Who says that going on a safari must translate to "roughing it?" Last week a new luxurious safari camp opened in Kenya, perfect for those lusting after a safari but aren't keen on letting go of modern conveniences.
The Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara consists of 12 roomy tents—five with twin beds and seven for double-occupancy—within the gorgeous Olare Orok Conservancy, where a large community of lion prides roams. Each tent was built on a 700-acre swath of land with an elevated deck with a private balcony featuring unobstructed views of the Mara Plains and the Ntiakitiak River so that even when you are in your room you never lose sight of the breathtaking surroundings. En suite bathrooms (with a hair dryer, so your locks are never out of place; and bath salts to comfort tired muscles in a soaking tub), seating areas with sofas and rugs, and a comfortable four-poster bed are in each tent. For newlyweds embarking on safari together, there is even a honeymoon suite with a private plunge pool.
While lounging in the camp's swimming pool, with a flute of Champagne, guests are treated to sightings of the camp's resident hippos. Daily chauffeured drives into the Mara are marked by authentic "bush" dining, where food is prepared deep in the African bush. Guests don't have to lift a finger...except to eat, of course. Back at the camp, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available in a variety of dining spaces so that you never get bored with the view. Many of the meals are crafted from ingredients harvested from the on-site organic garden. About 70 percent of the camp's energy is harnessed from solar power.
A three-night/four-day stay starts at $435 per night per person (based on double-occupancy accommodations) and includes airstrip transfers, food and drink, two game drives each day, and conservancy fees. Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara is a one-hour flight from Nairobi or 90 minutes from Mombasa.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Olare Mara Kempinksi