Instinct of the Mara sunset

Instinct of the Mara Review | Masai Mara Family Lodge

Arriving in the Masai Mara always blows my mind. I really do find it hard to describe it. I feel nothing can do it justice – you have to be there to believe it.  We have just had the most incredible three weeks away in Africa and have made family memories that will last a lifetime many of which are thanks to Secluded Africa and our stay at Instinct of the Mara. You cannot beat a safari holiday and staying at Instinct of the Mara was incredible. The Masai Mara is an absolute delight for nature and wildlife lovers, and yes you 100% go on safari with kids. Seeing the “Big Five” in the wild is one of the most memorable things one can ever experience, imagine sharing that with your children.


Instinct of the Mara sunset


The Masai Mara in Kenya features a kaleidoscope of wild landscapes and the Masai people are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. The Masai Mara is world-famous for the Great Migration where 1.5 million wildebeests travel across the savannahs each July through to October. Kenya is the most popular destination for safaris in the whole world, the scenery is breath-taking and it is full of culture. The coastline and tropical beaches of Kenya are also very appealing, attracting many travellers to stay year after year.


Where is the Masai Mara and Why is it Special?

The Maasai Mara is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa. The Masai Mara National Reserve is in the Southern part of Kenya along the Great Rift Valley area. It is most famous for its wildlife and conservation and wilderness areas. Some of the wild animals you will find here include lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras and hippos. If you and your family love wildlife and nature then the Masai Mara is certainly worth a trip.

The Mara is also best known for the annual wildebeest migration which unfolds between the months of July-October, as large herds of over a million plus wildebeest or gnu as they are also known, migrate north into Masai Mara from the nieghboring Serengeti National Park located in Tanzania, crossing the Crocodile-infested Mara River on the way. There are plenty of places that families can stay – right in the heart of the Masai Mara, we stayed with Secluded Africa at the Instinct of Mara lodge and we were not disappointed.


Instinct of the Mara Masai Mara plains

Secluded Africa

Secluded Africa are the owners and managers of exclusive and barefoot luxury lodges in Kenya. These lodges include Delta Dunes, Kipalo Hills, Sunbird Lodge, Instinct of the Mara and Cardamom House. These lodges are located in Kenya. The core focus of Secluded Africa is Wildlife and Nature conservation and culture and communities. The lodges are run entirely by locals and they are the most friendly and helpful people you will meet.

Instinct of the Mara – Olderkesi Conservancy, Masai Mara

The location of Instinct of the Mara is set within 8,000 acres of privately held unspoilt, conserved land, surrounded by lush woodlands and nestled on the side of a hill. Instinct of the Mara offers views of a thriving wildlife haven. Bordering both the famous Masai Mara and Serengeti parks, this natural wildlife corridor is teeming with animals, yet it is in the most special secluded location.

Secluded Africa – Instinct of the Mara

Accommodation at Instinct of the Mara 

Between the complete privacy of the conservancy, solar powered utilities and two fresh water springs, Instinct of the Mara couldn’t be farther from the busy Masai Mara region to the North West and it’s simply breathtaking. At the Instinct of Mara there are a mixture of accommodations that you can choose to stay in.


Instinct of the Mara family tent


With only seven Premium Tented Suites and two Luxury Tented Suites, there is no expectation that you will have the ultimate privacy and indulgence here. All of the suites have a private veranda where you can enjoy views of nature and feel the sense of adventure oozing from every pore. Each Luxury Suite has two rooms, a bathtub and private entrance making it ideal for families. One suite has a private plunge pool and the other has a private deck.


On the property there are two large luxury suites complete with a spacious living room, huge patios and private decks, and two separate bedrooms. You will get to enjoy your privacy in a large space, which is great for families, complete with beautiful views, and wildlife visible from your deck.

Hemingways Suite

These magnificent tented rooms are elegantly furnished and spread out across the forested site with private balconies offering excellent views of the plains which are teeming with wildlife.


Meals – All inclusive

The meals are in inclusive in the price and were delicious. They are accommodating to children and were happy to meet their needs with chicken nuggets, sausages and chips!

We were offered a bush breakfast and lunch on our full day with them. There really is nothing quite like sitting in your very own outdoor restaurant, surrounded by nature, watching elephants in the distance whilst you sip a cold glass of wine.



Activities at Instinct of the Mara

There are so many unique activities to choose from at Instinct of the Mara and any that you choose to do will stay with you forever. Nothing is too much trouble and everything has the wow factor. Our favourite being the sundowners – it was the most incredible evening.


Activities are arranged to each guest’s preference and the options include:

Game drives (day and night) are in custom built 4×4 vehicles with open roof hatches and sides so each guest is guaranteed a window seat.


The Waterfall is in a stunning location with incredible views, an exciting nature hike, and the opportunity to swim at a beautiful spot underneath the falls.


Bird watching around the camp or on guided ornithological walks.


Cultural visits to the local Masai villages (market, homes, and schools).


Safari Bush walks in the surrounding area.


Balloon safaris (at additional cost).


Sundowners on the nearby hills offer the most splendid view of Masai land.

Where are Secluded Africa’s Other Lodges?

Delta Dunes – Tana River, Lower Tana Delta Conservancy

Delta Dunes “The Wild place by the Sea” is a lodge which combines beach, river and bush. Perched on top of miles of rolling sand dunes with views overlooking the old delta of the Tana River on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. Alfresco accommodation and a mess area are built in a castaway style but with all the ultimate comforts. This is the only wetland of its type in Eastern Africa.


Kipalo Hills – Mbulia Conservancy, Tsavo West

Perched on the side of the Mbulia Hills, Kipalo Hills has fantastic views looking out across the 12,000 hectares Mbulia Conservancy towards Ngulia Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro. This is a comfortable camp with delicious, fresh cuisine, 5 double mobile tents and 1 luxurious suite. Kipalo Hills was built with the people and for the local community to benefit from protecting the resident wildlife, especially the elephants.


Cardamom House – Your Ultimate Beach Hideaway

 Cardamom House consists of four separate buildings:

  • Manda Toto
  • Villa Shela
  • The Tower
  • Villa Lulu


Manda Toto (the main house)

Facing the sea and positioned at the centre of the property between Villa Shela and The Tower, Manda Toto is where guests are greeted on arrival. There is a bar, Galleria, Barrazza lounge and dining area on the ground floor. The infinity pool is set in the corals alongside Manda Toto.

Manda Toto has two penthouses located on the first floor, each with a master suite and a second room garden facing. The rooms are inter-connected with a terraced lobby. An independent sea facing terrace includes a kitchen and dining area, offering a luxurious space for privacy.


Villa Shela

There are two suites in this villa, all sea facing. The rooms have access to  two independent Barazzas offering spaces for privacy, sundowners and dining.


The Tower

There are three suites in this villa, all sea facing. All rooms have access to  two independent Barazzas offering spaces for privacy, sundowners and dining.


Villa Lulu

This is a beautiful sea facing suite featuring a large king size bed, private garden terrace with access to the swimming pool, walk-in closet, indoor and outdoor showers, air conditioner, ceiling and standing fans and internet.

The suite can easily be combined with Shela to have a three suite family villa.


When is the Best time to go to Kenya?

The best time to go on a safari holiday in Kenya is anytime between June to October. If you travel in early September, you can almost guarantee that your trip will coincide with the famous wildebeest migration across the Masai Mara. If you visit between December and March – the sunshine and temperatures are at their best and rainfall is at a minimum. However, with a diverse geography and a moderate climate, Kenya is considered a great year-round safari and beach holiday destination.

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Hi, I’m Anna, a travel loving wife to Tristan and Mother to 6 year old twins Poppy and Tabitha, their 3 year old sister Matilda, and together we are Twins and Travels.

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