We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An incredible family adventure!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ilkeliani Camp

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Ilkeliani Camp
Save
You added Ilkeliani Camp to your Saves list
2.5 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Masai Mara | P.O Box 64196, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00620, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Mountain Home, Idaho
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“An incredible family adventure!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

This was my second stay at Ilkeliani, and it was just as wonderful as the first time. From the moment of our arrival to our very sad to leave goodbye, we were treated with the best hospitality and kindness. The luxury of the rooms is unbelievable! Hot showers after unforgettable days spent animal watching, are just one of the many amenities at Ilkeliani. The grounds are beautiful and the food is delicious. The staff was so friendly and helpful. I felt safe and welcome every moment. I would and have recommended Ilkeliani Camp to many people. This is truly a 5 star operation that is a perfect place to stay when visiting the Masai Mara.

  • Stayed January 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

159 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    115
    39
    3
    1
    1
See reviews for
38
63
16
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (25)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Boise, Idaho, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

Ilkeliani was more than I ever could have hoped for. The tents sit just above the river overlooking the Masai Mara. Laying in the tents at night listening to the wildlife all around you was incredible. The staff were all friendly and willing to help. The food was excellent for the entire stay. And sitting around the campfire for sundowners was a lot of fun. I would highly recommend Ilkeliani for anybody who is traveling to the Masai Mara.

Room Tip: I stayed in E5, but all the tents I saw were excellent.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 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.
Boise, Idaho, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

This camp was absolutely fabulous! The tents were beautiful and wonderfully clean. We had a fantastic view of the river from our tent. Every evening when we were back in our tent, we would find our beds turned down with hot water bottles inside. The guards were very nice and I always felt completely safe, even when we could hear hippos right outside our tent! Our first evening was magical as we stepped outside and discovered fireflies all around us! It was breathtaking. The food was first class, and they even accommodated us as vegetarians. We went out on the Mara everyday and they always packed us a superb breakfast and lunch to eat on the Mara. I would absolutely stay here again - in fact, why would I stay anywhere else?

  • Stayed January 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.
Kenya
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

Situated on the banks of the Talek River, Ilkeliani sets the bar really high. On arrival, warm and smiling faces meet you with a refreshing cool towel, and a welcome drink. A short briefing by one of the Maasai staff makes you feel at ease as you are led through a complete indigenous landscape with sounds of the flowing river and hundreds of birds. The tents are widely spaced and you are assured of privacy. They are spacious, comfortable and immaculate. The attention is to detail and we were even provided with nightly chocolates on our pillows. The food is sumptuous and the dining room staff are pleasant and always smiling. The lounge overlooking the Talek River is simply blissful for a sundowner. Complete five stars, I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this place as a perfect getaway and perhapsone of the best locations in planning a trip to the Masai Mara. A balloon ride is a must!

Room Tip: I would suggest the East Wing ....
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

I took my family to the Masai Mara for a week between Christmas and New Year and we spent 3 nights at Ilkeliani. I had been to a number of luxurious safari camps before and we got here one of the best service we've had anywhere. It's not a large camp and is unlike the commercialised hotel groups with camps in the Mara which I have found rather blah!. This is truly an ecocamp - specially designed to make you feel at one with environment but with every luxury to hand . The service is very friendly and personal. You are really pampered by the kindest staff. I took very expensive camera equipment with me and had no hesitation about leaving it in the tent as the camp is very safe. The wake up call with tea and cake is great and the tents are beautifully equipped with every amenity to hand. The beds are very comfortable and I must have had one of the best night's sleep during this week of safaris. The shower felt great and the constant hot water was a pleasant surprise considering the location in the middle of all this wildlife. The food is fresh and organic and well presented. I loved the varied breakfast. There are always 3 or 4 courses available at dinner and the desserts are sumptuous. The best tiramisu I've ever had! I love the fact that they serve freshly made cocktails by the camp fire before dinner - where you can meet other travellers and share your experiences and excitement whilst listening the the sounds of wildlife in the distance. I have no hesitation in recommending Ilkeliani and would definitely come back for one of the best experiences ever.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, ON Canada
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

When our son told us we were staying in "tents" my wife was a little hesitant, but these are tents in name only. We were in W9, and the day we arrived there was a very large crocodile sunning itself on the water's edge, only 50 metres away. Outstanding!!

Good food for the carnivore, but the vegetarian in our party was disappointed. The coffee is awful, but the beer was excellent.

The hot showers were dependable, and the toilets actually flush their contents - a novelty in Africa. The beds were good, but our son found his too short (he is 6' 4").

Our driver and guide had an encyclopedic knowledge of the flora and fauna. Well worth it. We also had an open-sided safari vehicle which we thought gave a much better view of the game, and a sense of "being there", however one couple were quite nervous at being so close to the lions and cheetahs and asked for a mini-van the next time out. It was also very impressive to see our guide stare down a young male lion, which backed up a good 3 or 4 metres before turning around and beating a quick retreat. Neat!!

The visit to the Masai village was interesting, but I found the high-pressure sales afterwards off-putting. We were given a demonstration of lighting a fire using friction, and then were offered the two pieces of wood for $25 !!

The nature walk was worth it, the guide being knowledgable and well spoken. He also taught us how to throw a spear. Good fun.

My wife and I also found it quite comforting that a spear-carrying Masai was outside our tent every night, all night, through all kinds of weather, protecting us from any animal which decided it wanted a midnight snack.

I would stay at this camp again, but if I went another time I might choose one inside the Mara boundary.

Room Tip: Tents far away from the kitchen and dining tent are quiet, but "far away" is a five minute...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

For the most part, my views pretty match most people on TripAdvisor, but as a traveller that has spent quite a bit of time at various locations as a tourist of Africa, I was a bit dissapointed in Ilkeliani. This is my family's second time to the Mara with the first being the Serena and the Camp and the service is miles from what you get at the Serena dispite being about the same price I paid (we travelled between Christmas and New Year's so maybe that was why). Dinner in the tent was spent picking the bugs out of our meals. Like another reviewer said, the menu is fixed so there is are no options. The tents are basic. We had a flashlight in our but it did not work and our other two tents had none at all. There is no safe for valuables so I carried our passports everywhere we went. I did not find the staff as friendly as the many other places we have spent in Kenya. Some seemed quite indifferent. I like a morning coffee in my tent so I had to go to the restaurant and get if and walk it quite a ways back to our tent. The location means you have to spend about 15 - 20 minutes of rough driving just to get into the park so if Your game drives are 2 hours, 1/4 of the time is just spent getting there and back. For what we paid, it was a far cry from the service and experience we had at the Serena so if you are going just once, I would not recommend the Ilkeliani.

Room Tip: Not all tents have a view of the park so try and get one of those.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
EcoCamps, Owner at Ilkeliani Camp, responded to this review, January 10, 2012
First and foremost, may I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to give us your thoughts on the service and facilities at the camp.

Your feedback is well appreciated and of immense value to us as it enables us to continuously monitor and measure the level of service and standards at the camp.

We would like to address the issues that led to you not enjoying your experience at Ilkeliani Camp. Unfortunately there was lots of rains during this period in the Mara. What happens is after the rains the environment is flooded with rain flys and bugs. There are more noticable at night when insects are attracted and converge on all lights in the camps. This can be an uncomforatble experience during Dinner and once in a while the insects may drop on the dining table and on guest meals. This only happens after the long rains and the swarms do disappear for the rest of the year.Our menu is fixed however accomodating. We serve full english breakfasts and have set menus for lunch and dinner. All dietary requirements and special meal requests are accomodated
We do not serve buffets in camp but provide fresh home style cooked set meals and on occassion
Our ethos and philosophy is eco and hence our back of house service facilities are small compared to 75 room lodges like Serena. Serena is a wonderful large lodge with built up facilities. Our philosphy is to tread "lighly"" on the environment and this at times constraints our ability due to logistical reasons
Supplies are flown and trucked twice weekly and all our linen is transported back to Nairobi for cleaning.
Wake up calls are part of our tradition and cofee/ tea and fresh baked cookies/cakes are served alongside. The wake up call "order" are taken after dinner. Some guests like to sleep in and hence no wake call service is provided to avoid disturbing the guests. We may have overlooked your request and do aplogise for the same.Room safes are not provided in the tent but request all guest to lock any valuables in the luggage. The most expensive gear the guests bring are camera equipment and this all left in tents or carried to the common areas for charging.

Our camp is centrally located on the edge of the boundry reserve in the expansive mara eco system and 3 minutes from the park if the talek river is not full otherwise 10 minutes from talek gate. November and December the roads and paths were exceptionally rough due to rains .
We do sincerely aplogise for not having met your expectations . We will always welcome the opportunity to be of service again and look forward to welcoming you at Ilkeliani Maasai Mara in the not too distant future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Ilkeliani Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Ilkeliani Camp

Address: Masai Mara | P.O Box 64196, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00620, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #56 of 127 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Ilkeliani Camp 2.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in a riverine forest in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, the area is a favourite for elephants coming to drink from the Talek River. Ilkeliani camp consists of only 17 tents, each commanding views of the plains and the wildlife action throughout the day. The tented rooms are raised up slightly on earth mounds, overlooking the river and the plains. These mounds are covered in vegetation, and feel quite natural, and each one has been sited under its own cluster of shady indigenous trees and you do feel like you are out in the wilderness. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ilkeliani Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Ilkeliani Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Ilkeliani Camp, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.