but parental supervision is required at all times.

What to see and do
Activities include, hot air balloon rides with champagne breakfasts, Maasai-guided walks, visits to local communities, daily game drives, bush lunches, bush breakfasts
Guided walks, ornithological tours and nature trails can also be arranged, as can bush lunches, breakfasts and picnics.


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