Kenya's Maasai Mara hotel named top in the world

Tuesday September 14 2021

A giraffe and zebras graze at the front of the Mahali Mzuri luxury tented camp in the Mara. PHOTO | POOL


Kenya continues to reign supreme in global tourism as a luxurious hotel tucked deep inside the Maasai Mara Game Reserve was named the best in the world.

Mahali Mzuri, a 12-tented luxury safari camp located in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy, has been voted the finest in the 2021 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.

Owned by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic, Mahali Mzuri topped a survey that was concluded in May after five months of voting.

The survey allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences in top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas and more over a three-year period, with ratings being based on facilities, location, service, food and overall value.

Mahali Mzuri’s sister hotel Kasbah Tamadot was named the best in North Africa for the fourth time.

“Sending big congratulations to Virgin Limited Edition whose beautiful property in Kenya – Mahali Mzuri – has been named the best hotel in the world. A very special place, run by a brilliant team of people,” Mr Branson tweeted.


The hotel can accommodate up to 24 guests at any given time.

 Visitors get to enjoy a view of the Mara and behold the wildlife through the expansive windows and doors that open up to a massive deck. The tents are strategically raised.

From the camp, guests can watch the annual wildebeest migration.

“Due to Mahali Mzuri’s excellent location on the Kenyan plains, you’ll have a front-row seat, not just to the annual great migration, but also to the abundant game you can see all year round,” the hotel states on its website.

Mahali Mzuri was set up in partnership with former chair of the Kenya Tourism Federation Jake Grieves Cook in 2007 as a way of getting closer to the wildlife and feeding back into the Maasai Mara.

Mahali Mzuri hotel

Sir Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri hotel located at the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the Maasai Mara. The luxurious hotel was voted the finest in the 2021 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. PHOTO | POOL

Mr Cook noted that the Mara ecosystem was in peril and the only way to save it was through development. He reached out to like-minded investors informing them of the opportunity that would conserve Mara and benefit the local community.

The EastAfrican has learnt that a night at the camp costs between Sh150, 000 to Sh330, 000, depending on the season.

Nayara Tented Camp at Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica came second in the awards, followed by The Opposite House in Beijing, the Capella in Bangkok, Capella Ubud in Bali, Indonesia and Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection in Santorini, Greece respectively.

India had the most hotels appearing in the Top 100 ratings with a total of 12 properties.