Our Great Plains Conservation safari offers sublime game-viewing with the luxuries of vast, exclusive wilderness areas, few people and some of the finest guiding and hosting Kenya has to offer. In the foothills of the Chyulus, Ol Donyo Lodge looks out over an immense landscape, inhabited by all the 'Big Five' which you can experience on day and night game drives, on foot, on horseback or on a mountain bike. Mara Plains Camp, in the Olare Orok Conservancy, a continuation of the Masai Mara National Reserve, provides the full richness of a Masai Mara safari - big cats, abundant and diverse plains game, and the annual Great Migration - without the crowds.
Day 1 Depart on the British Airways daylight flight to Nairobi. On arrival, overnight at the Palacina Hotel, breakfast included.
Day 2 This morning, transfer to Wilson airport for the early morning flight to Ol Donyo Lodge. After brunch, you can relax and watch the animals coming to the waterhole below the lodge, take a swim, or set off on an escorted bush walk - which may not be a tame affair of medicinal plants, tracks and spoor! In the afternoon, you can choose a game-drive or sundowners on one of the kopjes or a mountain-bike safari; and continue with a night-drive after dinner!
Day 3 Spend your days in the mist forest of Chyulu Hills National Park or a on a riding safari or game drives on the plains. Make time to savour the views, to watch the daily rhythms at the waterhole, or simply watch the bird life. You may wish to sleep out on your roof terrace, under the bright stars of the African sky, pondering the immensity of the universe.
Day 5 Depart on the morning flight to the Mara where you will be met for a game drive transfer to Mara Plains. It is really beautiful. The six tented rooms overlook a stream with fabulous birds to the grasslands beyond â where you may see 9 or 10 species grazing at any one time. It's a healthy habitat for wildlife, with plenty of young animals. Four prides of lion include part of the Olare Orok in their territories, and there are two break-away groups trying to establish their own territories.
Day 6 Your safari is completely flexible at Mara Plains. Stay out for as long as you like - your meal will be prepared when you return or brought to you, if there is something engrossing going on. The camp has outstanding guides, including one of Kenya's four guides with a Gold qualification. In contrast with the Masai Mara National Reserve, only three small camps (18 rooms) have traversing rights in the Olare Orok Conservancy, so the wildlife is relaxed (I sat within 6' of a cheetah and her young.) and you can watch for as long as you like. Another difference is that night drives and bush walks are permitted in the conservancy and really enhance your safari - there is nothing like sitting among grazing hippos at night. On night drives, Mara Plains uses a special filter to avoid dazzling the wildlife, which allows you to have much better sightings of nocturnal animals or the progress of a hunt.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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