Editors' Picks

Mara Nyika Lodge

Exclusive, adventurous, private

Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya

+27 87-35-46591

See Website

Indagare Adored

At a Glance

The mission of Great Plains Conservation is to be agents of conservation who also create phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences for their guests. And as for pinch-me moments, there’s nothing quite like waking up to views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya’s Chyulu Hills and the awesome expanse of the Maasai Mara, which is how days begin at its camps Ol Donyo and Mara Nyika. Mara Nyika sits on the edge of the Mara in the 50,000-acre Naboisho Conservancy is designed on a model of low-impact conservation tourism. At the five-tented-suite Mara Nyika, stays are tied to impact, which includes wildlife protection and aid for Maasai families.

The Standout: Access to the private conservancy and the leopard and big-cat sightings that are common in the area surrounding the camp Don’t Miss: Meals in the bush, early-morning balloon rides and the camera equipment for use by guests

Indagare Loves

  • The two sprawling family suites, each comprised of a common tent, flanked by two one-bedroom canvas tents, two full bathroom tents and an expansive deck, connected by removable canvas walls for privacy
  • The elegant dining program including an exceptional active breakfast in the bush (complete with a vehicle-side omelet station) and memorable sundowners
  • The Naboisho conservancy gets a mini-migration called the Eastern Migration from the end of January to the end of February, making for excellent game viewing.
  • Topline Canon EOS 5D cameras and 8 x 42 binoculars available for guest use


When looking for an intimate safari experience and personalized service coupled with adventure, exploration and authentic, rustic luxury, look no further than Mara Nyika Lodge, added to the Great Plains Conservation collection in October of 2019.

Great Plains Founders Beverly and Dereck Joubert, both renowned National Geographic photographers and conservation leaders, take great care in handpicking the location of their properties and each member of their local staff (whom they refer to fondly as the “Great Plains Family”), all of which makes for an intimate safari experience thoughtfully rooted in the destination. “Nyika” means “Large" or "Great" plains, and Mara Nyika is designed to capture the nostalgic romance of a tented canvas experience within the expanse of 50,000-acre Naboisho Conservancy. The five tented canvas suites sit atop raised platforms, bringing guests closer to the tops of the many Acacia kirkii trees and safely away from the hyena, leopard, lion and herbivores that often wander onto property. The interiors of the suites are luxurious and beautifully appointed with high-design local touches like custom, handcrafted loveseats and beds from Kenya’s coastal town of Watamu, known for its wooden furniture.

While this property does not have a pool, a bubble bath can be enjoyed from the fabulous copper tubs found in each suite, perfectly positioned for excellent, private views of the vegetation and birds darting around the property. (We suggest pairing this leisurely afternoon activity with a glass of wine from the extensive cellar and grabbing your birding binoculars, which are made available for all guests.) What’s more, every stay supports wildlife conservation in the conservancy, as well as 500 Maasai families.

Activities include safari day and night drives, with excellent chances of big cat and cub sightings, hot air ballooning, visits to a local Maasai village or “enkang,” and game drives into the famous Maasai Mara Reserve upon request. While on-property, guests will undoubtedly be surprised and delighted by the staff, and spoiled by the highly personalized fine-dining program, which can be enjoyed communally or privately, preference pending. No request is too outlandish, and the team will bend over backwards to create magical moments for all.

Who Should Stay

Couples or families with children over the age of eight. The property is very intimate and quiet, so it really is best for adults or parents with older children. There are only five tents on this property, making it a great option for a full buyout.

Written by Elise Bronzo

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