At Lightfoot Travel, we believe in crafting extraordinary, life-enhancing holidays that take you further. In southwestern Kenya, the Mara Conservancies offer a unique and enriching experience in the Maasai Mara. Lightfoot Travel's cofounder, Nico Heath, shares his insights into this remarkable destination below, with film and images shot by Callaghan Walsh.

“The memories I’ve created in Kenya over the years are deeply personal and enduring. I always recommend the Mara Conservancies to those who seek a more meaningful safari experience and connection with Kenya’s wild beauty, away from the usual hotspots. In the conservancies, you'll witness the natural harmony of wildlife freely roaming alongside cattle grazing—a unique coexistence maintained by the Maasai communities for generations. This blend of pastoral life and wild nature offers a truly authentic and immersive safari experience.”

Nico Heath, Africa destination expert

The Distinctive Experience of the Mara Conservancies

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is undoubtedly a renowned destination, celebrated for its vast savannahs and abundant wildlife. However, the Mara Conservancies offer a distinctly different and superior safari experience. Located adjacent to the National Reserve, these conservancies are privately owned by the Maasai communities, creating an environment that is less crowded with more intimate wildlife encounters.

Where Wildlife and Local Communities Live Side by Side

One of the most captivating aspects of the Mara Conservancies is the harmonious coexistence of wildlife and local communities. Unlike the national reserve, where the movements of animals are somewhat restricted, the conservancies allow wildlife to roam freely across the landscape. This creates an authentic and dynamic environment, where you can witness the natural behaviour of the animals in their true habitat.

In these conservancies, you can observe the unique integration of cattle grazing alongside wild animals. This traditional practice of the Maasai people has coexisted with wildlife for generations, and it offers a rare glimpse into a sustainable way of life that respects and preserves nature.

Navigating the Conservancies with Expert Guides

With restricted access, navigating the complexities of the Mara Conservancies requires the right advice and the best guides. At Lightfoot Travel, we pride ourselves on our deep knowledge and experience in curating exceptional safari experiences. We understand the intricate layout of the Conservancies and work closely with the best local guides, ensuring you get the most of your time in this remarkable part of Kenya.

Why Choose Lightfoot Travel?

We tailor every aspect of your safari to your personal preferences and interests, providing bespoke itineraries that cater to your desires. From the moment we start planning your trip to the day you return; we ensure every detail is meticulously crafted to exceed your expectations.

Whether it's tracking big cats, exploring the diverse landscapes, or engaging with the Maasai culture, we design your trip to be as unique as you are. Our commitment to excellence ensures that you receive the highest level of service and attention to detail throughout your trip.

Start planning your Kenya safari adventure today. Speak to our team of travel consultants to find out more.

Suggested Itineraries

Kenya Wildlife & Beaches

Laikipia and Northern Kenya Nairobi Maasai Mara & Southern Kenya Kenya's Coast

  • Fly in an open cockpit with a pilot in Lewa Downs
  • Enjoy game drives in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve
  • Go on a Hot Air Balloon Safari just before dawn
  • Learn about indigenous lifestyles in Amboseli National Park
  • Relax by the beach in the southern part of Mombasa
  • See the Rhino and Gravy Zebra in Lewa
  • Witness the great migration in Maasai Mara

When to go:

ideal length 11 nights

Undiscovered Kenya

Laikipia and Northern Kenya Maasai Mara & Southern Kenya

  • Experience the thriving rhino sanctuary in Meru National Park

  • Explore the bush on walking safaris with experienced Samburu guides

  • See elephants at close quarters in the Sarara viewing hide

  • Witness big cats and the Great Migration in the Maasai Mara

  • Meet Maasai tribes on cultural village visits

When to go:

ideal length 9 nights
Destinations Featured in the Article
Walking with Maasai Guides in Kenya

Maasai Mara & Southern Kenya

The Maasai Mara is world famous for its exceptional population of lions, leopards and cheetahs.The annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest every year from July to October is one of the most sought after safari experiences.

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