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Wednesday 23 March 2022

Global conglomerate heads for the African bush


Global hotel conglomerates and African safari lodges would seem to be unlikely bedfellows but ...

Marriott International has just signed an agreement with Baraka Lodges Ltd to enter the Africa safari lodge segment.

JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will be the company’s first safari lodge, located within the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

The retreat expects to welcome guests from 2023.

The new-build lodge will feature 20 private tents, including one presidential canvas-topped pavilion and two interconnecting canopied suites.

Shared spaces will include a restaurant, lounge bar, spa, and a large outdoor terrace with fire pits that will play host to traditional Masai dance performances in the evening (ugh!).

“We cannot think of a more perfect retreat than the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya,” said Bruce Rohr, vice president and brand leader for JW Marriott, Marriott International.

“JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge will offer guests a luxurious backdrop as they connect with nature and wildlife as never before," he said. 

"We are thrilled that the JW Marriott brand will be welcoming adventure travellers, including families, to this breath-taking part of the world.”

Masai Mara is home to lions, leopards, buffalos, rhinoceros and elephants. Between June and September, the reserve is also host to the annual great wildebeest migration, when more than 10 million animals travel a distance of 1,800 miles from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania.

Marriott International currently operates more than 120 properties in Africa across its portfolio.

I suspect nervous American tourists might feel more comfortable visiting the jungle when they stay with a familiar name.   

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