Masai Mara National Reserve - Kenya
Beautifully located, on a sweeping bend in the Talek River, at the confluence of the Masai Mara's four game-viewing areas, Mara Intrepids enjoys one of the most spectacular locations in the Masai Mara ecosystem. 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.
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 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.
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'.
The camp offers 30 spacious tents scattered among the trees and along the river bank. Rustic and natural, they feature handcrafted safari furniture-made of wood and leather - but are farfrom bsic. There are canopied beds, hand-woven rugs, full-lengthmirrors, electrified lanterns on barrel tables and zip-and-screen windows. Each tent has a private vernanda and ensuite btharooms with zip-down door and separate shower.
Dining and bars
In keeping with th traditional safari experience, breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style in an outdoor dining area. The tall trees are alive with the sounds of birds and monkeys. Dinner is served more formally in the open-sided dining tent. There is a rustic bar with leather chairs, near the river. Every night, leopard bait is hung out across the river to entice the shy and secretive leapard to a floodlit viewing platform. There is also a wooden deck extending across the river. Private dining is also offered in the tent, alternatively a bush barbecue can be cooked and served in exclusive privacy. On the lookout tower, near the airstrip is a sundowner bar.
Conference and event facilities
The club has its own conference room with business and video facilities.
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.
The camp welcomes children
What to see and do
The camp has its own free-form swimming pool, surrounded by rocks, while activities include: .
• Three game drives daily with experienced guides.
• Escorted walking safaris outside the reserve.
• ''Night Sight'' safaris with infrared binoculars (additional charge).
• Bush breakfasts and dinners under the stars.
• Visits to neighbouring Maasai communities
• Romantic sundowners overlooking the plains.
• Visits to neighbouring Maasai communities.
• Fishing trips to Lake Victoria.
• Private parties on the champagne terrace.
• Lectures and slide shows on culture and wildlife
Facilities offered include: forex, gift shop, board games and library, electricity, game-viewing platform, room service, laundry, safety deposit box and resident doctor.
Mara Intrepids - Masai Mara • Traditional Tented Camp • Kenya Hotels, Safari Lodges & Tented Camps
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