Kenya News
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 13:02

The best of the Mara without the masses

Encounter Mara is one of only 6 camps in the 50,000-acre Mara Naboisho Conservancy on the northeastern border of the Masai Mara National Reserve. The private conservancy is a groundbreaking tourism project benefitting conservation and communities. They successfully promote, preserve and develop land for livestock, wildlife and tourism. They also manage issues of land-use and human-wildlife conflict together with residents and ensure economic growth through increased community participation in the planning and development of projects.

The Mara Naboisho Conservancy has a population of 23,000 people (roughly 4,900 households). The Maasai have maintained a pastoral way of life, co-existing with wildlife for several thousands of years. Livestock farming is the main source of livelihood and income for the landowners who have leased their land to create Mara Naboisho. The creation of the conservancy is an opportunity not only to conserve the wildlife, which is under threat from human activities and land-use changes, but will also help to diversify the livelihoods of the Maasai so that they can cope with the climatic fluctuations that are common in the dry lands. Currently approximately 500 landowners are receiving monthly lease fees from the camps by bank transfer directly into their personal accounts. Unlike the old system, in which the chiefs were paid and it was up to them to distribute the money, this new system ensures that each member is paid their share.

The camp employs 95% local Maasai community members as their staff, and also provides education projects, which facilitate local employment in tourism. These include training locals to become guides, supporting local schools, improving access to healthcare and clean water, and empowering women - which helps to strengthen and uplift the community.

Mara Naboisho Conservancy has one of the highest densities of lions in Africa. One of the major prides, comprised of 22 lions, makes its home nearby Encounter Mara Camp. The conservancy also has impressive numbers of elephant, giraffe, and other plains animals, in addition to hosting some of the rarest animals in Kenya, such as Wild Dog.

Visitor numbers and camp size is strictly controlled to ensure visitors have an exclusive experience because they are away from the very high vehicle numbers so prevalent in Masai Mara National Reserve. Guests sometimes drive around all day without seeing another vehicle.
The conservancy is a new model for Kenya and is playing a big role in influencing the politics that are being put in place at a national level, to conserve the land and wildlife and empower communities.

The Mara Naboisho was a highly commended runner up in the Responsible Tourism Awards 2013 and they also won 'Best Tented Safari Camp 2013' at the World Travel Awards.
Published in News
28 October 2013 –Sir Richard Branson celebrates the opening of Mahali Mzuri, the latest addition to the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio, by participating in a traditional Maasai ceremony.

The ceremony, which comes 6 years after Richard originally became a recognised tribal Maasai Elder in 2007, took place on the plains near Mahali Mzuri and began with opening prayers. Along with eight elders, Richard blessed Mahali Mzuri with prayers, honey and a little beer! A ceremonial fire using traditional fire sticks and olive branches was placed onto the fire to produce the smoke, which drifted through the camp as a sign of blessing. This was followed by the local Maasai community singing and dancing around the fire before leading the crowd in a march back up to the plains where they enjoyed a blessing feast.

Sir Richard Branson commented: “It was an honour and so much fun to participate in the ceremony. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate the official opening of Mahali Mzuri and I’m thrilled that so many of the local community have made it here today to observe and take part in what was a beautifully traditional and fitting way of launching our new safari camp.”

“I’ve recently been pleased to add my voice to supporters of the tourism industry in Kenya and we see this opening as a symbol of our confidence in its long term future.”

Joining Richard for this special opening ceremony were Kenyan President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretaries of Tourism and Transport & Infrastructure, Hon. Phyllis Kandie and Hon. Michael Kamau.

Hon. Phyllis Kandie said: “We are extremely delighted to welcome Mahali Mzuri into the staple of great tourism establishments in Kenya. This new camp is a testimony of how international investors like Sir Richard Branson continue to have faith in Kenya.”

Mahali Mzuri is situated within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the Maasai Mara ecosystem of Kenya, about 240km due west of Nairobi. Mahali Mzuri consists of 12 sleeper tents and can cater for a maximum of 24 guests at any one time. Rates start from USD $590 per person per night (based on double occupancy) and are fully inclusive of all meals, drinks & daily game drives as well as unlimited access to the Olare Motorogi Conservancy.*

Mahali Mzuri is a joint partnership between Sir Richard Branson and the Gehlot family, who run the Intex Group of companies in Kenya. Members of the Gehlot family joined Sir Richard Branson for the opening ceremony.

For further information including images of the ceremony, please contact:

Charlotte Tidball [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0)20 8600 0468

Notes to Editors:

*Excludes any traversing rights through Maasai Mara National Reserve

Intex Group

Founded by Kishan Gehlot, Intex is a 30 year old company and a market leader in East Africa.  The group is focused on social economic development in the region primarily through the construction of infrastructure as well as civil engineering, real estate and healthcare.  It also owns and runs the Finch Hattons luxury tented camp in the Tsavo national park in Kenya. 

Virgin Limited Edition is an award-winning collection of unique retreats, chosen for their beautiful locations and magnificent surroundings; each offers a sense of fun, style, luxury and exceptional personal service.  The group includes Necker Island in the Caribbean’s British Virgin Islands, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa, The Roof Gardens and Babylon Restaurant in London; Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, The Lodge in Verbier, Necker Belle, a 105 foot luxury catamaran,  Necker Nymph, a three man aero submarine and the latest addition to join the collection - Mahali Mzuri, a safari camp in Kenya.

Virgin Limited Edition aims to make a credible contribution towards creating a sustainable economy and to meet or exceed the expectations of our customers and stakeholders.

For bookings please call 0800 716 919 (toll free) or +44 (0) 208 600 0430 alternatively visit  for more details. 
Published in News
Friday, 25 October 2013 10:04

Encounter Mara win World Travel Award

The beautiful Encounter Mara has been announced as a winner at the 2013 World Travel Awards for the second year running!

Each of Encounter Mara’s twelve spacious tents features their own private veranda with a view over the surrounding savannah.  Tents are constructed out of canvas and natural materials and furnished with handmade furniture.   Tucked into the edge of the forest, tents are side facing, which allows for a larger veranda as well as a “bathroom with a view.”  With a generous spacing between tents, guests have an entirely private space for personal relaxation. The tents also boast simple and elegant décor, soaking in the beauty of the surrounding bush.

Because of the regulations of Mara Naboisho conservancy, numbers of tourists are limited. Therefore, guests often find themselves with a private view of exquisite game, unhindered by the masses of safari vans one often finds in the Masai Mara Reserve.

Mara Naboisho Conservancy is known for its high density of animals and comes close to leading Africa in the highest density of lions. The wide variety of species abundant in Mara Naboisho includes Cheetah, Leopard, Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra and the elusive African Wild Dog. Guests also have a front row seat to staggering numbers of wildebeest during the annual migration. Night drives are conducted after enjoying a breathtaking Mara sunset from one of the many sundowner spots. This is often one of the most exciting times in the bush as the big cats start to hunt, and lion, leopard, aardwolf, porcupine, grazing hippos and many other nocturnal species are seen.

Bush walks:
Being in the vehicle allows us to get closer to the big game without disturbing them, providing great photographic opportunities of the big cats and other fauna. However, the deepest experience one can have with the Mara is to feel, smell, and hear it. Experienced Maasai guides have grown up in this area, know it like the back of their hands, and are itching to show you their world as they’ve always known it – on foot. They’ll show you the smaller life that keeps the savannah ticking over – the insects, the birds, the tracks, and of course, the dung – as well as some of the bigger mammals, from a different perspective.

Perhaps this is why they've been awarded 'Kenya's leading tented safari camp'...

See more of this beauitful tented safari camp at

Published in News
NAIROBI/ WINDHOEK: July 30, 2013
Kenya Airways has boosted its footprint within the Southern Africa region with the signing of a new code-share agreement with Air Namibia, the national carrier of Namibia.
The deal paves way for daily connections between the airlines’ Nairobi and Windhoek hubs through Johannesburg in South Africa and Lusaka in Zambia.
Under the code-share agreement, Kenya Airways will place its ‘KQ’ code on Air Namibia flights from Johannesburg and Lusaka to Windhoek. In turn, Air Namibia will place its ‘SW’ code on Kenya Airways flights from Lusaka and Johannesburg to Nairobi.
Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Titus Naikuni and the Air Namibia Managing Director Ms. Theo M. Namases hailed this new partnership as a huge boost to improving connectivity within Africa.
Ms Namases, said: “The industry we operate in is highly competitive and dynamic. Only smart and efficient airlines will survive. Gone are the days of – I can do it alone. As African airlines we need to realize that smart partnerships are the way forward, and the key to sustainability and survival”.
Namibia is one of the most stable democracies and economies in Africa with a GDP per capita of USD 7800. It currently benefits from large investment projects in its mining industry, a key driver in the country’s economy.
The new code-share services between Air Namibia and Kenya Airways went on sale on the June 20, 2013.

Nairobi to Windhoek vv. via Lusaka
Nairobi to Windhoek vv. Via Johannesburg.
Published in News
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 10:44

Stylish new option in Mara Conservancy

Hidden away in a forest on the banks of the Olmorijio River in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is a classic tented safari camp, Encounter Mara, which provides an intimate environment for wildlife encounters and an authentic connection with the local Masaai.

It consists of twelve spacious tents, positioned to provide views over the rolling plains. There is a salt lick directly in front of the camp, which is a popular source of natural minerals for a variety of animals. Guests may often feel the urge to simply remain in the comfort of the camp and watch the unfolding of events with a cold drink in hand.

We feel Encounter Mara combines really well with Sentinel Mara Camp to give a complete Mara experience, with special offers available.

Contact us for more information.
Published in News

Close to Governor’s in terms of location.
Very close to Governor’s in terms of service;
Nowhere near Governor’s in terms of costs. 

Sentinel Safaris operate a luxury tented seasonal eco-camp, which is set up inside the Masai Mara Reserve in a secluded site in a forest along the banks of the Mara River.

Attention to detail and personalised service is given by the owners, Peter and Wendy Twycross, assisted by Edward Arkle. This carefully chosen location within the less visited north western section of the Masai Mara Reserve maximises guests’ enjoyment of their natural surroundings and ensures excellent game viewing. The non-permanent seasonal nature of the camp minimises the impact on the environment. The camp itself captures the essence of traditional East African safari hospitality, with the décor and ambience encompassing the romance and adventure if a bygone era.

There are seven large sleeping tents along the Mara River, furnished with twin or queen beds according to request. Tents also include: a writing desk and chair, bedside tables, canvas wardrobe, laundry basket, luggage rack, large wooden chest, canvas chairs and a butlers tray on the veranda. There are en suite facilities with hot showers and porcelain flushing toilets.

There is solar lighting in all tents, with the opportunity to charge phones and cameras in the lounge tent and vehicles.

Take a look:

Published in News
Mahali Mzuri is located within the Motorogi Conservancy in the northern region of Kenya’s famous Maasai Mara ecosystem. The camp is perched on the side of a lush valley with views over the rolling plains. The neighbouring conservancy, Olare Orok together with Motorogi cover approximately 13,500 hectares 33,000 acres) and there are strict limits on the number of guests that can stay at any one time. The camp is well placed to observe the abundant game in the area and also to take advantage of the annual ‘Great Migration’, when up to one million wildebeest plus hundreds of thousands of zebra, gazelles and other game undertake a journey of roughly 1,600km through Tanzania and Kenya. We have 12 unique tented suites sleeping a maximum of 24 guests at any time. The tents are perched on a ridge looking over the valley with a distinctive design adapted to the local climate and terrain. Ten of the 12 tents are designed to sleep two adults and all can be split into twin beds. The remaining two tents are configured so that the sitting area is enclosed with fold-out sofa beds accommodating up to two additional guests. The central Main Tent, and the area where guests will spend their time whilst no on game drives features a main lounge area with an open fireplace, a library of books, iPads for guest use, iPod docking stations and speaker systems, a games console and a TV/DVD player for those who wish to keep in touch with the news or sport. There is also a large decked area where breakfast and lunch are usually served and a communal table inside seating 24. Whilst not on a game drive, you can take a dip in the infinity pool or try out a range of spa treatments in the resident spa, only using the best products by Africology.
Published in News
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 15:39

Kenya's great new reason to jump for joy

If you’ve enjoyed the benefits of working with Great Lakes Safaris in Uganda, you’ll be jumping for joy to hear that they are set to open offices in Nairobi to offer exceptionally high standards of service for Kenya.

Employing highly experienced Kenyan staff (not Ugandans running the show from a different country) means you can expect the same level product knowledge, the same speed and accuracy of response, the same level of client care and the same level of cost-savings that Great Lakes have founded their Uganda business upon. 

Contact Kamili for more details. 

Published in News
Combine breathtaking natural beauty in Kenya's celebrated Masai Mara National Reserve with the luxurious seclusion of Funzi Island to make the ultimate wildlife and beach holiday. Stay in the elegant Elephant Pepper Camp in the Mara North Conservancy, known especially for its high concentration of lions, including the 'Cheli Pride'. Continue on to Funzi Keys, idyllically located on a private, west-facing beach with glorious views of the African sunset. This is a perfect place to escape from the outside world in style. Excellent savings available all year round.
Published in News
For arrivals during the 2013 high season from 1st September until 19th October, when you book to stay for a minimum of 5 nights on safari at Mahali Mzuri in Kenya your last night will be free of charge!

How much?
This offer is based on our high season rate of US $995 per person per night.

What’s included?
Our rates include accommodation, all meals and drinks, high quality wines and champagne.

The Mahali Mzuri experience includes…
 Daily game drives and game drives at night in 13,500 hectares!
 All meals and drinks (including alcoholic beverages)
 Unlimited access to the exclusive Olare Orok and Motorogi Conservancies
 Transfers from the Mara North airstrip
 Guided bush walks and visits to the local markets
 Complimentary wireless internet available throughout the camp
 Laundry service (dry cleaning not available)
 All taxes and local levies

Terms and Conditions
 Subject to availability and applies to new bookings only made from 1st May 2013
 Offer is only available for stays from 1st September through to the 19th October 2013
 Blackout dates may apply as well as all our normal terms and conditions
 Stays must be for a minimum of 5 nights and there is a maximum of one free night per booking
Published in News
Page 3 of 4

Our Sponsors

  • Street Child Logo

  • Selling-Travel-black
  • One & Only
  • KZN-Logo