The Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya
Arena of the annual wildebeest migration and one of the most renowned East African Safari destinations
Basecamp Masai Mara is an intimate tented camp, offering just 12 luxury tents. Located on the verdant peninsular of the Talek River, Basecamp Masai Mara enjoys spectacular views over the rolling savannah of this world-famous reserve. Each ensuite tent has its own private verandah and al fresco shower while meals are served in the central dining area, which features a platform built around a fig tree and an open-air bar for evening sundowners.
About the Masai Mara
World renowned for the breathtaking spectacle of ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth', the awe inspiring annual wildebeest migration, the Masai Mara is Kenya's most visited protected area. Technically an extension of Tanzania's renowned Serengeti National Park, the Masai 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.
East African safari location: Basecamp Masai Mara
The Masai Mara is 270 miles from Nairobi (five hours by road). The reserve offers numerous airstrips and flights are typically less than an hour from Nairobi.
Kenya tented camp safari: background
When it comes to wildlife-viewing, there is nowhere in East Africa richer in wildlife or more eventful in encounters than the Masai 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 and the breathtaking annual wildebeest migration. As to scenery, the 1,800 sq kilometres of this veteran East African safari reserve offer the classic mix of East African safari imagery; golden savannah, single acacia trees on the skyline, meandering rivers and an unprecedented richness of wildlife.
The annual wildebeest migration
Between the end of July and November, over one and a half million wildebeest accompanied by half again as many zebras and gazelles, under take what has come to be known as the annual wildebeest migration, which takes them from the short-grass plains of the Serengeti to fresh pasture in the grasslands of the Masai Mara; thus creating one of nature's grandest spectacles. Moving in groups of up to 20,000 at a time the annual wildebeest migration 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 the annual wildebeest migration reverses direction and begins crossing back into Tanzania. The actual timing of the annual wildebeest migration, however, is dictated by the weather and does not always ‘run to schedule'.
Basecamp Masai Mara East Africa safari wildlife highlights
Apart from the spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration, the Masai Mara makes the ideal hunting ground for Kenya's famous ‘big cats' and hosts her largest population of lions. The Masai Mara also offers the best chance of spotting a leopard in the wild. Other predators include cheetah and spotted hyena. Historically teaming with wildlife, the Masai 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 in the Masai Mara.
About tented camps in Kenya
When on safari in Kenya, the traditional East African Safari tented camp offers a selection of canvas-sided safari tents, usually with thatched roofs, often raised on a timber platform with private verandah. Typical East African Safari tented camps feature wide-spaced tents, usually with comfortable double or single beds with mosquito netting, electric lighting (generator or solar powered) and ensuite safari bathrooms (flushed WC, hot and cold running water, shower and vanity unit).
When to visit this East African safari tented camp
The Masai Mara can be visited at any time of year. Rainfall is typically highest December, January and April. The timing of the annual migration of the wildebeest varies according to annual rainfall patterns.
Kenya tented camp safari: accommodation at Basecamp Masai Mara
Basecamp Masai Mara has just 12 spacious tents with private verandahs and ensuite bathrooms (flush WC and basin plus solar-heated shower open to the sky. PC and internet are available at reception. A family tent is also available.
Kenya tented camp safari: dining and bars at Basecamp Masai Mara
At Basecamp Masai Mara meals are served in the central dining area, which features a platform built around a fig tree and an open-air bar for evening sundowners. The Basecamp Masai Mara menu will typically include a wide selection of typically East African Safari or Kenya favourites as well as numerous international choices (vegetarian options always available).
Kenya Safari conference and event facilities at Basecamp Masai Mara
Basecamp Masai Mara does not offer specific East Africa Safari conference facilities but will be happy to quote for small meetings and social gatherings or for incentive options centered on the annual migration of the wildebeest.
Weddings and honeymoons at Basecamp Masai Mara
This Kenya tented camp makes an ideal East African Safari honeymoon destination, more especially since it offers the chance of observing the annual migration of the wildebeest.
Kenya tented camp safari: Child-friendly
Basecamp Masai Mara welcomes children.
What to see and do on your Kenya tented camp safari
Typical Kenya tented camp safari experiences at Basecamp Masai Mara include: safari game drives in especially adapted 4WD East Africa safari vehicles (with professionally trained Kenya safari guides), seasonal viewing of the annual migration of the wildebeest, safari bush breakfasts, lunches and dinners; cocktails around the tented camp safari campfire and guided safari walks through the Masai Mara.
Basecamp Masai Mara also offers East African Safari ornithological tours, cultural performances and visits to the local people of Kenya. Because the Masai Mara is a reserve rather than a national park, night games and guided walks are also usually offered (neither of which are permitted in the national parks.
Basecamp Masai Mara • Kenya Safari Tented Camps
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