The Masai Mara has been a hit among documentary filmmakers and serious photographers for years – ‘Out of Africa’ and BBC’s ‘Big Cat Diaries’ were both filmed here. Not for nothing has the Reserve been called ‘Hollywood Africa’ – the loveliness of the landscape and the fortuitous accessibility of the animals almost seems too surreal to be true.
Nkorombo, our mobile camp, is snugly nestled in a private campsite on the Mara River – it strikes the balance just right between the wealth of life and energy that comes with being on the water, and the hidden-away seclusion of not having to share it with too many others.
Serian sits within the 80,000 acres of Mara North Conservancy, to which only a handful of others have access. Exclusive and private, we are one of the founding members and management. Off-road and night-driving, riding and walking are all great ways to explore this zone. What’s remarkable here is Nature’s opulence: the landscape ranges from secret knots of woodland to wide open plains, to caches of rocks and boulders, to flat expanses of vastness, edged by sharp inclines of escarpment. For kids and older people especially, the ease of having everything right on your doorstep means you don’t have to drive all day – an early morning expedition yields plenty. As the sun’s rays extend, tender shoots glisten with jewel-like dew and the mist lifts off the forested areas, unveiling frisky antelope revelling in the day’s freshness. Like portly Cinderellas, hippo plod back to the mud after a night under the stars, and hyena slope across the savannah to sleep off a night of cackling and whooping. Cruise on a little further, and you might see the big cats the Mara is famous for, basking and golden as the sun gathers strength.
The Mara North Conservancy was set up to ensure that its Masai landowners profit directly from the tourism that the Conservancy attracts… Camps pay land rent, employ locally, and bring in tourists paying park fees: all sources of income that forestall the use of land for, say, development or agriculture instead. It also showcases the (monetary) profits of keeping the Mara pristine and wild, without just being about preservation for preservation’s sake.
Ngare Serian takes it a step up on the exclusivity ladder: perched on the edge of Mara North Conservancy, it borders our own personal 1,500 acres, which is ours to use for spectacular walking. The intimacy and seclusion of this little camp is beautifully complemented by the luxury of a slice of wilderness where you won’t see another soul.
It’s a hop and a skip away from Nairobi, a cinch to combine with the coast and Serengeti, a pleasantly comfortable climate, and abundant game teeming on your doorstep. What’s not to love?
KG EATEN PER DAY
FEET FROM HORN TO HOOF
MEMBERS OF SERIAN’S “RIVER PRIDE”
ACRES OF PRIVATE WALKING AREA
ACRES MARA NORTH CONSERVANCY