Live the Suite Life at Great Plains’ Most Exclusive Private Safari Residences in Kenya

January 2022…// Great Plains, founded in 2006 by National Geographic filmmakers and explorers-in-residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, offers an extensive portfolio of world-class safari suites across Kenya as well as in Botswana and Zimbabwe.

“We wanted to develop a private homely and isolated set of suites at a level where our guests can spread out and make it their own, for days, weeks at a time, in the style they are at least used to at home, or better,” commented Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains

For those in search of the ultimate bucket-list-in-the-bush experience, the iconic eco-tourism company offers a selection of truly exceptional exclusive-use suites which take safari-chic to the highest level. In Kenya these include:

Mara Plains Jahazi Suite at Great Plains Mara Plains Camp, Kenya   

Mara Plains Camp officially re-opened to guests on the 1st of June 2021 after undergoing an entire camp refurbishment, which included adding the exclusive new two-bedroomed Mara Plains Jahazi Suite. Located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in Kenya, this is one of the most concentrated wildlife destinations on the planet with unrivalled access to more than 100,000 acres of exclusive land as well as access to the 375,000-hectare Maasai Mara Reserve. Mara Plains Camp now shines brighter than ever before with a refreshed new look and a new exceptional exclusive-use villa residence created and designed by Great Plains co-founders Dereck and Beverly Joubert.

The intimate and exquisite Mara Plains Jahazi Suite, with fine art by Beverly Joubert, is the perfect base from which to experience a private Kenya safari of the wildlife spectacle on offer in the Masai Mara Reserve and the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy. The two-bedroomed suite is on raised, recycled railway sleeper decking and offers guests incredible views of the steady stream of wildlife parading past whilst discreetly tucked away under the tree canopy.

“Here we wanted to express via the design, a meeting place of three different cultures with the Maasai brightly colored hues, references to the colonial railways (in the railway teak wood and brass train fittings) and the Swahili doors, all of which make up this rich and diverse world of the Mara,” says Dereck.

Wi-Fi and work desks are in the suite for those needing to stay online; otherwise, guests are encouraged to ‘disconnect to reconnect.’ Careful tent design maintains a comfortable climate for relaxation in an Emperor bed with bed linens by Prasthishta. Here, one is pampered by a team of 4 dedicated staff members and looked after with a feeling of vast space and the Mara’s wilderness all around you. A large library, art collection, hot tub, option to go glamping, private dining, day and night wildlife drives and viewing the sparkling African stars through a Celestron Telescope with a sundowner in hand are all daily activities available to guests staying at the new suite.

The Mara Plains Jahazi Suite is part of Mara Plains Camp and a member of the Great Plains Conservation Réserve Collection of safari camps. It is also proud to be one of only three Relais & Châteaux private Kenya safari camps, the others being Mara Nyika Camp and ol Donyo Lodge.

Sambu Suite, ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya

Guests arriving at ol Donyo Lodge’s port-cochère will be delighted to find that by turning left of the lodge’s entrance, they are to reside at the private two-bedroomed Sambu Suite. They will be the only guests on this exclusive, ‘first-class’ side of ol Donyo Lodge. This is a Great Plains Conservation Réserve Collection and Relais & Châteaux member property and space is the premium with just seven suites in 350,000 acres of land to explore.

Walking along the volcanic, black sand path you will pass the spa on the right is the gated wooden door entrance, engraved ‘Sambu Suite’, named after a nearby hill of the same name that has striped patterns like that of a lesser kudu antelope, locally known as sambu. Beyond this suite, the path leads to the spacious private guide/pilot accommodation. This ensures the guide is close on hand should guests need assistance beyond what the lodge staff are able to offer.

Steps from the Sambu Suite’s entrance gate lead guests down to enjoy elevated views over the acacia forest and plains which stretch toward a backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. Below the Sambu Suite is one of four waterholes, fed by filtered water from the bath and shower, which attracts wildlife from big-tusker elephants, various antelope species, zebra and predators.

“While you can see elephants virtually all day long from your suite or from the spa, the hide offers an up-close experience that is not to be missed and I think that the design of the camp and hide, and all experiences is one of intimacy like this, with soft tones and colours, private spaces and wildlife sighting that are uncluttered and personal, and this is where the real luxury lies,” says Dereck.

The Sambu Suite is the perfect option for a family of four (children from 5 years), or two couples traveling together, and makes for a great combination when travelling to the Maasai Mara and residing at the two-bedroomed Mara Plains Jahazi Suite of the Great Plains Conservation Réserve Collection and Relais and Chateaux Mara Plains Camp.

Great Plains have more magical safari suites to choose from in Kenya, Botswana and Zimbabwe for the ultimate bucket-list-in-the-bush experience.

Nightly rates for all Great Plains Suites are available on request. For more information or to book please visit

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