Mara Expedition Camp
This is a place where lions own the night and hippos stake claim to vast territories, where we submit to the supreme power of wild Africa and take our lead from Mother Nature… It’s a place of learning, where Africa teaches lessons that will change the way you view the world in one of the most incredible classrooms on the planet – the incomparable Maasai Mara.
Located a few kilometers from Mara Plains, Mara Expedition Camp has been built on a small bend in the Ntiakitiak River, where a thick riverine forest meets the unending savannah in the north-central section of the Maasai Mara. The camp is open seasonally from June to October, allowing guests to maximise their safari experience within the Maasai Mara Reserve.
It’s a perfect hideout for this small, intimate camp, which has been constructed in the spirit of mobility and non-permanence out of deference to the wilderness, which surrounds it.
There’s an air of yesteryear in Mara Expedition Camp’s design, which draws stylistic reference from the old, authentic expedition camps of the colonial era. Temporary and transient in atmosphere, there is nonetheless a perfect blend of comfort, adventure and harmony in the camp’s five, custom-designed tents.
Set at ground level and shaded by the forest canopy, the five custom- designed tents forego fancy amenities but still leave you wanting for nothing. With flushing toilets, bucket showers and hot-and-cold running water, each tent is decorated with an eclectic yet co-ordinated assembly of what early explorers may have carried with them – brass chandeliers, old Indian campaign chests, rich leather and hardwood furniture – combined with rich textiles and soft cottons. But it’s out on the plains of the Maasai Mara and the adjacent Mara North Conservancy that guests really connect with Africa and live the explorer experience, surrounded by wildlife.
The camp is in prime leopard territory and the annual wildebeest and zebra migration passes literally in front of your tent, offering you the chance to witness one of the miracles of nature first-hand from the comfort of your verandah.
Mara Expedition Camp is, despite its romantic appeal, a place for the ardent safari-goer. One does not beget the other and in fact we believe they both make for a spectacular camp. Spend your days out – all day – exploring the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, shared with just an handful of other small boutique camps, or go in deep into the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve to catch the river crossings or a foray around Paradise Plains in search of Notch & sons.
You’ll not have to look far for wildlife – the glade of trees surrounding the camp is prime leopard territory, and the camp is a superior location to witness the great wildebeest and zebra migration from your tent. To capture the action and memories professional Canon camera equipment will be available for guest rental, and new open-sided vehicles custom designed by Dereck & Beverly Joubert (National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, acclaimed filmmakers and Great Plains Conservation co-founders) allow the very best equipment for photographic opportunities.
Mara Expedition Camp, in maintaining the caliber expected of a Great Plains property, offers among the widest range of activities anywhere in the greater Maasai Mara – extensive game drives, balloon safaris (at extra cost), local village visits (authentic) and unrivalled access to superior wildlife habitat as well as visits to local schools and Great Plains community projects in the surrounding area.
Game drives – day and night to see the wildlife and beauty of the conservancy
Cultural & village visits
Photographers – for photographers and non-photographers alike – have specially designed our Toyota Land Cruisers. We are among the only, if not the only camp, in the Masai Mara to have completely open game drive vehicles. The thoughtful engineering provides all-round visibility with a (removable) canvas roof, and comfortable bucket seats. These rugged, 4X4 vehicles provide access to all of the region’s diverse ecosystems, and do so with ease.
Bush breakfasts & lunches
Mara Expedition Camp is located in Kenya’s north central Maasai Mara Game Reserve, on the border of the Olare Motorogi and Mara North conservancies.
Electricity – The Electricity in the camp is currently run on 24 deep cycle batteries operating through a duel inverter system. The batteries are charged by a 15.5 KVA generator which is run only four hours a day and is located inside a room soundproofed with mud walls and recycled egg trays. From October 2011 we hope to have the camp power running 100% on solar cutting down fuel consumption as well as our already minimal noise pollution.
Wastes – Mara Expedition Camp tries to cut down as much as possible on our waste. All drinking water is bottled and is brought to the camp in 20L recyclable containers. When guests arrive they are given their own personal water bottle for the duration of their stay. These bottles are filled as need-be and re-used meaning other than the plastics collected by guides on drives the camp has very little plastic waste. The small amounts collected at Mara Expedition Camp is sent to Nairobi for re-cycling. All metals, cans, tins etc are collected and stored in the camp before being sent to recycling plants in Nairobi.
All glass is also collected and sent to Nairobi for recycling.
All combustibles are incinerated on site.
Organic waste is put into a bio pit where it decomposes. This pit is not accessible to the wildlife ensuring there is no dependence being caused by the presence of the camp.
Grey Water – All grey water from the kitchen passes through a large grease trap cleaned weekly. It then passes into a sedimenting pit before continuing into a soak away pit.
All linen is washed ‘off-site’ at a location outside the conservancy. This ensures that we only use minimal amount of detergents on guest clothing. All water used for the ‘in-camp hand washed laundry’ passes through a constructed natural filter to remove soaps and detergents before returning back into the ground.
Black Water – Currently the camp operates using septic treatment systems for its black water. In the near future we hope to install new existing technology systems which cleans black water into a state fit to be recycled around the camp grounds etc.