Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya
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GOVERNORS' CAMP -
MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE, KENYA
The setting is magical. So much so that almost a century ago it was reserved exclusively for Kenya’s colonial Governors. Governors’ Camp nestles in the forest along the winding banks of the Mara River, its waters teeming with bird life, hippo and crocodile. Some of the 37 tents line the riverbank, with uninterrupted views over the Mara River, while others have views across the sweeping plains. Created in 1972, Governors’ Camp set new standards in luxury for a tented camp. Today it’s still one of Africa’s best.
Created in 1972, Governors' Camp set new standards in luxury as a tented camp, putting particular emphasis on comfort and service, complimented by the sort of good food which would have been impossible in the bygone days of the grand safari. Maintaining these unique qualities as a tradition, the camp has been refined and improved through the years.
Special care is taken to preserve an atmosphere in which today's traveller can share the same elemental landscape that inspired Hemingway and magnetised adventurers the world over. The site and size of a safari camp is critical to its vitality. Governors' Camp, with its 37 tents set amongst the trees along the Mara river, also has unrivalled views over the plains and is visited and re-visited by guests who find its continued excellence, personal style and family feeling quietly reassuring.
Governors' Camps offers the following addtional safari camps in the Masai Mara:
Little Governors' Camp
Governors' Private Camp
IL Moran Camp
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Governors’ Camp has 37 luxury tents and is located right in the heart of the best game viewing area of the Masai Mara. All guest facilities are under canvas and keep the authentic, traditional safari atmosphere. The guest tents are large, light and bright, with beige canvas, spacious bathrooms and extended verandahs. Some of the tents have views across the sweeping plains of the Masai Mara, while others look over the banks of the meandering Mara River. All tents are in the classic safari style, each with en-suite bathrooms with shower and basin, running cold and hot water as well as a flush toilet. Gas and paraffin lamps are used for lighting.
The privately located Justus Suite is perfect for honeymoon couples, as is tent 37, which has incredible views over the Mara plains and its wildlife. The dining tent, the campfire and the bar tent are the centre of the camp. Next to the reception is a small gallery with local paintings and handcrafts, as well as a small souvenir shop.
Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, alfresco. Dinner is served in the dining tent. For dinner the menu offers a choice of four courses, including a choice of main courses. A traditional campfire is lit at sunset every evening and after dinner clients enjoy sitting around the campfire, reminiscing about their safari in its evocative light.
Information and Details:
||On the banks of the Mara River in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya.
|Number of beds
||37 tents (74 beds).
|Double & Twins
||24 Twins, 12 double tents, 1 Suite (Justus Suite).
||En-suite bathrooms with shower, basin, flush toilet, bidet and hot and cold running water.
||Spacious luxurious safari tents entirely under canvas, each with private verandah.
||Gas & Paraffin lamps in tents. 220 Volt plugs at reception.
|Bar / Restaurant
||Open bar and dining tent with view over the Mara river and the open plains of the Masai Mara.
||Room service on request. Tea and coffee is served in the tents with the morning wake up call.
||Bush breakfast, lunch & dinner can be organised on request at a supplementary cost.
||Curio Shop is open daily.
||Arranged daily at no extra cost.
||Visa, Mastercard, Eurocard, American Express and Traveller Cheques are accepted.
||Telephone, Fax and Email in camp. A satellite telephone is available. Radio contact with other camps and the Nairobi office.
||Length 1.600 m, all weather gravel airstrip, Coordinates: S 0117.98 E 3503.92
images of Governors' Hot-Air Balloon Safaris, click Governors' Balloon
The best location, the best guides, the best vehicles and the widest variety of activities. Governors' offers some of the best game viewing in the Masai Mara. All the Governors’ Camps are inside the Reserve, so you won’t waste time getting to the action.
The Masai Mara is a unique area, with a constant and unrivalled flow of wildlife throughout the year. From July to October the Mara becomes a backdrop for one of the last great natural wonders of the world, when 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra surge up from the Serengeti plains in their annual search for the seasonal grasses that sustain them. The spectacle, as the vast herds cross rivers and sweep through the golden grasses, is punctuated by individual struggles with the predators, which are in turn drawn to take their part in this dramatic event. Whilst the migration is spectacular, game viewing at all other times of the year remains almost unrivalled anywhere in Africa.
There are various activities on offer: game drives in open Landrovers, game walks or balloon flights over the wide plains of the Masai Mara. Day excursions to the Lake Victoria are also on offer. However, we recommend booking these excursions well in advance and combining the Lake Victoria trip with an overnight stay. All meals, three game drives daily as well as laundry is included in the price. Park entrance fees, drinks as well as other activities (such as walking, ballooning, Lake Victoria excursion, a visit to a Masai village) are to be paid separately. Please let us know special dietary requirements in advance.
images of Governors' Wildlife & Safari Activities, click Governors' Wildlife
||3 game drives per day, early and mid morning as well as the afternoon with experienced driver guides in the Masai Mara Game Reserve (included in the price).
||With professional balloon pilots daily, at dawn, in the Masai Mara Game Reserve followed by a champagne bush breakfast and game drive on return to camp (Additional charge).
||Daily, with qualified guides in a private concession area adjacent to the Masai Mara Game Reserve; morning with a champagne bush breakfast and afternoon with sundowners and canapés (Additional charge).
||Visits to a nearby Masai village (manyatta) can be arranged (to be paid locally) or visits to the local school, one of Governors’ Camps charity and community support initiatives.
|Mfangano Island Camp on Lake Victoria
||Day excursions to Lake Victoria by light aircraft. Bird watching, boat rides, walking and fishing are available on Lake Victoria. Excursion with overnight at Mfangano Island Camp highly recommended (booking prior to the trip is advisable) (Additional charge).
Governors’ Camp properties combine the best locations in the Masai Mara with the best-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.
Leave your vehicle behind and take a walking safari with one of the experienced and qualified naturalists for the true thrill of the bush. Down on the same level as the animals, you will experience the untamed beauty of the Mara. The walking safaris take place in a private concession area adjacent to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The scenery here differs significantly from the Masai Mara. Picturesque acacia trees characterise the hilly landscape and you can enjoy walking through either in the morning or afternoon. The walk takes approx. 1.5 to 2 hours.
You will track game, unsure what waits round the next corner, giraffe, buffalo, hyena, zebra or even lion. You will catch the scents and sounds of the wild Africa and at the end of it all waits a sumptuous bush barbecue breakfast, complete with champagne. Your drive back to the camp again is a game drive through the Masai Mara. Afternoon walking safaris are finished with sundowner drinks and canapés.
Participants in a walking safari should be in good health and be reasonably fit and active. There is no path as such and some parts of the walk lead through hilly and rocky areas. Children under 10 years are, for safety reasons, not allowed to participate in walking safaris.
Masai Cultural Visits
Take a drive out to visit a traditional Masai manyatta or homestead, to experience a way of life unchanged for centuries. Visitors are always struck by the grace and beauty of the Masai people, and the colourful lifestyle they lead.
In October 2006, and to assist these communities with conservation of local woodland habitats, Governors’ Camp commissioned its first “Bio-gas” project at one manyatta. This will provide residents of that manyatta with methane gas generated from dung from the Masai’s own cattle. Methane can be used for cooking thus eliminating the need for the women to collect fire-wood which is both harmful to the local woodlands and takes up time that could be used in a more economically productive way. We welcome the assistance of our clients in these socio-economic and conservation.
Hot-Air Balloon Safaris For
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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 and the hot air balloon fills, then rises.
Suspended in a basket beneath the rainbow-coloured canopy, you’re off for a game-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 honoured 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 leisurely game drive to Camp. It is a tradition of Governors’ that each passenger is presented with a certificate signed by the pilot to commemorate the flight.
The Great Migration
After the rains when the first flush of grass turns the Masai Mara’s golden savannah green, the most mesmerising 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. The herds right outside Governors Camp 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 animals throng, crocodiles cruise the waters. Then the bravest takes 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 to be at the heart of the Great Wildebeest Migration.
Lake Victoria Day Trips
Mfangano Island Camp is a tranquil retreat on an island with no vehicles, where transport is by colourful local canoes. It offers a perfect place to relax and unwind, either at the beginning or the end of your safari. The following activities are available at Mfangano Island Camp:
Fishing for Nile Perch and Tilapia
Visit Nyakweri Primary School and Village
Visit the caves containing pre-historic rock art
Further afield… day trip by aircraft to Kakamega Forest – one of Kenya’s premier bird watching areas.
Specialist guiding: ornithology, photography
Meals & sundowners in the Bush
Relaxation in Camp
Community Support Projects
Together with its clients, Governors’ Camp has been supporting Mara Rianda Primary School near the Masai Mara for many years. To date, their support has included:
Construction of 5 classrooms & one library
Construction of accommodation for 6 teachers
Installation of rainwater collection & storage systems
Installation of solar lighting
Payment of salaries of 4 teachers
Sponsorship of 3 exceptional students through Secondary School
Donation of books, stationery and teaching materials
Equipping all classrooms with desks
Constructed a bio-gas plant to provide the community with free cooking fuel
Mara Rianda Charitable Trust, a UK registered charity established in 2004 by clients of Governors’ Camp has, together with Governors’ Camp:
Installed a borehole to supply fresh water
Constructed a fence around the school
Paid the salaries of 3 teachers
Donated large quantities of books, stationery and teaching materials
Provided bursaries to exceptional students
Seasons: Open throughout the year.
Mid Season (01Jan to 31Mar; 01Jun to 15Jul; 01Nov to 14Dec)
Green Season (01Apr to 31May)
High Season (16Jul to 31Oct; 15Dec to 31Dec).
Children: all ages are welcome and catered for.
Luggage: Maximum 15 kg luggage per person in small air craft, including hand luggage. Extra luggage can be left at your base hotel in Nairobi.
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