Reviews of Mara Plains Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
11 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Mara Plains Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Very Special Place!"
Now onto the camp itself. We knew once we drove up and were greeted by huge waves in the distance that we were in for a treat. Sam and Becky are the lodge managers and they are such an incredible couple. Becky has a background in wildlife photography, while Sam owned and operated one of Sun Valley’s best restaurants for many years, so they couldn’t be a better fit for running a place like Mara Plains. They are warm, welcoming, and ultimately want to ensure you have the best stay ever. We were also lucky enough to be at the camp when the owners Dereck and Beverly were there, as well as David, the manager of all of the Great Plains East Africa camps. It’s very clear that what Sam and Becky exude comes straight from the top - and trickles down to all of the staff at the camp.
Dereck, Beverly, and David were some of the kindest people we’ve ever met who spent time chatting with us and were eager to hear about our trip. On top of that, we ended up needing to spend an extra night at Mara Plains when our SafariLink flight back to Nairobi got cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather. Derek, Beverly, David, Sam, Becky and Jackson all showed great concern about how we were going to get home, whether we could sort out new flights, and very graciously and generously welcomed us back to the camp for an additional night. The concern they displayed really blew us away and sincerely moved us to know that they cared so much and were so eager to help. That gesture alone will make us loyal Great Plains guests whenever we return to Africa. However, that gesture wasn’t all that impressed us with Mara Plains.
As I mentioned above, the kindness and care clearly trickles down from the top at Mara Plains. Every person at the camp goes above and beyond to make your stay special. The servers, including Richard, Sammy, and Alex, were all incredible. They remembered your name right away, and also remembered your preferred drink and coffee order. The room attendants (special shoutout to Nelson) made sure your room was always perfect, with fresh towels, made beds, turndown service, prompt laundry delivery, etc. There was an additional level of luxury at Mara Plains, with small details like being offered a cold towel and drink upon return from game drives. Everyone made it very clear that no ask was too much. One example is that every night they have three or four dinner entrees to select from, but they made it very clear that if you wanted ANYTHING else, they would make you whatever you wanted. We didn’t take them up on that, but I think it’s an indication of just how much they are willing to do for you. Their bar is very well stocked and if there’s a specific bottle of wine you want them to open (the selection in incredible!), they will happily do so.
On the subject of food, we found the food to be delicious. Breakfast was fairly consistent each morning with a selection of fruit, breads, eggs, and bacon/sausage. Sam and Becky asked if you had and requests or tweaks you’d like to see in what they pack for you, but we were very happy every day. Lunch was a highlight. There was generally a variety of vegetable dishes and one meat dish that were served as a buffet (with the staff serving) or plated for you. The food was incredibly inventive, SO good, and as a bonus, healthy! Dinner was a three course affair, in which you picked your entree before you headed out for your evening game drive. There’s nothing to complain about from a food perspective at Mara Plains, and no shortage of food either. Despite feeling like I was constantly eating, the food was all very healthy, so I didn’t leave feeling gross - major points for that!
Mara Plains is a special place, but the people are what really make it the most special. I highly recommend a visit here - I know we are looking forward to returning to Mara Plains or at the very least another property in the Great Plains family when we return to Africa! Thank you to the entire Mara Plains family for making our stay one we will never forget!" See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
"Wonderful, intimate camp "
Our tent overlooking the Conservancy was beyond beautiful, the service excellent and the food very good.
Special mention to Sandra, who I believe was serving as interim manager, and went out of her way to make sure our needs were met and special requests fulfilled.
Finally, our guide Edwin was superb, with a great eye for game but also a deep knowledge of African ecosystems that made him one of the very best guides we have had in our four safaris in five African countries." See all these reviews: 15n in Kenya
"Luxury & service in 3 words Mara Plains Camp"
"Mara Plains Perfection"
Tents evoked 1920s Africa in intricate detail -- a real wow factor when you walk in for the first time. Food was superb, especially curries, sundowners served with savories, in room wifi made all the difference especially when communicating with family long distance early or late. Not pertinent to Mara Plains however, the trip from Sayari to Mara Plains could have been made clearer on my agenda -- no mention of bus, fly to Tarime then through immigration entering Kenya Migori -- all very confusing.
Also no mention that the Kenyans demanded a YELLOW FEVER CERTIFICATE in Migori ( i had one from my trip to Zambia and I thought, what the hell, I will bring it) -- had I not brought it, I would not have been able to enter Kenya!!" See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 4n in Kenya
The food was first class as was the service and a great guide. Perhaps the only thing I would say was that the guide had a bit of a fixation with cats of which we saw lots, but to be fair, he also got us a great location to see a migration crossing so overall first class too. The staff even drove out and delivered lunch so we did not miss any of the wildebeest crossing! Everyone was excellent and could not do enough.
The camp is very small and intimate with just a few rooms which suited us fine. It was great to have a private vehicle for every drive.
In common with most camps, animals are free to roam in and out and they did at night which provided some interesting noises.
Overall this camp was hard to fault and would highly recommend to anyone." See all these reviews: 16n in Tanzania; 4n in Kenya
"Mara Plains review"
It was also a great treat to be able (very inexpertly) to have a go at using the high spec camera along with the Swarovski binoculars that the camp made available to us. If pushed, I suppose that the only very small negative about our stay was the slight air of mystery which seemed to apply to meal times, which did tend initially at least to make one feel one had got the wrong end of the stick and had arrived hours too early; the Askari and other staff also seemed slightly more reserved than had been the case at Rekero.
But these are really just comments rather than criticisms, and one thing we appreciated in particular was the camp’s flexibility on meal choices. Above all however we enjoyed meeting the camp’s relief managers Ken and Michelle, who were really fascinating to talk to and both the kindest of hosts." See all these reviews: 10n in Kenya
"Mara Plains Camp review"
The service was extremely personalised and they always made us feel at home. Quality of the food was exceptional, despite the fact that were were on strict diets.
Our ranger was incredible and we had the most intimate sightings. They also arrange forward trips was us to see flamingoes and Rhinos." See all these reviews: 3n in Kenya
You share a vehicle with fellow guests although on our stay all guests had a separate land cruiser.
We stayed in room 6 with exceptional views across the plains.
Game viewing was very good especially big cats; lions, leopards and cheetah as well as local proximity to migration crossing points of the Mara River.
We are likely to return and also visit other Great Plains camps." See all these reviews: 10n in Kenya
Safari was fantastic. Room service not quite so good - a few minor glitches. The tent itself was lovely but lacked a few amenities such as a proper mirror some brighter lighting when you needed it. Also no hairdryer in the tent - we had to ask for it. Having said that the service out on safari was very good with packed breakfasts and lunches being brought to us. It feels that they worked really hard to deliver a very personal service and large achieved this but just fell short on a few basics.
Food was great as was the company, though. Cameras being provided also very useful." See all these reviews: 8n in Kenya
The camp wasn’t previously aware of a problem with the large mirrors above the wash basins and at the dressing table. But they have now noted this issue, and it is something they will look into in order to improve the rooms. Mr and Mrs F did ask for brighter lighting and an extra lamp was added on the first evening.
"Mara Plains Camp review"
Our guide, Kevin, was excellent and we enjoyed many sightings in the conservancy and in the Maasai Mara Reserve." See all these reviews: 12n in Kenya
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