Although Kenya’s famous Masai Mara game reserve is often overcrowded, in the surroundings patchwork of conservancies — tracts of private land that generate revenue for their owners from wildlife tourism — it is possible to experience the grandeur and emptiness of the East African savanna as it was a generation ago. For some years, we have recommended Mara Plains Camp, set on the 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy, a property owned by the outstanding safari company Great Plains Conservation, founded in 2006 by a group of conservationists that included the eminent South African wildlife filmmaker and National Geographic explorer-in-residence Dereck Joubert. It has now been joined by a glamorous sibling, Mara Nyika Camp, located beside a stream and surrounded by yellow fever trees on the 50,000-acre Naboisho Conservancy.
Just four lavish tented suites, set on elevated wooden walkways, overlook a dramatic landscape of high open plains, which is home to a year-round wildlife population, including significant numbers of lion and cheetah. The camp will be augmented in June 2020 by the addition of an opulent two-bedroom suite, with its own staff, plus a dedicated safari guide and vehicle. Part of Mara Nyika’s mission is to fund projects that benefit nearby Masai communities.