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Siana Springs Intrepids - Masai Mara, Kenya

Siana Conservancy - Masai Mara, Kenya

Siana Springs Intrepids, a luxury tented camp, stands on the edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve - on a Group Ranch, a private area owned collectively by the local Maasai, who contribute towards its upkeep and benefit from its profits. Because the camp stands outside the National Reserve, night game drives, fly-camping and walking safaris are all permitted (as they are not in the National Reserve). The camp stands at the base of the Ngama Hills and is named after the Siana or plentiful springs of the area. Surrounded by indigenous forest, the camp offers a selection of 38 tents, an open-air dining terrace and campfire area, a freeform swimming pool and sundeck, a boutique and a children's adventure centre. The camp's Maasai hosts also welcome guests to tour their manyattas, cattle bomas and villages.

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.

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.

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 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
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'.

Accommodation
The camp offers 38 tents all with ensuite bathrooms (hot and cold running water, showers, flushing WCs), verandahs, single or double beds, camp furnishings, generator electricity and in-tent drinks and snack service. Laundry services are offered and global communications can be accessed at reception.

Dining and bars
The central dining room overlooks the plains and serves lavish buffet meals. There is also an exterior dining terrace and campfire area. Both interior and exterior bar services are offered, and drinks can be delivered to the tents.

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 camp welcomes children and offers a Young Rangers Club

What to see and do
• Game drives with highly trained personal guides
• Escorted walking safaris and night game drives
• Arrangements for dawn air balloon safaris
• Bush breakfasts and dinners under the stars
• Romantic sundowners on the Ngama Hills
• Unique lifestyle tours with our Maasai hosts
• Traditional dances by local warriors and maidens
• Lectures and slideshows on culture and wildlife
• Cultural safaris and game walks with Heritage's famous Adventurers' and Young Rangers' clubs


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