Sip wine in the wild with Great Plains Conservation’s new Kenyan camp experiences

Great Plains, the iconic African eco-tourism organisation founded by National Geographic filmmaker-explorers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, has announced a series of brand new ‘wine in the wild’ experiences across its Kenyan camps.

Ranging from a new Great Plains wine app providing an interactive sommelier experience to wine room dining, Champagne by sabrage accompanying breakfast in the bush and a renewed focus on ‘wine for conservation’ sustainable selections, there’s nowhere quite like a Great Plains camp for combining a love of fine wine and pristine wildlife.

As a proud Relais & Châteaux partner, Great Plains has built a reputation for serving some of the most exclusive wines available on safari, with a growing number of guests choosing to stay with the brand for this very reason.


Great Plains Zarafa Camp

Camp Operations and Guest Relations Manager at Great Plains Kenya, Savanna McKittrick, comments:

Our wine mission for 2024 is to provide the leading guest wine experience within a luxury safari company in remote Africa, while supporting sustainability and conservation through our wine offering. And with our new ‘wine in the wild’ initiatives and experiences, we are achieving just that. We change our wine lists every year to allow us to be flexible and adapt to new trends, from the rise of organic and biodynamic wines, to the discovery of new terroirs and a focus on sustainable wine farming and making. We also keep our finger on the pulse of our clients’ preferences – for example, we recently noticed the increase of Champagne consumption by 37% and have therefore increased our Champagne offerings this year, including our Relais and Châteaux partners Tattinger & Duval Leroy to elevate our in house Champagne experience.


Great Plains Zarafa Camp

The Great Plains Conservation Wine App

From 2024, all guests of Great Plainsol Donyo Lodge, Mara Plains, Mara Nyika and Mara Toto Tree Camp Kenyan Réserve Collection level properties will have access to the exclusive new Great Plains Conservation wine app. This exclusive innovation brings the camp’s extraordinary wine lists to life and allows guests to be taken on a wine cellar journey from the comfort of their own seats.

Presented to guests on a tablet that is brought to them by their dedicated wine steward, they can simply scroll through the list, tap on the bottle they would like to know more about and enjoy access to all the information and tasting notes concerning their tipple of choice. As they scroll through the live wine list, they can save bottles to show the camp team what they would like to try during their stay.

The app also allows Great Plains to select the bottles the guests have enjoyed drinking during their stay and send them the wine profile of all their favourites, so guests can look for wines they enjoyed in camp upon their return home.


Sitatunga Private Island

Wine Room Tasting & Dining

A unique feature of Great Plains’ Kenyan Relais & Châteaux-level camps Mara Nyika and Mara Plains are the atmospheric wine rooms in which guests can taste the expansive wine collections. Meanwhile at ol Donyo Lodge, a fully stocked wine cellar awaits. For an extra special gastronomic experience, guests can even opt to dine within these intimate spaces, enjoying a tasting menu with paired wines. To finish the evening on the sweetest of notes, guests can tuck into a dessert pairing with South African dessert wine by Mara Plains’ very own Pastry Chef Joel.

At Mara Plains, guests can also enjoy wine tasting on the small private deck off the wine room, overlooking the river, and in the stone-walled cellar at ol Donyo Lodge, they can marvel at the wine racks and furniture hand-crafted using local materials by Francis, the on-site carpenter.


Duba Plains

Wine in the Wild

A variety of wine in the wild experiences await at all Great Plains‘ Kenyan camps. The sundowner set-up is a true highlight, where guests can watch the sunset as they enjoy a glass or two while sinking into Kilim cushions and carpets, while at Mara Nyika they will be served from the camp’s very own sundowner trailer. Alternatively, they can enjoy a glass of wine or bubbles on the new spa deck at ol Donyo Lodge after a signature treatment with the latest healing earth products, or on the private deck of their suite, in hanging chairs in the tree tops of the new Mara Toto Tree Camp, opening this summer.

Other in-camp unique sipping spots include a bedside serving beneath the stars on their star bed at ol Donyo Lodge, within their private plunge pool at ol Donyo Lodge, the Jahazi Suite at Mara Plains, and the Sambuk Suite at Mara Nyika, beside the camp fire as they swap stories with their guide and other guests, or while soaking in their in-suite copper bathtub.


Great Plains ol Donyo Lodge

For a true bucket-list-in-the-bush experience, the team can arrange a private candle lit bush dinner out in the middle of the plains, in the boma at ol Donyo Lodge, or a bush-breakfast set up following a morning horse or bike ride, where waiters will sabrage Champagne to be served alongside a decadent brunch feast – and can even teach guests the art of opening a bottle by sabre for themselves.

Also at ol Donyo Lodge, guests can enjoy a drink or two in the hide – where the camp is currently building a new walkway – as they watch the animals take a refreshment of their own at the local watering hole.

For more information, and to book your trip, please visit: greatplainsconservation.com/

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