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Established in 1962, the Masai Mara is one of the world’s best known nature reserves and its wildlife rich plains provide the setting for some of nature’s greatest spectacles. Home to the Big Five, a catalogue of unique safari experiences and a number of fantastic lodges and camps, the Mara is arguably the poster boy of Kenya’s reserves. Yet, the emergence of private conservancies throughout the last 15 years marks the changing face of safari in Kenya, bringing you closer than ever to the call of the wild.
What are private conservancies and where are they?
Formerly cattle grazing districts, these private, closely monitored areas are now sanctuaries for wildlife. First adopted to promote the harmonious coexistence between wildlife and livestock in local communities on the northern and eastern borders of the Mara, they are now pioneering the way for conservation across Africa. Supporting the work of conservancies not only helps landowners but also contributes to the protection of wildlife on Kenya’s plains, alongside facilitating truly unique safari experiences.
Where can I stay?
Conservancies lay claim to some of the best camps in Africa, benefiting from smaller, more intimate surroundings for a more personalised safari experience. Entry to the conservancies is restricted to those staying in individual camps and game vehicles are limited to four per sighting, giving guests exclusive access to extraordinary animal encounters. Often, lodges have been passed down through the generations meaning they are well equipped to host families, making them a home away from home in east Africa. Low impact is the byword here, and keeping numbers of visitors to an absolute minimum ensures you can find your very own corner of Kenya for a few days.
What are the real differences between the Mara and private conservancies?
In the conservancies, unique safari experiences abound. So whether it’s a helicopter ride over the savannah, a safari on horseback, on foot or by bicycle or even a night-time game drive, getting up close with Kenya’s wildlife sits top of the bill. This alongside the opportunity to visit community projects, learn about local culture and interact with the Maasai confirms it as a truly authentic place for a safari. Without the restrictions of curfews which are enforced on government owned land, nor sticking to safari paths, the pursuit of animal tracks takes you unequivocally off the beaten track for the ultimate thrill.
Get in touch by calling 020 3141 2810 to start work on your tailor-made safari holiday to the Mara conservancies.