Mara Plains 2.0
About four years ago I visited the original Mara Plains and it was fantastic, becoming easily one of my favourite camps in Kenya. Since then it has been completely rebuilt, and I have to say, now it’s even better.
Mara Plains is run by Great Plains Conservation, a company which has slowly but surely built a small portfolio of some of the best high end safari camps in Kenya and Botswana. Mara Plains is no exception to this rule. Luxurious without being decadent, polished but with a sense of humour, the camp mixes sophistication and playfulness perfectly. It also absolutely nails the fundamentals: friendly hospitality and excellent service, mouthwatering food and well maintained safari vehicles, and above all, truly top notch guiding.
The only caveat is an issue you have to face at any camp in the Maasai Mara: other people. Mara Plains is in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, a private area bordering the main reserve, allowing you to avoid the crowds that flock to the region when the wildebeest migration is in Kenya. If you want to experience the drama and spectacle of a river crossing, however, you pretty much have to accept that there will be many others at the main crossing points wanting to see the same thing.
My advice is to spend a day in the main reserve with a packed breakfast and lunch on board, so you can maximize your chances of seeing a crossing, and spend the rest of your time in the conservancy exploring in relative privacy. In fact, you may find that the wildebeest prefer the quiet of the area around Mara Plains just like you do.
Dan is a safari-goer at heart, who struggles with human sightings in the Kenyan bush even more than he does with hipster sightings in the Toronto wild. If getting away from civilization is the goal, Dan is your master guide.