Mahali Mzuri – Experience the Mara

With around 150 camps, lodges and other places to stay overnight – and dozens of vehicles surrounding the same pride of lions – Maasai Mara has morphed into the safari equivalent of Disneyland.

But several places buck the mass tourism trend including Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri camp in Olare Motorogi Conservancy on the outskirts of the national reserve.

The architecture alone makes this wilderness retreat a standout: a dozen futuristic “tents” designed and fabricated by Nairobi-based canvas maestro Jan Allen and rustic chic interiors by London’s Real Studios.

In Swahili the name means “beautiful place,” and it certainly is that, set on a hillside overlooking the grassy plains where a million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of other animals migrate each year.

From the Gordon Ramsey-trained chef to exotic spa treatments (like the Orinka stick massage), the camp reflects Branson’s unique blend of panache and adventure.

The entire camp is available for exclusive use at $18,240 per night.

Doubles from $800 (low season).