Stay at Mahali Mzuri
A marble bathroom in the Kenyan bush. A swimming pool on the Masai Mara grasslands. Striking circular architecture never before seen in Africa. Welcome to Richard Branson’s safari retreat, a striking and decadent property with as many luxuries as you’ll find in the best five-star city hotels. If you want to go on safari without leaving your comforts at home, this is the place to be. You won’t be immersed in nature but you’ll still be in the Masai Mara, on a big-game safari, basking in an opulence it’s hard to imagine in such a wild place.
Branson built his unusual property in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy. This is in the far north of the Masai Mara ecosystem. The area previously struggled with cattle overgrazing so we’re really impressed at how the arrival of Mahala Mzuri has helped to improve wildlife numbers - it’s a real conservation success and means good safari experiences in the lodge’s immediate vicinity. All guests arrive here on light aircraft.
Some people find the unusual architecture to be an eyesore. Others love the original approach. It’s certainly different and there’s nothing modest about Mahali Mzuri or any of the rooms. Think glass doors, carpets, leather furniture, bathroom marble, private decks, a rain shower and so much more. It’s as far from the classic safari camp as anywhere.
Who is it for
Best for your first time on safari. Best if you want a safari “light” experience and demand all the luxuries. Not recommended if you want to be immersed in the wild and surrounded by wildlife. Children are welcome but most families prefer a camp with a specific program for the kids.
Facilities & activities
It’s tempting to spend all your time at the lodge, wallowing in the amenities. Gastronomy deserves special mention because it’s a remarkable and seemingly unending offering, from bush breakfasts to afternoon game drive tea and so many tasty treats. But the Masai Mara also deserves your time and the safari is very good, experienced on morning and afternoon game drives. You will need to drive 20 - 30 minutes before you reach good predator sightings and big herds. It’s also a long way from the Mara River and hot air balloon launch point.