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After spending time in Tsavo West National Park, Kait and her husband took a Safarilink plane to Mahali Mzuri, Kenya, where they were greeted immediately with champagne - not a bad way to start an adventure!
After a short ride through the bush they arrived at Mahali Mzuri. "It’s safe to say I know why Richard Branson chose this particular area for his camp. It sits high on a cliff, so you can see all the animals as they come over the hills and wander (or run) into the valley below. There is truly nothing quite like sitting on your balcony and seeing zebras, wildebeest and even a leopard hanging out."
Staying in Tent one was great because it was furthest from the reception area and restaurant, so it was really quiet and more animals congregated nearby, because it was on the outer perimeter of the resort. It’s a bit of a walk back to the main hotel area, but well worth it!
Our driver for the duration of our stay was Jackson and we knew after the first game drive (and spotting 2 different prides) that he was going to be an amazing guide. We also learned that he plans to test for his Gold-level guide certification in Spring 2019. It’s the highest level of achievement and is a thorough and rigorous process, so his ambition and knowledge are top notch!
If seeing animals easily is on your bucket list, then the Maasai Mara is definately the place to go. It’s where you can see Africa's Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo), as well as several beautiful prides of lions (including babies!), leopards eating warthogs, baby elephants, a cheetah sprinting toward antelope, beautiful birds, hippos and more. Daily game drives at Mahali Mzuri are structured so that you have one in the morning from 6:30AM to 9:30AM (with a delicious breakfast after) and then an evening drive that begins at 4:30PM and runs until around 7PM when it starts to get pretty dark.
A highlight from our stay at Mahali Mzuri was the Bush Dinner which we enjoyed on our very first night. We finished our game drive out near a local Maassai village and the staff had set up an elaborate bar, kitchen, dining table and campfire for us all to huddle around, eat and share stories of what we saw. It was a great way to start our stay at Mahali Mzuri and meet some of the other people staying there! It’s also important to note that the food is outstanding. I took little-to-no food photos, because I was always engrossed in chatting with my husband or fellow guests.
Seeing the baby lions was another big, big highlight for me. There were 3 different sets of lion cubs and I think we saw them all, despite the lioness mama doing her best to keep them hidden from predators.
Mahali Mzuri was everything we envisioned and more; it was a true testament to the level of service at Virgin Limited Edition properties. The staff, property and location went above and beyond our expectations and we are already counting down until we can visit again!
Kait Hanson is a Hawaii-based freelance writer and photographer, and the creative stylist behind CommuniKait, a lifestyle website and brand designed to inspire others to live their best lives. A serial jet-setter and cocktail connoisseur, she is an expert in designing trips with equal parts adventure and tranquility. Hanson’s work has been featured by Frommer’s, Coastal Living, Trivago, Jetstar, AP, People, and more.
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Mahali Mzuri bush news: July & August sightings
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Mahali Mzuri: A Little Bird Told Us
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Mahali Mzuri: A day with the Maasai
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Mahali Mzuri: The race is on for the Great Migration
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Mahali Mzuri: An unforgettable flying safari experience
24th April 2019
Mahali Mzuri: Did you know?
14th February 2019
Mahali Mzuri: Big cat dynasties
8th January 2019
Mahali Mzuri: Ken-ya feel the love tonight?
1st January 2019