The accommodation is firmly located as it is on a bend in the Ntiakitiak River in the heart of the 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy which abuts Kenya’s epic ‘’Maasai Mara National Reserve’’ to its south.
On the guests’ arrival at the camp, they will walk across a bridge over the river through a thick, riverine forest up, a small slope to some giant step only to be greeted by an endless horizon with one, single, flat-topped tree – the quintessential shape of East Africa – right in your line of sight.
It is a small detail, perhaps, but one which Great Plains co-founder Dereck Joubert spent days considering as he paced the approach to ensure the impact of arrival in camp was maximized.
On deciding the best route, his only hope remained that an elephant didn’t flatten that all-important tree!
The camp is indeed a fantastic combination of romance, adventure, discovery and exploration.
When sitting in the middle of one of the richest wild ecosystems in the world, it is exceptionally important not to try and upstage what nature has provided and so the design of Mara Plains is one of understatement and quiet class.
The decor pays homage to the essence of East Africa and its chief influences (Maasai and Arab culture).
Ancient Swahili heritage is reflected in large wooden doors from the coastal island of Lamu and accents of deep red and purple honor the great Masai chiefs and warriors who have roamed this land for millennia.
Add to this cultural melting pot a nod to the colonial era, with rich leathers, copper and brass used in expedition-style campaign furniture and you have a lavish, residential atmosphere which complements rather than overwhelm the surrounding wilderness.
Guests at Mara Plains have unrivalled access to more than 100,000 acres of exclusive, low-vehicle density tourism land, home to extensive areas of important habitat for a vast number of wildlife species while still having unfettered access to the Maasai Mara’s additional 375,000 acres. Mara Plains Camp is primarily accessed by scheduled aircraft transfers to the nearby Olare Motorogi airstrip, from Nairobi’s Wilson domestic airport and other locations in Kenya or private charters.
On arrival at the airfield, the transfer to the camp is about 30 minutes allowing time for game viewing en route.
Mara plains camp has been constructed without using any cement in an effort to minimize its impact on the sensitive environment that surrounds it thus making it entirely possible to remove the camp without it leaving any trace.
All of the structures in the camp are on raised decks, limiting covered surface area and pioneering and innovative green building techniques were used in keeping with the camp’s philosophy of leading the way in low-impact safari operations.
Solar energy is used throughout the camp and water is bottled locally at the Loita Spring, filtered and 100% chemical-free.
The camp has 7 canvas tents accommodating 14 guests and each tent is raised on decks and opens on three sides to the outside. Floor to ceiling net walls and the marquis ceiling make for very open-air environments.
The rooms have a dressing area as well as private verandahs with seating and exquisite views. The en-suite facilities consist of a double basin vanity, and shower with hot water 24 hours a day.
The camp comprises of WIFI, dining area and cozy lounge, complimentary laundry services, and a boutique with a range of safari clothes, locally made jewelry, and Masai arts and crafts.