Discover Sala's Camp Maasai Mara, Kenya
Experience an authentic and exceptional maasai mara safari
The magic of a kenya safari starts with Sala's camp Maasai Mara
Sala’s Camp is renowned for delivering an authentic safari experience with exceptional personalised service and fine dining. It seamlessly combines a traditional ‘under canvas’ safari experience with contemporary comfort, including private plunge pools and glass fronted tents. Owned by The Safari Collection, it can be booked for a night or as part of a complete tailor-made safari.
Your Maasai Mara safari will begin the moment you arrive at Sala’s Camp. It sits in one of the best locations in the whole of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Intimate and secluded, it is nestled along the tree lined banks of the Sand River in the southern tip of the reserve. As such, it is less than two kilometres away from the Tanzanian border and enjoys a splendid wild outlook and wonderful views into the Serengeti National Park. This also means that it is one of the first camps in the Mara to witness the legendary annual wildebeest migration which thunders by from June to September each year.
Are you excited to explore some of the wildlife and scenery? No need to wait, Karen and James have just returned from an amazing safari experience and share with us their adventure through Maasai Mara.
We flew from Nairobi Wilson Airport to Keekerok. It was a 45 minute flight on a small light aircraft and a great opportunity to take in the stunning Kenyan landscape. On arrival we were greeted by Seseine and Jackson who were to be our guides throughout our whole trip.
Jumping into our safari truck we couldn’t believe our luck… it was spacious, open sided with no windscreen giving us a 360 degree view. It is definitely worth checking out which vehicle you will be allocated and it was by luck that we had exclusive use of ours. This meant that we could spend as little or as much time as we wanted with the animals, taking all the photographs that we wanted. Our guides could really tailor the safari experience to our wants and wishlist.
Sala’s Camp Maasai Mara
We had two wonderful nights at this beautiful camp. We arrived in Maasai Mara mid-morning giving us time to enjoy our first safari en-route to Sala’s Camp. We reached the camp where James and I were greeted with an ice cold beer, and made to feel as if we were being welcomed home.
We made it just in time for the most delicious lunch, set out on the lawn which overlooked the river. We enjoyed incredible views of a large herd of elephant grazing on the other side of the riverbank.
Following lunch we received a warm welcome chat, as you would usually expect to receive, detailing your itinerary, the facilities followed by a tour of the camp. There is a strict policy on no walking around the grounds after dark as the wild beasties roam freely.
Sala’s Camp is a tented ‘glamping’ environment… the concept being the ability to scoop up the whole resort and not leave a footprint. It is made up of individual luxury tents which house a lounge area, seating, big bathing tub, large outdoor veranda with plunge pool and panoramic glass doors with a sundeck overlooking the river.
The facilities within the tent itself are well thought out too. From your usual tea and coffee station to binoculars, your own water bottle and a big fleece cover-up and rain poncho for you to use. You also have a myriad of coffee table books full of beautiful images to inspire your photography. Although your tent is very private and secluded you feel extremely safe with all your home creature comforts.
The main tent houses beautiful fire places which are warm and very welcoming which you will enjoy snuggling up in front of and although the camp was full when we were there it didn’t feel overcrowded.
Dining is predominantly communal, many guests like to gather for pre-dinner drinks and then sit down at the same table together to enjoy a feast after a long and exciting day of safari’s, where they can swap stories of the day’s experiences. We were fascinated by the enormous dining table which has been carved from one local tree, it was huge and so beautiful, easily seating around 30 people. You are able to enjoy private dining at your own table should you wish.
The vibe of the camp is extremely casual, with guests more often than not in their safari gear and hiking boots. The food is surprisingly good considering how secluded you are from normal life and no real menu choices but the food really is great international cuisine with a good variety for children and allergies considered.
The Safari Experience
For a two night stay Sala’s Camp you can expect on average five safari’s. two per day, sunrise and sunset and usually one on day of arrival.
We were initially taken aback by how green and lush the landscape was. The rains had come early which had given the foliage an early injection of life but this did mean the grasses were long making it hard to spot the cats.
On our first safari we came across one beautiful male elephant and a stunning female leopard who was resting in one of the trees. She was more than happy to pose for us, I captured some awesome images of her.
The following day we were taken to Pride Rock, and you absolutely get a sense of that famous scene from The Lion King. A pride of female lions were sunbathing with their cubs and again this was another fantastic photo opportunity.
On arrival at Sala’s Camp your guides ask you if there are any particular animals you are keen to see, your wishlist so to speak and I couldn’t believe it when on the last day one of my wishes to see a male leopard with a kill was fulfilled. They knew where this spectacular animal was and so we were taken straight there after breakfast.
Whilst out on one safari we had a team from National Geographic in the truck next us, so this was my chance to show off my photography skills. Our driver Jackson positioned us right in the middle of a large (maybe a couple of hundred) herd of Buffalo. James and I were so fortunate to have Jackson as our driver as he was fantastic at moving us and positioning us in all the right places to capture the best light and views for our images.
An African Balloon Ride
We’ve been lucky enough to come away on safari several times but we have never taken a balloon ride. And wow are we glad we now have…
We were up extremely early and taken straight to the balloon launch pad. The balloons hold up to a maximum of 16 people but we were fortunate enough to only have eight in our group. Personally, I think 16 would be a bit of squeeze. The views from up high were amazing, to see the landscape and the rivers from the sky was just breath-taking and felt so graceful. We managed to capture plenty of giraffe and cheetah, both such elegant creatures.
The balloon ride was organised by The Safari Collection and our pilot boasted 20+ years flying experience.
We literally came back to earth with a bump and the basket did topple over but it was great fun. Following the flight we were spoilt with a full english breakfast to enjoy with the other guests, we were all still running high on adrenaline from our experience.
Our drivers then took us to our morning safari, so you don’t miss out on. If anything including a balloon ride into your itinerary just enhances the experience giving a wonderfully different prospective of the landscape.
The recent rains had left much of the land quite boggy and this was the day we were going off track to find the lions. Several of the other trucks got stuck, so our guides stopped to help them. Bearing in mind we were out in the wild, exposed to the elements and unprotected from the animals we had to be very aware of our surroundings but this all just added to the excitement.
Did you know?
The Safari Collection believe that we should tread delicately on our planet and leaving behind footprints made only by sandy toes. The aim is to not only share the incredible natural wonders of East Africa, but to be passionate protectors of it.
They take the responsibility to reduce their resources used and environmental pollution very seriously. They are striving to unite sustainable tourism, conservation and community, and in doing so looking to achieve an ecological balance and to live in harmony with the environment, protecting for future generations.
The Safari Collection created a dedicated foundation to protect the environment and impact positively on the communities they work alongside, they call it Our Footprint.
A Maasai Mara safari is also one of the best places to encounter big cats, hence why it was chosen as the location for the well-known TV series ‘Big Cat Diaries’. With one of the highest concentration of predators in the world, there is never a dull day.
The word ‘Mara’ comes from the Maa word for ‘spotted’ (Maa being the official language of the Maasai people). This is because the landscape is dotted with acacia trees and wildlife, making it appear like spots from above. Therefore, as you fly into your Maasai Mara safari be sure to look out of the window for animals scattered on the plains below.
If wildlife photography is your thing, then the Maasai Mara is your place. Photographic opportunities abound on a Maasai Mara safari, from dramatic skylines to golden light and of course the diverse animal life you will come across. The guides are experts at helping you get in position for the best shots and the vehicles are designed for maximum game viewing pleasure.
The Maasai Tribesmen
Most of the wonderful safari guides and spotters at Sala’s Camp are from the local Maasai community. This semi-nomadic group of people have traversed the grasslands of Kenya and Tanzania for hundreds of years with their cattle. As such, they hold a deep understanding for and appreciation of the landscape. The professionally trained Maasai guides are passionate and knowledgeable about the animals, plants and trees you will encounter and they cannot wait to share their insights with you. The striking appearance of the Maasai is characterised by their vibrant red and blue ‘shukas’, or blankets, and colourful beaded jewellery.
The Safari Collection Properties
Embark on a Kenya luxury safari for the journey of a lifetime and be guided to some of the most epic wildlife locations on earth. Experience close encounters with Africa’s ‘big five’ – lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo and feel the essence of the continent running through your veins. So why not team up your Sala’s Camp safari stay with any of the other The Safari Collection properties and benefit from special discounted rates and priority booking and availability.
The Safari Collection is made up of luxury lodges and camps in Kenya’s finest locations.