Offbeat Mara is owned and run by Offbeat Safaris and originally founded in 1990 by the late Tristan Voorspuy. Offbeat Mara is perfectly suited to travellers seeking a classic safari in one of Kenya’s most wildlife-rich regions! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, all safari activities, transfers between the camp and Mara North Airstrip, Wi-Fi (available in the evenings), and a laundry service. The camp is open from December to mid-April and June to mid-November.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is accessed via about an hour’s road transfer from Mara North Airstrip. It’s situated in the Mara North Conservancy, not far from the Olare Orok river.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT OFFBEAT MARA:
Guest accommodation consists of four double or twin tents and three tents for family use, all spaced well apart and nestling neatly into the bush. The tents are Meru style – an exterior layer of canvas extends over the inner layer to create a shady veranda at the front. This area has lounge chairs as well as dining chairs and a small table, and it’s a great spot for relaxing and enjoying your views over the conservancy! Entering a standard tent, you’ll find a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, a writing desk and chair, a safari chair or two, and an adjoining dressing room with plenty of storage space for clothes and other belongings. The dressing room flows through into the washroom, which has a flush toilet, twin washbasins with mirrors over, and a classic bucket shower! Each family tent offers a second bedroom with twin beds for children. However, one unit is newer and a bit larger. It has a short corridor connecting the two bedrooms, both of which have a shower room en suite. Camp staff members provide assistance for disabled travellers on request.
The mess tent at Offbeat Mara is positioned close to the Olare Orok river. A canvas structure mounted on a wooden deck, it’s positioned in the shade of trees and its sides can be rolled up or down to ensure guests’ comfort. Inside, there’s a pleasant lounge area, featuring colourfully cushioned seating around coffee tables and a cosy fireplace. In the dining room, chic wooden tables-and-chairs are set up in readiness for delicious meals. There’s also a bar/library area with Wi-Fi. The forest deck provides a lively venue for al fresco eating and drinking, while the campfire is the place to go for gatherings that usually involve sharing your safari stories!
ACTIVITIES AT OFFBEAT MARA:
The camp offers an exciting variety of activities, as follows:
Expertly guided game drives- The Mara North Conservancy comprises some 30,000 hectares of savanna, woodlands, and water sources. It’s home to a real wealth of wildlife – all Big Five (it's worth noting Rhino are very rarely in the conservancy, although can occasionally be seen on trips to the Mara Reserve), numerous smaller predators and herbivores, and hundreds of types of bird! Offbeat’s game drives take place in early morning and late afternoon into evening, and they’re ideal for covering a lot of ground. And if you visit the camp during the months from July to October, you can look out for the huge herds of the Great Migration, moving around the Mara region in search of food.
Walking safaris- Also enjoyed in the presence of a knowledgeable and experienced guide, walks provide excellent opportunities to scrutinise Mara North’s plants, insects, and bird life. You can also track big game, such as lion!
Line fishing- Spend a relaxing few hours fishing for catfish, on the banks of the Olare Orok river.
Village visits- There’s a Maasai village about an hour’s drive from camp. Here, you can meet the Maasai and find out all about their ways of life. A school trip is possible too, to Aitong Primary School, also an hour away.
Hot air balloon safaris- Little Governors’ Camp, in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, is the launch location for sunrise balloon rides over the area. Guests of Offbeat Mara have a very early start to the morning, as the drive to Little Governors’ takes an hour, but the thrill of this experience is well worth it! For an hour, you’ll enjoy views of the Mara’s plains, woods, and rivers, before descending to a tasty breakfast complete with sparkling wine.