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“Superb, once in a lifetime experience”

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Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 August 2014

I visited Mara Plains with my family in early July. The experience at the camp and the conservancy (where we spent the majority of our time) was nothing short of amazing in every sense. Shaun and Amy, the two hosts, are exceptional and genuinely made us feel at home in this eco-friendly, luxury camp in the middle of the savannah. The staff was on top of their game at all times and hours of the day. The accommodations - luxury tents - are spacious and done with exquisite touch and feel. There are 7 or 8 tents in total and they all offer outside raised decks facing the river that the camp is situated around or the open savannah. They are true canvas tents with zipper entries so you get that jungle/outdoor feeling (particularly at night when animals are most active). But you get most of the luxuries you'd expect at a 5-star hotel in these tents other than a TV which was more than fine by us. The food was very tasty and I was impressed with the diversity of the offerings and the overall quality.

Now on to the animals. As an avid photographer I can tell you that this is a camp geared for photographers. I doubt it gets any better than this anywhere in the world. The jeeps - open Land Cruisers - are extremely comfortable and out guide affixed a platform on my side of the jeep to rest my large lense and even had beanie bags !! Combine this with the fact that this part of the Mara is reputed to have the highest concentration of big cats in the world (and I wouldn't dispute this based on out experience) and you have a photographer's paradise. We saw about 50 different lions in our 4 days at the camp- this figure includes lions outside the conservancy including the famous Marsh pride which we were fortunate enough to see in an early morning hunt that culminated in a wart hug chase and meal - this was no doubt one of the trip's highlights! We also had an intimate close range experience with the Monarch pride and 7 young lion cubs. We saw 4 cheetahs at very close range and were very fortunate to see a beautiful female leopard known as Fig on a tree.

Our guide and my sense is all of the guides at MP camp were in large part responsible for our amazing outdoor wildlife/nature/gaming experience. Ping, as our guide was known, is extremely knowledgable and passionate about what he does. His instincts for animals and familiarity with their behavioral talents - not just cats was a gift.

One final comment about he conservancy - there are only four other camps I believe in this large conservancy which covers several thousand acres - the implication of this is that the density of other jeeps and visitors is very low and you get some amazing experiences with animals at close range without the madness that we saw in the actual national park - as soon as a lion is spotted a dozen or more jeeps may show up there almost immediately. There is no stress in the conservancy and you do get what you are paying for.

We were very sad to leave and took away memories that were largely made possible by the exceptional hospitality that this fantastic jungle camp led by Amy and Shaun offered.

Kunal Singh

  • Stayed: July 2014
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1  Thank KunalKSingh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatPlainsConserve, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 September 2014

Dear Kunal

Thank you so much for your great and complimentary comments. We are so delighted that you had a life changing experience.

We loved your company and amusing stories around the fire and over dinner. Your enthusiasm for wildlife and photography was tremendous… Keep it up!

We hope that you will one day come back again!

Kind Regards
Shaun, Amy and the team.

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96 - 102 of 164 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2014

Mara Plains Camp is everything you want in a safari camp. Beautiful location, gracious hosts, and a 'tent" that is anything but a tent. Animals grazing right outside your breakfast table, hippos lying in the sun along the banks and the sound of lions roar in the night make Mara Plains Camp an unforgettable experience. Easy relaxed atmosphere, and a genuine interest in making your safari unforgettable.
I will return to Mara Plains Camp in the very near future.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Raellen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatPlainsConserve, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

We are so thrilled you had a spectacular stay!
The hippo’s and roaring lions in the evening’s are still in abundance.
We do hope to see you back here again soon!
Best wishes
Amy, Shaun and the Mara Plains Team

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Reviewed 8 August 2014

I've been lucky enough for this trip to have been my 12th safari. It's fair to say I'm hooked but I'm also pretty fussy now about where I stay. It has to be small, intimate and friendly. This is the only camp I've ever visited again and again which speaks volumes I think. Ask for Ping as your guide, he's amazing! Amy and Shaun are great new additions to the team. I'll be back again as soon as I can!

  • Stayed: July 2014
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Thank SafariQueenGlasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatPlainsConserve, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 1 September 2014

Dear Victoria,

We loved having you back here in the Maasai Mara and back at Mara Plains.
You know that your company is always welcomed!

We look forward to a longer stay hopefully in November or December with you.

Take care until then,
Love Amy, Shaun and the team

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Reviewed 5 August 2014

This place is simply amazing. The entire camp is dedicated to conservation and preservation, and the physical structures of the resort blend in to the surrounding area in a visually appealing and eco-friendly way. Shaun and his staff are incredibly helpful, warm, and knowledgable, and the tents are beautifully furnished with large decks overlooking a game-rich plain. Our daily game drives were chock full of wildlife, and our guide, Terin, treated us to wonderful, up-close views of the wildebeest migration. The wildlife here was so concentrated that you could literally sit in your tent and watch the big five cross the plain, the wildebeest cross the river that runs through the camp, and sleep to the sounds of big game doing their nightly thing. The conservancy is not crowded like the much of the Masai Mara, so each game drive is like a private wildlife viewing. Also, unlike some of the other parks we visited, off-roading is permitted, allowing for the opportunity to get very close to the animals in order to observe behavior. Terin is extremely knowledgable about the area, having grown up there, and is intimately familiar with the flora and fauna of the region. The personalized service at this camp is impeccable, the food outstanding, the tents world-class, the safari experience unbeatable. Trading stories around the campfire with the other travelers and Shaun, cocktails in hand, is a special treat. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank asward26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatPlainsConserve, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Hello to the Wards!

Thank you for all the fun times together.
We always appreciate fun and energetic people around camp.

Please do come back next year, for more stories around the fire and great animal sightings!

All the Best...
Shaun and Amy and the Team

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Reviewed 3 August 2014

Wow! Our three nights at Mara Plains far exceeded our expectations. Truly, unbelievable and unforgettable. This "camp," if you want to call it that, has to be one of the finest safari camps in all of east Africa - if not THE top. The "tents" are fit for a sultan and his family! The are luxurious and "over the top" without being obnoxious and ostentations. The "tents" and main lodge are elegant and very much fit the srroundings. We had two tents connected by a spacious deck. Our children (eleven and thirteen) were with us. The managers, Shaun and Amy, as well as the entire staff (Moses, Buddha, etc) anticipated our every need, doing everything possible to maximize our experience. When the kids were tired after a long game drive, the staff prepared a private dinner for us earlier than the "normal" dinner hour. The accommodations are like staying at a Four Seasons or Aman resport (or better) but in the wilds of Africa -- with lions and hippos sounding throughout the night. We were grateful for our spear-carrying Masai guards. Moreover, we cannot say enough good things about our private game guide, Kevin, who grew up on the Mara. His knowledge and "sixth sense" about the animals is nothing short of AMAZING. On a night drive, we saw lions make a kill. During the day, we saw the Big Five, the Little Five, the Ugly Five, the Great Migration…AND we saw a pair of lions on their "honeymoon." We were touched by the hospitality of the small Masai village that we visited with Kevin. We had several meals out in the bush prepared by the staff and served by Kevin. Fabulous bush breakfasts and picnics. Truly, you could come to Mara Plains and not go anywhere else in Africa and see/ experience it all. Being within the private Conservancy lands keep the hords of trucks and tourists away that you find in the government parks. Kuddos to everyone at Mara Plains! Special thanks to Shaun, Amy and to our guide Kevin. We hope to return someday - sooner rather than later.

Room Tip: All of the "tents" are beyond fabulous.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank ShannonNewsom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatPlainsConserve, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Hi Shannon

Thank you once again for all the kind words about Mara Plains camp.
Having you and your family here was such a pleasure, how could we not enjoy having you all around here, when all we got was enthusiasm and beaming faces daily?

You are all a special family and hopefully next time the WHOLE family can come back.
We will be here !

Take Care and send regards to everyone!

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Reviewed 29 July 2014

I cannot even describe to you how great this camp was. Definitely the best camp in the Mara, probably the nicest one in Kenya. Our guide was excellent. He got in position for us to see a lion killing a wildebeest. Our kids got tired at night after a long day of safariing, so the excellent camp managers were nice enough to arrange to private dinners on our deck at night earlier than the dinners usually would have been. it is in a secluded area in the Mara so there is not hundreds of cars. sadly, this was only our 2nd stop on our safari. We saw every animal we wanted to see here so the rest of the trip was kind of boring.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Cooper N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatPlainsConserve, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Hi Cooper

Thanks so much for the comment, we are glad that Mara Plains was the highlight of your trip!

It is a pity that you started here first, but I am sure all the other places that you visited were just as great! Next time just come to us only :)

Good luck with your year ahead and send regards to your brother and parents.

Kind regards
The Mara Plains Team

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Reviewed 28 July 2014

This was our last stop on our African safari trip and we could not have been more pleased. The accommodations were over the top our "tent" was situated right above where the hippos hang out and our kids "tent" faced the Mara Plains. What better site to wake up to then nature. Shaun and Amy, the camp managers and our guide Kevin were all quite wonderful. The entire staff went out of their way to make sure you have everything to make your stay wonderful. When we were there our kids ages 12 and 16 were the only kids there. My younger one is somewhat picky with his eating and the staff could tell he was not eating much and therefore offered to make him spaghetti an offer he quickly took them up on for two of our lunches. They had one of the camp guards, a Masai warrior give them a special tour/talk on how to make a bow and arrows and how to throw a spear...the kids loved this but the best part of this camp is how they anticipate your needs. We had a special family dinner on the deck our second night which was wonderful and probably nicer for the kids and then they radioed us as we were doing our night drive safari on the third night and asked if we would like to do that again which of course we did.. The perfect setting with just our family for our last night in Africa.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank cheryl f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GreatPlainsConserve, General Manager at Great Plains Conservation Mara Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Dear Cheryl and family.

We are so glad to hear that Mara Plains ended your Africa trip off with a bang

We loved having your family here, and hearing the great laughter from the tents while playing the safari game. That’s was holidays are about – fun, laughter and new experiences!

We hope that this one will remain in your memories forever!

Take Care and send love to the boys and John.
Best Wishes from all of us at Mara Plains!

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Additional Information about 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 146 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: £1,063 - £2,354 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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