'Mara Plains was the best safari of my life.'
Mara Plains Camp has six attractive, spacious, octagonal tented rooms stand on raised decks along the Ntiakatek River, barely obtruding through the tree line. Each has an enormous, comfortable double bed, chairs, generous clothes storage and ample, flexible lighting, as well as a large bathroom with double basin, mirrors, shower and flush loo. The 100% natural soap has a lovely scent. Three of the best field guides for Kenya are in your room to add to your safari experience.
When it’s warm and calm, you can enjoy a panoramic view from your tent through the floor-to-ceiling netted windows. The deck in front of each is large, with comfortable seating, and makes a great spot to enjoy watching the birds feeding in the river or the game in the plains beyond.
The meals are delicious and varied, both in substance and in setting. Juicy fresh fruits, cereals, toast and the full English cooked breakfast are on offer in the morning, with a choice of aromatic Kenyan coffee, tea or herbal infusions. Lunch is usually served outside, under the shade of the trees, and is a 3-course meal like carrot and ginger soup, fried fish and sautéed vegetables and frozen banana parfait. The chef will prepare a salad, if you prefer, or you can ask Richard for a children’s portion. Dinner may be served in the main dining area, or beyond the bonfire, overlooking the plains, to the sounds of the hippo grazing the grass as you savour your meal.
What is unusual about Mara Plains’ meals is that they are supremely flexible so that you can have the optimal safari. You can go out at dawn carrying a slice of hot buttered toast and a piece of fruit, with hot drinks and snacks on the vehicle and know that you can eat when you get back or that a meal will be brought out to the vehicle. I was surprised by the difference a hot cup of tea can make when you are watching a cheetah survey the surrounding grassland and you know she is going to hunt.