African Safari Diaries: Binny’s Magical Masai Mara Safari
On this edition of African Safari Diaries we are sharing our colleague Binny’s magical Masai Mara trip in February 2022. She had returned to Kenya after 3 years and truly had a superb Safari with us!
1. Was this your first time visiting Kenya? What made you decide to visit?
I was born and raised in Kenya and have gone on multiple safaris growing up but due to the pandemic it had been 3 years since I had been home and close to 8 years since I last went on a safari so I felt it was about time I rectified that!
As I was visiting Kenya to see my parents I thought I’d make some new memories and go on a safari with them to the Masai Mara.
2. Where did you stay whilst on your trip?
I knew I wanted to go to the Masai Mara and having looked at several lodges, Neptune Mara Rianta Luxury Camp appealed to me due to it having only 20 tents and its location right next to the Mara River.
As we had planned to go for only 2 nights we settled on this and were very happy with our stay there, and loved every element, particularly the amazing food, the service and the spaciousness and luxurious decor of the tents.
Neptune Mara Rianta Luxury Camp is located north of the Masai Mara National Reserve in the heart of the Mara North Conservancy.
3. What were the highlights and special memories from your trip?
Having hippos sunbathing within view of my tent was definitely a highlight, as was our al fresco lunches next to the Mara River. We were able to see impalas, giraffes and hippos every day whilst we devoured the delicious lunch dishes made by Chef Lilian at Neptune Mara Rianta Luxury Camp.
Seeing 3 lionesses up close was also another highlight. We also managed to have a mini adventure when our safari vehicle got stuck in the mud right next to a family of lions and that was quite the thrilling but memorable experience!Our driver guide Jonah made our trip even more amazing with his knowledge of the Mara and interesting facts about the various animals we spotted whilst on game drives.
During our time in the Mara we were very grateful to have been able to visit the projects supported by The Mara Rianda Charitable Trust, a cause that Somak Luxury Travel supports with a £20 donation per passenger for package holidays booked to Kenya.
Our first stop was the Mara Rianda Primary School, followed by the medical centre and then finally a stop at the Manyatta, where the pre-school is located.
Here at the Manyatta the Masai women gifted us hand made necklaces as a gesture to say thank you for our visit and we were welcomed with such big smiles and warm hospitality.
All in all it was such a heartwarming experience meeting the children, teachers as well as the staff at the medical centre. While we were there a baby had just been born too!
Seeing the difference the funds raised made on a grassroots level was so important and also made me proud to have booked with Somak Luxury Travel.
When we returned to Neptune Mara Rianta Luxury Camp and were chatting to the waiter Kelvin, he told us that he had actually had his education sponsored by the Mara Rianda Charitable Trust and it was so wonderful to see someone who had managed to get a career in hospitality thanks to the funds raised by the trust.
4. Do you have any advice or tips for anyone thinking of going to Kenya for a holiday?
Don’t delay or dwell on the decision – just book that dream trip and make sure you try and see all that Kenya has to offer while you are there from the spectacular national parks to the beautiful beaches as well as the contemporary capital city of Nairobi!
If possible, try and visit during the migration time but all year round Kenya is a real delight and an amazing country to experience.