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MASAI MARA – Mara Bush Camp

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On the vast Golden Plains of south-western Kenya, the earth’s greatest wildlife spectacle is enacted each year. It begins in June or July with the arrival of about 40,000 zebra from the Serengeti Plains in neighbouring Tanzania. Following closely behind, 800,000 wildebeest crowd onto the Mara’s grasslands. Normally, the Mara’s 1600 km² of plains, riverine forest and majestic escarpment sustain about half a million wild animals. At the height of the migration, this figure reaches a staggering 1.8 million. Attracted by an abundance of food, the numerous predators also help to enhance the Mara’s reputation as one of the top three parks in Africa.

For much of the journey to the Masai Mara National reserve, we will pass through Maasai territory. In the Maasai people’s language, Mara means ‘spotted’ or ‘dappled’, a reference to the Acacia-dotted savannas of southern Kenya where they now live. The Maasai own enormous herds of cattle and cling to a culture that originated many hundreds of years ago along the Nile in Sudan. As they do not hunt wildlife, the savannas of Maasai land, unlike many other parts of Africa, are still grazed by large herds of wildlife. The reserve is not fenced and game is free to migrate; the boundary serves as a barrier to human and livestock movement.

Rainfall in the Mara is high and falls mainly between November and January, and March and May. The herds spend the first five months of the year on calcium-rich grasslands in Tanzania, formed when volcanic eruptions covered the plains in ash. As the rains end in May, wildlife herds migrate northwards to the Mara in search of water and grazing. They are forced to cross the Mara River, which begins in the forests of the Mau escarpment and eventually flows into Lake Victoria. Often, many wildebeest drown at these crossings, while others are ambushed by lion and crocodile.

For four months the herds graze the Mara’s plains and reduce the once-tall grasses to the height of a well-mown lawn, before trekking southwards into Tanzania behind the storm-cloud fronts that have gathered.

Right on the path of this natural wonder of the world lies Mara Bush Camp, offering you everything desired in an authentic safari experience. Mara Bush Camp is a mobile camp and discreetly tucked away in a riverine forest on the banks of the seasonal Olare Orok River.

Mara Bush Camp is small and offers personalised services while providing all amenities to make you feel at home. Get spoiled after an exhilarating day out in the bush in your luxurious walk-in tent with spacious veranda, overlooking the Olare Orok River and its numerous hippos. The camp is located on an oxbow of the river and all ten riverfront tents have been placed far enough apart to guarantee complete tranquillity and privacy.

A fully equipped mess tent is situated close by, where all meals are served. Adjoining is a luxurious and comfortable lounge tent, where one can meet up with other guests to exchange safari experiences and highlights of the day, or catch up on reading a book from the in-house library. A sundowner cocktail will help you unwind in front of a cosy campfire under the African stars with all its sounds of nature. All meals at the camp are freshly prepared by the camp’s head chef, offering buffet lunches and set à la cart dinners. The chef will also ensure that picnic meals are readily available for those who prefer to stay out in the bush all day long. Early morning tea or coffee can be served on your private tent verandah.

The camp is a fully solar powered, but a generator (well tucked away to ensure there is no noise pollution) is able to provide power in order to charge all cameras and equipment from the lounge  tent. Mara Bush Camp is not fenced, therefore Maasai ‘Moran’s’  (warriors) will look out for your safety while you are sleeping. There is a cow bell fixed outside your tent. You are asked to ring if you require any assistance or would like to have a waiter or bar service to your tent. You’re also required to ring the cow bell after dark and one of the Maasai will come to escort you to the dining and lounge tents.

A quantity of bottled drinking water is supplied in each tent on a daily basis. Please use this water also for brushing your teeth. Because Mara Bush camp is eco-friendly, only bucket showers are available.

The water is heated by paraffin burner and is treated and completely safe. 20 minutes notice is required to get the shower water ready and hot. In the morning, if you throw your towels on the floor, the steward will take them for washing.

Laundry can be done by the camp staff at a cost of approximately AUD 1.25 per item. Weather permitting, the item will be washed and ironed the same day and returned to you. Laundry items can be left in a basket in the tent and you must inform the camp manager before going on the morning game drive. Detergent is provided in all tents to wash any personal items (underwear).

All meals will be served in the main mess tent. Guests are requested to assemble in the main dining area by 7:45 PM so that can dinner can be served to everybody at 8 PM. Your meal plan includes breakfast, lunch and dinner during an overnight stay. Morning coffee and tea are normally served in the main mess tent, however the camp is happy to offer you early morning coffee and tea to be served at your tent. Just give your order to the waiter or camp manager the night before.

All beverages are sold at the lounge tent. The waiters will give you a voucher for all drinks consumed and will ask you to sign this and put your tent number on it. You will receive your final bill at the end of your stay, before your departure. You are requested to make payment in cash (Kenya shillings or US Dollars). Visa credit cards can now be accepted.

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