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Luxury Meets Wilderness

Discovering the Kenyan safari resort masterminded by Richard Branson.  

Richard Branson and a guide (c) Mahali Mzuri

Nestled in the heart of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in Kenya, Mahali Mzuri, a safari resort masterminded by Richard Branson, stands as a testament to opulence and environmental consciousness intertwined. As I embarked on my journey to Mahali Mzuri, I anticipated a transformative experience, and this resort exceeded my expectations. 

My adventure began with a scenic flight over the vast expanse of the conservancy, providing a preview of the majestic landscapes that awaited below in what felt like the world’s teeniest, tiniest plane. We had a bird’s eye view of the wildlife we would soon encounter, spotting herds of zebras and giraffes. Upon arrival at Mahali Mzuri we were welcomed with a warm reception from the resort staff. They had set up a bar and we sipped chilled Champagne while they filled us in on what they had in store for us. 

Hippo at Mahali Mazuri (c) Mahali Mzuri

The 12 exclusive tented suites, adorned with a perfect blend of contemporary aesthetics and traditional safari charm, offered me an oasis of comfort in the wilderness. Each suite boasts a private deck, providing uninterrupted views of the sprawling savannah. The interiors weren’t too shabby either: there was a rolltop bath with endless views of the surrounding hills, a rainfall shower, a small entryway with a minibar that is topped up every day. There was comfortable double bed, which I was loathe to leave at the crack of dawn for the early-morning game drives. After the morning game drive, it became a routine to have a relaxing soak in the tub and take in the views before heading to the main dining area for lunch, suitably relaxed. The dining area is al fresco and tented. We mostly preferred to dine al fresco, apart from the one occasion when we were literally rained off the deck. 

The resort’s commitment to providing an authentic safari experience is reflected in the culinary offerings. The meals, prepared by top-notch chefs, feature locally sourced ingredients, which allowed us to savour the flavours of Kenya while surrounded by the untamed beauty of the conservancy. The chefs have nailed it with the soups and salads, however, the main courses left a little to be desired, and if I had to pick a fault, in an otherwise faultless resort, this would be my one tiny grumble. The service was impeccable.  

Mahali Mzuri communal area (c) Mahali Mzuri

Mahali Mzuri’s pièce de resistance is its proximity to the Great Migration, one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on the planet. Each night and every morning was like a surround-sound of the African bush, with the not-so-distant roars of lions and the trumpeting of elephants serving as a reminder of the incredible wildlife that inhabits the region. 

Led by local expert guide Kas (Jonathan Kasaine) the game drives at Mahali Mzuri are nothing short of thrilling. Each excursion he took us on gave us the opportunity to witness exotic species in their natural habitat. The guide’s deep knowledge of the flora and fauna added an educational dimension to the experience, creating a connection between us and the rich biodiversity of the conservancy.  

Kas’s driving skills could outperform an F1 driver without a shadow of a doubt. He seemed to know every single nook and cranny of the unruly terrain, and we knew we were in good hands. He eagerly shared his knowledge of the wildlife that he has been observing for 12 years. Born and bred in the Maasai, Kas was very forthcoming at sharing everything he had learned, and about his life in the region, his family life and his pastoral background. 

Leopard at Mahali Mzuri (c) Mahali Mzuri

What sets Mahali Mzuri apart is its unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability. Richard Branson’s vision extends beyond providing a luxurious safari experience: it encompasses a dedication to wildlife conservation and community involvement. 

The resort operates on solar energy, minimising its environmental footprint and exemplifying a commitment to eco-friendly practices. Mahali Mzuri actively engages with local communities, contributing to the preservation of Kenya’s natural heritage and the well-being of its people. We were fortunate enough to visit a local village; they welcomed us with open arms and took great pride in showing us around and regaling us with their life stories. 

We were also very fortunate to meet with Dr Crystal Mogensen who runs local charity The Maa Trust, educating women in all aspects of life and work. Dr Crystal’s work is making great strides. Through a holistic and structured array of initiatives, the trust   systematically tackles critical challenges, nurturing sustainable wellbeing for disadvantaged families in the Maasai Mara. The trust is committed to enhancing the lives of the Maasai families while nurturing the delicate balance with the environment. It does this by collaborating with Maasai-owned wildlife conservancies and neighbouring communities.  

A wedding at Mahali Mzuri (c) Mahali Mzuri

The attentive and personable staff at Mahali Mzuri played a pivotal role in ensuring that I not only felt welcomed but truly at home. From organising the early-morning and late-night game drives safaris, to arranging intimate stargazing evenings, the staff went above and beyond to curate unique experiences. 

As I bid farewell to Mahali Mzuri, I left with a profound appreciation for the magnificence of the African plains and the dedication of those who strive to preserve it. Richard Branson’s vision has not only created a haven for luxury seekers but has also contributed to the preservation of Kenya’s natural heritage. Mahali Mzuri is, indeed, where luxury meets wilderness in the heart of Kenya. 

Rates for Mahali Mzuri start from USD 990 per person, per night during low season, including accommodation, twice-daily game, all meals, drinks, and transfers. For more information visit 

 This article originally appeared in Billionaire's Longevity Issue. To subscribe click here .