The Masai Mara Reserve, Kenya
Fairmont Mara Safari Club, which lies in the north west of the Masai Mara, sits at the foot of the Aitong Hills. The camp is positioned on an ox-bow of the Mara River, so that all en-suite tents have a view of the hippo-filled river. The lodge is surrounded by well-cultivated gardens dotted among indigenous trees.
The Fairmont Mara Safari Club is surrounded on three sides by the Mara River and stands just outside the world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve. Positioned on an ox-bow in the river, it lies in the north-west of the Greater Mara area, at the foot of the Aitong Hills. Surrounded by gardens, the club is extremely luxurious, recently completely refurbished, and presented in traditional luxurious safari style. There are 50 tents, an indoor restaurant, which is cantilevered over the river, a bar and library, a business centre, an exterior deck overlooking the river, a heated swimming pool with pool bar, and a series of private massage tents.
The Mara Safari Club opened its doors in 1989 as an offshoot of Mount Kenya Safari Club, hence the name Safari Club. The Club stands on 100 acres of land, leased from the late Senior Chief Lerionka Ole Ntutu. The land the Club sits on was an old hunting camp that had been converted to use for photo tours with the ban on hunting in Kenya in 1976.
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. The Mara Safari Club is in the Ol-Choro Oiroua Conservation Area, which is just outside the reserve.
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 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 There are a total of 50 tents, each with four poster, pillow-top beds, and a veranda overlooking the hippo and crocodile-filled river. Each is superbly furnished with its own private, three-piece bathroom, including a number of "outdoor showers" in select tents. The larger-sized Masai Mara accommodations also feature expanded decks which allow for private dining, a new service.
Dining and bars The main lodge of Fairmont Mara Safari Club is at the center of camp and hosts an indoor restaurant, bar and library for your dining pleasure. Outdoor dining is enhanced with the creation of a boma, a structure influenced by traditional homesteads, where guests can enjoy a cultural dinner reflecting not only African cuisine but also rich musical accompaniment.
The Dining Room Located in the main building, the dining room is hewn out of wood beams and glass, allowing natural light to filter in to the high-ceilinged, spacious room. Evenings are cosy in the softly lit area. The menu is a cosmopolitan combination of European, African and Asian dishes, made from the abundance of fresh Kenyan produce. Both breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style, while dinner is Table D'Hôte, with a choice of main course. Seating Capacity is 90 people.
The Lounge and Main Bar The lounge is also in the main building. Sectioned off to create 'private' seating areas, the decor has a definitely African flavour, with woven wall hangings, and Masai artefacts. An extended veranda adjoins the lounge to afford superb views of the Mara River. A fire is lit each evening. This area is the venue for the Masai Dancers, slide shows and lectures. Liqueurs, beers, soft drinks, cocktails, wines, spirits, tea and coffee are served here. Seating Capacity is 80 people, (though use of the verandah can increase the numbers).
The Pool Bar Located at the swimming pool, the Pool Bar is a shaded area, with bar stools set around the curved structure. Also just off the bar, weather permitting, buffet lunches are served. A barbecue pit is located close to the bar. Liqueurs, beers, soft drinks, wines, spirits, cocktails, tea and coffee, as well as light snacks and outdoor lunches are served here. Seating capacity is unlimited.
Conference and event facilities The Manyatta Room, also used as a Library and Information Centre, transforms into the perfect conference room able to accommodate up to 35 delegates. Situated between the Reception and Lounge, the light airy room is perfect for theatre-style conferences, boardroom meetings or small receptions. While delegates are occupied with their conference, spouses and families can enjoy the multitude of activities available from the Club.
Global Events & Meetings Solutions is our convenient toll-free service for meeting planners. If you are a group planner wanting information about our kenya meeting facilities, services and opportunity dates, a team of dedicated sales associates will process your request for one or multiple hotel destinations. A hotel sales professional will respond within one hour during operation hours of the chosen destination.
Weddings and honeymoons We can offer you a tailor-made Masai Mara wedding as unique as you and your spouse-to-be. We will arrange everything from the licence, flower arrangements, hairpieces and bouquets, cakes, massage/health and beauty treatments for the wedding party to the choir in the chapel at Mount Kenya Safari Club or in the Sanctuary at Aberdare Country Club, or even the plains of the Masai Mara. Our special occasions can be used to make the ceremony even more special. Once the wedding is over and done with, let us organise the most romantic honeymoon in Kenya.
We also have a variety of themed activities which can be chosen to make your holiday special: • Welcome alcoholic drinks - very refreshing on arrival. • Sparkly Breakfast served in your room - keep the romance alive! • Bush Breakfast, lunch or dinner - nothing is more relaxing than a meal in the open air... • Sundowner cocktails with dry or hot & cold canapés, either at the property or in the bush - the perfect end to the day! • Mock attack by Chukkas (Mount Kenya Safari Club) or Masai (Mara Safari Club) during cocktails or bush dinner - the real African experience! • Open bar with dry or hot and cold canapés, at the property or in the bush - available at any time, to keep the spirit going! • Traditional dancers or choirs - for a magical ambiance!
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 club welcomes children.
What to see and do Guests can choose from a wide range of activities at Fairmont Mara Safari Club resort hotel, including game drives and balloon safaris over the Mara plains capped with a champagne breakfast on the savannah or a stroll in the footprints of the hippo-trodden path escorted by a Masai Moran. The location provides a perfect base for visiting the Masai Mara, one of the world's richest wildlife reserves, and home to an astounding array of animals including zebras, cheetahs, wildebeests, gazelles and of course the "Big Five".
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