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“Incredible game viewing and service!”

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Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Twyford, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Incredible game viewing and service!”
Reviewed 6 January 2013

Mara Plains was our last stop on a 10 day safari throughout Kenya. Each camp was unique in their own way and we ended at Mara Plains as we knew the game viewing would be exceptional. We were not disappointed! Daniel and Duncan were our guides and knew the land, animals, and history in immense detail. They were sweet with our kids, told great stories and provided excellent guiding service. They knew where to find all the different lion prides, the various cheetah groups and where we would potentially see a kill. Being a part of the conservancy, Mara Plains can offer their guests a less crowded safari experience. We rarely ever were viewing the game with another car full of guests. When we crossed over into the Mara conservancy, we almost always were watching with 5-8 other vehicles. We never did see a kill but saw an amazing hunt/attack by a lioness and a zebra that none of us will EVER forget.
Accommodations-wise we were the first guests to stay in the new family tent. It was beautifully decorated and well thought out for a family of 4 (two tents on one platform)-gave privacy for the adults but kids close enough if they needed something. There were a couple of kinks to be worked out with the shower and water but other than that they were delightful.
The food and service were really good. Mara Plains seemed more formal than the other camps we went to (could have been the other guests that were there) but we were able to have our own dining table 2 out of 3 nights.
The camp managers, Richard and Lorna, were gems. Richard is passionate about his profession and was so knowledgeable on all aspects of Kenyan life, animals, conservation, etc...He was attentive and made whatever we wanted to happen, happen. Lorna was warm and friendly. She was wonderful with the kids (she read them the first story from her children's book she is writing) and the kids loved it!
I can only imagine how great the camp will be once renovated...the tents will be even nicer! The setting of Mara Plains camp couldn't get much better. Crossing a hippo and croc filled river to get to the camp is so cool. A leopard under one of the tent platforms gave us all a sense of danger and the screaming bush babies at night creeped us all out!
All in all, I would highly recommend MP Camp for it's incredible access to world class game viewing, knowledgeable guides, posh glamping and great service and management.

Room Tip: The family tent was great for a family of 4 or larger. The tents on the river side provide beautiful...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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4 Thank JenD2996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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162 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2012

From the second you are greeted on the runway by the smily enthusiastic staff your life will change forever. It exceeded my expectations beyond explanation - from the extremely helpful and enthusiastic staff and the hospitality, the animals, the food, to the incredible day to day experiences that is Mara Plains Camp. I could go on forever but I think the best thing to do is go and see for yourself - everyone should experience a little peace of this paradise.
Thank you Lorna, Richard and all the amazing staff.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tessa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2012

My husband and I spent 5 nights at Mara Plains in mid-November, and it seems we could not have chosen a better time and a better place. It turned out that we were the only guests at the end of the season and shortly before the camp is to undergo a thorough renovation - not that it needs that in our opinion. Our hosts Lorna and Richard cannot be praised enough for their warmth, cheerfulness, competence, and sheer clairvoyance as far as our wishes were concerned. Their first action was to put us in the honeymoon tent with a two tier deck with hammocks and spectacularly situated high on the bank of the river that runs by the camp. We fell asleep to the roars of hippos (not difficult after a day on game drives and a fine dinner with South African wines) and woke up under the scrutiny of a huge crocodile that was taking its first sun bath on the opposite bank of the river.
The game drives were sensational as the camp is located in the Conservancy. Our outstanding guide Daniel appeared to have a sixth sense about where to find the big cats but also the whole array of birds from Nubian Vultures to Pygmy Kingfishers, and he would convey his knowledge in excellent English. Incidentally, there is a bird expert in the camp, Sumari, who will take you around the camp grounds and point out the resident birds. Lorna, Richard and Daniel knew the history of individual lions and cheetahs and were monitoring the welfare of injured or isolated cats. An important word on the food: Not only was it excellent, fresh, prepared with imagination, but there were always plenty of salads and a vegetarian main course. Wine was plentiful - you could choose if you wanted a sundowner on your deck or in the attractive common area, or if you wanted to wait for dinner out on the plain under the Milky Way and myriads of other stars. The entire staff was very friendly and helpful. Everybody seemed to be interested in making your stay a special experience. I could go on forever, but I think you may have gotten the picture: A stay at Mara Plains is an unforgettable event in your life.

P.S. I tried to add some pictures, but most of them were cropped by this format, taking off heads, etc.

Room Tip: If you have a chance to book the honeymoon tent, do so. The tent is private and high up on the river...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank biesnitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville, TN
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2012

My husband and I stayed at Mara Plains for four nights in October. It exceeded our expectations in every dimension. The wildlife was amazing. We had no idea that we would see that quantity and variety of animals. Cats everywhere. Babies everywhere. We saw a kill, steal, and crossing. Our guide Daniel was fantastic and we can't imagine a better guide. He easily adjusts to the particular guest preferences and is extremely knowledgeable. The tents were wonderful and beds very comfortable. All of the food was very good but we were particulary pleased when chef Richard fixed us some traditional Aftrican dishes. You just need to ask. Substitute managers Cary and Dudu were fantastic. They should be regular managers somewhere. We were surprised when regular managers Richard and Lorna came on the third day since the substitutes were so good. They were also outstanding. The third Richard who was a bartender was great too. The staff all seem happy and take pride in their work. The service and attention to details at Mara Plains was simply outstanding and far exceeded our stay at Ol' Donyo.

One recommendation when choosing where to stay is to look at the type of vehicles they use. At Mara Plains we were in a Land Cruiser with no windows and the windshield folded down. This allowed for great uninterrupted viewing. It could easily be enclosed in case of rain. At Ol' Donyo, the vehicle had a permanent windshield that basically eliminated all viewing in front of the vehicle so we could only see out the sides which wasn't nearly as nice.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Primus09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2012

We recently stayed 3 nights at this camp and had a fantastic time. We have been fortunate to have been on safari a number of times and this rates as one of the best.
Richard and Lorna are excellent hosts who do everything possible to make your stay with them as good as it can be.
A safari is made by the quality and knowledge of the guide you have . Ping, our guide was incredible in his knowledge and passion for animals and conservation. He is superb. It is a massive bonus to stay in a camp on a conservancy area, rather than on a national park ,as you are not limited to the time you have to be back in camp. We saw lots more because of this, including a cheetah kill !
All camp staff were very friendly and would do anything for you.
The camp is closing shortly for refurbishment . I believe the tents will be of a higher standard but retaining the character and position of the current accommodation.
I would highly recommend this camp and hope to return.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank mack22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado Springs, CO
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2012

I stayed at Mara Plains on the last leg of my first safari in September 2012. Although the entire trip was fantastic, they definitely saved the best for last. Mara Plains was enchanting and I felt like I was living in the BBC series "Big Cat Diary" the entire time.

Richard and Lorna were amazing hosts. They were so friendly and catered to our every need. They shared wonderful stories with us about life in the bush and were fun to be around and converse with.

Mara Plains had a gorgeous setting and was so unusual being built over the river. It felt like Gilligan's Island! There was a wooden bridge leading to the camp which was over a river full of hippos and crocs. What fun! The tents themselves were very beautiful with great views of the Mara and were quite luxurious.

The meals and the kitchen staff were phenomenal. The staff were incredibly friendly, knew all of our names, dietary needs, etc. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. They celebrated my birthday with a surprise cake and singing by the staff, which was memorable and amazing!

Our guide was Duncan. He was a treasure! He knew so much about the animals of the area and made sure we saw everything. He was full of smiles and had a great sense of humor. We were up close and personal with all 3 big cats which was a dream come true for me. We even had two leopards mate underneath our truck!!!!

Life in Mara Plains was fantastic, and I would highly, highly recommend staying here. It will be a life changing experience you'd never forget.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Chanel519
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redondo Beach, California
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2012

thank you Mara Plains for giving us the best safari out of a six-week, four country tour.
the tents are perfect. the dinners were awesome and the food on the drives were absolutely great. it was nice that we got to stay out all day instead of having to come back to EAT. POOEY!

the crossing with the zebras and the spotting of the leopard just jumping out in front of us all by ourselves will always be treasured!

it was truly our favorite of all our safaris while in africa. thank you so much!

Room Tip: get a room closest to the bridge so you don't have to walk as far to dinner etc AND that is wher...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank audballa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp

Property: Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp
Address: Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Masai Mara National Reserve 0000, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 140 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is a small, high quality, seven tented camp under canvas, located within the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy and just a few hundred meters to the north of the Maasai Mara National Reserve boundary. Guests can game drive in both the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the private Conservancy away from the crowds. It is a fabulous wildlife reserve of 30 000 acres, rich in wildlife (with all the predators and big cats in particular), with the lowest vehicle density in the Mara, no mini-buses and only one guest room per 700 acres. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mara Plains Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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