Mahali Mzuri – All-Inclusive
What We Love
- An awe-inspiring, all-inclusive stay, with transfers, game drives, and a luxe tented suite
- Soaking in the bath of your tented suite, drink in hand, as you gaze out over the Olare Motorogi Conservancies
- Having two game drives included for each day of your stay
- The little details; think cold towels at the airstrip, sunscreen by the pool, a stocked minibar in your tent
What To Know
- The 12 luxe tents take glamping to the extreme
- Located on 33,000 acres of game land
- There's an infinity pool and Nasaro spa; we love the Africology Shea Aromatherapeutics treatment using shea balms from Ghana blended with African potato, Rooibos, and a selection of Neroli, Chamomile, Jasmine or Black Pepper essential oils
- It's an hour-long flight from Nairobi to the private airstrip
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
As you’d expect from a member of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition collection, Mahali Mzuri safari camp in the Maasai Mara in Kenya is one of the slickest safari camps you’re likely to come across. Situated a private conservation area, approximately an hour’s flight due west of Nairobi, it’s right in the heart of the wildlife-rich plains, ensuring a high chance of spotting some spectacular wildlife. This is not camping as you know it; this isn’t even boutique camping, but something far superior. A crop of just 12 stylish, space-age structures on the lush green hillside, the luxury tents boast wooden floors, a plush en-suite bathroom, heaps of living space and a raised patio with a view of the bush and beyond. You’ll have access to the luxe facilities, which include the dining, lounge and bar area, a 40-foot infinity pool with a sunbathing deck and the Nasaro spa treatment room, offering Africology treatments. Twice daily, you’ll hop into a 4 x 4 Land Cruiser with your experienced guide and explore the wild beauty of almost 33,500 acres of game land. This is a truly intimate experience with uninterrupted views of the animals, plus drinks on hand to toast the sunrise or sunset.
In the Area
Sir Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri safari tented camp is one of very few camps located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancies, a private conservancy area north of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, approximately 150 miles from Nairobi in Kenya. The property is located in the ideal spot to witness the migration (July through October) and offers the opportunity to see an exceptional range of wildlife, including the Big Five. Game drives will be led by experienced guides, who will take you out on custom-designed 4×4 Land Cruisers, packed with on-board binoculars, blankets, ponchos, hot water bottles, water, sunscreen and a bar of drinks for sun risers and downers. You can also go out on night drives, visit local markets or just chill out on the pool loungers to soak up the gorgeous African sunshine.
How to Get There
What a magical place! We visited at the start of the season and the conservancy was still lush and green. Having not been on safari before I didn’t know what to expect. It was like I imagine the Garden of Eden was like. There were so many animals to see, lions, cheetahs, elephants, etc. I couldn’t believe how close you could get. Our guides were fantastic. They were very friendly and professional, it really made the trip special. Indeed all the staff were excellent. The food was top class and the accommodation was luxurious. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I have some wonderful memories and 1400 photos! Take some earplugs because the animals are really noisy at night and visit soon.
First some background. We are a family of 4, children 11 and 15, girls. Our 3rd trip to Africa, multiple safaris (including Ulusaba in South Africa). First time to Kenya.
The lodge. The ‘tents’,if you want to call them that, are amazing. Comfy beds, warm showers, big tub looking out onto bush, deck that also looks onto same beautiful view where during our stay we saw giraffes and hippos. Our neighbors observed a lion with a wildebeest kill from their deck! As we found out at the other Branson property (Ulusaba) safety is a number one priority for them, and guards/guides are omnipresent to make you feel safe. But let’s face it, going on safari isn’t like going to Disney, there are going to be some exciting/scary moments. Also I didn’t mention a stocked mini bar (refilled with whatever/whenever you want), WiFi that satisfied 2 (almost) teenage American girls, room service, etc.
Staff. Prior to coming to Kenya we were in Sabi Sands, SA at a different lodge due to no occupancy at Ulusaba. Staff from the other lodge commented on how Ulusaba had the highest retention rate of their workers due to managements effort to make the lodge a ‘home’. Not only for the guests, but for the people that worked there as well. Upon arriving at Mahali Mzuri we were greeted by the mostly Maasi staff. They told us ‘Welcome home’, and I will say after only 4 nights there it really did feel like that. The Maasi are a wonderful people with a fascinating culture, my only regret was that I hadn’t researched more about them prior to arriving (I did do a lot of internet searching while there using great WiFi!). I could share several individual stories of things that the staff did to make our stay better, but for brevity I’ll just use one. About and hour after our morning game drive our guide, John and Gladys, rushed back to our room to tell us that the elusive Leopard and her cubs had been spotted in a tree, stuck there by a pride of lions. They quickly got us back in the vehicle and we found the cats. Let me put that in perspective, it’s like on your lunch break you rushing back to work to do your job. No boss telling you to do it, no extra pay. These people love what they do, and they are proud of their land. Special thanks to John, Johnstone, Gladys, Newton, Sammy, and the most helpful Mariana (non Maasi, but we won’t hold that against her).
Safari. We have loved all our game drives in Africa. Each one had at least one, and most times several special moments. But holy cow, Kenya! We missed the great migration by a month, but you could have fooled me. We saw literally hundreds of zebra, wildebeests, every type of antelope, wart hogs aplenty, elephants, giraffes. You get the idea. Then the big cats. We saw them all: lions (REALLY close), cheetah, and leopard. Along with their cubs. Possibly the most memorable for me was the cheetah hunting and catching a Thompson gazelle. Simply amazing.
Our experience was flawless. From the warm greeting to the delicious food to the adept driving by our guide, Betty, we found no fault. David, quickly taking stock of our tastes in wine, chose something special for us each evening. Anne, the massage therapist, sent me home with products that remind me of being happy and relaxed in the Mara. Having sundowners while sitting three feet from two lionesses and five cubs was an experience that is almost indescribable. Every staff member was kind and solicitous, the tents were spacious, pleasant, and comfortable, and we had a delightful stay. I am eager to return.
Having visited so many camps as a free lance guide I must say this camp is in the most exclusive part of the conservancy with an amazing view,The team is superb and friendly and the guides are knowledgeable.
To enjoy fullest go on a morning drive the second day and return to enjoy the pool and great animals in front of camp and possible massages.
It is important to note that management created a conducive environment for the staff so lots of freedom and you can have great interaction from staff and learn a lot quite different from most camps-Enjoy Mahali Mzuri
Our favorite camp during our 2 week safari. The designer of the fabulous tents was very talented. We loved the privacy and the great views these tents provided.
Loved our armchair safaris from our deck during happy hour.
The food was good...and service was outstanding. Johnstone attended to our every need...making it a highly memorable experience. Levi was an excellent guide / driver.
We appreciated both of their efforts....
The pool is too cold to use...only there for show. The conservancy has very beautiful topography. Treat yourself and enjoy this special property.