When someone mentions the ‘Masaai Mara’, what pops-in your mind? some may say the ‘Big Five’ animals, the Maasai warriors adored in traditional attires, the game drives in fancy safari land-cruisers, fine dining in the bush, the luxurious hotels & lodges, or the wildebeest great migration.
For those who don’t know, the Masaai Mara is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It’s located in the South-west of Kenya and shares a border with the Seregenti Game Reserve in Tanzania –offering a wildlife, cultural and Eco-system experience.
I recently ticked off Masaai Mara from my travel bucket-list; and I must say, for a first time visit, it surpassed my expectations. I traveled with a group of friends and we stayed at the ‘Spirit of the Masai Mara‘, a luxury boutique hotel tucked in the middle of the Siana Conservancy and 1.1 km from the main gate of the Masaai Mara Game Reserve (that is, the Sekenani gate).
The entire trip was for 4 days and 3 nights; traveled on a Friday and back on Monday. We hired a Nissan tour van for Ksh. 12,000 per day (rate was inclusive of vehicle, fuel and driver allowance). Our journey began from Nairobi and drove via Mai Mahiu – Narok – Kaplong -Mara Rd.
From Nairobi city to the ‘Spirit of the Masai Mara’ is around 285 km and it takes about 5 -6 hour by road. Best vehicle to travel to the Mara is a 4×4; the road is tarmacked from Nairobi to Kaplong; but from Kaplong to the Mara it’s 100 km of dirt-bumpy road and I must admit, it doesn’t get more safari than that!
If you don’t like travelling by road, then you can opt to fly from Nairobi using the local flights from Wilson Airport; flying takes around 40-45 minutes.
EN-ROUTE TO THE MAASAI MARA
We can all agree, the best part of road trips is the option to stop-over and take quick selfies or buy souvenirs like we did; we bought these cool cowboy hats at the view-point -Mai-Mahiu road.
THE HOTEL EXPERIENCE
The ‘Spirit of the Masai Mara’ is located in Siana conservancy, and so on our way to the hotel we saw an array of wild animals– giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, warthog and gazelles! It was truly a spectacular welcome gift. When we arrived at the hotel, we were led to the reception area where we received scent-infused cold towels and refreshments. After an easy check – in and a quick briefing, we were escorted to our rooms by cheerful porters.
TOUR OF THE HOTEL
This lovely boutique hotel really impressed me; all furnishings were definitely of high quality. The view from the reception is stunning! Green acacia trees, dry bushes, and waterhole close by to view wild animals. There’s also an infinity pool overlooking the conservancy; absolutely amazing!!
I will now show you photos because there’s no other way to emphasize the beauty of the ‘Spirit of the Masai Mara’.
While at the ‘Spirit of the Maasai Mara’ we got to swim in their infinity pool, enjoy a full-day game drive at the Masai Mara Game reserve, experience fine dining in the bush (breakfast and lunch) and relish the Mara sunset–and this truly made our Mara experience extra special!
I will write a detailed post about our full-day game drive experience, the Mara sunset and dining in the bush because they all deserve a post on their own! However, here is a teaser…enjoy!
The ‘Spirit of the Masai Mara’ is a great place to stay; its location is superb–surrounded by nature at its best. There’s a private waterhole around 200 meters from the hotel allowing you to see the wild animals as you sip your favorite drink or as you relax on the patio. The infinity pool plus the bathtub in the room overlooking the conservancy was certainly one of the highlights of my trip.
There are 10 suites which are nicely situated, comfortable and I liked the special details added to it–there were small fresh flowers that adored the bed. All the rooms have a front porch area where you can enjoy the view and relax. As for the food, they had an extensive spread and each night there was a chef’s special which was pretty amazing!
The hotel organised game drives and we got to see loads of wild animals; then in the evening we enjoyed a private bonfire while viewing the magnificent sunset and sipping on classic cocktails. It was truly a trip of a lifetime.
The ‘Spirit of the Masai Mara’ is perfect for small private functions, honeymooners, or for a weekend gateway.
To book this lovely place, you can contact email@example.com or through their website www.spiritofthemasaimara.com
A special thanks to Nadja and Justin for making our trip memorable; as it was my first time in the Maasai Mara, you truly exceeded my expectations.
Well, that’s it guys! I’d love to hear from you what you think about the ‘Spirit of the Masai Mara’. Is it a place you’d want to visit? What do you think about my stay? or have you already been there? Please leave a comment below.
Thank you xx
Photography by Cedric Mungai