October 3, 2019
The most amazing value on luxury travel to the Maasai Mara for last-minute bookings
If you have always wanted to visit the Maasai Mara’s most elegant lodges, but felt the pricing was just out of your reach, a newly launched platform, Last Minute Mara, could help turn your travel dreams into reality.
Last Minute Mara is Kenya’s newest travel platform enabling travellers to seamlessly book all-inclusive package deals to the leading lodges in the Maasai Mara at the best-possible value, for travel within 30 days.
A One-Stop Shop for Spontaneous Travel
A first of its kind in Kenya, the platform aims to ensure steady demand for the Mara’s best lodges year-round, and is aimed at East African residents or those who are visiting Kenya for business and would like to explore the country further with some last-minute leisure travel plans. Every aspect of the trip, from flights to accommodation, safari activities and park fees can be booked and paid for, at the click of a button.
“We realised that there was an untapped market of affluent Nairobi residents and other travellers who were a bit more price-sensitive, but willing to sacrifice the certainty of booking far in advance for better value,” says Nicole Hankar, General Manager of Last Minute Mara. “By providing an easy to use booking process and offering lower rates on both accommodation and flights, we hope that more travellers will begin to consider the Maasai Mara as a holiday or long weekend destination.” This includes affluent Nairobi residents, Kenyan citizens and expatriates, as well as transient visitors such as conference delegates and last-minute business travellers.
How it Works
The website has been built by an all-Kenyan development team, with a focus on a user-friendly interface that provides an end-to-end booking system. By visiting the site, travellers can browse through the various properties offering deals – and once ready to book, the user simply selects their preferred lodge or tented camp, enters their dates, adds their park fees and decides whether they would like to include local flights from Nairobi.
All accommodation packages are inclusive of three meals daily, selected drinks excluding premium wines and spirits, daily safari activities and return Mara airstrip transfers; the user simply needs to add on park/conservancy entry fees, flights from Nairobi if required and pay for the full package using a debit or credit card.
Users of the site can expect to save in the region between 40% and 70% on the usual daily rate, without having to sacrifice on any of the luxury that draws travellers to these exclusive camps and lodges.
“This is a win-win situation for both the traveller and the lodge – the traveller benefits from the best-possible rates, while the accommodation provider is able to sell rooms that may otherwise have remained unoccupied,” adds Hankar.
Already, more than 10 of the Maasai Mara’s most high-end lodges have joined the platform and offered deals for last-minute travel.
Angama Mara is an owner-run lodge comprising two camps of 15 glass-fronted tented suites each, set high along the edge of the Great Rift Valley and the Mara Triangle. Alex Walker’s Serian, is a collection of intimate safari camps comprising of Serian, Ngare Serian and Nkorombo, each set in a different area of the Mara with a maximum of five tented suites and exclusive use of their safari vehicles at no extra cost.
Rekero, Naboisho and Encounter Mara, under the Asilia collection of camps, offer prime locations within the Mara Reserve and the private Naboisho Conservancy, an array of rich experiences such as walking safaris, sundowner excursions and night game drives and a positive impact on the local community.
Saruni Mara and Saruni Wild, located within the private Mara North Conservancy and Lemek Conservancy respectively, offer varying experiences and excellent accommodation in five beautifully and uniquely designed rooms at Saruni Mara and in three spacious tented suites at Saruni Wild.
Cottar’s Camp offers vintage luxury at its best with just eight tented suites designed in the original 1920’s safari style. Set in its own 7608 acre private conservancy, the experiences here are endless.
Speke’s Camp, an intimate eight-tent camp set along the border of the reserve, focuses on the wildlife experience. The camp offers exclusive use of its vehicles to ensure flexibility for each of its guests.
And lastly Kicheche Valley Camp, a luxury eco camp set within the private Naboisho Conservancy, comprises of just six tented suites raised on platforms to allow for great game viewing from the privacy of your tent.
Furthermore, to make these lodges more accessible, last minute: mara is working with Air Kenya, Safarilink and Mombasa Air Safari, allowing users to easily book flights between Nairobi and the Maasai Mara along with their accommodation.
“We are excited to bring so many of the region’s most elegant lodges in what is arguably the greatest game reserve in the world, to an underserved market of flexible professionals. These travellers enjoy the seamlessness of online bookings and are looking to escape the hustle and bustle for their next getaway – without having to spare a single luxurious detail,” concludes Hankar.