Mara luxury camps reopen to tap wildebeest spectacle cash


Richard Branson-owned Mahali Mzuri will reopen on August 1. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Luxury camps in the Masai Mara including Angama Mara and Richard Branson-owned Mahali Mzuri will reopen on August 1, timing the resumption of international flights and peak of the great migration for numbers.

The camps are targeting tourists coming in to see the great wildebeest migration, dubbed one of the new “Wonders of the World”, which traditionally starts mid-June to mid- October, peaking in July and August.

The annual spectacle of over two million animals migrating between the Mara and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania results in bookings of 90 to 100 percent for the hotels, lodges and camps.

“We have always remained optimistic that we may be able to open this summer and we are thrilled to be able to announce that Mahali Mzuri will be opening its doors just in time for the annual Great Migration,” said Wilson Odhiambo, General Manager of Mahali Mzuri.

Kempinski is also reopening its Olare Mara camp On Wednesday, July 22, targeting domestic travellers ahead of the resumption of international flights next month.

Most properties in the Mara and across the country were forced to shut their doors after government restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 resulted in their domestic and international markets unable to access the properties.

Visitors to the Mara have been increasing annually with the Economic Survey 2020 indicating that last year, there were 286,000 visitors compared to 146,900 in 2015. Though the figure marginally declined from 291,200 in 2018.

Hemingways Collection have also hinted at reopening their Ol Seki camp, though have not indicated the date. The two other properties under the collection are already operational.

Mahali Mzuri, opened in 2013, sits within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy which covers an area of 13,500 hectares.