Our trip started with Ilkeliani and they set the standard really high! Tents are very good - but if you expect too mu luxury, you will probably won't appreciate a lot. All is stylish, clean and charming. You have hot water all the time! When in the evening you have to go to the lounge and restaurant, someone always waits for you and accompanies you (it could be dark and you are in the nature after all and if you don't remember your way, it is helpful) - the people accompany you back to the tent when you decide to go back. The beds are always made and you have a bottle of hot water, sufficient blankets.
Wake-up calls, coffee in the morning before the games and all is greatly organized. About the food - great! Ok, you don't have a menu to choose from but the chef Jonathan, a masai, does an amazing job with the limited electricity, no drinking water in your tap. The taste and presentation of the dishes deserves a recognition and a particular remark! A note about the service and attention to details, one evening we had fish and it was served with a knife for fish, which is not common in many restaurants etc. The diversity of the dishes was another point to make!
The staff - absolutely friendly and helpful! You can easily engage in conversations and those are great guys to take care of you while you are there - starting at 5am till you go back to your tent! Compared to all other places we visited, this was the most friendly , helpful and superb staff (at least for me).
The games are the usual - wake up at 6, game drives start at 6.30 - our guide was another special guy. We did one full day trip to Mara river as well.
Our tent had a view to the river, we had also rain but it didn't interrupt our trip at all. There were a few options for a visit to a Masai, village, walks, dinners in the bushes, they can assist you in getting to a balloon ride.
For some the fact that you do not have internet access could be an issue but you can enjoy the nature more.. Electricity is available in the morning and the evening and you can charge your batteries in the lounge.
You don't have a safe and when we asked for a safe they were surprised which demonstrates that it is also a safe place!
The location of the camp if convenient because you are a few mins from the Masai Mara park entrance, easy drive from/to the airport.
All I can say is Bravo to this true Kenyan place!
- 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