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Safari Lodges in the Masai Mara with Swimming Pools

Researching my family holiday to the Masai Mara.



Africa Specialist
Published on

06 Oct 2017

Updated on

22 Jan 2021

Boy Swimming


I’m scrabbling as fast as I can to get my family’s Christmas holiday to Kenya sorted. We decided that we’d head to the Masai Mara for safari, followed by a week in a catered house in Shela in Lamu on the Kenya coast (a quite marvellous safari & beach combo for anyone thinking of this). The brief from Mrs M was simple:

“Ben…no pool, no go!! I don’t mind where we stay, but the 3 boys need a pool… Understood?!”

“Yes, MAAM” I said!!
And actually I agree…. I can keenly remember growing up in Kenya, and swimming pools were VERY important in life. All holidays to Mombasa were measured against ‘Two Fishes’ one of the first hotels in Kenya to have a swimming pool that wasn’t a straightforward rectangle of blue. Anyway, I’m showing my age… the point is; swimming pools are a pre-requisite for children of a certain age, so I thought I’d share the results of research into Safari Lodges in the Masai Mara with Swimming pools.

1. Karen Blixen Camp

Karen Blixen Camp The Pool
Karen Blixen Camp in the Masai Mara

Karen Blixen Camp, a gorgeous tented Camp in the Mara North Conservancy. I stayed here a few years ago and can still remember wallowing for a few hours in the pool channeling my inner hippo.

2. Masai Mara Serena Lodge

Serena Mara Pool
Gorgeous views from the Masai Mara Serena

Most people overlook the Serena lodge in the Mara nowadays, preferring one of the many smaller tented camps in the Masai Mara National Reserve and surrounding conservancies. But the Serena properties are great… they deliver consistently good service, and in the case of the Masai Mara Serena Lodge – one of the best views from any swimming pools in the world!!

3. Mahali Mzuri Masai Mara

Mahali Mzuri Infinity Pool View
Mahali Mzuri's infinity pool overlooking the Mara bush

From an old classic to a new classic. Richard Bransons new lodge, Mahali Mzuri, in the Masai Mara is everything you’d expect… so its no surprise it has a gorgeous 12 metre infinity pool from which you can gaze down onto the Mara landscape. Mahali Mzuri welcomes families on safari from ages 6 and up… thankfully this rules us out for now, as my bank balance would take a few years to recover.

4. House in the Wild

House In The Wild Swimming Pool
House in the Wild Swimming Pool

House in the Wild in the Masa Mara is, as its name suggests, located in a gorgeous wild corner in the northern part of the Masai Mara. As you take a dip in the organic shaped pool you can observe the meandering Mara River and perhaps spot some wildlife too.

5. Kichwa Tembo

Kichwa Tembo Swimming Pool
Stunning views from the swimming pool at Kichwa Tembo

Luxury is the word at Kichwa Tembo tented camp. Set on the edge of the Mara and guarded by trees, the rim-flow swimming pool is a great location to be transfixed by the panoramic scenery surrounding the camp. It can be hard to get out of the pool as you fall into a trance like state staring out onto the savannah.

7. Sala’s Camp

Sala's Camp Plunge Pool
Sala's Camp Plunge Pool

Nestled in the southern Masai Mara, well positiooned for the iconic wildebeest migration, Sala’s Camp is a truly magical destination. Overlooking the Sand River, each of the luxury tents have their own private plunge pool. Since there are only six tents at the camp it has a very intimate and personal atmosphere, so perhaps we'll come here when we have a special occasion to celebrate.

8. Angama Mara

Angama Mara Swimming Pool
A high vantage point from the swimming pool at Angama Mara

Home to a magnificent pride of lions and an impressive vantage point on the escarpment overlooking the 'Mara Triangle' there is no doubt that Angama Mara has much to offer. Alongside a private airfield the tented accommodation is complete with a solar-heated infinity pool. With the focus on sustainability you can feel guilt-free as you take a dip in the pool.

9. Olarro Lodge

Olarro Lodge Swimming Pool
Olarro Lodge Swimming Pool

Olarro isn't technically in the Masai Mara, its a good two hour drive away - but that' precisely what makes it awesome. Situated in its own private conservancy you have the entire place you yourselves - and yet its easy to get to and see wildlife in the Masai Mara too. And when you aren't out and about on quad bikes, horse riding, walking or on game drives, then you can rest up in their two lovely freeform swimming pools. And if your budget allows, an impressive entrance into the camp is arriving by helicopter. Maybe one day!

10. Tipilikwana Mara Camp

Tipilikwani Mara Camp  Masai Mara
Tipilikwani Camp in the Masai Mara

Tipilikwani Mara Camp - A bit of a mouthful to pronounce but once you get past its name… this lodge, situated on the banks of the Talek River, is making a strong case for being our final choice. Well situated, affordable, an inviting swimming pool for our boys… the perfect launchpad for a family safari in the Masai Mara.

Right… that’s my list. We’re choosing tonight. To find out how we fared on our first family safari to the Masai Mara watch this space… I’ll see if my wife will do an honest appraisal after we get back, and link it to this article!

For more inspiration, take a look at our 26 favourite safari holidays, our best African honeymoon ideas or our top family safari holidays.

If you'd like to plan a Kenyan family holiday or a luxury safari to Kenya, call our experts on 01768 603 715 or fill in our enquiry form.

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