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“Mara visit? Can not fault here. Holiday of a lifetime.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ilkeliani Camp

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Ilkeliani Camp
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2.5 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Masai Mara | P.O Box 64196, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00620, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Chester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Mara visit? Can not fault here. Holiday of a lifetime.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

Staff 10/10. Location 10/10. Food (miles from anywhere) 9/10. Hired a local Masai, Julius, for safari, 11/10. Amazing place. Whistle stop 2 night stay touring country.
Travelled from UK. Can not recommend highly enough. Well done. All photos displayed my own.

Room Tip: Ask for "tent" (5* next to river.)
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 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 (23)
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English first
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

Having booked a solo long weekend in the Masai Mara through Exodus on a bit of a whim and weathered the various incredulous reactions from family, friends and colleagues I departed LHR with a little trepidation.
Having arrived at the small Masai Mara airstrip via a 6 seater plane which offered incredible views we were met by Daniel who would be our guide for the next 5 days and any lingering worries disappeared in an instant.
The journey from the airstrip takes around an hour and offers the first chance to admire the abundant wildlife. Our vehicle was excellent with open sides for maximum visibility and fresh air.
On arrival at the camp we were greeted with cold towels and fresh juice Nd escorted to the superb tents. This is my sort of camping! Big, comfortable double bed (with night time hot water bottle) and a tiled floor in the bathroom with hot water on tap.
The game drives were superb and Daniel absolutely made the trip for me - knowledgable and enthusiastic and passionate about protecting the area. There were never more than 6 on any of our morning or afternoon excursions and we were fortunate enough to see the Kenyan 'Big 5' - elephant, buffalo, rhino, lions and leopard. Add to that giraffe, cheetahs, hyena, jackals, crocodiles, hippos, zebra and endless antelope and my expectations were beyond surpassed.
Meals are not gourmet but are well cooked, tasty and filling. And the large bar tent is a great spot for a post safari drink whilst reliving the days adventures. Then, when you are ready to retire, you are protected by a Masai warrior on the walk back to your tent!
The camp staff are wonderful without exception and I found it a particularly nice touch that they regularly greeted all guests by name. Charles and Musa were outstanding hosts as manager and head waiter - always interested in your day and happy to share their own stories.
The optional walking safari including a visit to the nearby Masai Village is excellent and I learned a lot about Masai traditions and use of indigenous plants from the excellent Wilson.
I also did a morning hot air balloon trip (with Balloon Safaris) arranged through the camp that was superb, offering a whole other perspective on the reserve.
As an aside I can't recommend the Exodus trip highly enough and the travel distance is more than worth it even just for a few nights.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 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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Cannes, France
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

As experienced safari enthusiasts, with a son and family in Kenya, we booked four days at the relatively new Ilkiane safari adventure camp. After a short trouble free trip with KenyaAir, not to be confused with Air Kenya, we landed at Wilson airstrip. We were safely met by a cheerful guide with vehicle and taken some ten minutes down the road to Ilkiliane (the name means "young warrior" in Masai ), where we were greeted in a reception tent, by a colourful Masai, who spoke good English, given a refreshing drink and wash/wipe, then taken immediately to a brand new tented setup, with a comfortable (new) double bed for us, beside the TALEK river.
We have been here four days, with cheerful staff, appetising but not luxurious food, cold drinks on call and an excellent guide/driver - Simon - one of several, who speaks good English.
The safari programme is very flexible, with early morning, afternoon and evening drives out into the Mara. As said before, we have done the Mara a few times and this has been a really enjoyable experience for us, able to go at whatever pace we feel like and seeing all the big game animals, plus a hundred more, with birds and butterflies thrown in.
Prices have gone up a bit, mainly due to a reduction in tourists caused by the perceived terrorist attacks. However to put this in context as an ex military man, the risk is negligible and no more than stepping off the pavement in any city!
Heartily recommended as a get away from it all sort of place, with nature in abundance and charming hosts. I give it three to four stars, out of five. Not luxury, which we did not want, but really good fun.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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nairobi
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

Beautiful camp and well spaced out. Soups were fantastic. Alcoholic beverages were reasonably priced. After dark escorts were very helpful. All the staffs were friendly, helpful, polite, and good fun too. Dedicated to ensure an excellent safari experience! good game view and woaaaaaaaooooooooooooooh words cant complimemt enough go see the real experince of nature at its best disposal

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 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.
Centennial, Colorado
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

I had my reservations about sleeping and using a tented style hotel on the Masaii Mara. My wildest expectations were met with these accomodations. An Awesome experience that I would highly recommend! They meet your every need, and the staff and warrior dressed fellows were always right at hand. The food was awesome and I cannot say enough good stuff about our experience there. They even had wi-fi down in the gathering room, if you need it. Make some coffee in the morning and ascend the steps to the observation deck and watch the wildlife before you set out with your safari driver. Location, Location, Location

Room Tip: what can I say...a tent with a porch overlooking the river...awesome
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

Although I only spent three days at Ilkeliani, every moment was filled with warmth and wonderful experiences, from the welcome to the moving farewell when the entire camp staff waved my Exodus group on its way back to Nairobi. Throughout the stay I was treated like royalty by the friendly and courteous staff and was greeted by name by the camp manager, who was eager to admire photographs and enquire about the sightings of the day. The tents were spacious and spotless with a magnificent tiled bathroom and a constant supply of hot water. In the mornings we were greeted with a pre-safari/balloon adventure with hot chocolate and delicious cakes delivered to the tent and bedtime was accompanied by chocolates on the pillow and a hot water bottle tucked into the comfortable bed. The meals served in the camp dining room were beautifully presented and the picnics were like banquets. The lounge tent was a quiet haven to rest and share a cup of tea or a glass of wine with fellow travellers and despite our location in the midst of the Maasai Mara, wi-fi was available to share the excitement with family and friends at home. Our guides Davis and Ken were fantastic and thanks to them and all of the staff at Ilkeliani, this was an adventure to remember. Once is never enough, so I have booked to return in October.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 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.
Cirencester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

My friend Paula and I stayed at this camp in February for our 'big birthday' trip. It did not disappoint!!! We enjoyed every minute of our time here, from the moment the safari van dropped us on the other side of the rope bridge to the minute we were dragged kicking and screaming to leave!! Actually we had a big staff send-off.

The tents overlooking the Talek river are amazing, huge bathroom, toilet, and massive shower area with boiling hot water. Not camping as we know it! This is 5 star treatment. We were escorted to and from our tent every day after dark by a member of staff and the area is patrolled; the last night we were there a hyena was having a look around and calling his mates, but the noises at night are all part of the trip, and you can sleep when you get home!

The food was fantastic, and the lounge tent a lovely place to relax after a great day's safari. When we were out for a whole day the camp provided a huge picnic breakfast or lunch. One night we were treated to a camp fire and tales of the Maasai from Wilson, a truly fascinating evening.

On the whole an unforgettable experience and our thanks to everyone at the camp, and a huge thank you to our wonderful driver/guides, Davis and Ken who made our 'trip of a lifetime'.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
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 #55 of 117 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

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