Since the Masai Mara Reserve is not fenced there is as much wildlife to be seen outside of the reserve as there is inside. The following lodges and campsites are therefore equal value for the visitor to the Masai Mara Reserve area:
- Kichwa Tembo Camp is a luxury tented camp with 40 tents, restaurant and swimming pool. The luxury camp was made famous because Robert Redford and Meryl Streep stayed here while filming 'Out of Africa'. Rates start at $185 per person per night sharing a double and include meals and game drives
Just next to the camp is the smaller and more exclusive Bateleur Camp with 9 tents. Rates start at $445 per person per night sharing a double and include meals, drinks and game drives
- Siana Springs Camp offers luxury tented accommodation with natural springs nearby. Set at the base of the Ngama Hills this camp is one of the most established luxury camps in the Mara area. Siana Springs has a wonderful swimming pool as well as several shelters to watch game from in safety.Rates start at $315 for a double tent including meals and game drives.
- Masai Mara Sopa Lodge is a large lodge on the east side of the reserve with 90 rooms each with their own balcony overlooking a valley often filled with game. The lodge has a swimming pool, restaurant and bar.
- Fig Tree Camp. The Fig Tree is situated on the banks of the Talek river and offers both tented accommodation as well as cabins. There are 2 bars, 2 dining rooms (one open-air), a tree house coffee deck and a swimming pool. There are 38 tents and 27 cabins to choose from.Rates start at $220 for a double room.
- Kicheche Mara Camp is a luxury tented camp with excellent food and very quiet surroundings. This camp is popular with photographers. Rates for a 3 night package including flights to and from Nairobi, game drives, food and sundowners is $915 per person (excluding park fees).
Budget Accommodation in the Masai MaraOptions for budget accommodation in the Masai Mara area are limited to basic campgrounds. There are over 20 campsites in and around the Reserve but few maps have all of them listed and some are extremely basic and a little unsafe. If you can't book in advance try asking for information at any of the gates to the reserve. Most campsites are located near the gates so you shouldn't have to go too far.
The Lonely Planet Guide lists Oloolaimutiek Camp Site near the Oloolaimutiek gate and the Riverside Camp near the Talek gate. Both camps are run by local Maasai.
A good way to enjoy a budget camping safari in the Masai Mara is to book with a tour operator. AfricaGuide offers a 3 day camping safari for example starting at $270 per person which includes camping, food, park fees and transport.
Kenyaology has the most comprehensive information regarding campsites around the Reserve.
More About the Masai Mara National Reserve: