AT THE MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
All the Governors’ Camp Collection properties are located inside the Masai Mara National Reserve in the heart of one of the best wildlife viewing areas, which means you won’t waste time getting to the action. All our guides are highly trained, enthusiastic experts who know this area of the Masai Mara and its wildlife like their home. We maintain a fleet of custom-built 4wd vehicles specifically designed for wildlife viewing in this terrain and we offer a wide variety of activities to explore the Masai Mara National Reserve and its wildlife. “The following excursions are available from all Governors’ Camp properties in the Masai Mara ” Game Viewing in our Custom built 4wd vehicles, Hot Air Balloon Safaris, Masai Cultural Visits, Lake Victoria day trips, Great Wildebeest Migration, Spa treatments in Camp, Specialist guiding: ornithology, Bush Breakfasts, Bush Dinners and Sundowners.
Governors’ Camp properties combine superb locations in the Masai Mara with custom-designed vehicles and exceptionally highly trained and experienced guides to give our clients un-matched game-viewing and photographic opportunities in the world’s prime wildlife area. We are in the heart of what is widely considered to be the best game viewing area of the Masai Mara. Our vehicles are custom built 4 wheel drive landrover. We take you out twice a day on a game drive into the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve and surrounding areas. Our driver-guides are hand-picked and nurtured by us. They undergo a continuous guide training scheme mentored by experts in the field. Having operated in the Masai Mara for 40 years our driver-guides have unparalleled knowledge of the reserve combined with a deep understanding and respect for the sanctity of this wilderness area, its flora, and its fauna.
Governors Camp Collection offers Hot Air Balloon Safaris over the Mara River, plains and forests of the Masai Mara. The adventure begins just before dawn. Departure is from a perfect natural launch site behind Little Governors’ Camp, and flames from the hot air balloon burners light the darkness as the crews inflate their craft. The first, pink tongues of sunlight flicker across the skies as the hot air balloon fills, then rises. Suspended in a basket beneath the rainbow-colored canopy, you’re off for a wildlife viewing adventure with an entirely different perspective. What amazes most first-time balloonists is the absolute stillness: the silence as you float above the plains, the forest and the rivers of the Masai Mara. Even if you’ve flown elsewhere, this is a unique experience. The flight lasts an hour or so, drifting wherever the air currents take you, and with ample opportunities for photography and video filming. Then your Kenyan Hot Air Balloon Safari finishes with a flourish. In the time-honored tradition of balloon flights the world over, you toast your return to earth with a champagne breakfast, cooked wherever you land. The Balloon Safari ends with a transfer back to camp. We also offer Hot Air Balloon Safaris for those staying at other select Masai Mara Camps.
After the rains when the first flush of grass turns the Masai Mara’s golden savannah green, the most mesmerizing wildlife spectacle anywhere takes place here: The Great Wildebeest Migration. Between the months of July and October, one and a half million wildebeest, accompanied by vast numbers of zebra and gazelles make the long and dangerous trek from drier lands in Tanzania, northwards to this corner of Kenya. Lines of animals stretch as far as the eye can see across the plains. They come to give birth to their young and the grasslands echo with the sounds of the new-born. It is a time of plenty. But it is a time too when the predators are drawn from all around. High above on the hot winds the carrion birds, the vultures, and eagles soar. In the long grasses lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena prowl. Most dramatic of all is the moment when the migration arrives at the Mara River. They must cross it to reach the rich grazing. As the animal's throng, crocodiles cruise the waters. Then the bravest take the plunge into the swirling currents and thousands follow. Situated right inside the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Governors’ Camps are ideally placed to let you be at the heart of the Great Wildebeest Migration.
Just outside the Masai Mara National Reserve is a traditional Masai community called Mara Rianda. There is a traditional Masai homestead or Manyatta which consists of 48 traditional houses surrounding a cattle enclosure. We encourage clients to visit this manyatta if they are interested in Masai culture and would like to experience a way of life unchanged for centuries. Visitors are always struck by the grace and beauty of the Masai people, and the colorful lifestyle they lead. There is also a bustling curio market where guests can buy traditional Masai beadwork. In order to visit the Manyatta guests must pay for an entrance ticket, which is obtainable from camp reception. This ticketing system was initiated by the Tribal Voices project to ensure that as much revenue as possible goes to the manyatta and ensures a secure and transparent revenue stream for the community. This money is extremely important to the community and they have used it to build a nursery school for 120 children aged between 3 – 5 years. They have built two classrooms, accommodation for 3 teachers and a toilet facility. They have also paid for desks for the school. The money from the ticket entry also helps the community members to buy food, pay for secondary school for their children, and pay for cows the mainstay of the Masai economy. During times of drought when Masai cattle suffer the money earnt from ticket sales helps the community enormously to stay on their feet. Overall this revenue supports 98 different families comprising of 300 individuals.
Relax, Recharge and get away from it all. Why not add an overnight trip to the beautiful unspoiled Island of Mfangano on Lake Victoria onto your safari? Lapped by the waters of Lake Victoria, shaded by giant fig trees and lost to the world, Mfangano Island Camp is an oasis of tranquility, an ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Your first view is of beautiful tropical gardens set on a secluded bay. Lawns hug the waterline, flowerbeds and rock gardens surround the camp and enormous boulders sit at the water’s edge, a perch for cormorants or giant monitor lizards to sun themselves. There is fantastic birdlife which you can enjoy from the comfort of the camp as cormorants dive for fish nearby or spread their wings to dry in the sun and Fish Eagles call from the treetops. You depart the Masai Mara on an early morning flight to Mfangano Airstrip (30-minute flight). Arrive at Mfangano Island and take a boat trip to Mfangano Island Camp in time for breakfast. Spend the rest of the day exploring Lake Victoria (the world’s second-largest freshwater lake), fishing with good chances to catch the giant Nile Perch, bird-watching, visits to see the local ancient rock art, boat rides or walks to the local island villages, or enjoy the prolific birdlife in the camp’s indigenous garden, or sit by the pool reading a book. After a delicious alfresco lunch, you have the afternoon to explore the lake or relax in the camp. Dinner and overnight the following day you have the whole day to relax at the lake before you are returned to the airstrip by boat for your flight back to the Masai Mara. The flight to the Mara will land in time for an afternoon game drive or connect with the afternoon scheduled flights back to Nairobi if you are departing the Masai Mara on that day. Day and overnight trips to Mfangano Island Camp can be booked directly in camp or prior to arrival.