Mara Mara: Our full report
Located on a small hill close to the Mara River, Mara Mara is a smart tented camp in the northern Serengeti.It opened in July 2019 and provides a good base for those looking to see the wildebeest migration as part of a private guided safari.
Mara Mara is the sister property of Kubu Kubu and also Maramboi in Tarangire. When we visited Mara Mara in 2018 it was clear that the camp had been finished to the same high standards.
We really liked the location of Mara Mara, situated in the north east of the Serengeti, and close to the Mara River. Its elevated position provides panoramic views over the surrounding plains and it is ideally located for the wildebeest migration between July and October.
Mara Mara is split into two identical sections, north camp and south camp, each of which operate independently. Each camp consists of ten tented rooms with a separate lounge/dining area and swimming pool for each camp.
The safari tents are all named after common Swahili words such as ‘Habari?’ (the common greeting, meaning as ‘What news?’) and ‘Nzuri’ (‘good’). It is a nice touch and a fun way to help you learn some of the local language. We found the tents surprisingly spacious, with wooden floors, kingsize beds, a writing desk and couple of comfy armchairs. They feel fresh and modern, with swaths of cream fabric accented by splashes of purple and pale blue. Each tent opens out onto a wooden veranda with a couple of directors’ chairs, where you can watch for wildlife. The tents can be requested as doubles, twins or triples, and their size means that even as a triple they don’t feel crowded.
The en-suite bathrooms have free-standing baths, single wash basins and indoor/outdoor showers. Fluffy white towels and complimentary toiletries are provided.
Mara Mara also has two 2-bedroom bungalows which are suitable for a family or two couples travelling together.
The lounge and dining areas, in both the north and south camps, are circular thatched structures, reminiscent of the central area at Kubu Kubu. They’re dominated by a flagstone patio, each with a quirky hippo sculpture at its centre. On one side there are plenty of cosy sofas and low coffee tables laid out with photo books, while on the other side there’s a buffet bar. Outside, the large veranda is a lovely spot for a drink while taking in the views over the Serengeti plains.
Each camp has a sizeable infinity pool with sun loungers.
Mara Mara provides accommodation only, and most guests arrive with their own vehicle and guide as part of a privately guided safari. As the camp is located in the northern Serengeti it is too far to drive from the Ngorongoro Crater to Mara Mara in a single day. People will typically stay here as part of a longer itinerary, with a night or two in the central Serengeti before driving north to the Mara River district of the park.
Activities at Mara Mara revolve around game drives in the beautiful northern Serengeti. You can explore the rocky kopjes in search of leopards, or drive through open plains and along the banks of the Mara River keeping an eye out for lions and wildebeest. Between July and October the northern Serengeti typically plays host to the wildebeest migration, with thousands of animals gathering along the banks of the Mara. This can be a great time to visit and if you’re lucky you may see a river crossing. Alternatively, if you choose to visit in the non-migration season, the area is likely to feel even wilder and more remote, with few other vehicles around and ever-impressive resident wildlife.
If you’re looking for a comfortable camp, with beautiful views, in close proximity to the Mara River then Mara Mara is a great choice. We like the spacious tents and pool (relatively unusual in this region) and it works well as part of a longer safari combining multiple areas of the Serengeti.
Country manager: Tanzania
- Serengeti Migration Area, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- Stay three or four nights to explore the area and see the wildebeest migration
- Mara Mara is around a four-hour drive from the central Serengeti and around a 30-minute drive from Kogatende airstrip.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- We didn’t have the opportunity to eat at Mara Mara on our most recent visit in 2018, however we have eaten at the camp’s sister property, Kubu Kubu, and we understand the food to be comparable. We would expect copious fresh produce and tasty dishes.
Breakfast normally consists of a selection of fruit and pastries, with cooked items served as a buffet. You can also order pancakes and eggs to order.
Lunch can either be eaten in camp or taken with you if you’re going on a full-day safari. There is a lunch station set up each morning with a selection of bread rolls, cakes and fruit where guests can create their own lunch boxes. If you’re having lunch in camp, it will either be à la carte or as a buffet depending on the number of guests in camp.
Dinner is normally served ‘family style’, with dishes served to your table from which you then help yourself. You can expect a selection of fresh salads, vegetables and then a fish or meat option. Dessert is typically fresh fruit, or maybe a sticky cake.
- Wildlife safaris
- Located in the northern Serengeti, Mara Mara is in one of Tanzania’s best wildlife areas. You’ll see plenty of big cats and antelope throughout the year, and between July and October the camp is ideally located for the wildebeest migration.
- See ideas for Wildlife safaris
- Attitude towards children
- Mara Mara welcomes children of all ages.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- There are no specific facilities for children, although there are a number of board games to play and children are likely to enjoy the large swimming pool.
- Cots and high chairs can be provided on request.
- Generally recommended for children
- Mara Mara feels relaxed and unpretentious, and with two swimming pools and a couple of two-bedroom family bungalows we feel it works well for families with older children.
- The camp is unfenced and animals regularly wonder through the area. Parental supervision is required at all times, particularly around the swimming pool.
- Power supply notes
- Mara Mara uses a combination of solar power and a generator to provide 24-hour electricity. Hairdryers can’t be used.
- WiFi is available in the tents and central areas however this is restricted to 200MB of data per day unless you choose to purchase more via their network provider.
- TV & radio
- There are no TV’s at Mara Mara.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- There are flush toilets and plumbed showers.
Health & safety
- Medical care
- Staff are first-aid-trained and the camp has connections with a flying doctors service if needed.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- You are accompanied to and from your room after dark by Maasai guards and the same team are on duty throughout the night.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are present throughout the central area and in the tented rooms.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is available at a cost of around $1 per item. This is typically a 24-hour service.
- There are electronic safes in all the tents and small amounts of currency can be exchanged, including GB pounds and Euros.
- Accepted payment on location
- Mara Mara accepts all major currencies including US dollars, Euros and GB pounds. Most credit and debit cards are accepted, including MasterCard and Visa, although there is a surcharge of 5%.
Other lodges in Serengeti Migration Area
Alternative places to stay in this same area.