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“Great place, great staff, beautiful!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aruba Mara Camp

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Aruba Mara Camp
Postbox 727 Narok | Talek Massai Mara, Narok, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Narok B&B and Inns
Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great place, great staff, beautiful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights in July, during the wildebeest migration. The manager sent a driver to pick us up in Nairobi and bring us by road to the camp. We were traveling with my brother and his family, their first time in Africa, so the drive gave them a chance to see more of Kenya than if we had flown. The drive was long (6 hours), but pleasant and we stopped as needed.
The camp itself is small and beautiful, right on the edge of the park. My husband and I had previously stayed at one of the "big name" camps, and it had more amenities (like a pool), but this was every bit as enjoyable. It's small enough that the staff all know you and can help with any questions or problems. We stayed in a standard permanent tent, and it was spacious and just as comfortable as the ones at the big name camp. We had a great driver, friendly and knowledgeable, for our game drives.
We would highly recommend the visit to the Masai village. They asked 1000 KES, and it is obviously a commercial venture, but it was relaxed and friendly just the same. We saw some dancing, visited a house, learned some about the customs, and were invited to join in with some of the dancing. Afterwards there were crafts we could buy, and the guide helped us haggle a bit. But it was all very low pressure, no problem. And a pleasant walk.
We were delightfully surprised by the quality of the food! Delicious, varied, lovely presentation. They catered to the needs of my sister who is vegetarian, as well. We highly recommend this camp.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
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English first
Lincoln
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

I stayed at the Aruba Mara camp after reading positive reviews on TripAdvisor; I wasn't disappointed. Questions prior to arrival were answered promptly, and travelling tips were helpful. The flight to Olkiombo airstrip was an adventure in itself. I was met on arrival at the airstrip by Tom, in his Masai finery. He was my safari driver too, very knowledgeable and considerate, a really lovely guy. My tent was lovely, big bed and cosy hot water bottle for the cooler evenings. From the verandah you could see warthogs, baboon, gazelle, mongoose etc across the river, I even saw a hippo too. The food was good, and the guys had no trouble catering for me even though I'm vegetarian. The full board deal with inclusive game drives is excellent value. My stay was great, I only wished I had stayed a little bit longer.

Room Tip: All the tents overlook the river (not sure about the bush tents)
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

The canp was fairly quiet when we were there. Just a few people staying in the regular safari tents, one couple staying in one of the beautiful top-end tents, and us in our own little tent out the back. The top-end safari tents looked wonderful inside, and are in a fanstastic location with little terraces looking right over the river Narok. We saw elephants eating right on the other side of the river! If you seeing that while sipping a drink on your terrace, I imagine it would be even more magical!
Worth mentioning that the food in this place was excellent and extremely reasonable. We were in East Africa for 2 months and this was the best food we had.
The staff were really friendly and knowledgeable, and it was great to sit and play cards with them after the dinner service.
The staff were incredibly flexible about what kind of safari we did. We were strapped for cash and so only wanted to pay park entrance once, so they took us out in the truck for 11 hours and we had a picnic lunch out in the middle of the Mara. They still just charged us a 1-day safari, which more often involves 2 hours out in the early morning and 2 more around dusk. I will say though - it was pretty exhausting being out for 11 hours. Sounds silly when you are mostly sitting down, but it was very hot and you are 'excited' for 11 hours straight! If you have more money, I would recommend doing it at a more leisurely pace over more days.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We stayed two nights at Aruba Mara and we were completely delighted by the experience. The tents were well setup, the service was perfect, the food was delicious and the game drives were superb. This is a luxury experience at a very reasonable price.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

My family and I just returned from a 2 night stay at the Aruba Mara camp we were a party of 4 my father and I and my sister in law and 11 year old nephew. This my second trip to the Mara and we were on a strict budget my sister in law found the Aruba Mara within our budget I was sceptical I am in the luxury hospitality industry and I know the meaning of you get what you pay for". I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful camp overlooking the talek river we were in the large tents which were spacious and with nice appointments and amenities watch out for the hot water bottle that sneaks into your bed its a great touch on chilly Kenya nights but scarred me to death the first night. The staff was amazing greeting us after a long journey with cold towels they know the meaning of Genuine hospitality the owner was a gracious hostess and Paul was amazing as well as our Guide Dannon who went above and beyond for the best animal viewing we saw the big 5 on the first day!
The camp itself was so serene and relaxing you could spend time there with out even going on a game drive we sat on our porch and watched warthogs, gazelles, and the resident hippo one night we had an elephant wonder into camp which the Massai guards scared away. Oh I almost forgot the food was great kudos to the chef. I can't wait to come back for a much longer next time. Thank you Aruba Mara for an amazing 2 days!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

My sister and I spent a long time finding a place near the Masai Mara that fit our budget but was also well recommended. Very happy to have found Aruba! The camp was wonderful all around. We stayed in a big tent, which is a giant, Army-canvass tent with two beds and a full bathroom inside. There was a nice porch overlooking the Talek River, where you could sit with your coffee and watch baboons, warthogs and gazelles across the way. Lovely! When we arrived, we were given Masai names, which was really neat. We ate three meals a day at the restaurant -- all good and a nice variety. The staff was also very good about accommodating my sister, who is a vegetarian. All the staff members were wonderful. In the evenings while you're at dinner, someone sneaks into your tent and puts hot water bottles in the beds. Marvelous! The game drives -- one in the morning, one in the afternoon -- were great, though we got screwed with the park entrance fee. The fee includes the whole day, so you are covered for the two drives. We didn't arrive early enough for the morning drive and went out in the afternoon, so we lost out. Should have just waited until the next day to get two drives covered by the fee.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

We were blown away with our stay at the Aruba Mara.

From our porch that faced the Talek River we saw impalas, warthogs, baboons, vervet monkeys, even zebra and wildebeast in the distance! On the last night we saw a hippo in the river. And there are so many beautiful birds in this camp.

The game drives were fantastic. There was a great nature walk in the afternoon with a guide that is so knowledgeable!

Accomodating my vegetarian diet was no problem. The food was fantastic.

It is perfectly peaceful. I dream of someday returning.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Aruba Mara Camp

Address: Postbox 727 Narok | Talek Massai Mara, Narok, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Narok
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Narok
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aruba Mara Camp is a tented Camp boardering the Talek River, next to Talek Gate in north Massai Mara. From Nairobi 260 Km driving through Narok. Just outside the gate, so no parkfee if you not do game-drive. We have from budget tents ( comfortable beds with mosquitonet an public bathroom ) to Big-tent ( spacious with privat bathroom ) and Luxury ( ask us for new pictures please ) category for every budget for everyone. We also have a spacious campsite with facilitys like kitchen/dining, toilets and hot water shower, security, carwash, firewood and laundry service. our buffalo bar and restaurant serving highly recomended food and a fine selection of wine, spirits and cold sodas. Naturewalks,visit of cultural village, birdwatching and hotair-balloon is available.Bushbreakfast, sundowner and fullday-drives with Lunch on request.Shutteltransfer from Nairobi can be arranged. Transfer from our airstrip is free. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Aruba Mara Camp Hotel Narok
Aruba Mara Camp Kenya/Narok

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