My husband and I had the great good fortune to finish our 10 day Kenya adventure with 5 nights at Offbeat Mara January 4 - 9 of this year. We had been in the Selenkay Conservancy to start (also wonderful), and thought we couldn't possibly see any more wildlife than we had seen there, but staying at Offbeat Mara proved us wrong! The abundance of wildlife at every turn is almost overwhelming, and our wonderful guides (Josphat and Kapeen) made every drive an adventure. They are so very knowledgeable about the animals, land and it's people and such excellent spotters! Amongst a herd of hundreds of water buffalo, they spotted one female giving birth, which was amazing to witness. And at every sighting, not only did they get as close as possible, which provided excellent viewing and photographic opportunities, but they turn off the Land Rover, so that noise and vibration are never an issue. It was baby season in January so we saw the baby version of virtually every animal we encountered. We literally, during our time at Offbeat, saw the full circle of life, from mating lions, to pregnant animals, the birth of the buffalo, the death of animals to feed others, and everything in between.
Enjoying picnic breakfasts and lunches, as well as sundowners, out on the plains during our game drives was nothing short of magical and are memories that we will always treasure. We visited a nearby Masai village on our last day at Offbeat and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the village elder and many of the women (with whom I danced!), going into one of their homes and seeing how they live.
As for the camp itself, it was a wonderful place to stay. We had the best tent (in our opinion) at the edge of camp. From our tent one couldn't even see the other tents and when enjoying our morning coffee each day from our camp chairs, we had a parade of gazelle, zebra - and even 3 lions early one morning. The tent was very, very comfortable, the bucket showers hot and welcome at the end of each day, and the morning wake-up with hot coffee and biscuits most welcome. Coming home after a late afternoon game drive and having hot water ready (our guides always radioed ahead to the camp to have the water ready), a welcome cup of tea, then a sit by the campfire with pre-dinner drinks and snacks while comparing notes with our fellow guests, was lovely. We never, ever felt unsafe at night, and it was unbelievable to hear the lions roaring during the night or hear animals eating the grasses nearby while we were in bed.
The food at the camp was very good, well prepared, and always served with a smile. And as for the camp staff - they were awesome! Miia, the camp manager, was a delight to meet and talk with every day, and was always up to wish us a good drive (even for the very early morning ones!), and there to greet us when we returned to camp. The staff that made our drinks for us, served our meals, brought us our hot water,walked us back to our tents every night after dinner and, of course, our amazing guides - all wonderful! There was nothing they wouldn't do for us when asked.
We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our 5 nights at Offbeat. We met some wonderful people from around the world, enjoyed sharing our safari vehicle with a lovely couple from Madrid, though they had to leave a day before we did, and cannot say a bad thing about our experience at Offbeat Mara. A huge thank you again to Miia and all the staff at Offbeat. They make it look so effortless, but I'm sure it's a huge job to keep things running as smoothly as they do. We would definitely recommend a stay at Offbeat Mara, and perhaps some day will have the good fortune to return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Offbeat Mara Camp is a six tented traditional camp situated in the Mara North Conservancy in an area rich in wildlife. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Offbeat Mara Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Offbeat Mara Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve