travel guide Masai Mara

Roho Ya Chui, Swahili for "soul of leopard", your partner for innovative training solutions in combination with safari packages and wildlife photography.

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M a s a i M a r a & W e s t e r n K e n ya M a s a I M a R a M a s a i M a r a & W e s t e r n K e n ya s l E E P I N g M a s a i M a r a & W e s t e r n K e n ya o l a R E - o R o K c o N s E R V a N c y Olare-Orok Conservancy Established in 2006 (as Olare Motorogi), this is now one of the longest established and most successful of the conservancies. It also has one of the highest concentrations of animals, including loads of predators, and the lowest densities of tourists – just one tent for every 280 hectares. 4 Sleeping oMara Plains TENTED caMP $$$ (; s/d all- inclusive Us$1150/2300; W ) S This utterly captivating camp has a dozen tents – sorry, palaces – in which the beds and showers are carved from old wooden railway sleep- ers and quality rugs laze across the floors. The highlight for most, though, are the big, free-standing brass bathtubs overlooking a river of wallowing hippos. The food is some of the best of any of the camps and the manager-hosts are charmers. As an added bonus, each tent is supplied with a box of high-quality Canon camera equipment and binoculars to borrow. Kicheche Bush TENTED caMP $$$ (% Nairobi 020-2493569;; s/d full board Us$925/1580) S Run with the kind of casual efficiency that brings guests back again and again, Kicheche Bush has six well-spaced, enormous tents set with- in a light fringe of trees, beyond which stretches some of the most reliably impres- sive wildlife countryside in the whole Mara region. Olarro Conservancy The private Olarro Conservancy has been around for a while, but never really worked in the past. Today, with new management and investment the conservancy is quickly coming into its own, with lots of wildlife now present. 4 Sleeping Olarro Lodge loDgE $$$ (Dubai +971-43253322, lodge 0737463731; www.; s/d all-inclusive Us$490/840; W s ) The only accommodation option within the conservancy is this sublime lodge halfway up a lightly forested hill. This is one of the most luxurious places to stay in all the region, with highlights including the interconnecting pools, the giant fire pit surrounded by cushions, the superb food and a terrace with views that go for kilometres. Its other unique feature is the night safaris using high-tech night-vision binocu- lars – you'll never step foot outside of your tent in the dark again after using these! Olderikesi Conservancy In the far southeast of the Mara region, on the border of Tanzania and the famous Serengeti, the Olderikesi Conservancy cov- ers around 8000 hectares. Though it's been in existence for many years, the conservan- cy's managers will openly say that it's only since 2011 that everything has clicked into place and the conservancy has started func- tioning as they hoped it would. One of the most exclusive of the Mara conservancies, it's also one of the richest in wildlife, including large numbers of lions. 4 Sleeping oCottar's 1920s Camp TENTED caMP $$$ (% 0733773378;; s/d full board Us$1184/1974; s ) One of the most remote camps in the greater Mara region, Cottar's, owned by a legendary safari family, induces a misty-eyed sense of longing from those lucky enough to have visited. As the name suggests, the enormous tents are dressed up like a well- to-do 1920s gentleman, with all manner of colonial and safari memorabilia. But there's more to Cottar's than just el- egant style. There's some of the best food of any camp, a beautiful pool, fantastic guides and a host of activities for children. Siana Group Ranch and Conservancy This vast conservancy contains a huge ar- ray of habitats, including heavily forested mountain slopes, gunky swamps and open grasslands, which means there's plenty of wildlife to be found. The conservancy man- agers are still going through the fine print with the local Maasai so the way the con- servancy functions may change. 4 Sleeping Sekenani Camp TENTED caMP $$$ (% Nairobi 020-891169;; s/d all inclusive Us$288/462; W s ) S Set with- in a jungly tangle of trees and waterways 1 2 3

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