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Best lodges in the Masai Mara

Discover the best lodges for safari in the Masai Mara from luxury to remote.



Marketing Manager
Published on

27 Mar 2023

Masai Mara Hot Air Ballooning

The Masai Mars in Kenya is one of the most famous safari destinations on the planet. It is one of the best places to spot Big Cats, is home to the Great Wildebeest Migration, arguably the greatest wildlife show on earth, and hundreds of species of bird, not to mention elephants, giraffes, zebra, gazelle, hyenas, hippos, buffalo, the list goes on and on.

It’s no wonder that THE most popular place to include in a Kenya safari, but with over 150 camps to choose from in the Masai Mara National Park and its surrounding conservancies, how do you begin to pick where to stay?

We’ve chosen some of our absolute favourites below, but as with many things in life, which is right for you depends on the type of holiday you are planning, your personal tastes and your budget, so get in contact with our team of specialists for guidance on the best camp for YOUR holiday.

1. Little Governors Camp

Little Governors Camp
Little Governors Camp

The little sister camp of Governors main camp, Little Governors Camp is located nearby and is one of the best places in Kenya to watch the great wildebeest migration and if you are lucky, to see one of the famous river crossings!

Whilst Governors Camp is one of Kenya’s original safari camps and rightfully is well regarded by all, we like Little Governors Camp as it is a smaller, more intimate camp. We love the theatre of arriving by boat ride across the Mara river, then taking an escorted walk through the forest, creating a dramatic arrival and ensuring that you get privacy even within the Masai Mara National Reserve.

This is a traditional tented camp with 17 stretched canvas tents and some of the best guides in the business. Governors Hot Air Ballooning is located on-site making this the perfect spot to gently float up above the horizon and truly be able to appreciate the sheer scale of the Masai Mara.


  • Great place to see the Wildebeest Migration
  • Located in the main Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Arrive by boat across the Mara River
  • Smaller, more intimate camp

Best for a traditional, small camp.

Take a look at our guide to the Great Migration in Kenya.


Little Governors Camp River Crossing
River crossing at Little Governors
Little  Governors  Camp Hanging Chair
Space at little governors

2. Angama Mara

Angama 2015 159

One of the most luxurious lodges in the Masai Mara and perhaps even the world! Angara Mara has views that will take your breath away. Stunning minimalist design with African textiles lets the scenery shout through the glass-front tents. Perched high above the Mara Triangle (the most famous area in the Masai Mara), it is famously located where the romantic picnic scene between Meryl Streep and Robert Redford happens in ‘Out of Africa’.

When staying at Angama Mara you can expect the highest service levels; woken with a freshly made cappuccino and home-baked biscuits, flexibility on your activity choices and Sundown Bomas are all part of the experience. Of course, outstanding wildlife viewing remains key and Angama Mara gives guests their own private vehicle so that they can truly benefit from their guide and tailor their experience to what they want to see. It also located within 20 minutes from a great migration wildebeest river crossing hotspot which maximises your chances of seeing a crossing.


  • Romantic setting with outstanding views
  • Luxury at every touchpoint
  • Bush breakfasts and sundown Boma’s
  • Near wildebeest river crossings hotspot
  • Private vehicles
  • Farm-to-fork dining

Best for pure luxury


Angama  Mara  Sunrise  Views
Angama Mara
Angama  Mara  Tented  Camp
Angama tented camp

3. Ol Seki Hemmingways

Pool At Ol Seki
Ol Seki

Set in the community-owned Naboisho conservancy on a rocky ridge overlooking the savanna plains, Ol Seki is one of the most polished, sophisticated safari camps in the Masai Mara, and its recent refurbishment has given it an even more stylish edge. It is also one of the few camps in the Mara to boast a swimming pool, ideal to wash off all the safari dust!

This boutique camp is made up of just 10 plush tents (including two family-linked tents) with 270-degree views over the Masai plains, and the main restaurant area and deck with swimming pool are perfect for relaxing with plenty of chairs, cushions made from locally designed fabrics and many interesting books to peruse.

Ol Seki focused on creating tailored, individual experiences whether you want to do a traditional game drive, try a horseback safari or visit the local community.


  • Stylish luxury complete with a swimming pool
  • Naboisho conservancy has one of the highest densities of lions in Africa
  • Bespoke, tailored service to guests
  • Bush walks, night drives, horse riding and community visits are all possible

Best for couples and honeymooners


Ol  Seki  Hemingways  Interior
Tent at Ol Seki
Ol  Seki  Hemingways 1
Ol Seki

4. Leopard Hill

Leopard Hill Tent Interior
Leopard hill sky beds

Leopard Hill is set in the Mara Naboisho private conservancy and is located near three waterholes guaranteeing excellent game viewing. In 2022, I stayed at Leopard Hill and as well as seeing a cheetah chase in the conservancy, we also spotted a caracal, a first for me to see one of these shy cats.

What makes Leopard Hill truly unique is the fact that from the comfort of your bed, you can with a simple click of a button, open the tent roof above you to reveal the star-studded night sky above. Perfect for those looking for glamping at its more luxurious!

The rooms are spacious, with large almost 360-degree windows providing stunning views over the landscape, and the communal outdoor terrace with its large firepit is perfect for a pre-dinner gin and tonic.

As well as traditional game drives, guests can enjoy bush walks alongside a guide and armed ranger; an absolute must before breakfast.


  • Skybeds allow you to sleep under the stars
  • Private conservancy giving you more private game-viewings
  • Bush walks
  • Great place to see cats
  • Well priced luxury

Best for affordable luxury


Leopard Hill Tend
Leopard hill tent
Leopard Hill Fire
Sundowners at Leopard hill

5. Cottars Camp


The multi-award-winning Cottars Camp has been entertaining guests for over 100 years, so it’s fair to say they know a thing or two about ensuring you have the perfect safari experience. This tented, luxury safari camp gives guests a taste of the golden era of safaris in the 1920s, whilst ensuring it has all the necessary mod cons to feel luxurious today.

Cottars Camp has some of the best guides there are and ensures that guests get an authentic wildlife viewing experience, whether in a 4x4 or on foot. The stunning stretch canvas tents with four poster beds and Persian rugs provide a romantic vibe to the property and bush baths with a glass of bubbles certainly top this off!


  • Luxury, tented camp reminiscent of a 1920s safari
  • Exceptional guides
  • Romantic bubble baths under the stars
  • Authentic safari experience
  • Borders Serengeti allowing you to experience this alongside the Masai Mara

Best for a colonial safari experience


Cottars  Bush Dinner 2
Bush dinners
Cottars  Standard Tent
Standard tent

6. Eagle View

Eagle View Camp Fireplace
Eagle View

One of the best value camps in the Masai Mara, and certainly one of the best-priced within a private conservancy. If you are looking for stunning views over a waterhole, comfortable tents, a community-focused operation and of course, wildlife galore, Eagle View ticks the box many times over.

Set in Mara Naboisho’s private conservancy, on top of a ridge overlooking the vast plains and a large waterhole, Eagle View has a view worth writing home about. The canvas tents are simple but comfortable; complete with an indoor or outdoor shower, and your own veranda with the already mentioned panoramic view.

I enjoyed a very memorable sundowner here in 2022 where beside a roaring fire, we listened to another roar, that of lions calling to each other. As the sun set behind the horizon, and the golden glow slowly turned to darkness, the lion's roar gradually got louder (and our g&t’s got appropriately stronger), and so we set off on a night safari using an infrared light to find these magnificent cats. We were rewarded by finding two lions on the prowl, one passed our car so closely its tail hit the back of the jeep making us all jump, and another we found lapping gently at a water source nearby.


  • Private conservancy
  • Excellent value for money
  • Bush walks, sundowners and night safaris
  • Spectacular views
  • Simple, down-to-earth, comfortable accommodation
  • Community focused

Best for an affordable safari


Eagle View Tent Terrace2
Eagle View tent terrace
Tent Interior At Eagle View
Tent interior

7. Sala's Camp

Salas  Camp  Plunge  Pool
Plunge pool at Salas Camp

Sala’s camp has one of the best spots to witness the great migration in Kenya. Overlooking the Sand River and near the Tanzania border, it is one of the first camps to receive the wildebeest migration. Each of the six luxury tents has its own private plunge pool and the camp also has its own volleyball pitch for those wanting to experience something a little different.

Sala’s Camp is part of The Safari Collection which includes the world-famous Giraffe Manor in Nairboi, where giraffes poke their heads through the windows to be fed treats over breakfast. Iconic.


  • Great wildebeest migration
  • Small, private and intimate
  • Each tent has its own plunge pool
  • Combine it with giraffe manor

Best for witnessing the great migration


Kenya  The  Safari  Collection  Salas  Camp 1  Salas  Camp  Aerial View
Sala's camp location
Kenya The Safari Collection Salas Camp
Tent at Sala's camp

8. House in the Wild

House In The Wild Pool
House in the wild

This private, family-owned lodge is located right on the banks of the Mara river in the Enonkishu Conservancy.

Whilst there are beautiful one and two-bedroom cottages available, House in the Wild really comes into its own for larger parties where there are villas which can accommodate up to 14 people available with their own pools and hot tubs, but which are treated as part of the main lodge.

If you’re looking for a wide range of activities alongside traditional game-viewing, House in the Wild has these in spades. From bush walks to mountain biking to tennis, hot air balloon rides to helicopter trips.


  • Set on the banks of the Mara river
  • Private, family-run lodges
  • Villas available for large parties
  • Wide range of activities to choose from
  • Away from the crowds

Best for families and large parties


House  In  The  Wild Lounge
Sitting room at House in the Wild
House  In  The  Wild Pool  Mara  River
House in the wild location

9. Saruni Mara

Saruni Mara The Love Shack Honeymoon Suite
Saruni Mara

Saruni Mara in Mara North conservancy holds a special place in my heart as it is where I spent my honeymoon, and it is where I had my top game viewing experience; a blue-eyed leopard, the only vehicle at a cheetah viewing with seven cubs (plus watching her attempt a catch) and numerous lion encounters with playful cubs rolling around in the long, dry grasses. Every day it felt like we had won the wildlife lottery.

Set in a hidden secret valley, Saruni Mara is located far away from the crowds of the Masai Mara National Park allowing you plenty of space to relax. Sleep in thatched cottages each with its own individual theme such as the astronomer’s room complete with a decorative telescope or there is a private villa available too. As well as traditional game drives, there are bush walks and night safaris, and there is a treatment room for an afternoon massage too. The food here is often Italian-themed and especially delicious, bush breakfasts are an absolute must.

Families can enjoy taking part in the warrior academy where Masai Warriors teach children how to light a fire just a stick, learn to throw clubs and identify different animal poos on a mini bush walk.


  • Spectacular game viewing
  • Authentically designed thatched cottages
  • Privacy – set away from the crowds
  • Walking safaris with Masai guides
  • Delicious, Italian-inspired food
  • Combine it with another Saruni property such as Saruni Samburu for an extra night of free

Best for all ages


Saruni Mara Masai Culture
Warrior academy
Saruni  Mara  Main  Lodge
Main lounge

10. Elephant Pepper Camp

Elephant Pepper Camp Sundowners

Located in Mara North private conservancy, Elephant Pepper Camp offers a wonderful opportunity to see the wildebeest migration from July- Sept, as well as to see the resident lions, cheetahs, leopards and a whole host of plains game.

The eight spacious tents all have ensuite dressing rooms and are dressed in traditional Masaai colours with touches of red throughout, and traditional elements such as brass and glass lanterns. The tents are full of traditional character whilst ensuring they are comfortable.

A true bush experience waking to views over the plains and guests soon settle into the routine of bush walks or game drives in the day, and telling safari tales around the campfire in the evening.


  • Wildebeest thundering past during the Great Migration
  • A traditional, comfortable tented camp
  • Bush drives and walking safaris
  • Private conservancy meaning fewer vehicles
  • Spacious tents looking straight out onto the plains

Best for a traditional, bush safari experience


Elephant Pepper Camp Luxury Safari Tents
Safari tent
Elephant Pepper Camp Bush Walk
Bush walk

Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at the following:

Top Walking Safaris in Kenya

First safari in Kenya - what to expect

How much is a safari in Kenya?

Kenya vs Tanzania safari - which is best?

Kenya holiday with teenagers - 23 unmissable activities

The above are just a selection of a few camps available in the Masai Mara, which is right for you will depend on a number of factors and speaking to one of our Kenya specialists is the fastest way to establish which is right for you personally.


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It was SO NICE to have someone else do it for me.

Cathy travelled to Tanzania and Zanzibar in December 2023 on a trip organised by Alistair.

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A dream to visit Mum's birth place!

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I didn't realise my high expectations could be so easily exceeded

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Adventure of a Lifetime in Kenya

Maria travelled to Masai Mara Safari in October 2023 on a trip organised by Ben.

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