Large walk in ol kinyei

4 Day Masai Mara Bush Camping Safari

Camp out in the bush in this back to basics mobile camping safari with some of the best naturalist guides in the Mara.

Tailor-made Adventure 4 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

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Itinerary

Overview

This safari is about as far removed from the mass produced minibus and tourist lodge package safari as it is possible to be. Nights are spent camping out in the bush in private conservancies far, far from the crowds. It is important to understand this is camping at its simplest, most adventurous form. You’ll be sleeping in small modern dome tents and spending the night around the camp fire.

Game drives are split between the stunning Ol Kinyei private conservancy on which the camp is located and the Masai Mara Reserve (famed for endless rolling grasslands, big cats and the wildebeest migration). Ol Kinyei has some of the finest wilderness that the Mara Serengeti eco system has to offer. This is pristine wilderness with open savannah plains, riverine forest, springs, streams and rivers, rolling hills and spectacular views across the Mara.

The beauty of camping on a private conservancy is that you can really connect with the landscape on bush walks with local Masai guides and night drives (perfect for seeing the big cats at their most active), both of which aren't possible in the main Masai Mara reserve. And at the end of a long day, you can enjoy the simplicity of life camping out in the bush, sitting around the camp fire at night, enjoying the stars, the peace and the very real sense of wilderness.

Day-by-day

Day 1: Light aircraft flight from Nairobi Wilson to the Mara, where you will be transferred to Ol Kinyei (140 miles, 4 hours) arriving for lunch. Relax in camp before heading out on an afternoon game drive in the conservancy to see some of the wildlife for which the Mara is famous. Return to camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Wake up at dawn and enjoy an early game drive in the conservancy on the look out for the big cats, returning to camp for a late breakfast followed by an escorted nature walk and then lunch. In the afternoon enjoy another gamedrive in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy with a night drive as you head back to camp driving in the dark with a spotlight for the chance to see the nocturnal animals. Dinner and overnight at camp in Ol Kinyei.

Day 3: An early breakfast followed by a full day of game viewing in the Mara Reserve, taking a picnic lunch. Return to the camp in the late afternoon for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: A final short early morning game drive in the conservancy followed by breakfast and then leave camp for the short flight back to Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Wilderness bush camping
- Excellent wildlife & guiding
- Back to basics

Details

Getting there

Kenya has international airports in Nairobi (Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta NBO) and Mombassa (Mombasa Moi International MBA) which are around 8 hours flying time from the UK. Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Air Kenya fly regular direct services to Nairobi. Return tickets usually range from £550 to £850 depending on when you are travelling. If you are willing to put up with the inconvenience then cheaper tickets can usually be purchased with a stop from Qatar Airways, Ethiopian and Emirates.

Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport is a ½ hr 16km drive from Nairobi City Centre, but traffic is often very congested.

Price includes

Price Includes - Return Flights Nairobi Wilson Airport - Mara, met and transfer to Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy, spend 3 nights. On the last day, transfer to Siana or Ol Seki Airstrip to board morning flight to Wilson Airport. Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp is based on full board basis, mineral water, return airstrip transfers, daily Ol Kinyei & Naboisho Conservancy fees and one day Masai Mara Game Reserve entrance fee, day & night shared game drives in open sided 4x4 safari vehicle with qualified guide, sundowners and walks with Maasai warriors.

Price excludes - international flights, Visa, travel insurance, all drinks other than mineral water - drinks can be bought en route to the camps, any tips or gratuities and any items of a personal nature.

When is best?

Undoubtedly the best time to visit the Masai Mara is during the wildebeast migration in June, July and August. However it is still more than worth a visit during the rest of the year. The only exception being towards the end of the long rains in April and May when the roads often become impassable.

The migration (late June, July, August and early September): Mid June usually heralds the arrival of the wildebeest migration and this is without doubt the time to visit the park. There are of course disadvantages of all the wildlife – they bring with them hoardes of tourists and high prices. So if your idea of a safari is desolate wilderness this is not the time to visit the Maasai Mara.
The short rains (late September, October, November): This season is known as the short rains. A little rain falls during these months, usually early in the morning or late in the evening, but nothing to hamper your enjoyment of the Maasai Mara. The roads in the park are also fine.
The dry season (December, January, February, Early March): This is also a good time to visit. There is no rain and a good chance of seeing wildlife as it gathers round watering holes. As with the rest of the year, you still have a good chance of seeing all the big game; lion, elephant, crocodile, buffalo, wildebeest, hippo …
The long rains (late March, April, May, early June): This is the down season in the park. With regular rain falling pretty much every day. The weather tends to settle into a pattern of rain in the evenings, overnight and mornings. It tends to clear up around 10am and start raining again around 3pm. The big problem is the state of the roads in the reserve, many of which can become impassable even for 4wds. This tends to effect the smaller tracks rather than the main roads running through the park Still, despite the rains, many frugle travellers choose this time of year to snap up bargain rates at high end lodges. Often at rates less than half what you would pay in the high season.

Is it for me?

This is not for everyone. But if you are willing to (or even like us, enjoy it) camp out in the bush and are less fussed about five star thrills than superb wildlife guiding and wilderness then this will be right up your street.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 494 reviews

(4.96/5)

  • The trip was amazing everything was better than we could have imagined.
    There was a moment climbing the mount Kenya where my wife accused me of tricking her into doing this (half kidding) as some of the nights got pretty cold, but we were dressed well and the sunrise at the peak was astonishing.
    Safari was spectacular, Ben who was our main guide and driver was awesome! We saw everything excepts rhinos which were more of a hope than a reality. We also were able to watch a rock python eat a Thompson gazel live. It was one of the most interesting and unsettling things I have ever seen.
    Just overall, so many moments that make you think wow or I can't believe I am here. Thank you for your help in getting everything set up. I don't believe I could have booked the trip without your help and guidance. It was an amazing way to start our marriage and truly the trip of a lifetime!

    MissingWilliam K reviewing 11 Day Mount Kenya Trek and Masai Mara Safari Combined on 29 October 2018

  • Speke's camp was absolutely ideal - small and personal, with great hosts. We'd definitely recommend the "tented safari" experience to others. The kid's didn't miss having a pool (too interested in Safari). Speke's camp give you your own landrover and driver/guide, which gave us great flexibility (much better I suspect than what is offered by some of the larger camps). Our guide was brilliant. See below for the review we just posted on rip Advisor.

    I think the only negative of the trip was getting through Nairobi airport (multiple security checks, and they ask you to "board" two hours in advance, which in fact means going into crowded transit lounge with no facilities), but there's not anything anyone can do about that

    It's also worth saying that Peponi really is a unique experience. It's a proper East African institution, with all the locals dropping into the bar. It's the perfect antidote to anyone wanting to get away from the soulless all inclusive resorts which could be absolutely anywhere in the world (which seem to be a bit of a feature of Zanzibar). Lamu is still amazingly undeveloped.

    We stayed at Speke's camp for 4 nights in August 2018 - a family of two adults and two children. For us it was the perfect location to experience the Mara. The camp is only a short drive outside the main Mara reserve and is in an amazingly picturesque location, set by a small river in the shade of trees. Wildlife roams near (and sometimes through!) the camp. You get to feel very close to nature when you have a buffalo rooting up grass just outside your tent in the middle of the night!

    The camp itself is small and has a very personal feel to it. There are only eight or so guest tents, so you get to meet everyone passing through. One of the great pleasures was getting to chat to other guests over the evening meal or round the camp fire, swapping stories of the day's sightings. If you do want a little more privacy, then it's absolutely fine to eat in your own group.

    Whilst you do sleep and eat under canvas, it is an extremely civilised experience: the beds are comfy (with hot water bottles provided to ward off the chill of the evenings); there are bucket showers which sound much more primitive than they really are; the communal area is very elegantly laid out; tea is brought to the tent before setting out on early morning game drives, and the food was fantastic.

    What really makes the experience however are the wonderful hosts. Both Adrian and Veronique made a real effort to get to know us and ensure we were well looked after; and it's certainly worth picking Adrian's brains on the history of the region (it's not called Speke's camp for nothing)

    The final word must go to our wonderful guide/driver Ambrose and our Masai spotter Marco. It was a real privilege to have our own land-rover and to be shown the reserve by such knowledgeable and charming individuals. Ambrose is a proper naturalist, can identify a lilac breasted roller at 200 yards, and knows where to see the best wildlife without simply following other trucks. On our final afternoon, with 30 minutes before we had to leave the Mara Triangle, we had seen every animal and bird that was on our wish list (including a live Cheetah kill), but had not seen a rhino. Marco saw a speck on the horizon, Ambrose drove like the clappers and as a parting gift we were able to see this most elusive animal up close. Notwithstanding all the awe-inspiring nature, I think my wife's personal highlight was driving the land rover back to amp along the dirt track through herds of zebra and ambling giraffe. A truly amazing experience all round.

    MissingJonathan I reviewing Laikipia & Masai Mara Safari on 24 August 2018

  • Everything was exceptionally well arranged and the whole trip, from checking in on line and printing out the outward journey boarding cards from home, until return to Heathrow, was completely seamless.

    Although arriving slightly earlier than scheduled, we didn't have to wait before being collected at Nairobi by Elijah, our guide and Samuel the driver. On being told that we had hardly slept at all on the outward journey, they took us to a small B&B place they use (sorry, I've forgotten the name of the place) and we were able to rest/sleep for some 3 hours before setting off on our adventure. This was very much appreciated by us as that first day was full on after that.

    They looked after us really well and both were very knowledgeable and good company and were flexible to our needs, with nothing being too much trouble for them.

    The accommodation you picked for us was spot on. We were particularly taken with Sunbird Lodge (I could have spent the whole week there if it were not for being on the move due to the nature of the trip), which was quite informal and extremely friendly. We then moved on to the Maji Moto Eco Camp, where again everything was fine. Having stayed in similar places before, at my age now, the one night suited well and I was surprised when Dan was so taken with the place that he would have liked to stay another night! I think the camp fire might have had something to do with it. The visit to the school was also well worth it from Dan's perspective.

    On then to Ilkeliani and I concur with what you say about it being so well priced for what it offers, that it is a good recommendation. This was slightly more formal at mealtimes than Sunbird Lodge but nevertheless, the staff were equally friendly. As adults, both my husband and myself enjoyed the food although the feedback I provided on their customer satisfaction questionnaire was that perhaps the evening meals could possibly have slight variations for children. We didn't see any signs of the suspended footbridge and as we didn't ask about it, I don't know whether it's still there or not.

    I have to say that the beds in both Sunbird and Ilkeliani were very, very, comfortable.

    The Mayfair Southern Sun was again a good choice although I think the room we had was perhaps a standard twin room. There were two what I call "three quarters" sized beds, i.e. larger than a single but not quite a double bed size, which meant it was a bit of a squeeze for 2 persons in one bed.

    Both the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary were ideal additions to the itinerary. We had a 10 year old who was reluctant to leave Kenya!

    MissingMartha Ann Eileen C reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 14 May 2018

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

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'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $916 per person economy class from London

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'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $916 per person economy class from London

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