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“Mixed Experience” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Olakira Mara River Camp, Asilia Africa

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Olakira Mara River Camp, Asilia Africa
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Serengeti National Park, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Connecticut
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Mixed Experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014 via mobile

We did not have great experience at this camp. It was not all bad - the food was really good. But there was a noticable lack of management. At the other camps we went to there were hosts that were front and center and as a result everything ran smoothly. At Olakira there did not appear to be anyone in charge and things feel through the cracks. Also, it was a bit too rustic. The shower situation is awful - bucket showers that had to be scheduled and gave you only minutes to shower in a dark and dank shower stall. There was a rain storm and our daughters tent flooded. After the rain the mud was a huge problem. Luckily they provide rubber boots - walking to and from the dining tent was a challenge as you sank into inches of mud only to arrive at dinner with your boots and pants covered in mud. Also the road to the camp is so bad that we saw a number of jeeps get stuck. So, I can't really recommend this camp - it's got too many negatives.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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200 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

We arrived to find we were in tent 9 - the tent furthest from the main camp buildings. As we walked to it we saw the front entry was surrounded by zebra. Of course, as we came closer, they moved away; and we realized that we were really 'at a bush camp.' During our stay we could watch the wildebeest walk right by our tent. The other reviewers give an accurate description of just how well Alex and Kenneth and their staff run this camp. Our guide/driver Elia was instinctive as to where we should be for the best photos.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
Great Brak River, South Africa
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

This is one camp that you need to include in your itinerary for the Serengeti. The whole experience is just something that I will remember for a long time.

From the moment you arrive you feel at home and the people really cares about you. Everything were carefully explained, from the showers to the walkie talkie. Joseph that filled our buckets for the showers every night was a star. The tent is huge and the bathroom section has everything that you will find in a chalet. It was wonderful going to bed each night with the unspoilt view of the
surroundings.

Every meal is superb and they present the food beautifully. I was a bit sceptical about eating at a table with people that you do not know, but I really enjoyed listening to everybody's stories of what they have seen during the day. You do not need to worry about your safety because you are walked to your tent at night by a Masai warrior with a spear! There is a separate tent with lots of reading material and a place to charge electrical appliances. My washing was done without charge not like the other lodges where we stayed.

They pitch the tents where the most wildlife is at present and that enlarge your chances of seeing all the wildlife. I departed with a sad heart because it seems that in two days time we have made friends for life.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedfordshire
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

Stayed at Olakira for four days with a friend. This camp is excellent and was recommended by our travel agent, Safari Consultants, and I am so pleased we chose to stay here. After a long hot dusty drive you are greeted by wet cold flannels, what a nice touch. For a mobile camp, the facilities are first class, proper flushing toilet and hot water supplied for your shower within minutes of asking for it. We were lucky to be allocated a family tent with an extra bedroom, so we had lots of room for the two of us.

The staff cannot do enough for you and Alex the manager is a wonderful host. Every night you sit around a lovely camp fire with other guests sharing your wildlife encounters of the day - and wow did we have some during our stay. You truly feel at one with nature here and as other reviewers have said, the wildlife is well and truly outside your front door (well tent flap!) - a true safari experience. I like to call this type of camping "glamping" as it really was comfortable.

The food was excellent - how the chefs manage to prepare such delicious meals with their limited facilities I will never know.

We had our own driver/guide for our entire safari, supplied through Asilia, (who also own the camp), I cannot recommend Asilia enough for looking after us so well. If you get Kevin Mlay as your guide, you will be in for a wonderful time. His knowledge and experience and trained eye for spotting the wildlife was quite amazing, even with binoculars I couldn't see what he could in the distance!

A truly wonderful stay - the camp even supply wellies in your tent to put on to get to the dining area/vehicle - we got to use them quite a lot during our stay due to some heavy rain in the night - mind you it kept the roads from being so dusty.

For two middle aged women on our first safari, we were treated like royalty. Thank you Alex and your great team of staff.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorba Linda, California
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

My daughter and I were guests of Olakira during the second week of January, 2014. Our first impression was "OH MY, are we going to be okay?" Well, after 1 full day and night we were in love with it! Being put out in tent #8 out of 9 guests tents, and being pretty far away from the main camp, we needed to be brave and confident. We did just fine. It ended up being our favorite 3 days of our 4 country,16 day adventure. Our guide, Goodluck was great, and so were all of the staff, including our Masai warrior who escorted us to our tent every night. The food is fantastic! The other guests we got to know at meal times were interesting and fun. And then there are the animals! I am still thinking about them 3 weeks later. I highly recommend staying at this camp. You will have everything you need and then some, and you will take home some fantastic memories! BTW....I am 57 and my daughter is 26.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Stayed here following on from a wonderful tented camp in Kicheche, Kenya. Have food allergies and the chef was absolutely magnificent in producing wonderful meals at dinner. All the team set out to ensure we had a comfortable stay which we did in spite of the rain. We had our own driver so didn't use the camp's guides. The tent was spacious and clean and the bed comfortable with 100% cotton sheets. As it's communal dining, we asked one night to have a table on our own as we wanted a quiet evening to watch the full moon rise - it was magical and they were very accommodating. Next two evenings we sat with other guests and joined in the fun. The one thing I missed was a bigger/more comfortable communal area/bar as the tent was a tad too dark to relax in of an evening. Great room service and laundry

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Flagstaff, Arizona
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

We spent one night at Olakira Camp when it was at the Mara river. Beautiful location, perfect wilderness feel and very friendly staff.
We even managed to see the Wildebeest migration cross the Mara river twice!!

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Olakira Mara River Camp, Asilia Africa

Address: Serengeti National Park, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Serengeti National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 82 Specialty Lodging in Serengeti National Park
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Like the wildebeest that are the stars of the Serengeti Annual Migration, the Olakira camps are wanderers; luxurious under-canvas camps that move with the seasons, forever following the herds to ensure you have a front-row seat to the greatest show on earth.Fine linens, finer dining and a touch of nomadic romance are the hallmarks of this authentic East African safari camp. Whether it’s at the river crossings of the northern Serengeti, the breath taking scenery of the Lamai Wedge, or on the great grassy plains of the south, the intimate Olakira camps ensure the best of the Serengeti is always right on your doorstep. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Olakira Camp, Asilia Africa Hotel Serengeti National Park

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