Mark & Kathy at Mara Plains

Mark & Kathy at Mara Plains

The entrance is unique…..a swing bridge across the river into the comforting shade of riverine trees, and the atrium of the camp is in the glade. The lounge area faces out, westwards over a grassy plain, where a lone thorn tree interrupts the horizon. The suites (hardly tents) are positioned separately and have their own views over the neighbourhood, and rough stone pathways link them to the lodge. A library adjoins the lodge which has been built on an elevated platform ensuring the views are unparalleled.   The furnishings are elegant, stylish and comfortable.

Just as important to me, I spy a brilliant little Blue Flycatcher foraging in the lower leafy canopy and White headed Barbet behaving nervously around a freshly drilled nesting hole.

A convenient termite mound

A convenient termite mound

Our first drive that afternoon is in territory as different as it could be from the dry bush country of Samburu. Here are open plains, green grass in a thick sward as deep as a buffalo’s willy and Yellow throated  and Pink throated Longclaws.  A female leopard and her cub daughter were comfortable enough to come out (against the dark rain-laden sky) and observe us from the top of a convenient termite mound. She sat and watched us with scant interest, as her main concern was the hidden presence of a group of lion that had been downstream of her the night before. She watched the riverine area with studied nonchalance, confident that they were nowhere close, whilst keeping a mothers’ eye on her cub who, now that we had behaved correctly and sat and quietly taken the obligatory 50 photographs, wandered over with bold eyes to our vehicle and sniffed the front bumper!  What a HUGE excitement for Mark and Kathy. And me.