Sunsrise in Masai Mara, Kenya

Kicheche Mara … and a little night music


Sunsrise in Masai Mara, Kenya

© AGMarks

I was in the middle of the Masai Mara in a tent, though the word ‘tent’ slightly underplays the huge luxury canvas-walled en-suite room I was spending the night in.

My king-size double bed with a high-quality duvet and linens was in the middle of the part of the tent. Bedside tables had good lights, and I had plugs to charge my camera, phone and iPad. In the rear section of my tent, I had a proper flush loo, basins, and a well-designed bucket shower which had been ready for me when I returned, dusty, from my afternoon safari. It was very homely and had everything I needed. In the daytime, I could sit in bed and look out at the camphor-wood valley through the gauze windows of the zipped tent ‘doors’.

Right now though, it was pitch black out there, so I couldn’t see whatever action was going on outside. However, the soundtrack didn’t leave much to the imagination. There was a stand-off between a pride of lions and a cackle of hyenas, presumably over a kill. The kerfuffle of yelps, laughs, growls and roars was impossible to ignore, so sleep wasn’t quick in coming, but I revelled in the knowledge that I was safe in my canvas cocoon yet so enveloped by the wilderness of the Masai Mara.

“The roar was close. Very close. I could almost feel it. It’s funny how you don’t really expect to be so connected to nature when you’re brushing your teeth.”


In the morning the talk was all about last night’s entertainment. Adrenaline had been high amongst all the guests in tents close to the action. But now it was time to head off on our game drive, perhaps for us to spot some of the individuals we’d listened to in the darkness.


Almost all of Kicheche’s guides are silver-rated, and my guide Jimmy was no exception. Within half an hour, we were watching 3 cheetahs, a mother and her two ‘teenage’ daughters. Soon after Jimmy found us a small family of lions enjoying a recent kill they’d hidden in a bushy copse.

The Mara North conservancy is one of the few private conservancies that has a stretch of the Mara River, and Jimmy was determined to show me one of his favourite spots. We had a lovely picnic breakfast watching hippos get grumpy with each other in the river, before heading off once more the enjoy more of the incredible wildlife this conservancy is home to.

I only had time for one night at Kicheche Mara, but it was memorable, not only for the nighttime lion-hyena show, but for the superb guiding, the amazing meals courtesy of Dixon, Washington & Hudson (no, not a safari law firm, but three talented chefs!), the lovely location, and great company.

“Try it, you won’t be disappointed, though I can’t guarantee the evening soundtrack” – Amanda Marks


Amanda Marks went to check out camps and lodges in the Masai Mara in June 2017. See her articles about other camps, and about safariing in the Mara:

Amanda Marks - Author

Amanda Marks is a founder and director of Tribes Travel. She believes travel opens hearts and minds.

Read more articles

Related Articles

The Tribes blog brings you regular articles written by our specialists, travellers or partners and conservationists in our destinations. We have a big collection of articles now, so have a mooch to find some interesting short reads.

Explore more
Explore more