The 15 Masai Mara Private Conservancies bordering the national reserve offer the same exceptional game viewing, without all the limits of the Mara reserve.
The Masai Mara Private Conservancies are large areas that have been mapped out on the border with the Masai Mara National Reserve in an effort to increase community-based models of conservation, safeguarding wildlife and habitats all the while providing an income for the Maasai people who live there. There are no fences between the conservancies in Masai Mara and the reserve so game wanders freely between them, meaning game viewing is just as spectacular as within the reserve itself. There are 15 wildlife Conservancies bordering the National Park. Masai Mara Conservancy camps have a limited number of beds they are allowed as part of the wider Masai Mara conservation and therefore staying in a Masai Mara conservancy can often be quieter than in the park itself. All of the camps directly contribute toward the local Maasai who owns the land. Just one benefit of staying on a private conservancy is that activities such as night drives and game walks are allowed.
Masai Mara Private Conservancies FAQs
How is the Masai Mara being conserved?
The Masai Mara National Reserve was officially established in 1961 and strict rules and regulations have since been protecting the wildlife in this part of the country making it one of the richest wildlife areas on the continent. Bordering the Masai Mara are 15 Mara Conservancies, an initiative that has been set up alongside the Maasai tribes who own the land. They are paid a monthly fee to lease the land to tourism partners who are able to monitor the land and ensure that wildlife that moves in from the Mara itself is able to live there peacefully with no threat of poaching. Tourism partners work in tandem with the local tribes to ensure that the wildlife thrives, bringing in foreign dollars which in turn help to support the communities that live on the outskirts of the Mara and its Conservancies.
What is the best Masai Mara private conservancy?
This is a toughie… we couldn’t really say which was the best conservancy in the Masai Mara! All of the camps within the Mara Conservancies have different rights compared to the camps within the National Reserve itself. For example, they are allowed to embark on safari activities such as walking safaris and night drives which cannot be offered by camps inside the park. The Conservancies are also limited in terms of the number of guests allowed to stay within their boundaries at any given time. This means that there are opportunities for travellers to enjoy the wildlife that thrives in these spaces all the while sharing it with only a handful of others, unlike the National Reserve which is a public space and can be busy particularly when the migration herds of wildebeest and zebra arrive (July – November yearly).
Serian was the first of Alex’s camps, and it perfectly captures the essence of its name: meaning ‘peaceful, calm, serene’ in the Maasai language, it was designed to be a retreat from the bustle of contemporary life, and a chance to experience untamed Africa in traditional tented splendour ... Read more
Ngare is nestled in the private Mara North Conservancy, and is also perfectly positioned to take advantage of 1,500 acres of exclusive conservation area. ‘Ngare’ translates to ‘by the river’ in the Maasai language, and the idea behind this snug little camp was to transport the serenity of the original Serian camp to the water’s edge. Hugging the banks of the Mara, Ngare Serian is cosy and intimate ... Read more
Kicheche Mara Camp is a classic tented camp hidden in a beautiful valley in a prime wildlife area of the Mara North Conservancy. The luxury tents are laid out alongside a seasonal stream from where you can observe the resident birdlife and plains game beyond. The location is ideal as game viewing frequently starts in the camp itself and there is prime wildlife habitat on all sides providing an ideal base for your safari in the Masai Mara ... Read more
The perfect hideaway in the outstanding wilderness of Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Kicheche Bush Camp has attracted scores of professional photographers who trust the Kicheche approach to a day on safari and has created an exciting environment where any amateur photographer can raise their game and capture the sorts of images that inspired them in the first place ... Read more
The award-winning Cottars 1920s Safari Camp has its own 7608-acre private conservancy and is situated one kilometre from the famous seventh natural wonder of the world, the Maasai Mara in Kenya and Serengeti game reserve in Tanzania. Owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa it extends an era of luxury and quality and returns to the original spirit and essence of safari ... Read more
Naboisho Camp is designed to be as open as possible, taking full advantage of the Mara surroundings. Spot zebra or impala from its thatched-roof main lounge and dining area or swimming pool, and dine with the sights and sounds of the bush as your entertainment, be it the whoops of hyenas at night or the fluttering of weaver birds in the morning. You’ll be taken care of by a warm and hospitable team, all are highly experienced and have worked together for years ... Read more
Mara Plains Camp is a one-of-a-kind, seven tent camp located in the private 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy, on the northern boundary of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Built by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert and their partners at Great Plains Conservation, Mara Plains Camp is at once elegant and unassuming. This intimate camp, one of Kenya’s only two Relais & Chateaux properties (other being sister property ol Donyo Lodge), blends the finest in wildlife viewing with the absolute best of safari hospitality and guiding ... Read more
Kicheche Valley, located in acacia woodlands in a secluded valley of the Naboisho Conservancy, is an intimate luxury tented camp. The six luxurious tents, built in a unique style incorporating high eco-standards, are set on platforms and provide the perfect base to see the stunning wildlife and wilderness. The camp offers an intimate experience with local hosts and a limited number of guests ... Read more
Situated on the edge of the savannah under the shade of acacia trees, Encounter Mara is a 10-tent camp within the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, bordering the famed Masai Mara reserve in southwest Kenya.
The conservancy is known for its prolific wildlife and award-winning sustainability model that balances the needs of local communities, wildlife and tourism ... Read more
Tucked away in the tranquil Ol Chorro Losoit Valley between the Lemek Hills – a haven for wild dog – the Mara Bush Houses are in the 30,000-hectare Mara North Conservancy, adjacent to the Masai Mara National Reserve in southwest Kenya. The two houses share a pool, and the barbecue areas are ideal for sundowners or long lunches. Inside each house, you’ll find an open-plan dining room and lounge with a log fireplace – perfect for when the temperature takes a slight dip in the evenings ... Read more
Naibor camp is located deep in the heart of the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, hidden in a grove of riverine woodland on the banks of the Talek River. This is a superb location from which to explore the Maasai Mara habitat, host to a vast array of wildlife. Guests are able to enjoy fabulous wildlife viewing throughout the year and the camp is strategically placed for the wildebeest migration, being close to all the major wildebeest crossing sites over the Mara River ... Read more
The five tent Mara Expedition Camp is a magical revisiting of the past, drawing from Africa’s original explorers’ designs and designed for those who search for East Africa’s romantic safari era. Here, you will experience the best of both worlds: the intense action of the Maasai Mara ecosystem, as well as the more private 70,000-acre Mara North Conservancy. Mara Expedition Camp is both a stylish experience and an adventure camp with the service levels, specialised guiding and design for which Great Plains Conservation is known ... Read more
Mara Toto Camp sits in a small bend in the Ntiakitiak River, where the thick forest meets savannah, and just a few kilometres from its sister camp, Mara Plains. Mara Toto is a magical revisiting of the past, drawing from Africa’s original explorers and capturing East Africa’s romantic safari era. Here, you will experience the best of both worlds: the intense action of the Maasai Mara ecosystem, as well as the more private 70,000-acre Mara North Conservancy ... Read more
RECOMMENDED & ENDORSEDLEADING LODGE OWNERS IN AFRICA