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“Encounter Mara won my customer loyalty!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Encounter Mara

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Encounter Mara
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Mara Naboisho Conservancy | P.O. Box 541 Limuru, Kenya 00217, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya   |  
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Hotel amenities
Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Encounter Mara won my customer loyalty!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Why? Yes the camp grounds were wooded and secluded but still open enough to spot wildlife during high tea. And yes the 3 course meals were delicious. Yes, we had a knowledgeable guide for our morning and evening game drives and enjoyed sundowners while watching a pride of lions. We will return and refer to Encounter Mara for all those reasons, but even more so because it was toddler friendly, with the staff graciously washing baby dishes and bottles for us and Masai guards watching the tent at night so we could enjoy dinner without a care. And also because my Dad and his wife were celebrating their 3rd wedding anniversary and the GMs, Chris and his wife Sam ensured that flowers beautifully decorated their room that evening. They understand customer service and are fighting whole-heatedly for customer loyalty, which I greatly appreciated. They deserve all the praise you can see on Trip Advisor and have won our loyalty!

  • Stayed July 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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143 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I spent parts of three days and two nights at this wonderful "tented" camp. Don't let the word "tented" fool you. The accommodations were first class and the food was five star. Kudos to the chefs! The camp uses solar energy for all its power and hot water. The hosts were friendly and very informative. The majority of the staff are Masai, who themselves are also knowledgeable, kind and protective. And our Masai driver-guide, Dixon, was the best. We saw a lot of animals but very few other vehicles. What a great stay we had. We highly recommend it!

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

A group of eight of us spent 2 nights at Encounter Mara as a treat during a three week volunteering project near Nairobi. From the moment we were greeted by our guides (Daniel and Dixon), camp staff and management we had an incredible experience at Encounter Mara. The tents were fabulous - spacious, private with lovely homely touches, the food was delicious and plentiful and all the staff were great and made us feel very welcome. The game drives were in a comfy 4x4, and we were given masai shukas to keep warm. The picnic and sundowners were special - sitting on the african plains under a tree or as the sun is setting whilst drinking a bottle of Tusker! Fantastic!

We had four game drives and saw most of the things we wanted to see. Unfortunately we missed the Cheetahs but there's always next time. At night you could hear the Impala and Zebras and we were woken up by Lions outside our tent on the last night which is a memory I will treasure forever. We knew the masai guards would take care of us :)

The thing I love about Encounter Mara is its focus on the environment, eco-system and local community which for me is very important. Most of the staff are trained/qualified local masai people, they are conscious of plastics and water usage and their impact on the bush. This conservancy operates low impact tourism - less cars/people than in the Masai Mara itself so it means you have a much nicer experience however they do offer drives to the Mara during migration. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed June 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
    • 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.
Roswell, Georgia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

After nearly two weeks of mission work, our team spent a couple days at Encounter Mara before returning home. What a wonderful treat the stay was for our team! The entire staff is incredible, the food was delicious, the tents were divine, and the game drives were just awesome. Chris and Sam took excellent care of our team while we were at camp, and our drivers - Daniel, Dickson, Moses and Dickson - gave us the experience of a lifetime on our game drives. Not only did we see the amazing animals, but they gave us quite the education on the different animals we saw and the ecosystem of the savanna. Thank you so much on behalf our whole team - Encounter Mara was the perfect finish to our trip to Africa!

  • Stayed June 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
    • 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.
Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

This was an awesome place to stay! 5 days, 4 nights. The rooms, service, and meals are definitely 5 star! The beds were extremely comfortable, the shower was great, and the overall room itself was spacious and had a great view! Where else can you sit on your porch and watch giraffes gambol across a hillside?

The trips themselves were awesome. Our guide, Daniel, knew just where to go to get to see all the animals we wished to see. We got to watch a Cheetah late in the evening and follow him for about 45 minutes. We also watched lion cubs play on an old tree for at least an hour!

The refreshments and meals were excellent! The whole camp atmosphere is wonderful and relaxing. We also immensely enjoyed the trip to an actual Masai village, not a tourist trap, but a real, working village. The women warmly welcomed us and we enjoyed out time. there.

This is a great place to go, especially in May. We had the whole camp to ourselves except for 1 day! May is the rainy season, but that did not stop us from seeing all the animals!

I would not recommend any children under the age of 14 on this trip. They need to understand that they are in the bush, not a zoo. They also need to have an understanding for the need for quiet and stillness while watching the animals.

This is definitely a MUST see, bucket list type of place to go!

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

From the moment we arrived, we were treated to amazing experience! DIckson, our guide was very knowledgeable and engaging from our first encounter. He was an excellent spotter, allowing us to capture shots of exceptional creatures. Whatever the question, he had an answer.

The managers, Sam and Chris were very thoughtful hosts - every evening meal was a different dining experience (we ate on the lawn, in the field by lanterns and in the open, in the airy dining room). The food was outstanding! They use as many ingredients as possible from their own garden (see pics) and their chefs treated us to five star quality meals. I had vegetarian meals and they were all amazing. I could really go on and on about the food and the service....

The rooms were very comfortable - and very clean. The tents are more like portable hotel rooms. Seriously. That the whole site is powered by solar panels is impressive, especially given the great temperature of the showers, and the overall 'bathroom' experience (double sinks, a very nice 'public' bathroom, etc)

It's an eco friendly site, offering service and accommodations that rival top hotels (and I've worked for a few). The staff really goes out of their way to ensure you have a full experience in the Mara. It is located in a conservancy which means (among other things) that only four cars are allowed at one sighting. This time of year we rarely had company - and we spotted lions, hippos, elephants, monkeys, giraffes, wildebeest etc - all in the OFF season!!

I strongly recommend Encounter Mara and hope one day to visit again. If you go, definitely take advantage of the visits they offer (to the school and the local village) and the bush walk. Each provides an enriching experience, that will make your trip more rewarding.

Thank you Sam, Chris, Dickson and staff! You made my first safari an excellent one!

  • Stayed June 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BwanaKev, Manager at Encounter Mara, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Thank you so much for your review. And thank you for taking the time to detail everything that you enjoyed from the trip!
We really do appreciate your feedback and look forward to having you stay with us again.

Kind regards,

The Encounter Mara Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

We had a lovely three nights four days stay at Encounter Mara. Chris and Sam are great hosts and the entire team ensured that we enjoyed our stay. Daniel our guide was very knowledgeable and patient, answering all questions and providing lots of info and anecdotes. We saw lots of lions and other wildlife. Sadly didnt get to see rhinos and leopards. Food at the camp was well prepared and they catered very well to our vegetarian requirements. The hot showers and hot water bottles at night were truly appreciated!

We drove from Nairobi to the Mara; that was tiring and very dusty. Guess flying in is a better option, though of course far more expensive!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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 Encounter Mara

Address: Mara Naboisho Conservancy | P.O. Box 541 Limuru, Kenya 00217, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 112 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With natural simplicity and elegance, Encounter Mara provides a completely unique and eco-friendly approach to safari lodging. Built with only completely removable structures, with a focus on conservation, Encounter Mara offers luxury in their twelve custom-designed, spacious tents, positioned for privacy as well as optimal game viewing. Located in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, guests experience unparalleled game-viewing in a low-tourism-density area and opportunities for night drives and bush walks. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Encounter Mara Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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