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“A lovely Honeymoon destination and was the highlight of our time in Kenya!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Karen Blixen Camp

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Karen Blixen Camp
5.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   C13 Lolgorien -north-western Masai Mara Reserve-, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
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Austin, Texas
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A lovely Honeymoon destination and was the highlight of our time in Kenya!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

We ended our 3 week Kenyan honeymoon with 3 days, 2 nights at Karen Blixen Camp and are so glad we did!! We came here at the start of the off season (end of October), so our experience may have been influenced by the lack of guests on the grounds, as well. This was the best place we stayed in Kenya!

Our tent was private enough yet not too secluded and faced the sunrise every morning, providing the perfect backdrop to our daily coffee greeting by the incredibly friendly staff. Our tent was clean and so very comfortable. Everyone at Karen Blixen was so friendly, always made sure we were taken care of. We spent our off hours wondering the grounds and enjoying conversations with the people of Karen Blixen. The pool area is nice and was just big enough to enjoy space yet provided a chance to get to know other guests.

The food was great, no complaints other than we left very full every night and were very impressed with the options. We received 5 start service for every meal. The view from the dining/common area provides a stellar view of the river with hippos, zebra and other wildlife cooling themselves daily. There were many other couples staying at Karen Blixen but also a good mix of families with older children.

Masai Mara is such a special park and provided us with a memorable and magical experience that will last a lifetime. Our safari guide, Tony, was fantastic, made us feel very comfortable and was accommodating and we left with a great friend and a wealth of knowledge! We had a private vehicle, with it being our honeymoon, and were able to really enjoy our time on safari. Tony took good care of us and made sure we saw almost everything we dreamed of seeing. We were able to spot everything from leopard, elephant, zebra, ostrich, giraffe, cheetah, lions, gazelle, and so many of bird varieties it was hard to keep count.

If you have any interest and are able to do so, we highly recommend taking a hot air balloon safari. You have to wake up super early, but the balloon ride was by far, the most AMAZING experience we've ever had!! To see the landscape from the air is a completely different experience and since we were there during the Great Migration, we landed amongst hundreds of thousands of wildabeests.

We couldn't have been more pleased with the staff, accommodations, food, wildlife, privacy, and overall vibe. Very, very cool place and we highly recommend staying at Karen Blixen Camp!

  • Stayed October 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 Rooms
    • 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.
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159 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Antwerp, Belgium
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

We loved staying in this place!
Wonderfull game drives: we came very close to the animals, saw a lot of them, had a very good guide who even found us a leopard!
Very friendly staff, beautifull tents, very nice food, nice atmosphere.
In one word: fantastic!

  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norway
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

From the minute we set foot in Masai Mara and met David we were sold! The friendliness and the service of all employees at Karen Blixen Camp exceeded all our expectations. David, our game driver, and Reuben, our waitor, made the stay personal and special. Asante sana to you all!
Karen Blixen Camp is situated by the Mara river, overlooking a part of the river where a lot of hippos live their daily life. The tents were perfect and the outdoor shower made the morning ritual an experience in itself. Fortunately no animals found their way there.
During the game drives we were able to see four of the "Big Five" - only missed the rhino. In one drive we saw 18 lions, Cheetah and the shy lepard, - so the missed rhino was soon out our minds. The knowledge and the enthusiasm of David, our driver, made the experience extraordinary!
I recommend Karen Blixen Camp with all my heart to all of you!

  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

What a perfect holiday!

Everything - from the thrill of flying a small airplane into Mara North, the fact that we saw 3 of the Big 5 on the way from the airstrip to the camp, the magnificent staff who did more than anyone could expect to make sure we had a pleasant stay - to our guide, Twala, who had an extreme knowledge of every animal, from the smallest birds, to the largest predators. We stayed at Karen Blixen for three days, and loved every second. We got to see 4 of the Big 5, only the Rhino eluded us. The camp itself was great, situated close to the Mara river, and with an excellent view overlooking a large pool, where the local Hippos lived. Super comfortable "tents". I say "tents" because they were bigger than my first appartment, and more luxurious! The food was delicious, and our waitor, Lucy, couldn't be more service minded.
My best memory was winding down in the camp with a G&T enjoying the sunset, overlooking the Hippos and a ton of other wildlife. This was after witnessing 4 lions defending their buffalo pray against 20-25 hyenas, battling it out for over an hour! What a lifetime experience.
We did the balloon safari also, but preferred the drives with Twala, because we came much closer to the animals, and Twala had a nack for finding the interesting and cool stuff.

We would like to thank Lillian, Sheila, Lucy and Twala who made this a holiday we will never forget. We'll be back :)

Cathrine & Klaus

  • Stayed March 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
    • 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.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Our lifelong dream of an African safari became a magnificent reality thanks to the Karen Blixen Camp. From landing at the Mara North Conservancy air strip and seeing the spectacular variety of wildlife to the camp itself -- simple yet clean and elegant with a personal touch and wonderful, warm staff -- we felt at home. Our guide Dominic was absolutely amazing -- he knew every nook and cranny of the park and he could spot a male lion in a field of grass from a kilometer away!

We were 2 adults and 2 kids (ages 11 and 9) and we were joined on safari by three generations of women, including a 6-year-old. Many posters say that safaris don't work well for kids, but I would disagree. We saw everything -- the Big 5 + cheetah -- and then some. We had a night drive (bush babies are really funny!), a safari walk (my son learned to shoot a bow and arrow and we identified different types of animal poo) and a gorgeous balloon ride. I've never flown so low in a balloon, but Peter, our balloon operator from Balloon Safaris, remarked that it's the best place in the world to do it. He was right! We spotted an elusive rhino from the air and got some great photos. We visited a Masai village to meet the people and learn how they live, purchasing a few souvenirs that will be treasured because they came directly from the tribe. Lastly, we stopped at a school for Masai children. The kids sang songs to us and surrounded us, eager to touch us and connect. It was a magical experience. We had brought pencils, journals and other supplies (which are desperately needed). We also toured their simple library, full of the same books our own children treasure. Education is not free in Kenya, so the families need to pay to send their children to school. The buildings themselves were built from donations. I encourage anyone visiting the area to seek out a school and make a donation. You will find the experience very rewarding and perspective-inducing.

Our tent at the camp was well-suited for a family. We had a large bed and one small (twin-sized) bed, plus a day bed that was brought in from our covered porch at night. The bathroom was large, with a fun outdoor shower and tub. Because we overlooked the Mara River (with a troop of 50 hippos just outside our door), we were careful to zip the tent to avoid mosquitos. I can honestly say we did not get a single mosquito bite in 4 days, though we probably just got lucky. The camp arranged a few other activities -- my husband had a good and reasonably-priced massage at the tent-style spa, my daughter and I were taught how to string the Masai beadwork by a wonderful woman, Doreen, who worked in the hotel laundry. At the end of our stay, she joined us to say goodbye and had brought handmade bracelets for the kids. The atmosphere at camp was relaxing and the staff were warm and helpful, always checking in to make sure we had everything we needed. Dennis, our tent attendant, also joined us for our safari walk and night safari ride. He was wonderful and knowledgeable and great with the kids. We also loved that he filled hot water bottles and put them in our beds every night to help keep out the chill.

The meals at KBC could be improved, but if you are on safari for the food, then you should use other criteria to consider your options. Given the variety of agriculture, it would be an improvement to see more variety of fresh and healthier options. The kitchen seems fairly wedded to heavy food (beef lasagna for lunch) as opposed to healthier and simpler options that would be just as inexpensive. It seems like they were trying a bit too hard to prepare French-style food (even mis-using some of the terminology -- for example, their version of a "soufflé" is not a soufflé at all). I would suggest they stick with African produce and flavors, perhaps increasing some of the snacks. We had popcorn on our night game drive, but this would have been a welcome snack (in lieu of the cut-in-half dense pound cakes) during the day. I only note this because I think it is one area where KBC could easily make a few changes to improve the experience overall.

Finally, the park location was spectacular. Again, Dominic our driver really made the experience special by ensuring that everyone saw what they wanted to see. His patience, knowledge, pride in his work and commitment to the environment were evident at every turn. He tells us that the camp has received approval from the owners to start a more formal kids program. This is a terrific idea. We will definitely recommend KBC to anyone and, in particular, for families.

Room Tip: We stayed in Tent 6, which was just one over from the spa and a short walk to the main reception are...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Selkirk, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

On arrival, and while we were enjoying welcome drinks at the incredible view of hippos in the river, we had virtually no time to react as a leopard exploded from the bushes and took an impala. It was as if this had been orchestrated for us. Although I am one of the rare visitors to Africa who did not wish to witness a kill, I was 'okay' to realize that nature does balance itself if left alone and that the impala's death did serve a purpose. The rest of our stay was as remarkable with amazing cuisine, rustic but exceptional accommodation and the most attentive
staff personell that you could want. Nothing could outdo the candlelight bush supper!

  • Stayed June 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
    • 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.
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

This is one of my favorite places that I've ever been and I highly recommend it. I was here for a one night safari. Upon arrival we were given drinks and cold towels and escorted to our amazing cabin overlooking a river with a ton of wildlife. Shower was outdoor (cool!) and yet totally private. The food was incredible - I had a burger one day, Italian food the other and a range of foods for the other meals. The drivers to take you on safari were very friendly and knowledgeable (I saw the largest pride of Lions in Africa and we were the only vehicle nearby). The pool was also super cool. Overall the property does a great job blending in with nature while at the same time providing amenities that you would expect from a 1st class hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 Karen Blixen Camp

Address: C13 Lolgorien -north-western Masai Mara Reserve-, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 109 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Karen Blixen Camp 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Karen Blixen Camp in the Masai Mara offers an authentic ’yesteryear’ experience for visitors wishing to gain that little extra from their safari. Set on the bank of the Mara River; the location is spectacular. Throughout the day elephants, giraffes, zebras and impalas come for a drink while a large hippo pod rest lazily in the river. The Camp gives a feeling of the early 1920’s era with beautiful and comfortable furniture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Karen Blixen Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Karen Blixen Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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