THINGS TO DO IN THE
MAASAI MARA ECOSYSTEM

Immerse yourself in this prime wildlife area, explore the Acacia-dotted plains without the crowds, soak up the wisdom of the Maasai guides, and connect with nature in a way you didn’t dream possible. At the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, you can.

Because the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is not governed by the same rules that apply to national parks, there is the flexibility to experience something truly profound and to see and do things not possible in the Masai Mara National Reserve. The passion and expertise of the guides at the conservancy facilitate this experience.

Take a walking safari and discover ecosystems that are so often ignored. Spend the night in a transient fly camp and enjoy the simple pleasure of a meal cooked over a campfire. Head out on a night game drive in search of elusive nocturnal creatures that are rarely seen during the day. Or join the Mara Naboisho Lion Project as they track lions across the conservancy. If your interests extend beyond wildlife to include the indigenous people and culture, a visit to one of the Maasai villages on the edges of the conservancy can be arranged.

Variety is what distinguishes the exceptional from the mundane. Whatever things you would like to see and do, at the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, you have the freedom to choose. And that makes all the difference. The Mara Naboisho conservancy offers the widest range of things to see and do in the Masai Mara ecosystem. Learn more in our travel guide below.

GAME DRIVES

Most camps in Mara Naboisho in the Maasai Mara ecosystem will offer the option of one full-day game drive, or two shorter game drives during the day.

You will either depart from the camp early with a packed breakfast and return for lunch and an afternoon game drive, or enjoy a slightly more leisurely start to the day with breakfast at the camp and a packed lunch to enjoy your game drive out on the plains.

Game drives are the key focus of most safaris, but it is the guides who really make the difference. Each of the guides working in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy has been trained with an understanding of responsible tourism and the part they play in the maintenance and conservation of the ecosystem. The majority of the guides were trained at the Koiyaki Guiding School – an initiative funded by the partners of the conservancy to ensure a culture of sustainability for the local communities.

In addition to their individual training, there is a strict code of conduct that has to be adhered to at all times, making the guides accountable for their actions. These rules have been put in place to protect the wildlife, protect the environment, and ensure that visitors to the conservancy enjoy the most rewarding game experience possible.

The guidelines include a limit on the number of cars that are allowed to be present at a sighting, and a minimum distance (20 meters) that guests must maintain from the animals. These rules protect the wildlife and prevent them from being harassed, which means that they will be more relaxed around vehicles as they will not feel threatened (as they are sometimes in the Masai Mara National Reserve). In order to ensure that these rules are followed, only guides from within the conservancy are allowed to conduct game drives. This also ensures that vehicle numbers are kept to a minimum inside the conservancy.

NIGHT GAME DRIVES

Night game drives offer the opportunity to explore a range of nocturnal wildlife that is generally unseen during the daylight hours.

Under the powerful beam of a red-filtered UV light even the most frequently seen animal can take on an entirely new shape or appearance.

The thrill of catching the glinting white reflection of a predator’s eye in the torchlight will certainly send shivers up the back of your neck. Even on the rare occasion when the wildlife seems to elude you, there are still the sounds of the night to absorb when the vehicle shuts off and allows the darkness to enfold you. It is the experience of being in the wild at night that makes night game drives so exciting, and it’s an experience which cannot be attained inside the confines of the Masai Mara National Reserve.

WALKING SAFARIS

On foot, you gain a very different perspective of the safari experience.

Your senses are heightened as you begin to look for the slightest flicker of movement through the bushes, or the faintest sound coming from ahead.

Setting out on a walking safari in the Masai Mara ecosystem not only offers you the chance to stretch your legs, but also the opportunity to focus on some of the smaller ecosystems that are often overlooked from the height of a vehicle. The intricate construction of termite mounds, the role and importance of dung beetles, and the variety of birdlife in the area are just some of the subjects you may encounter on your excursion. The walking safari guides are all highly trained and carry a wealth of information that they are only too happy to share, be it about a peculiar track in the sand or the call of an unseen bird.

Walking safaris are not permitted in the Masai Mara National Reserve.

A briefing is conducted before the walking safari on how to react when confronted with big game in close proximity; however, the skill of the walking guides means that these uncomfortable situations rarely arise.

The sense of adventure that comes with a walking safari is difficult to replicate. It is this freedom to deeply immerse yourself in the wildlife experience, that makes the Mara Naboisho Conservancy so special and unique.

FLY AND BUSH CAMPING

A fly or bush camp is a lightweight campsite set up exclusively for your party.

It carries the minimum requirements for a comfortable night, but the emphasis is on the experience of cooking dinner around the campfire, enjoying the sounds of the night, and sleeping in a lightweight tent out under the stars in the Masai Mara.

If you have booked two or three nights in the main camp, then spending a night in a fly or bush camp is always a worthwhile and rewarding experience.

Falling asleep in your bush camp while listening to elephants splashing in the river, or waking up with a herd of buffalo on your doorstep is an unforgettable experience. Sitting in the bush, stoking the fire, and watching the sun dip behind the African plains over the Masai Mara ecosystem rings true of the authentic safari experiences of old. It is here, in this space, that you will feel entirely detached from the rigours of modern society and the stresses of everyday life.

EXPERIENCE MAASAI CULTURE

Many of the guides working in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy are from the communities and villages surrounding the conservancy.

If you are interested in incorporating a Maasai cultural visit into your itinerary, there is a very good chance that your guide will take you either to the Maasai village where he grew up, or to a village where he has friends or relatives.

These authentic and fully functional Maasai villages are untouched by commercialism and the need to appear “traditional” in order to be more appealing to tourists. You are visiting people’s homes and being exposed to the reality of how they live and operate on a daily basis. The experience of their culture is raw and powerful and will leave you in awe of how their customs and traditions have remained unchanged over the years, despite the rapid technological advancements that have gripped the rest of the world.