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Your guide to luxury safari camp types in the Maasai Mara

Kenya is ready and waiting to welcome you safely! The Kenyan government has recently opened up the airspace for international flights and has lifted quarantine requirements for travellers coming in from 16 countries, with a Covid-19 negative certificate required to enter. This is excellent news as travel to Kenya is now a real possibility and with July-October being the peak of the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Maasai Mara, the timing could not have been better. Travelling is not as straightforward as before. There are a few more forms to be filled in and health screens to be taken, all to ensure the safety and protection of all of us – you, the traveller, and the Kenyan people. This is continued and carried throughout your safari by extensive health and safety procedures, private travel and transfers, and secluded properties and privately guided wilderness experiences. There are also various options covering travel and medical insurance for those countries where government travel advisories are still in place. A safari in the Maasai Mara takes you far away from the crowds and immerses you in the wide, open spaces of one of Africa’s most wildlife-rich and beautiful wild environments. This national reserve is 1,500 square kilometers of vastness, ecosystems, contrasts and unique Maasai culture, brimming with incredible game-viewing opportunities, including the continent’s iconic Big 5 (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino). A Maasai Mara safari is your time to connect intimately with nature, while being led by some of the very best guides in the safari industry. Local land ownership, childhood education and women’s empowerment projects, and wildlife conservation programmes reflect the industry’s commitment to providing travel experiences in Kenya that are transformative for all. So, be inspired to arrive in Kenya and live out your dream Maasai Mara adventure, all while staying at a safari camp that is perfect for you and your travel companions. The simple, sustainable safari camp This is the type of tented camp designed for those who want to take a deep-dive into a wild bush setting that is truly off the beaten track and stripped-back to the basics. You will get to experience life in a private conservancy, which is the best place to engage with the day to day wildlife conservation and environmental management efforts happening in the Maasai Mara. Some of the conservation focus areas are, for instance, protecting endangered species like pangolins and vultures from poaching and, in the case of vultures, rehabilitating those that have been injured from unintended conflict with humans. You will also get the wonderful opportunity to meet with local community members, learn about Maasai culture, and even try your hand at some age-old traditions. It is the opportunity of a lifetime; to understand more about an area in the Great Rift Valley that is brimming with a high density and diversity of animal, bird, plant and all manner of species in between. Rangers and guides carry a wealth of knowledge about the particularities of the surrounding bush, how the health of the ecosystem is directly linked to the health of all its inhabitants no matter their size, and the profound interconnectedness of Maasai culture with all aspects of nature. A tented fly camp takes adventure back to its roots, while also ticking all the boxes on your sustainable and responsible travel list. It is ideal for those who want the exhilaration of a night in the bush, as you and your travel partner will spend it together in small tents with simple amenities, surrounded only by the nocturnal sounds of the wilderness. Kick-back, relax and enjoy meals by the fireside under a starlit night sky, before turning in for the evening. Being enveloped in the bush like this means that during the day there are plenty of secluded spots to take in all the sights, sounds and smells of the African wilderness. The romantic luxury honeymoon safari camp From simple to luxurious, a honeymoon is an occasion worthy of an ultra-romantic and indulgent under canvas safari camp experience. An unforgettable honeymoon needs to take you and your loved one away from the real world and into the type of remote tranquility and beauty found in the Maasai Mara. This is the type of exclusivity and authenticity that pays tribute to the spirit and essence of the original, century-old idea of ‘going on safari’. At the same time, the quality of amenities provided will meet the needs of today’s discerning travellers, along with the privacy and special extras you can expect on your dream safari honeymoon. The perfect honeymoon safari should be about just the two of you. That means you get to choose how much or how little you do each day. Open-air showers under a vast African sky and canvas bubble baths with stunning savanna views, make sure that even bathing while on safari takes your breath away. And of course, every couple on honeymoon deserves a long pamper session. Whether you have had your wedding recently or were forced to postpone your honeymoon due to the pandemic, you both deserve a good helping of spa treatments and massages. Your honeymoon is the beginning of a great new chapter of your life and one that should start off in the best way possible – with spectacular experiences. Whenever possible, a honeymoon safari in the Maasai Mara should expose you to the magic of nature because these moments shared together will become memories that you will relive for many years to come. After a game drive at dawn, steal away for breakfast set up in a private location in the middle of the bush; then, after a late afternoon guided wilderness walk, enjoy chilled gin and tonics from a hilltop as the setting sun bathes the plains below you in golden light. From those seeking a transformative travel experience embedded in community and conservation activities to honeymooners and couples wanting a romantic and remote retreat away from the crowded cities, Kenya’s Maasai Mara has a safari camp type with the privacy, health standards and safety measures put in place for your protection. Calvin Cottar is Director and Owner at Cottar’s 1920s Safaris. Cottar’s 1920s Safaris is an award-winning luxury 1920s safari camp and private bush villa located in the famous ‘seventh’ natural wonder of the world, the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Calvin Cottar

Calvin Cottar is Director and Owner at Cottar’s 1920s Safaris, an award-winning luxury 1920s safari camp and private bush villa located in the famous ‘seventh’ natural wonder of the world, the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Offering a bespoke safari experience, it’s owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa. In 1919, together with his sons, Mike, Bud and Ted, Charles established ‘Cottar’s Safari Service’, one of the very first registered safari companies offering superior big game hunting and film safaris outfitting throughout Africa, India and Indochina. Cottar’s is proudly associated with The Long Run, Classic Safari Africa and Pack for a Purpose, and together with the Olderkesi Maasai Community, run the Cottars Wildlife Conservation Trust.

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  1. In the past I’ve done a couple of safaris in Africa and I’m feeling drawn to the continent to return again soon.

    Next time though, I want to move upmarket to do one of the incredibly glamorous camp safaris. There is some great advice here for getting together a short list of possible stays. I like the romance of living in such stylish luxury in an incredibly challenging natural environment.

  2. I visited the Masai Mara about 17 years ago and stayed at Governors’ Camp, it was an incredible experience and I would love to go back.Without question the wildlife is breathtaking but I really like the idea of doing something which is a little more sustainable and focused on developing understanding of the Masai culture.

  3. Filling in a few forms is going to be part of the future of travel wherever you go. I would let a little bureaucracy deter anyone from what could be the holiday of a life time.

    1. I wish everyone goes on a luxury vacation once in lifetime. When You look at that luxury tent, you even wonder whether a sleep in it just another sleep.
      If it comes to me, I may skip a game drive to keep enjoying my camp

  4. It’s great to hear that Kenya is open and ready for tourism once again. I don’t hear so much about the state of the virus there, but it’s also such a rapidly and continually changing thing that the stats today could be wildly different the next day. I do feel bad knowing how much many countries like this need tourism. It just makes you all the more aware of how crucial the money is to the people there, the various wildlife and conservation projects and so on. It’s not just our experience as travellers that should factor in as important when we choose where to go and what to do. I can see a safari being a great off the beaten track choice for a Honeymoon. I’d love to go one day, probably just with friends as we’ve spoken about it before. Good to know there are lots of comfortable choices that are a bit more home away from home sort of thing even out in the wilderness.

  5. I’ve got to agree on the luxury in the title. I’ve been on safaris but none of them have looked anything like what’s shown in these photos.

  6. A Safari honeymoon, because why not? Kenya was never in my radar when it comes to travel bucketlist but this article (and so many other in this blog about safaris) might be able to sway me. If not already. I am curios to visit Maasai Mara and get immersed in the local culture and lifestyle. I think it will be an amazing experience to learn and live outside the box for change.

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