Encounter Mara: The Lowdown

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Encounter Mara is a friendly little camp on the Naboisho Conservancy, perfect for those who don’t want too much fuss and frills, and a focus on good game viewing.

What’s Encounter Mara really like?

Encounter has just ten luxury safari tents, set amongst the acacia forest and looking out towards the open grasses beyond. Each tent has been carefully designed with your bed looking out to the view, and tucked on the side is your bathroom with flushing loo and bucket shower. There are family tents, each with a double and a twin room joined by a shared sitting room. Each bedroom has its own bathroom. However, apart from sleeping and the odd early afternoon on the verandah, we don’t imagine you’ll be spending too much time in your tent.

Guests tend to make the most of the main areas of camp- the cosy sitting tent, the deck overlooking the salt pan, and the dining tent- though the latter often goes unused in favour of eating outdoors.  These days one of the biggest dilemmas for safari camps is wifi- whether to embrace the online world, or keep the sense of wilderness intact. Encounter Mara has done a good job of combining the two, with a small wifi tent tucked away from the rest of camp.

What can I do at Encounter Mara?

Encounter Mara’s main activity is game driving on the Naboisho Conservancy, usually heading out morning and afternoon and returning to camp for lunch. Should you wish to try to catch the wildebeest migration you can also book a game drive in the public Mara Reserve- you just need to make sure we know in advance so the additional park fee is included. There are also night drives, and walking safaris on offer here, though we’d say the real strength of this camp is in the game drives rather than the walks. Lastly, while you might well see Maasai herders out on the plains, if you wish to learn a little more about the Maasai way of life, you can also visit the local community- your hosts and owners of the conservancy. There’s a small extra fee payable for this which goes to the community.

Between June and October you can also try out a night’s fly camping from Encounter Mara. This does come at a bit of an extra charge and needs to be pre-booked, but for those who want to experience the sense of adventure, remoteness and wilderness of walking out from Encounter Mara and sleeping in a small dome tent in the middle of no-where, fly camping is unforgettable.

Lastly, as a special treat, we can arrange a visit to the Mara Elephant Project, learning about their work to reduce human-wildlife conflict, and to protect elephants from poaching. This can also be combined with a visit the rhino sanctuary. Both activities need to be booked in advance and have an extra fee.

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