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“Too Short Safari at Ilkeliani Camp” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ilkeliani Camp

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Ilkeliani Camp
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Masai Mara | P.O Box 64196, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00620, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ceres
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Too Short Safari at Ilkeliani Camp”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2012

My friend and I only had 2 days and 1 night for a Safari before leaving Kenya. We chose Ilkeliani and were very glad we did. We were met at the airstrip and immediately taken to see Zebra and Giraffe. Petro and Moses were very knowledgeable and attentive to us. Because of heavy rains, our guide we had to find another way to get to camp. We were driven around a back way and met with umbrellas. We were transferred to another jeep and delivered to camp. Our tent was right on the Talek River (which was raging). My friend had a problem walking at the end of the day so they delivered our dinner to our tent. Food was wonderful. Even had hot water bottles in our beds.
Next day, we were given the option to skip breakfast and head straight for the Mara. Petro and Moses packed a wonderful breakfast for us to eat later. We were not disappointed in the safari. Saw so many amazing animals then stopped for breakfast.
Thanks everyone for the wonderful memories. I am looking forward to bringing my husband and kids next time and we will be staying with you!

  • Stayed April 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
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165 reviews from our community

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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
    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)
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English first
Mountain Home, Idaho
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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.
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  • 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
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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 ....
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  • 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
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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
Level Contributor
59 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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...
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  • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 #58 of 132 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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

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