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“Excellent, fantastic relaxing adventure” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa

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Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Mara Naboisho Conservancy | P.O. Box 541 Limuru, Kenya 00217, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent, fantastic relaxing adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Encounter Mara was fantabulous. Staff were so unobtrusive and service was excellent.Wonderful experience. The spotters and drivers were fantastic. Able to take us to see as many animals as possible. The luxury tents are just that. huge comfortable beds looking out onto the bush. We loved the Masai that we met. Such polite and friendly people ready to assist and make ones stay memorable forever.

Room Tip: They are all great. Seperate and private. you feel you are the only couple for milesaround
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
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182 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Encounter Mara was an outstanding experience and ranks among my top travel experiences. I echo a previous comment that essentially stated "I splurged thinking it was a once in a lifetime trip and now want to plan my return." The guides are Masai who grew up in or near the conservancy, and their intimate knowledge and love of the land is obvious; their quality of guiding starkly contrasted that of tourism workers who are willing to guide in any park for income. There was no question about the animals, plants or stars that the guides couldn't answer - these are bright and well-trained individuals. The conservancy's land management strategies are not only good for the land/animals, but also mean you won't be running into other tourists very frequently; you feel like you are alone on the savanna. The quality of service back at the tented camp was outstanding while reflecting conservation values - a tough juggling act that they manage well. We traveled with our 6 year old and it worked just fine; it was hard to wake him up early for some of the AM drives, but I blame that on jetlag. And, once we roused him, he was always excited to go out for another drive. The guides were sweet with him. And, the number and variety of animals it made following safaris a bit disappointing (so consider scheduling Encounter Mara at the end of your trip, not the beginning). We also took advantage of a guided walk and a visit to a Masai village, and I am glad we did. Finally, I appreciated that it truly was all-inclusive (except a fee we paid the village, which I was happy to do, especially because that meant they weren't peddling souvenirs), making this not really that much more expensive than other places that mark up drinks or charge extra for walks, transportation, etc. Bottom Line: do what you need to do to spend time at Encounter Mara.

Room Tip: I doubt you can go wrong - each one is isolated and well-appointed.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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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London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

Encounter Mara hosted me for a photographic trip in The Masai Mara. Their friendliness was exceptional. Even though you are in the wilderness you have every comfort of home and get to see some incredible game.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

It's hard to imagine how Encounter Mara could be improved - they took care of all the details, from pick-ups and flight transfers out to the Mara, first-rate accommodation and exciting food, knowledgeable and helpful guides, and an exclusive feel to the game drives. We took the balloon ride, the perfect way to add a new dimension to the experience. The people, landscapes and nature that I witnessed during my stay with Encounter Mara are etched in memories that I shall never forget. Thank you to everyone who made our stay so special.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

When my sister and I visited my parents in Kenya, they treated us to a safari with Encounter Mara. I think my dad summed it up best: "When we were planning this, I thought to myself 'Well, this is a once-in-a-lifetime-thing', but by the first afternoon I was lounging on the daybed on our tent's porch thinking 'How can I manage to do this again.'" We traveled overland from Nairobi (flights are also available). A warning -- the road into the Mara is bad. Worse than bad, actually. But I enjoyed seeing more of Kenya than we would have from the plain. Our guide, Daniel, met us at the road, in a little village to drive us into the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, picnic lunch in hand. We enjoyed our first meal -- delicious beef wraps, fresh fruit, and cheesecake squares -- under a beautiful acacia tree. Daniel was a capable, knowledgeable, professional, patient and good-natured guide throughout our stay. I thoroughly enjoyed our game drives, and how attuned he was to our interests. Pro tip: if there's something you're really interested in seeing or learning about, let your guide know; they're very flexible. We were also treated to FIVE meals a day ... an early morning "light" breakfast (if you're like me, this breakfast of cereal, fruit, coffee, juice was pretty much the size of your everyday "normal" breakfast) before the 6:30 a.m. game drive; a delicious brunch after the morning game drive, High Tea at 3:30 p.m., sundowners and bitings on the evening game drive (one evening we sat in the truck and watched the lions; the next we enjoyed it out of the truck, watching the zebras amble past); and glorious 3-course meal (preceded by drinks around the campfire).
And the tent! Put out of your mind everything you know about "tents"... this is truly "Glamping." Soft queen-sized beds, turndown service with a hot water bottle tucked in the sheets, flush toilets, hot showers ... wonderful! I hope to have the opportunity to return to Kenya some day soon, and when I do, I'll definitely visit Encounter Mara again.
My only tips, if you go: Call ahead to check the weather the day before you go. Even though it was supposed to be the dry season, it had been unseasonably rainy and the camp was muddy. Also, wear shoes around camp that you can slip on and off easily, since you'll want to take them off before entering your tent, the lounge tent or the dining tent.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willard, Missouri, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

I can't imagine a better experience seeing the Maasai Mara than with Encounter Mara. The camp is right in the middle of the Mara and you can see animals right from your tent. Everything was clean and comfortable, and the food was delicious. Everything is eco-friendly as well. They are very willing to work around your schedule so that you can have the best experience. After the evening game drive, you will have a hot shower waiting for you back at camp. The guides were excellent and were able to find many of the animals we wanted to see. The bush walk was so much fun and you are able to see so many things that you miss when driving. I highly recommend Encounter Mara for anyone traveling to Kenya and would love to go back!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

If you want to truly experience the Mara then Encounter Mara is the place to stay. An intimate, peaceful and world class camp hidden within the amazing setting of the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, it is impossible to find fault with this place. The camp is set right inside the conservancy and very close to the animals, we even had a few visitors in the camp at night. For me a real treat was lying in bed at night and listening to all the sounds of the bush. The service offered by all the staff was outstanding; everyone was so friendly and eager to please. Our guide Moses was in a league of his own, a local Masai man who was incredibly knowledgeable, had a great way with his guests and was highly entertaining with his vast knowledge, many stories and even a song or 2! The bush walk is highly recommended to learn things about nature you just don't see when driving. We will definitely return to this wonderful camp!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Additional Information about Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa

Address: Mara Naboisho Conservancy | P.O. Box 541 Limuru, Kenya 00217, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 134 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the highly sought after Naboisho Conservancy, Encounter Mara Camp gives guests access to some of the best wildlife viewing in East Africa. The award winning camp is set in the shade of a thick forest with sweeping views out onto the traditional savannah that makes up much of the conservancy. As with nearby Naboisho Camp, the wildlife viewing is excellent year round and combined with the breadth of activities on offer and the comfort of a camp built to the highest eco standards, there are few more rewarding places to experience this slice of wilderness. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Encounter Mara Safari Camp By Asilia Africa Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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