Though Zanzibar has much to offer visitors, the new trends point to a “bush to beach” experience as the tourists’ favorite. Starting their trip with the Masai Mara, also known as “the Mecca for Wildlife,” and completing it on the sandy beaches of Zanzibar leads tourists to fall in love with the island.
Situated in southwest Kenya, the Masai Mara is Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve: an area of rolling hills and woodlands, irrigated by the Mara and Talek rivers, which opens up to the Serengeti plains of Tanzania. The so-called “Big Five” that call this area home are Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion, and Rhinoceros.
From July to October, the Masai Mara becomes the site of one of the Seven New Wonders of the World: the Wildebeest Migration. Over two million animals migrate from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to the greener pastures of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. One of the highlights of the trip is the point at which the animals must cross the Mara River, where they are preyed on by crocodiles.
Masai Mara Camp Experiences
Tourists considering an African Safari experience would be wise to witness the Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara. Along the route, there are terrific campsites which will afford tourists a magnificent experience as they become a part of the migration and experience the Spice Island.
Mara West Camps
Luxury combined with adventure is what tourists experience at the Mara West Camps. Eight exclusive chalets on secluded spots on the escarpment edge overlook the Transmara Triangle. Additionally, six fully canvas safari tents overlook the escarpment bordering valley and offer a more outdoorsy experience.
A high end dining lodge with reception area, outfitted with its own kitchen and staff, was constructed to provide guests with a comfortable and pleasant dining experience. Since opening in 2006, thousands of guests have made Mara West Camp their home while enjoying an unforgettable safari into Masai Mara National Reserve, and it is from the proceeds of this business that AMS continues to carry out development services in the local Masai community.
This eco chic bush camp includes six private tents, each unique in their own way, furnished with large double beds, flanked by bedside tables and writing desks. The adjoining "bush bathrooms" include a shower, twin basins, large bush bathtub and flush toilet. Hanging swathes of cotton and canvas walls provide complete privacy at the Serian Camps.
The Mess deck and indoor fireplace leave one with the impression of having found a home away from home! Enjoying an expansive view of the Mara River and the Oloololo escarpment, the deck area plays host to a great deal of wining & dining.
In the silence of the wilds, in close proximity to animals, away from crowds, luxuries abound at Leleshwa Safari Camp. Stationed in the Masai Mara Reserve, this site offers surprising comforts as you camp in the very midst of East Africa’s great migratory herds. And, for a truly peerless experience in Kenya, the camp provides a wilderness trekking immersion on the northern edge of the Mara ecosystem. But what makes this a truly special is the singular focus on a private, personal encounter with Kenya, which you just won’t find at a typical safari camp or lodge.
Zanzibar Beach Experiences
After the adventures in the African wilderness, the beautifully calm beaches of Zanzibar offer a relaxing experience of coral reefs, white powder sand beaches, crystalline turquoise blue waters, Dhows and ancient towns still quite intact. Stay at one of these oases for a truly spectacular experience:
Heritage and luxury meet in the heart of Stone Town at Jafferji House and Spa, an elegant boutique hotel. Recapturing the romance of travel, it beautifully combines modern luxury with the mesmerizing heritage that has shaped Zanzibar’s history.
Built in 1860 by Princess Kholle, the daughter of the first Sultan of Zanzibar, Kholle House provides a glimpse into the life of a Zanzibarian Princess. Nestled in the heart of Stone Town, it stands as a quiet oasis offering you a private sanctuary from the bustling city life. Designed in an elegant fusion of Swahili and French-Creole, this 10-room boutique hotel allows you to refresh yourself in a swimming pool or enjoy the breathtaking 360° view of Old Stone Town and the Indian Ocean from a roof top tea house.
A blend of boutique sophistication and gracious Swahili hospitality, Kisiwa House is superbly located on a quiet street in the heart of Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, within easy walking distance to significant landmarks, museums, antique shops and restaurants.
Other Stone Town Hotels
Some other recommended hotels in Stone Town include:
For visitors who prefer waterfront accommodations may want to check out:
Bush to Beach to Bongos
The perfect way to conclude the Masai Mara to Zanzibar “bush to beach” experience is with the popular Zanzibari music at a beachfront nightspot. On your last night, visit one of the island’s famous festivals or join in a beach fire drum circle.