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“Great camp” 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
Muncie, Indiana
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great camp”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

This was my first stay at the Aruba Camp after staying at larger camps on previous trips. I was very pleasantly surprised from the beginning. I could not have asked for the staff to be any more attentive to my needs. They went out of their way to be helpful and accommodating. The tents were clean and in good repair. We had 3 adults in a tent and were very comfortable with plenty of room. The hot water bottle in the bed after dinner was such a nice touch- a small thing that told a lot about their mission of service.

I found the food to be very good and I am a picky eater. I felt the portions were very generous. The park picnic breakfasts were very large- we actually asked for less food on subsequent days.

I look forward to staying at this camp again and would recommend it to friends.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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51 people have reviewed this hotel

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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)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Niel
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

We have our own tent and driver/cook, so we stayed at the campsite. Only 1 other tent there, space enough. Friendly people, nightguard, perfect. You have to order food in advance otherwise there will be nothing in the restaurant. No shop here, you have to bring everything yourself from Narok. Shower with hot water and toilets are a hole in the ground with a wooden seat. Showers and toilets are cleaned daily. We paid €6 pppn, so thats a cheap option near Masai Mara. We would come again.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

I stayed here for one night in the self-tent area with my Maasai guides. It was lovely. There is a restaurant and bar and you can sit right at the river and watch the animals come down to drink in the evening. There is a nice firepit, which is lit every evening. The food was excellent - and there is coffee and tea available in the morning and afternoon. Peter, the owner, is gracious and helpful.

The tent area has its own showers and pit toilets, but you are welcome to use the flush toilet near the restaurant as well. A nice alternative to the more expensive lodges.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

I stayed on two occasions at Aruba Mara on my recent trip to Kenya....staying a total of 16 nights. I hadn't been here before and was very pleased I had used this camp as an option. The staff are all friendly and helpful. The food was delicious and very well presented. The portion size was good for me but maybe not big enough for a man. I stayed in both the Big Tent and Luxury Tent and have no problem staying in either of them again. The camp is next to the river and, sitting outside in the sun, listening to the water and the birds was heavenly. Warthogs, impala and guinea fowl were always wandering around on the opposite river bank and a family of mongoose often strolled past my door. My driver saw a leopard going down to the river one night too. The tents are nestled among the trees which gives a relaxing, bush atmosphere.

I was on a private tour so had my own driver. The game viewing in this area was excellent with great sightings of leopards , lions and cheetahs amongst others. Great photo opportunities for me being a wildlife photographer. We did full - day game drives every day so got to cover a lot of ground and see lots of things. A full day is necessary if you want to go to the Mara River.

I would encourage management to provide some permanent accommodation for outside drivers. This would bring in more business. Having them stay in a small tent or have to go into inadequate facilities in the town centre is not ideal. Drivers work very hard for their clients and deserve to have a comfortable place to rest their heads at night.

Would I stay at Aruba Mara again ? Absolutely ...and am already planning my next trip for 2014.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

we stayed three nights at this great camp. Ask for Daniel for your safari driver. he found us a cheetah hunt and lots of other animals other guides had missed. stayed in their new luxury tents which are great. very clean, though the bath takes an age to fill. power in tent overnight. i would have given 5 stars, but the chef is still learning how to cater for food allergies. most of his meals were great, but on the last night, he made a dessert of a chocolate cornflakes biscuit. unfortunately, he didn't read the ingredients labelling and missed or ignored the clear (in 5 languages) gluten allergen warning on the box. i was suspicious as to whether it would be safe to eat and asked to see the box. lucky i did or my travelling day the following day would have been ruined. i'd definitely stay here again though.

  • Stayed September 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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London
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

We stayed here for 6 nights in late August and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our stay. Aruba-Mara is a very well-run camp and the staff really go the extra mile to assist you by helping with taxis etc. The manager, Peter, was consistently polite and patient and dealt with all matter of queries and concerns.
The camp is very well-positioned as it is only a few minutes from Talek Gate.The highlights were the fantastic game drives with guides, Tom, Daniel and John who really consistently delivered in quality by pointing out a wide variety of wildlife-and we did indeed see "the big 5"!
We tried all 3 types of accommodation on offer: Luxury Tent, Big Tent and Bush Tent. All were most satisfactory and very clean although I think the Big Tent option perhaps gives the best value as 2 game drives are included. The Luxury Tent also offers this and did not appear to be very different to the Big Tent except for having an external shower and bath, which despite sounding romantic is not necessarily attractive in the chilly night air. The Bush Tent was big enough to stand up and move around in and the ablution block clean with hot water. We did find it a little cold in these tents as the blanket provided was thin. It might be an idea to have your own torch as even the tents with electricity were rather poorly lit. Do not count on the Wi-Fi either.
The restaurant food is absolutely superb. Every day we received 3 meals. What really impressed me was the care that was taken not only in the preparation of the food but also in the presentation. Each dish was tasty and beautiful to look at and the restaurant staff were always so kind and attentive. I am vegetarian and they took care to ensure that there was always a delicious option for me. I particularly enjoyed the buffet on the African evening, where a wide variety of salads and other dishes were on offer.
This is an outstanding camp that is offering a top-rate service.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

Aruba Mara Camp review

Considering that many safari camps either cost you your mortgage or are out-and-out dumps, this place is perfect. They have a campsite for those with their own tent / camper which charges €5 per night, bush tents (huge walk in tents with a 4 poster bed and mozzie net) for €50, more luxurious walk-in ' big tents' with electricity and a bathroom with running water for about €210 per tent (full board and 2 game drives included). They also had 'luxury tents' for about €250 per night all inc, which were even bigger as they had an outside bath /shower in addition to the internal toilet and sink inside the second room of the tent. We stayed 2 nights in each of these tents and thought that the 'big tents' were the best value, as the outside bathroom of the luxury tent was actually a disadvantage when you were showering in the dark after your last game drive!
We took the 'full board' option on all of our tents and were generally very happy with what was served, though there was never any choice. We were also concerned being veggies, but needn't have worried as they produced some very inventive and tasty veggie food.
The game drives are from 6.30-9.30 and 3.30-6.30 every day. We saw something amazing every single drive. Drive 1 - lions tucking into a kill, drive 2 - a herd of elephants with cute baby frolicking about. Drive 3 - group of 4 cheetahs, drive 4 - group of 3 male lions basking in the sun, drive 5- a leopard that walked around our jeep!, drive 6 - male lion walking round the jeep. Fabulous...but still no rhino! So, on our last two days, we asked Aruba camp to arrange an all-day safari for us. It was great to be out all day and you could definitely get further afield: which we did by heading to the Mara river in the hope of seeing the famed river crossings. Alas! They were long over. Apparently the drought had brought everything forward, still...we managed to see yet another leopard. The final all-day drive, finally gave us our long-hoped for rhino. 'The Big Six' were now bagged: Lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, rhino and yours truly! The only downside to the all-day safari was the jeep itself. We spent the first 2 hours of the first all-day drive at the local garage changing two flat tyres and then on the second day the suspension broke whilst in the Mara. We had two hours waiting for the repair man, whilst wondering whether the lions would get hungry and investigate the 'picnic hamper' that had broken down within tantalising reach. Still...it was all part of the Africa experience and we chilled out by doing some yoga in the Mara - now that's a place to practise your 'downward dog'!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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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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