Masai Mara Reserve, Narok, Kenya
This exclusive eco-friendly lodge lies just outside the Masai Mara National Reserve, inside Mara North Conservancy in a remote valley of olive and cedar trees. Each of the six cottages has polished wooden floors and is furnished with hand-carved cedarwood beds, Persian rugs, African art, colonial antiques, and comfortable chairs. You'll dine at a long table at Kuro House, the main lodge, which combines an eclectic mix of old-style Africa and modern design. The Italian cuisine here is superb, but there's also a wide international menu available that uses fresh, locally grown, organic produce. You can also participate in a bush barbecue or dine alone by candlelight on your veranda. The library has a superb collection of Africana—it's definitely worth a visit. Children of all ages are welcome. The tucked-away Masai Wellbeing Space, which uses local plants for its treatments, is run by one of Italy's most famous spas, Centro Benessere Stresa, and is considered one of the best spas in Kenya. All the guides are members of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association, and Saruni supports the innovative Koyiaki Guiding School, which trains young Kenyans. Make sure you factor in the $116 per-person, per-day park fees into your expenses as this is not included in the lodge's fees.
- specialized guiding, such as bird-watching, is available
- there's a forest view
- because of the altitude, there are no mosquitoes
- the camp is a fair distance to the Masai mara National Reserve, where you can see migrating wildebeest
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