we stayed for three nights at encounter mara and it was our first safari experience in africa. here's our insight:
the staff - we are pleased how they treated us from reservations up to our stay at the camp. josphat, the person who handled our reservations, sealed the deal by his quick, friendly and responsive communication with us. our guide, dixon (senior), was exemplary! he was very friendly, courteous, able to track most of the animals and knowledgeable about the wild. sam was always there to check on the guests. sammy gave us warm greetings with the zebras on his background while he briefed us on our safety and itinerary. andrew, another guide from the other group, was also friendly and helpful in suggesting our itinerary on the last day. they are all amazing.
the camp - we were assigned to tent no. 2 and it was luxurious and spacious enough for two. it was protected with mosquito nets and well provided with hot showers, drinking water, flashlight, insect repellant, umbrella and boots (in case it rains), safety chest and hot water bottles for the bed at night. zebras, warthog, and topis made an occasional visit just a couple of meters during the day while we were resting at the day bed. food was superb and great service. they kept our evenings different from entertainment to dining setup.
activities - game drives were great due to the camp is located at the naboisho conservancy. you get to see the animals by yourself or alongside with a couple of land cruisers compared to the main reserve (where hordes of vans following the animals). it was also nice for them to include a full day trip to the main reserve and witness the great migration at the mara river (or what's left of it). however, there was a long downtime when not doing a game drive and probably to add a few more activities when you are in the camp.
the bush walk was fun and exciting thing to do where you get to know more about flora and fauna (we're guessing bones, plants and [--]!). one of the good things we also did was visiting the masai cultural village. we made a sneak peek at the way of life of a traditional masai without the commercial aspect of selling souvenirs to tourists. simple and informative.
overall, EM exceeded our expectations and there are a lot of good things to talk about. we do not want to spoil the excitement for future guests. it was a good decision and we won't mind to re-live the experience with them!
- 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