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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Kenya

Mara Bushtops: the Maasai Mara’s five-star tented spa camp

Mara Bushtops is like being in a five-star hotel under canvas, with its own luxury spa village and supreme wildlife spotting …

By Lawrence Abura
Mara Bushtops Camp Manager

Mara Bushtops is a five-star tented camp and world-class spa village set on the private homestead of the late Glen Cottar. His family, who originated from the USA, were the first people to offer photographic safaris in Kenya over 100 years ago. Glen arrived in the Maasai Mara in the 60s and parked his caravan in front of the biggest natural salt lick in the area and today, the camp is co-owned by Andrew Stewart, a Cottar descendent.

We’re surrounded by the stunning Isaaten Conservancy, which is operated by Bushtops and completely private to our guests. We’re also only a half hour drive to the main gate of the Maasai Mara, so you’ll get the best of both worlds: access to the park and the advantages of staying on a conservancy. Think night game drives, off-road trips and guided walks that aren’t allowed inside the park. You can also enjoy balloon safaris at sunrise, bush breakfasts and guided walks with our Maasai neighbours.

You can expect to see all of Kenya’s iconic wildlife at Mara Bushtops, except the rhino. To name just a few, regular visitors to our salt lick include elephants, giraffes, gazelles, zebras and wildebeest. We also have some resident big cats and there have been several sightings of wild dogs. Guests say they love spotting wildlife on our game drives, which we run in converted 4x4s with experienced rangers and local Maasai guides.

Our luxury tent suites are named after African animals and have been designed to blend into the landscape, offering spectacular views over the greater Mara plains and hills. It’s like being in a five-star hotel under canvas, with your own wooden deck that has a telescope for wildlife watching and a hot tub where you can soak in the evening.

You’ll be pampered with 24-hour butler service and à la carte fine dining, which we offer whenever and wherever you wish, from under a shady tree to the privacy of your tent. Guests often comment on how friendly our staff are, they’re all from the local area and we’re very proud of our team. We think it’s important to give back to the local community, so we support the Nkoilale School with sponsorship programmes and building improvements, such as adding a new library, a canteen and introducing piped water.

Don’t miss our award-winning spa, which is built in the style of an African village with round houses and grass thatched roofs. You can have a range of treatments here with Terres D’Afrique products, made from local plants, roots and seeds. We also have a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room for guests to enjoy. The spa overlooks our salt lick, so you can watch animals coming and going while you relax in the solar-heated pool. In fact, our whole camp is solar powered with back-up batteries.

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Alfred & Lawrence Abura

Lawrence Abura hails from western Kenya and cut his teeth in tourism as a German-speaking tour guide over 25 years ago. He’s been working at Bushtops since the company began in 2006 and is now Camp Manager. Lawrence's favourite part of the job is welcoming back repeat guests; he says it’s the best compliment a manager and his team can receive.
Lawrence Abura, Mara Bushtops Camp Manager

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Annette, who's travelled extensively in Kenya. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife in the Mara, the village chiefs who'll give you a genuine insight into local life and the camp managers who can recommend the very best spot for your sundowner.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656