Great Plains has unveiled a series of exciting new updates at its four Kenyan camps, fresh for the 2023 season. From a new ultra-spacious two-bedroom suite – complete with a private vehicle, butler and guide – to updated décor, fire decks and in-room spa treatments, guests can expect a bucket list in the bush Kenyan experience like no other this year with Great Plains.
New two-bedroom ‘Sambuk Suite at Mara Nyika Camp’ with private butler and guide and a 2-bedroom family suite
The incredibly private and exclusive tented Mara Nyika Camp opened for the 2023 season at the end of May with a brand new two-bedroom suite – The Sambuk Suite at Mara Nyika.
The luxury new Sambuk Suite at Mara Nyika includes the services of a private guide, vehicle and butler, all with a separate entrance for complete privacy and seclusion. This camp earns its Relais and Châteaux status for service and style, high touch standards and attention to detail.
Mara Nyika is an exclusive camp that now hosts only 14 guests sharing rooms including children from age eight and up. The camp is tucked beside a small stream on the western side of the 50,000-acre Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya. Activities available include morning and night drives and the option of experiencing a hot air balloon ride across the Maasai Mara.
Mara Nyika camp also offers guests the chance to learn about the Maasai culture with a visit to the Great Plains Foundation’s female-empowerment initiatives. Take part in creating traditional beaded products, soap-making and meet the women behind the heart-warming project for a truly authentic experience.
New wine cellar and Zanzibari door entrances to suites
Mara Plains Camp, another Relais and Châteaux accredited Great Plains camp, reopened on 24th March after receiving a soft refurbishment with fresh décor and upgraded guest suite entrances including wooden Zanzibari doors.
The Jahazi Suite at Mara Plains was originally launched in June 2021 at Mara Plains Camp. This has been upgraded and is an exclusive-use villa residence consisting of a two-bedroom suite (which can accommodate up to four adult guests sharing or a family of five comprising of two adults and three children), shared lounge and dining area including the services of a private vehicle and guide. A new plunge pool has since been added so guests can make a splash and cool off during the heat of the day. Activities include day drives and night drives within the Maasai Mara and private Olare Motorogi Conservancy, while hot air ballooning can be arranged at an additional expense. The refreshed new luxury villa is ideal for group travellers and multi-generational travel who want to ‘move in’ and stay longer. The Jahazi Suite at Mara Plains Camp accommodates children aged eight and up.
Mara Plains Camp is a one-of-a-kind luxury Kenyan safari camp located in the private 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy, just on the border of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. No other Maasai Mara-based camp offers the extensive traversing area of Mara Plains Camp, with access to a total of nearly 100,000 acres of private conservancy land and the world-renowned Maasai Mara, home to the Great Migration.
Through the Building Bridges project, Great Plains has so far built three safe footbridges in the Maasai Mara connecting communities to schools, clinics and markets, with another one planned in the next month. Other Impact Through Education initiatives include Mobile School Eye Clinics, Teachers Sponsorship, School Meals and more.
New in-room spa treatments, fire deck, sunken hide and refreshed suites
Exciting changes have been made to Great Plains’ ol Donyo Lodge, which opened for the 2023 season on 25th May. ol Donyo Lodge offers eight Deluxe Suites and a two-bedroom family suite. All the Suites will be similar in terms of interior layout with the removal of the split-level flooring, and addition of pools to all rooms.
A new fire deck under the stars off the main area allows for that stargazing evening moment, outside dining and the warmth of sharing your day with fellow safari adventurers. The new sunken hide is now double the size, allowing guests to remain in there all day, a spacious and comfortable place to relax and photograph the steady parade of wildlife. and conducive to relaxation while watching wildlife. Some guests may want to overnight alongside the waterhole, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drift off to the sounds of their four-legged neighbours!
The wildlife experience in ol Donyo feels like it too has undergone an upgrade with some of the finest sightings in the group coming from this area, and a new live webcam gives you a snapshot of what be seen.
Located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, comprising of 275,000 acres of wilderness between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks and bordering Chyulu Hills National Park, this stunningly beautiful area is incredibly diverse and has spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro. This camp is very remote, offering extreme privacy and a vast amount of activities to choose from. ol Donyo Lodge can accommodate up to 20 guests sharing and children are welcome from age five and up.
New 2-bedroom family suite to be unveiled in early June
On private land adjoining the Olare Motogrogi Conservancy and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve lies Mara Expedition Camp. This expedition style camp is many people’s favourite, for its clean simplicity but stylish design.
Following its opening in 2020, the camp is introducing a new 2-bedroom family tent on the 6th of June 2023, so families of four can be comfortable sleeping on one deck, with linking tents. Here the guests can enjoy one of the most unique swimming pools in the world; on the back of a WWII truck and experience a wonderful evening at the Interactive Kitchen with the talented singing chefs.
Mara Expedition camp, like all Great Plains camps specialises in vegan, vegetarian and plant-based food, prepared with ease and joy. It hosts 14 guests, sharing.
Located along the banks of the Ntiakitiak River on the border of the Maasai Mara, the ever-popular Explorer-Collection Mara Toto Camp reopened for the season in April. Mara Toto Camp is a hideaway in the forest, designed for total guest privacy. On arrival at camp, guests are often surprised that it even exists. Drives across both the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and the adjacent Mara North Private Conservancy. Accommodating up to eight guests, the intimate Mara Toto Camp is perfectly suited to be hired out exclusively for intimate groups, for couples, and families with children aged six and up.
Mara Toto Camp consists of four canvas tents with spacious brass baths, along with a communal relaxation area, and indoor and outdoor dining options. Mara Toto Camp is an excellent base for budding big cat photographers with leopards, lions and more wildlife frequently passing through camp.