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.

“A special few days” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Oldarpoi Mara 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
Oldarpoi Mara Camp
Save
You added Oldarpoi Mara Camp to your Saves list
3 KM to Sekenani Gate,Maasai Mara | Sekenani-Keekorok Rd, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (Formerly Oldarpoi Maasai Safari Camp)   |  
Hotel amenities
Newcastle, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A special few days”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2010

There isn't anything to not like about my experience staying at the camp. Its location close to the Mara makes for easy access for game drives, and the surrounding Maasai villages added the sounds of singing to the birds.

The facilities were great - very comfy beds, own toilet & hot shower, huge tent (I haven't even had hot showers in Nairobi yet). For a tented camp I couldn't ask for any more. The staff were great doing their work and then a pleasure to sit around and relax & chat with, they all felt like friends by the time I left. And the food cooked up by Willy always hit the spot too :)

Mike drove some great game drives - we saw pretty much everything including a leopard just metres away from the vehicle, while also giving the animals room when they were moving around.

The camp benefits the local community as well through the school and rescue centre, so not only is it a great spot to stay, it's doing good as well.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

142 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    120
    20
    1
    0
    1
See reviews for
30
47
11
1
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2010

If you're going on safari to the Maasai Mara, you have plenty of options. There are guides, camps and hotels to suit every possible budget and every set of expectations. For my wife and I, we wanted relatively comfortable accommodations, competent and friendly guides, edible food and a fair price. The Oldarpoi camp exceeded every one of our expectations.

Our tent was very comfortable...two beds, table and chair, private shower & toilet (!) & very effective bug-proofing (I freak out at even small insects, and there are much bigger ones found in the Mara...I love this camp for keeping me from shrieking in front of the Maasai warriors who staff the camp).

Nelson, our guide, is a Maasai junior elder. This proved helpful as he knew everyone in the park (who gave us recommendations on where the "action" was that day). He helped us understand the Kenyan & Maasai cultures, pointed out camouflaged animals on safari and made sure that every detail was taken care of. He even found us in Nairobi afterwards to return some things we left behind!

Every meal was prepared by Chef Willy at the camp. Our expectations were exceeded in both quality and quantity of food. He made a spaghetti sauce that is literally the best I've ever had...which is even more astonishing given that it was prepared over an open fire in a small room on a hillside! The camp also provided a bag lunch on our safari days and a surprise sunset "snack".

The price was very fair. We traveled during the high season and booked very last minute. We felt we got a good price, especially knowing that there are camps with the exact same facilities, literally around the corner from Oldarpoi, that charge 5x as much. And, and the end of the day, we're all looking at the same lions, the same scenery and driving the same roads!

But most importantly, as we left to return to Nairobi, we stopped by the school and rescue center that our money went to support. We were able to meet the children, many without shoes, who were getting a basic education in a three-room schoolhouse. We also saw the work that volunteers had done to create a rescue center for girls facing FGM (look it up, if you don't know what that means).

We left Oldarpoi & the Mara with the knowledge that, while we came for the selfish purpose of having an enjoyable safari vacation, our money was going towards improving the lives of children who don't have very much and are at risk of enduring terrible things. Nelson and the Oldarpoi camp are on the front lines of improving the lives of hundreds of children and you can support their work by experiencing the majesty of the Maasai Mara.

  • Stayed June 2010, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2010

It's taken me a while to sit down and write a review of this place, but better late than never. I stayed here two nights back in January of 2009. I was traveling in Kenya with my girlfriend on independent study. Like many of the others who have visited this camp, I learned about it through an article in the New York Times, which described it as a magical and truly unique experience, both of which are gross understatements. This camp was beyond my wildest expectations. After visiting, a bar had been set for all of my future endeavors in Kenya and throughout Africa.

Nelson has constructed an amazing sanctuary located on the outskirts of the Maasai Mara Reserve.

Highlights from our stay: Being awoken in the middle of the night to hear Zebras outside our tent, spotting three cheetahs hunting their prey just before sunset, visiting Nelson's home, the food was amazing.

  • Stayed January 2009, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruges, Belgium
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2010

We were counting on good luck when we decided to follow the sign to this campsite. And it turned out that luck was on our side. Like the reviews below say it was a very nice and quiet camping (one of the best of our trip). More important the campsite people make the beste out of it - Willy is really a great cook! Also the security seemed more than ok. To put it short, we look with a big smile back to those days.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2010

Not only is it completely Masai owned and operated but it is the only camp in the area seriously giving back to the community: building a rescue center to help young girls escape Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), pouring into the local school and training young people about tourism. The man who runs the camp, Nelson, is a wonderful guy and super knowledgeable about wildlife on game drives. He spotted things none of the other drivers in the park were finding, so we were able to see a lot in a short time. He and the Masai warriors are real characters--they tell "lion killer" stories at night and Masai folktales too. Then of course, we were able to meet a Maasai family in the village: see this video of our experience: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amandafrayer/4614827259/
If you plan to go to Masai Mara, this is absolutely the best place to stay! The camp is completely solar powered, the tents with beds are comfortable, there are hot showers and the food is great. The cost per night is comparable to other camps (even much less than some). And you can feel good that profits are going to a good cause. If you like to volunteer during your safari or after, Nelson is happy to set that up for you too.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valencia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2010

It was cool that they had hot running water and toilets that flushed better than some of my other Kenyan hotel rooms. The Maasai warriors were very kind. The food was great. What stood out most to me was eating outside during the safari.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2010

Three lionesses came out of the grass so close to our van that if we weren’t paralyzed with happiness we could have reached out and scratched their Big Cat ears. The four of us stopped breathing when we saw the little cub paws follow. “Oh my good God, that’s a baby lion.” We nearly passed out with excitement as nine more cubs followed clumsily behind. That was day three of our safari with Nelson and John at Oldarpoi Camp. Needless to say I was humming the soundtrack of The Lion King the entire time.

Before we even arrived, Nelson, founder of Oldarpoi Camp, responded to every email promptly and gave us wonderful suggestions on how to make the most of our five day safari adventure. Throughout our stay Nelson’s kindness, patience (you need barrels of it to deal with some of the questions we asked!), and knowledge of the Mara was impressive to say the very least. The Maasai Warriors at the camp seemed just as excited to chit chat with us as we were to watch them in a spear throwing contest! Willie, the chef, and Sam, chef-in-training, really knocked our socks off with the food they prepared; whether we were dinning on the best meat pies EVER or traditional stews we were always left speechless with the greatness of what was put in front of us.

We left our comfortable tents (complete with hardwood floors, a little table, and 2 very comfortable beds) each morning to have a delicious breakfast and head out for the entire day in our van. We saw the top ten animals in our first 3 days but the absolute highlights for me were the lion cubs, the leopard, driving through a herd of water buffalo, the impala boxing match (broken up after 10 minutes by another, less patient, and much larger impala referee) and the hilarious warthogs. I must admit that my brain was jiggled about quite a lot with the landscape of the Mara (and the Kenyan government for some odd reason has not yet responded to my road condition complaint email) but that was easily remedied by an aspirin and a glass of wine; both of which I highly recommend you bring with you.

Each night we sat by the fire and listened to stories from Nelson and the other Maasai Warriors and felt like the luckiest people on earth. After being walked to the washroom by one of the fearless Maasai warriors (and him laughing himself into a fit of tears when I started yelling at a bug I didn’t actually see) I went to sleep with lions roaring in the background and knew I’d be back. Soon.

I miss you guys. Keep up all the great work.
xx
Tanya

  • Stayed February 2010, 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Oldarpoi Mara Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Oldarpoi Mara Camp

Address: 3 KM to Sekenani Gate,Maasai Mara | Sekenani-Keekorok Rd, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (Formerly Oldarpoi Maasai Safari Camp)
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #50 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
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

Owners: What's your side of the story?

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