Where to Stay in the Maasai Mara: 11 Best Safari Camps and Lodges
Published on: December 20th, 2018
Last modified: July 27th, 2023
The Maasai Mara is one of the best destinations in Africa for an unforgettable safari. Located on the southwest side of Kenya, it’s the setting of the legendary Great Migration and an ideal place to spot the Big Five. Although July to October is the peak season to witness the famous river crossings, it’s also full of spectacular wildlife all year round.
The Maasai Mara has a wide range of excellent accommodation, from luxury lodges to tented safari camps. Whether you’re planning a romantic honeymoon or a fun family trip, there’s something here for everyone. Each place offers exclusive activities like game drives, walking safaris, hot air balloon rides and cultural excursions – just to name a few.
Which Part of the Maasai Mara Is Best?
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is part of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, known for its expansive plains and the Maasai people who inhabit them. You can choose to stay within the reserve itself to be at the centre of all the action, or in one of the surrounding Mara Conservancies for a more exclusive experience.
The southwestern region of the reserve, known as the Mara Triangle, is the first place that animals arrive during the Great Migration. It’s a less-crowded and quieter area that still provides privileged access to wildlife, making it a top choice amongst our travel designers.
How Many Days Do You Need in the Maasai Mara?
If you’re only staying at one safari camp, four nights is usually enough time to enjoy the area. However, we highly recommend visiting a couple of different camps for the full experience. If you want to stay at two or more places, we suggest spending at least three nights at each.
The Best Luxury Safari Camps and Lodges in the Maasai Mara
To help you get inspired and plan your perfect trip, we’ve asked our team of expert travel designers to share their favourite places to stay in the Maasai Mara. Here are our top picks, including details about who they’re best for and the reasons why we love them.
1. Sala’s Camp
Set on the banks of the Sand River, Sala’s Camp provides the perfect balance between privacy and proximity to wildlife. This tranquil corner of the Maasai Mara reserve is a short drive away from the iconic river crossings. The camp offers exceptional views and luxurious tents designed for both couples and families, plus plenty of activities for kids.
2. Angama Mara
For unparalleled views of the plains, Angama Mara is the place to be. Perched atop an escarpment overlooking the reserve, it provides direct access to the Mara Triangle. Honeymooners and families alike will enjoy the minimalist suites and panoramic views from private viewing decks and floor-to-ceiling windows.
3. Angama Safari Camp
There’s something incredibly special about staying right in the heart of the Maasai Mara, with nothing but canvas walls separating you from the wilderness. That’s what you’ll experience at Angama Safari Camp, a sole-use space that’s best for small groups or couples. It operates seasonally from July to late September.
4. Mara Plains Camp
For a truly exclusive safari experience, consider a stay at Mara Plains Camp in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy. Its opulent elevated suites offer breathtaking views of the surroundings, and the food and service are top-notch. Our travel designers recommend it for couples and photographers, although it also has a wonderful family suite.
5. Mahali Mzuri
With 12 comfortable tents scattered across a scenic hillside, Mahali Mzuri is a modern oasis in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. Two of its tents are designed specifically for travellers age 6–15, making it a fantastic choice for family trips. We highly suggest a tour of a nearby Maasai village to meet the residents and learn about their culture.
6. Little Governors’ Camp
This was one of the first camps established in the Maasai Mara, lending it a classic feel to complement its cosy atmosphere. Little Governors’ Camp boasts a prime location for observing wildlife and the Great Migration, plus its own launch site for hot air balloon safaris – an experience you’ll remember forever.
7. Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Located just outside of the reserve in a private concession, Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp offers incredible views of the Maasai Mara and up-close access to the Great Migration. It’s an especially good choice during the early part of the migration season in July and August. It’s also one of our travel designers’ favourite spots for a family vacation.
8. Naboisho Camp
If you’re after an exhilarating adventure, Naboisho Camp will be a dream come true. This classic tented camp is off the beaten track in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, and offers thrilling activities like off-road drives and fly camping. After an exciting day, you can relax in a sumptuous suite with outstanding personalised service.
9. Richard's River Camp
With just five tents – each outfitted with modern comforts and antique touches – Richard’s River Camp is an optimal choice for couples or friends travelling together. It provides an incredibly intimate experience in the remote Olare Orok Conservancy, where you’ll be surrounded by lions, hippos and many other majestic species.
10. Serian ‘The Original’
At Serian ‘The Original’ it’s all about the details. This renowned safari camp in the Mara North Conservancy provides a private vehicle and guide for every group of guests, and is known for its exceptional walking safaris. Its five tents are spacious, simple and elegant. According to our travel designers, this is an especially great spot for photography enthusiasts.
11. Rekero Camp
It’s hard to imagine a better place to experience the Great Migration than Rekero Camp, which is located right in the middle of the Maasai Mara. Even outside of the peak season it’s still a prime destination for wildlife viewing. This camp is particularly well known for its highly trained expert guides, who will happily share their extensive knowledge of the land and the wildlife.