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Accommodation

Encounter Mara

“Stylish tented camp in a sought after private location ideal for families!”

Budget level: High-End
Country
Kenya
When to Go
All year
Property Type
Camp Permanent
Location
Masai Mara
Kids Min Age
5

Set in the highly sought-after Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Encounter Mara offers guests access to some of the best wildlife viewing in East Africa. The award-winning camp is set in the shade of a thick acacia forest with sweeping views over the savannah. The wildlife viewing is excellent year–round, and this, combined with the comfort of the camp and its excellent environmental credentials, means there are few more rewarding places than Encounter Mara to experience this slice of the Kenyan wilderness.

Situated on the edge of the savannah under the shade of acacia trees, Encounter Mara is a 10-tent camp within the 20 000 hectare Mara Naboisho Conservancy, bordering the famed Masai Mara reserve in southwest Kenya. Not only does the conservancy have the benefit of being private (with just eight camps sharing the land), but it also has a higher density of wildlife than the busy Masai Mara National Reserve. There are a particularly high number of lions and you’ll also spot other animals like giraffes, elephants and zebras.

The conservancy is known for its prolific wildlife and award-winning sustainability model that balances the needs of local communities, wildlife and tourism. It has an even higher density of animals than the neighbouring Masai Mara National Reserve and one of the world’s most concentrated lion populations.

From the camp’s outdoor viewing deck, guests can watch zebras amble to the nearby saltlick, see a giraffe strut right past camp, glimpse a mongoose running down the path right in front of you or even spot a cheetah prowling the plains. Over sundowners around the campfire, listen for lions calling to each other as they start their night of hunting. From Encounter Mara, guests can go on nature walks around camp, or soar across the plains in a hot-air balloon. The camp is designed to be as open as possible, so guests can take in the sights and sounds of the Mara during meals or afternoon siestas.

Encounter Mara offers 10 spacious and comfortable tents, all with en suite bathrooms with double vanity basins, flushing toilets and hot-water bucket showers. There are also two family tents and two triple tents. Spend lazy afternoons on your tent’s shaded veranda, chilling on your daybed with a good book or just enjoying the Mara views.

The camp serves homemade meals in the dining tent or outside, depending on the weather. If you’ve opted for a longer game drive, they will pack you a picnic breakfast or lunch to enjoy in the bush. Enjoy sundowners and snacks during your late-afternoon game drive, then take your time over dinner back at camp.

While the adjacent Masai Mara National Reserve is known for being on the route of the Great Migration, the Mara Naboisho Conservancy has its own ‘secret’ version: The Loita Migration sees thousands of wildebeest and zebras travelling through the conservancy to Loita Plains.

The camp welcomes families with children over the age of five. They have two tents specifically for families, plus twin tents for kids over 12. Many of the guides are also parents and love hosting families. These are some of the child-friendly activities available at Encounter Mara:

• Bow-and-arrow shooting with Maasai.
• Starting a campfire with elephant dung and sticks.
• Educational bush walks around camp.

The camp runs game drives twice a day, around dawn and dusk when animals are more active. As the camp is in a private conservancy, they can drive off-road to get a closer look when you spot something in the bush. They are also able to drive after dark, which means better chances of spotting nocturnal animals. If you would like to experience the famous Masai Mara National Reserve, the camp can also arrange game drives there. Also on offer is fly camping and hot air ballooning.

Why we like it

  • Exclusive and private location in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy.
  • Simple and stylish accommodation combined with superb game viewing.
  • High concentrations of resident game.
  • Fantastic cultural experiences with the local Maasai communities.
  • Night-time and off-road drives, as well as fly camping and hot air ballooning!
  • Great for families with family tents and triple tents.

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