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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Kenya

Maasai Mara magic at Elewana Sand River

During the Great Migration, you can watch herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing the river from the comfort of your tent veranda…

By Liz Harper

Our tented camp lies on the Maasai Mara’s Sand River, surrounded by lush riverine forest. We’re very close to the Tanzanian border so during the annual Great Migration, you can watch herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing the river from the comfort of your tent veranda. Surrounding the camp, the plains are filled with game that attract predators year-round, including lions, leopards and cheetahs. Sand River is a very secluded location, so you hardly see any other safari vehicles and can enjoy unspoilt wildlife viewing.

The riverine forest is a birder’s paradise and at night, you can hear monkeys in the trees. Although the river doesn’t flow all year, when it’s full, it draws all kinds of animals and in dry season, elephants will dig down into the sand floor to source water. The wildlife has gotten used to our camp now and visitors regularly wander through, from buffalo to elephants and zebra. It’s cheetahs galore at Sand River too, I’ve been lucky enough to see them kill on the plains, it’s amazing to watch those fast animals hunting so effectively.

Guests stay in our 15 luxury tents, which are set on wooden decks with en-suite facilities. I love the extra outdoor shower, which you can enjoy while looking out into the Maasai Mara. The camp has been designed in classic safari style, so it feels like you’re stepping back into the 1920s age of canvas and firepits but we also have a modern pool and offer high-end dining. Guests will usually spend their days out on game drives in the Maasai Mara, although we can also take them to visit a local Maasai village and school, which is partly funded by our foundation, Land and Life.

For me, one of the highlights of staying at Sand River is the chance to take a balloon safari over the Mara. You’ll be picked up at 4.30am so you can watch the sunrise from the sky. It’s incredible to see an aerial view of the Mara, especially during migration season when huge herds of grazing beasts cover the plains. The hot air balloon ride is topped off with a champagne breakfast when you land, it’s a truly unforgettable Maasai Mara experience.


  • Places to stay
  • Scenery
  • Wildlife

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Alfred & Liz Harper

Working in the travel industry for twenty years, Liz has built up considerable knowledge in numerous disciplines through a wide range of roles including time spent as a travel journalist and Head of Marketing at Abercrombie & Kent. Today, she funnels her experience into her company, LH Travel, specialising in marketing, consultancy and representation for a portfolio of upmarket Africa-based clients. She is a natural storyteller and is passionate about conservation and community.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Becky, who's travelled extensively in Kenya. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the safari rangers, local village chiefs and camp managers you'll be talking about for years to come. Start planning today, call us, email an enquiry or arrange a phone or video appointment for ideas and advice.

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