The Mara has this awful reputation as being full of minibuses wed really like to tackle this, for years now there have been a dedicated few Masai Mara camps who have been preserving conservancies on the outside of the Mara Reserve these unfenced pieces of heaven offer exquisite game viewing, varied landscapes, authentic cultural experiences and, most of all, freedom. Freedom to walk, have lunch in the bush, get out of the car, take night game drives and generally get to know Africa in a wild and remote environment within the Masai Mara ecosystem. Most of the conservancies contain three or four luxury or small tented camps these camps work together on beautifully preserving the area theyre in and being considerate when game viewing – i.e. not allowing ten vehicles to crowd around one lion. The guides are quieter, more professional your sighting will more often than not just be you. The Mara reserve has become a bit of a joke often the guides dont even look for game, but look for vehicles, and they all chat endlessly when they cross paths this is infuriating but so easily avoided by booking into one of these wonderful conservancies where the game viewing is just as good, but irritating chat, use of radios and traffic jams are non-existent. Our top recommendations for Masai Mara conservancies: Naboisho Conservancy Naboisho is wonderfully wild and remote, and a relatively new conservancy, the famously luxurious Ol Seki Camp has been there forever and the game viewing is exceptional. Both Encounter Mara and Naboisho Camp also offer exceptional safari experiences – anything is possible here from fly camping, to walking safaris and bush dinners. The landscape is varied as is the bush from acacia thickets to dry riverbeds and wide open plains. Olare Orok Conservancy This conservancy is also full of game and hosts Richards River Camp which is one of the best camps in the Mara – this camp is quirky and intimate with a fantastic atmosphere and charismatic staff. Wildlife viewing here is exciting and always full of action. The springs which are situated nearby to the camp mean that game is constantly in the area and often uses the camp as a corridor! Mara North Conservancy The Mara North is vast so there’s plenty of space to spread out – there are wide open plains, rivers and escarpments, it is stunning. Here are the luxury safari camp heavyweights – Mara Plains Camp, Saruni Mara, Mara Bush Houses, Elephant Pepper and Serian, as well as Safaris Unlimited Riding Safaris – this vast area is beautifully preserved and a shining example of successful cooperation with the community to provide a haven for wildlife. Although there are many others which also offer fabulous explorations and experiences. The Mara remains one of the greatest game viewing areas in the world we saw the below in one morning: Rose Hipwood is Managing Director of Africa Rose Travel Ltd. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.
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