Mara North, At a Glance

Stretching almost 70,000 acres on the northwestern edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Mara North is one of the world's largest not-for-profit conservancies.

It was established in 2009 and is run as a partnership between 13 tourism companies and approximately 900 Maasai landowners.

The conservancy is renowned for its exclusivity. The conservancy has only one bed per 350 acres, and the conservancy is committed to minimizing its environmental impact. The result is an intimate safari experience that is a genuine force for good within the East African tourism landscape. 

All member camps are powered by renewable solar energy and have adopted pollution and waste reduction strategies such as eco burners and organic composting to lower their carbon footprint.

The Great Migration is often drawn to the lush grasslands of Mara North before crossing the Mara River and returning to the Serengeti

Mara North is also home to the Big Five, and sightings of the more elusive leopard are often reported here. 

Mara North Conservancy

Things to Do

Game Drives

Hop into your awaiting Land Rover, and head out for an early morning or evening game drive for the best game viewing opportunities.

Accompanied by an experienced driver and Maasai guide, meander over dirt tracks, rocky ravines, and dry sandy riverbeds for half a day searching for lions, buffalo, and elephants, giraffe, and leopard before stopping for a freshly prepared bush breakfast or sundowners. 

Only guests of camps within Mara North are permitted to game drive in the conservancy, the number of vehicles at an animal sighting is limited to just five, and all guests must be back at their lodges by 10 pm.

Although the famed Mara River winds its way through the conservancy, the more exciting crossing points during the Great Migration occur within the national reserve, meaning you will likely spend a day or two there. 

However, due to expensive park fees and many other travellers and vehicles, it is advised that all other game drives and activities take place in Mara North for a more secluded safari experience. 

Great Migration Maasai Mara National Park

Hot Air Balloon Safari

Glide across the orange and pink-streaked sky in a hot air balloon for a birds-eye view of the Maasai Mara plains below. 

Hot Air Balloon Safari lift-off between 6:00 and 7:00 am after a freshly brewed coffee and flight safety brief.

Several companies offer hot air ballooning experiences in the Maasai Mara, and the capacity for each balloon depends on what the chosen company has in its fleet. However, it is typically between 4 and 16 passengers.

Once in the air, you will have one hour to explore the Mara from the skies observing areas where vehicles seldom visit.

Upon landing, you will be treated to a lavish champagne breakfast in the bush.

Hot air balloon safaris are the ultimate luxury experience and often cost upwards of $400 at the time of writing. 

It is recommended that passengers wear hats, long sleeves and bring binoculars for the best experience.  

Mara North Conservancy

Guided Walks

Walk with expert Maasai warriors across their sacred lands, learning about wildlife and their connection to the Mara. 

Walking is only possible in the conservancies and takes you deep into the African bush.

The length of walking safaris can be adjusted to suit all fitness levels and are best done in the early mornings or evenings when it is not too hot.

Make sure to pack good walking shoes, light long-sleeved tops and trousers, a good hat, plenty of water and binoculars.

Longer walking safaris are also possible in the nearby Mara Naboisho Conservancy

Ol Pejete Bush Camp, Kenya

Curious wildebeest, Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Engage with The Community

Visit the Maasai, a community with a vibrant and proud cultural heritage.

Discover their generally peaceful and mutual relationship with the wildlife and the land, as well as ancient rituals and stories.

The Maasai have been known for centuries as being fearsome hunters and warriors. However, today their livelihood revolves around community, and they welcome travellers to learn about their customs and culture first hand.

Mara North Conservancy

Where to Stay

Serian - The Original

Serian is a traditional bush camp perfect for those searching for outdoor adventure, luxury, and comfort. This accommodation is true to its name, with 'Serian' meaning peaceful, calm or serene in the Maa language. 

Guests have the choice of five spacious marquees perched on elegant hardwood floors and filled with simple and thoughtful personal touches that make it feel like home.

Take a long soak in the tub while overlooking the idyllic river valley below in your personal 'bush bathroom' equipped with a flushing toilet, twin basins and hot shower or relax on the private deck with a good book. 

The thatched mess area has a remarkable view over the Mara River and the Siria escarpment and is the fantastic spot to share a sundowner and swap tales of the dwindling day.

Mara North Conservancy

Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp

Elephant Pepper Camp is an intimate and secluded camp nestled between tall 'elephant pepper'  trees in the heart of the Mara North Conservancy. 

There are eight secluded en-suite tents on offer, all luxuriously decorated with Indian Raj style furniture, dark woods, brass finishings and off-white linens. 

Guest may also choose to stay in the honeymoon or family tents, which are the ideal accommodation if you want a little extra space and privacy. 

The camp's main area centres around a cosy lounge and a dining area and guests dine communally off an Italian inspired menu. If you prefer a more intimate experience, private dining can be arranged. 

Mara North Conservancy

When to Go

The best time to visit Mara North is between July and October, during the Great Migration. 

Temperatures are consistent year-round, and rainfall is all that distinguishes the seasons.

December to February offer excellent wildlife sightings and great dry conditions for safari. 

March to May is the wet/rainy season, and is generally not advised due to slippery roads and torrential rain.

Mara North Conservancy

How to Get There

The best way to get to the Mara North Conservancy from Nairobi is by air. Several domestic airlines fly here from Wilson Airport and the flight takes just 45 minutes.

However, flights are the more expensive choice especially in the peak season.

Driving from Nairobi takes between 4 and 6 hours (280 km).

The roads are smooth up to Narok, but after depending on the season can be quite bumpy and slippery. 

Giraffe in Massai Mara

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