FAQGetting to and from the Masai Mara:
The resident game on the Masai Mara means that this is a year round destination. The area changes throughout the seasons and you will find more information on this in the ‘Times of Year’ section.
Richard’s River Camp is located in Mara North Conservancy (a 45 minute flight from Nairobi). There are scheduled daily flights from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Mara North Airstrip, which is our nearest strip in the Mara. Our office can help you with these flights. Alternatively some of our guests do use private light aircraft or helicopter charters and again we can assist you with these.
What is the difference between the Masai Mara Reserve and the surrounding Conservancies?
Lying to the northern and eastern boundaries of the Masai Mara Reserve, many of the former cattle ranches have now been converted into wildlife conservancies. These are exclusive wildlife areas accessed only by guests staying within these designated areas/private conservancies. The area is not fenced and represents a true wilderness where animals can come and go as they please.
Since the conservancies were formed, much of the game in the reserve has now moved into these areas and has made them their permanent homes, resulting in prolific wildlife year round.
The reserve itself does still hold some draw, in particular during the migration when the world famous river crossings are witnessed. We do encourage our guests to visit the reserve in high season to see this spectacle, and it is within easy reach of our camp.
When staying with us at Richard’s River Camp, you have direct access to Mara North, Lemek and Ol Choro conservancies as well as the Mara Reserve.
Staying in the conservancy areas also means that you are able to experience the area on foot (guided bush walks) and night game drives which are not allowed when staying within the reserve itself. In addition to this, you can enjoy wonderful bush dinners, lunches and breakfasts at stunning locations away from camp, which is not allowed in the reserve. Please click here to see a map of the Masai Mara.
What type of clothing should I pack?
The Masai Mara is at an altitude of 5,300ft above sea level and therefore early mornings and evenings can be a little chilly. We would recommend that you pack a warm fleece or jumper and a lightweight, wind-proof jacket. The days tend to be quite warm so cool cotton clothing is recommended. For game viewing purposes, muted or “bush” colors are preferred.
As you are at altitude the sun can be quite powerful and we suggest a high factor sunscreen, sunglasses as well as a wide brimmed hat. A good pair of walking shoes is also beneficial, as we are in the conservancies and not a reserve many of our guests do take the opportunity to do some walking in the area.
There are strict weight restrictions on the aircraft of 15kg packed in soft bags. Laundry can be done daily in camp, we do ask that you do not request the camp to launder expensive materials while staying with us or present laundry the day before your departure as it may not be dry/ready in time.
What is included in the rate?
Full board accommodation, local airstrip transfers, sundowners, a variety of drinks (soft drinks, beers, house wines and selected house spirits), bush meals (breakfasts, lunches and/or dinners), day & night game drives, guided bush walks, local airstrip transfers (from Mara North Airstrip) and laundry are all included in your stay at with us.
What is not included in the rate?
Not included are: conservation fees, hot air balloon flights, cultural visits, champagne, premium spirits and cellar wines, purchases from the camp boutique, staff gratuities and anything else of a personal nature.
What activities can you do at Richard’s Camps?
Included in the nightly rate are the following:
• Game Drives
• Night Drives
• Guided bush walks
• Bush Breakfast, Bush Dinners, Sundowner excursions
For an additional cost we can also arrange the following:
• Cultural visits to a local Masai village
• Hot Air Balloon flights over the Masai Mara
• Visits to the Rhino sanctuary
How long should I stay to experience the Masai Mara?
We do believe that the longer you can spend in the Mara the more you will get out of it and we would strongly recommend focusing a significant proportion of your trip to this area. Although we do not have a minimum stay we would recommend at least 3 nights to experience all that’s on offer.
Malaria & Mosquito’s:
We recommend that you take the advice of your medical practioner when considering anti-malarial medication. Although the Masai Mara does not have a high prevalence of malaria is is classed by the World Health Organization as an area of potential risk.
The tents are designed with netted windows and doors, and the staff will take precautions against mosquito’s during ‘turn-down’ service in the evenings.
We would also encourage you to wear long sleeves and trousers in the evenings, with socks and closed shoes and also recommended the use of insect repellant.
We do provide clean bottled drinking water from sustainable sources on all activities as well as throughout the camp. We are committed to sustainability and therefore do try to minimize the use of plastic bottles by decanting our drinking water into reusable bottles in camp. Should you prefer to bring your own water bottles, you will be able to re-fill these daily around the camp. Alternatively there will be sealed water bottles on offer for all of your activities.
Food and dining experience:
Our chefs have been trained in international cuisine and produce a fantastic variety of food for you throughout your time with us. Special diets and requests can be catered for but we do ask you for advanced warning in the case of very specific dietary requirements.
We do have a small vegetable garden at camp that produces most of the fresh herbs, lettuces and other ingredients for our delicious salads and vegetarian options.
Tipping and Payments:
Many of our guests do feel that they would like to leave something as a token of their appreciation for the staff when they leave. Please note that we can only accept cash for the staff tips, this can be accepted in Kenya Shillings, US Dollars, GB Pounds or Euros. As a guideline we would suggest $10-15 per guest, per night to the general staff tip pool and $20 per person, per day between your guide and spotter (i.e. $10 each). Please remember that these are guidelines only and tipping is completely at your discretion.
We do have a small boutique at the camp offering a selection of high quality Kenyan products. We do have a credit card facility in camp but please note that it is not always reliable due to poor phone signal and there is a 5% surcharge for these transactions.
There is nowhere to withdraw cash in the Mara, so we do encourage guests to carry some cash with them if possible.
What are the communication facilities like?
There is limited mobile phone service at the camp. We do offer complimentary Wi-Fi which is limited, ideal for checking emails only.
And now to the little things!
We do endeavor to make your stay as comfortable as possible while you are with us but it is important to remember that this is a wildlife area; our camp is not fenced and therefore we can encounter wild animals in camp. Our staff are trained to deal with these situations and will escort you to and from your tent at night.
Do please also consider that there are smaller members of the eco-system that can be difficult to see or harder to prevent coming into camp, these do include flying insects and invertebrates, the staff will be on hand to assist you should this be the case.