We stayed three nights in this camp on our way back from safari in Masai Mara. Maybe we were a bit over-expecting due to the widely acclaimed praise that this camp got on Tripadvisor. Even though our experience was not negative, I still would like to clarify a few points:
- Nelson communicated very well (quick and relevant answers) prior to our stay, but was not at camp when we were (he seems to be in Nairobi most of the time these days), which may have impacted our experience, since the camp was left to the manager (Masi) and staff.
- The camp is conveniently located 3 km outside Sekenani gate, 500m off the main road and easy to find
- The tents are OK, beds spacious (but bedding a bit too short tends to slip away)
- Showers were good, hot water in abundance
- Meals were good, with some variety and in huge quantities
- Staff is nice and well behaved, always trying to help and do the maximum they can
On the more negative side:
- You won't usually see animals from the camp (although you can hear hyenas at night) except for birds. Even when you go for a nature walk, you should not expect anything spectacular (gazelles from a distance, an occasional dik dik, footprints, etc).
- We were the only guests in the camp, which resulted in a weird situation where we were surrounded by staff who had not much to do but sit and wait. This unfortunately seems to be a frequent situation, since the next guests were only expected a few days after we left.
- Although we were just a 15 minutes walk from the local masai village, it is nearly impossible to go there alone. The camp is closed and someone will always insist to go with you if you want to step out.
- More important: you will not get anything extra for free. Ok, maybe this is not something you should expect, but listen: we came to this camp and paid willingly twice the price that we paid for an equivalent service in Fisherman's Camp Naivasha for instance, precisely because we wanted to support the local Masai community. From this point on, it was clumsy and awkward to ask for more, like 30 USD each, just to have us visit the village. Ok, ok, I know, this is written on their price list. But I think that at least a visit to the school should be for free, otherwise it feels, like we did, like some kind of soft harrassment. If Nelson had been here, maybe he would have gotten that point: it makes little sense to try to grab 10% extra at the cost of customer satisfaction. In our case, we felt like because we were the only guests they were trying to get the most out of us. But for everybody, it would be better if there were more guests, paying a little less, and being more naturally integrated to the local community.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Oldarpoi Mara camp, is operated in partnership with the local Maasai community. The camp is concerned with the welfare of the local community .Our vision is to transform the local community, socially and economically.We support the Ole keene primary school with teacher's salaries, children sponsorship programs etc.The school has more than 300 children and we built classrooms for them including a rescue center unit to accommodate young girls running away from cultural practices such Female Genital Mutilation ( FGM ) and early marriage.We also plan to establish a community library which will include a learning center and conservation projects.Guests who would like to volunteer in any of our projects as part of a unique safari experience are highly encouraged to do so..This will make a difference to the community.The camp has permanent tents with beds, bedding, complete solar Water heating and lighting system, flush toilets and hot showers - all the trappings of home! We are also an accomplished safaris outfitter with best trained Maasai guides! We offer safaris and tours to different destinations throughout East Africa. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Oldarpoi Maasai Safari Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Oldarpoi Mara Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve