FAQ

Check out some of our frequently asked questions

Learn About Ishara

Read more about the best time to visit, what to bring, how to stay safe, and more.

Ishara is situated in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, providing our guests with the ultimate proximity to wildlife and the most fulfilling safari experiences.

The currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling. Credit cards and all major currencies are widely accepted, but keeping some cash is a good idea, as credit card processing can sometimes be erratic in remote areas and there is limited or no access to ATMs. Guests will be able to exchange currency at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, at banks in Nairobi, or at Ishara. Ishara will accept small amounts of USD, Sterling Pounds and Euros to exchange into Kenya Shillings. Cashless payment by MPesa will also be available. 

By air: The nearest major airport is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi. Guests may then transfer to Wilson Airport, which has daily flights to the Mara’s Olkiombo airstrip. Ishara’s luxury vehicles meet you at the airstrip for the 5km drive to Ishara.

 

By road: Ishara is 262km from Nairobi through the scenic Great Rift Valley. Transfers may be arranged to take you from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or your hotel to the Mara’s Sekenani Gate, where you will meet your personal guide and be driven to Ishara.

At Ishara, we always focus on the health and safety of all our guests and staff, without compromising the quality of your experience during your stay. We have implemented stringent practices around food handling, sanitization, disinfection and cleaning based on the guidance of leading health authorities. We are committed to doing everything possible to provide an enjoyable, safe, and frictionless experience when you visit us. 

COVID PCR testing is available in the Masai Mara for guests connecting onward who have insufficient time to get tested in Nairobi.

The Masai Mara is known to have excellent wildlife viewing all year round. The world famous Great Migration takes place from late June to October—but no matter the time of year, each season creates a unique canvas on which to appreciate the beauty and vibrancy of the Mara.

The average daytime temperature is around 25°C (77°F) from June to August, while the nighttime lows are around 10°C (50°F). The average daytime temperatures range from 26°C (78.8°F) to 28°C (82°F)  in September through May, and the temperatures drop at night to lows of 15°C (59°F).

The days are typically hot throughout the year and attire such as shorts, t-shirts, sandals, and a brimmed cap are suitable to wear within the camp. It is suggested to have long pants, comfortable walking shoes, a windbreaker, and a fleece jacket and beanie for layering in the mornings and evenings when temperatures can drop significantly, especially while on game drives. We also suggest you bring a bathing suit and workout clothes so you can also enjoy our pool and gym. Each suite is thoughtfully equipped with bathrobes, bedroom slippers, sunscreen, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, shampoo, conditioner and bodywash.

Kenya operates on 240-volt electricity generated at 50Hz. Universal charging sockets are available in all of our suites and safari vehicles, as well as various travel adaptors.

As luggage storage on the small aircrafts into the park is minimal, some airlines limit baggage to 15kgs (33lbs) per passenger, inclusive of carry-on luggage in small duffle bags. For environmental concerns, all plastic bags are banned in Kenya. Please avoid packing these in your suitcases or carry-on hand luggage.

All water in the camp is purified by a filtration plant and is safe to drink. We also provide complimentary still and sparkling water for all guests.

Due to the high elevation of the Masai Mara, malaria is unlikely in this region. It may, however, be present in other regions of Kenya, so it is strongly recommended that you speak to your physician about taking malaria prophylaxis before traveling, in addition to getting vaccinations for yellow fever and COVID, which are required by the Kenyan government.

It is highly recommended that you take out adequate travel insurance to cover against illness, injury or hospitalisation while traveling.

A resident nurse is available at Ishara. Emergency medical evacuation to a medical facility outside the Mara, should the need arise, is also available at no charge (excluding hospital treatment, for which we recommend getting suitable medical coverage). It is advisable to also bring any essential or prescription medications you need as these may be difficult to obtain locally.

  • Dining Area, Bar and Lounge
  • Spa, Gym and Pool
  • Observation deck
  • Fireside deck
  • Starbed Experience
  • Canon Photography Studio
  • Panoramic-view luxury Land Cruisers
  • Expert guides 
  • Wildlife waterhole
  • In-suite dining
  • Filtered mineral water
  • A Boutique
  • Laundry Services
  • Security patrol guards
  • Options for excursions
  • Wi-Fi and mobile reception

Our rate includes: 

  • Accommodation, all meals and beverages including premium wines and spirits (excluding champagne and select wines and spirits from our Vintage Collection)
  • Shared game drives with our expert guides in our panoramic view luxury Land Cruisers (private vehicles may be organised at a fee).
  • Use of the Canon Photo Studio, professional Canon cameras, lenses and binoculars
  • Sundowners and bush breakfast
  • Use of our gym and pool
  • Guided nature walks within the camp
  • In-suite dining, daily laundry and ironing services
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Return transfers from Olkiombo Airstrip or Sekenani Gate
  • Emergency medical evacuation insurance
  • All statutory taxes

Our rate excludes:

  • Flights and transfers to and from the Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Park fees
  • The Starbed Experience
  • Signature treatments at Aya Spa
  • Purchases from the Boutique
  • Accommodation for drivers or guides (subject to availability of a guide tent at a fee)
  • Off-road permits within the Reserve
  • Personal travel and medical insurance
  • Gratuities

The Starbed may be booked upon confirmation of your reservation and is subject to availability and weather conditions. This experience will be charged in addition to your nightly stay fee.

Ishara is often visited by wildlife such as hippos, buffaloes, hyenas and even lions and leopards. Maasai guards accompany you as you move around camp in the early mornings, late evenings or at night to assure your safety. It is not advisable to walk around unaccompanied after dark.

Ishara is best suited to host guests from the age of 8 years and above.

Several of our suites and most parts of the camp are accessible by wheelchair.

Ishara is happy to cater to all our guests’ dietary requirements. Advance notice is required.

Each day at Ishara is filled with unique experiences and adventures, and due to our central location, we have the flexibility to craft your stay to suit your preferences and interests. A typical day begins at 5.00am with an early morning wakeup call to prepare you for your sunrise game drive. This is peak game viewing time when the temperatures are cooler and the predators are most active. However, you are welcome to enjoy a leisurely start to the day and sleep in if you like. Guests can return to camp for a hearty breakfast or enjoy a bush breakfast. 

 

With many additional activities to keep you engaged, your day could be spent in our open-air common areas and patios, on the Observation Deck watching animals pass by, on a nature walk spotting birds and wildlife, editing your best shots in our Canon photo studio, or relaxing at the spa, pool, or in your suite. After you’ve enjoyed some lunch, evening game drives typically depart around 4.30pm followed by sundowners, dinner at camp, and a roaring campfire. Most days wind down by 10pm as you lull yourself to slumber accompanied by the symphony of the Mara night.

Ishara’s custom-built safari vehicles are designed for maximum comfort, flexibility, and professional use. Soft-sided side panels roll up for uninterrupted viewing, while luxe interiors feature leather and canvas bucket seats and a host of amenities to make your adventures exceptional.  Our Land Cruisers feature:

  • A refrigerator filled with water and other beverages
  • A Nespresso machine
  • An array of snacks
  • Fleece-lined rain ponchos
  • Hot water bottles 
  • Charging sockets
  • Professional Canon binoculars 
  • Hand sanitizer, sunscreen and insect repellant

Yes. All vehicles are equipped with professional Canon binoculars for guests while on safari. Canon cameras, lenses and accessories are also available for guests to use should they like.

Ishara and Canon have set up the first official Canon Brand Experience Centre in the Masai Mara. It is complete with high-end cameras, professional lenses, accessories, and binoculars that guests can borrow, as well as photo printers, a professional photo editing suite and a resident pro. Whether you are a professional or a first timer, Ishara and Canon give you space to explore, learn and hone your photography skills.

Due to Government regulations, drones are not permitted for use within the Masai Mara.

Please get in touch with us for a full list of treatments available at our spa and in your suite. Guests can book appointments prior to arrival if they wish.

We are happy to assist you with recommendations and bookings for third-party excursions and other activities once you have booked your stay with us or upon arrival at camp.

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all suites and throughout the camp. Mobile reception is also available at Ishara.

Ishara offers daily complimentary laundry service.

Smoking is permitted in outdoor areas of the camp and on the decks of our suites. We request that guests not  smoke inside the suites, to be alert at all times of the fire risk when disposing of cigarette ash and filters, and to be mindful of other guests when smoking in public areas.

Due to our wilderness location and design, Ishara is not suitable for pets.

A deposit is required to confirm a reservation, which can be changed to a future credit should the reservation be cancelled due to Covid-19 related illness or restrictions. Other cancellations are subject to our standard terms and conditions. Contact us for more details.

Payments for all extras, such as gratuities to staff, and purchases from the Savanna Boutique may be settled in cash, by Mpesa or by credit card at the camp. We accept MasterCard and Visa.