We love the Maasai Mara. Who doesn’t? Rolling hills, loads of animals, possibility to do some off-roading, amazing views. You can’t come to Kenya and NOT visit the Maasai Mara.
It seems to me that most people who visit the Maasai Mara go to the National Reserve, on the southern side of the Mara. When we visit the Maasai Mara, we like to go to the Mara North Conservancy, which also has easy access to the Mara Triangle.
We have always stayed at Jacqueline’s House, at the Mara Enkipai Camp. Jacqueline’s House is a gorgeous little home in the Enkipai Camp, located right on the Mara River. You can do self-catering here, but we go for the full-board package where the Enkipai staff prepares all meals… The house is gorgeous, with four double bedrooms, a huge veranda, and a funky upstairs lounge full of old books. The Enkipai staff also set up a gorgeous outdoor living room down by the river, with huge cushions and a hammock, perfect for relaxing away the afternoon before our evening game drives.
The Mara North and the Triangle are much less frequented by visitors, have better roads (within the park, anyway), and are better patrolled by rangers, which means less poaching and more animals. Every time we’ve gone, we’ve seen more elephants than we can count, lions, cheetahs, hippos, buffalos, zebras, the whole range of antelopes, and lots of fascinating bird life. (My biggest failure in my years of safari going is that I have YET to see a leopard. It’s driving me nuts.)
The drive to the Mara North is not as easy, for sure. We needed a 4WD vehicle with high ground clearance. To get to this part of the Maasai Mara, you take the lower escarpment road from Nairobi, and turn at Mai Mahiu to head toward Narok. You stay on the B3 after Narok (keep right at the fork), then you’ll turn left on the Migori-Kehancha road. This is where things get interesting.
The drive took us a good 5 hours from Nairobi last time we went, but the majority of it was on the outrageously bumpy Migori-Kehancha road, so it felt like a LONG 5 hours. Just a warning. But once we arrived, it was all worth it! (But seriously, if anyone from the Narok County Council or the Trans-Mara County Council is reading – could you do something about that road???)
It’s been about a year since our last trip to the Mara (hence the old photos of Claire!), but hopefully we’ll be back before the year is out with our new addition, BM2…