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“Perfect Balance of Luxury & Nature” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cheetah Tented Camp

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Cheetah Tented Camp
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Masai Mara National Reserve, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Houston, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Perfect Balance of Luxury & Nature”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

My wife and I were excited to go to Maasai Mara, Kenya with another couple after "Big Cat Diary" painted a picture of an amazing and adventurous vacation. It was better than I imagined.

We picked Cheetah Tented Camp because the price was great compared to other camps in the area (and not to mention the all-inclusive alcohol was quite enticing). After the 4-day safari vacation, I'm convinced if I'm ever lucky enough to return for another safari trip, I'm going straight back to Cheetah Tented Camp.

The camp has 3 tents. My wife and myself had one and our friends had another. They were clean, beautiful, and have more amenities than you could need. Every night we were safe in our beds as the hippos in the river right below sang us to sleep. Every morning we had hot coffee or tea waiting for us at our own table overlooking the Mara River.

The staff is made up primarily of the Maasai people who were very friendly and helpful. From serving breakfast while we sat down by the river, to the beautiful dinners served to the sound of an amazing guitarist playing in the background, to the rooms always clean and warm when we come back from safari, the service is top notch.

Our guide, Sampimpi (this is probably not even close to the correct spelling) is a Maasai warrior miracle, finding all the animals we were hoping to see. He could spot them from a mile away then slowly drive toward them saying, "do you see it yet?" The animals hide so well, we would not see them until we were on top of them. Great to have a native guide. Not to mention that we so heavily placed our trust in him as we got 10ft from a Lioness with a baby buffalo kill to take pictures with the engine off. We found lions, leopards, cheetahs, and many many other animals, learning about them as well as seeing them. He also drove through the rough terrain like a champion after the rain turned it into a crazy obstacle course. The safaris were on our schedule. As we were there only a short time, we wanted to make the most of it. We wanted safaris early in the morning, throughout the day, and even night safaris where we came across a bunch of giraffes. Any time we wanted to go on safari, no problem, part of the "all inclusive."

Now for the hosts, Jorge and Mariola... I say hosts because you are not going to a hotel that the operate... you are being invited into their home to appreciate the life that they love. The story-telling, experience sharing, and pure love of the safari is felt very strongly and very sincere. The wine glasses stay full, the hospitality is rich, and you begin to feel part of their family.

The logistics can seem a little unsettling with a domestic flight on a small plane from a small airport in Nairobi, but fear not! Let Jorge and Mariola know your plans and they will take care of you and you WILL arrive safe and sound in the Mara North Conservancy. You will see their tents on the river as you descend, ready for the trip of a lifetime.

That's all I will say for now. I could keep going, but best to leave some things as a surprise :)
I highly recommend Cheetah Tented Camp... and if you go, please say hi to Jorge and Mariola for me.

Room Tip: The rooms are all good, but bring a flash-light, as it may really help you get around even the tent...
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  • Stayed September 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

I stayed last week at Cheetah Tented Camp with my wife and another couple, and we absolutely loved it. I have only compliments for our warm and friendly hosts, Jorge and Mariola.

Our 3-night stay included everything we could ask for: day and night drives, delicious meals, cold beer, flowing wine, a comfortable tent with bathroom, and overall great hospitality.

Our safari drives were guided by a very competent Maasai guide, who was always eager to answer our questions. This being my first time in Maasai Mara, I was very excited for the drives, and they certainly did not disappoint. Every day was a new surprise -- the lions, the cheetahs, the birds and elephants -- always something wonderful to admire at every turn.

(My only recommendation here is to be aware that the vehicles do not hold water well, so when it rains, you will get wet. I recommend bringing a poncho.)

Although we all went for the safari, one of the best parts of the experience were the nights spent with Jorge and Mariola. We would share our stories over wine and engage in conversation about animals, Africa and life. The late-night conversations were deep, the feelings absolutely genuine. I can only express gratitude for their personal companionship and hospitality. They made us feel at home in paradise.

Room Tip: - Only 3 tents; all are good - Bring a good flashlight
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  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We stayed with Cheetah tented camp for our first trip to Africa and it more than exceeded our expectations. The tents were huge and comfortable, the location was literally on the Mara River, and the staff was an incredible mix of our knowledgeable host Jorge and a team of Masaai warriors. Cheetah Camp provided all the comforts of vacation- great food, flowing drinks, great company, heated turned down beds, etc. But it also made you feel like you were in "real" Africa and not in a generic hotel or resort somewhere. At night, we shared dinner with the other guests (we were like a family, being only 10 or so of us) by the heat and light of their huge fireplace. The music was traditional Kenyan songs sung to us by a Masaai playing the guitar. The stories about the animals were based on first hand knowledge of coexisting with them for so long. They even have a pet warthog that likes to sleep on your feet under the table and the hippos sing to you all night. Beyond charming, and I would definitely stay there again. Also, and hugely important, Jorge was VERY helpful in making our trip seamless and successful. Having an insider assist with domestic flights, taxis, etc is a MUST in Kenya.

Room Tip: There are only a few tents. No need to pick, they are all great.
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  • Stayed August 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.
Barcelona, Spain
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

“You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.” Karen Blixen
“Excessive caution destroys the soul and the heart, because living is an act of courage, and an act of courage is always an act of love.” Paulo Coelho.

Since my first time in October 2012 i´ve been there three more times, always amazing, the camp wich is located perfectly in Maasai Mara, always plenty of animals, guaranteed extrordinarly sights. I´ve slept in Duma suite, wich is the biggest tent, amazing tent, the temperature is always perfect, very spacious, 2 bathrooms, you can stay there in couple, kids and family, friends or maybe you can enjoy alone. There are terrance with the great Mara views, sharing the river, with hippos and cocodriles, and maybe you could see herds of elephants, groups of monkeys, vervets or baboons, in the other side of the river.
The safari always have been amazings, a lot of spectaculars encounters, crossings in mara river, crocodile hunting, lions eating, funny cubs, cheetah racings, unexpected leopards, herds of buffalo... You are going to be always surprised.

All the activities you can do are very recomendable, all cains of safari; walking safari, day safari, night safari, wich is amazing, you share the scenary with the lions hunting...
Other things you can do is to go to visit a manyata the traditional maasai houses, or maybe go to see a school, you are going to live the real maasai culture.

In Cheetah Tented Camp you will enjoy the real safari, you will be in the routine of the animals, you can decide the schedule, you can go early or not, you will see and amazing escenes, you will hear and smell the breath of the animals. The safari car, are very confortable, and perfect to make photos, 360 degrees.

Everyday you will enjoy an spectaculars sunsets and sunrises, the sky have and extraordinarly colours, something special for the eyes, and if its possible you can make a sunset cocktail.
One of the special things is the night sounds, from the hippos, to hyenas, lions, just perfect.
The meals are great, all the ingredients are natural, all is cooked by the cookers in the camp! You are going to enjoy the dinner with the music of Peter, great songs! All the crew are maasai people, always helping you in what you need, always smiling.

Jorge and Mariola, the owners, special persons, no words to describe them, from my opinion i can´t stay in Africa without them, i can´t imagine go to Maasai Mara and don´t see them. Impossible. I don´t understand Africa without them. Happy to find them. My stars. Thanks for all.
ENJOY CHEETAH TENTED CAMP!!!

Room Tip: All the tents are perfect
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  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alicante, Spain
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

My husband and I had booked the Cheetah camp for our honeymoon last month in June and I can truly say it was a wonderful experience. We both came back feeling we had holiday which memories are made from.
We had never been on a Safari before but the camp owners Jorge and Mariola made sure we were prepared and answered any questions we had beforehand. Mariola was fantastic in taking care of our connecting flights too, we had someone to pick us up from Nairobi and safely transport us to the small plan to Kenya.

The owners want their guest to get the full experience, allowing us to get up close to the animals, meeting the Masai mara people of whom work at the camp in their traditional attire.

The camp itself is beautiful, natural yet totally safe from the wildlife. We were given the honeymoon tent/house which is enormous, with a beautiful terrace right on the river (where you can see the hippos and often a crocodile)

The days would be planned as we pleased, but we decided to go out in the car, often with Jorge the owner to which we saw a variety of animals, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, zebras, elephants etc. they literally come feet away from the car. The cheetah’s in fact jump on to the roof. Jorge his colleagues totally understand the behaviour of the animals so although slightly daunting, we were very safe.

Jorge and Mariola, and the team did their best to make our stay as comfortable as possible. The service at the camp was out of this world. At breakfast we could dine by the river, or have it served in our tent. They served a huge selection of food, pastries, fruit, free-range eggs and sausages, anything you want they will do. In the evenings we had a 3 course dinner in the camps main social area. This was a magical setting, with a burning fire, candles lit and a guitarist playing most evenings.

The truly is a magical place, I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in Safari, learning and seeing the wild animals up close.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

I had the time of my life. It´s difficult to express how much we loved staying at the Cheetah Tented Camp.
I contacted them by email and they were always very quick and helpfull with their answers. They organizad picking us up in NAirobi and the internal flights.
Thanks for everything Mariola !!

I didnt look at many other camps because here I found what I was looking for:
- Exclusive Camp (only three tents)
-Unlimited safaris in a private land Rover with a Massai guide only for us.
-No rules and no schedules.

When we arrived Mara, two tall Massai, dressed with their red dress "shuka", gave us a very special welcome.
In our way to the camp we already saw a big variety of animals.
The welcome at the camp was also also very special, I don´t know how to put it in words.

We spent 7 days and each one was special and different.
We woke up when we wanted and we had a wonderful breakfast in the big terrace with the river view full of hippos. The decoration of the table with flowers and messages " we love you" ... so cute !!
Plenty and excellent food.

On the game drives we always went with our Massai guide, Simintei Sengeni, and our mecanic Musiri. Also the owner of the camp, Jorge, came with us several times and we really appreciated because of the passion and knowledge he puts in every thing he does.
It was rainy season so the paths where very muddy. We had to help others vans several times.
We never got stuck because of our good Defender Land Rover and our best driver.
Simintei was also full of knowledge. His ability to spot animals from miles away was nothing less than amazing. He founded lions, males and females, very difficult to see in with the wet land. Then he could hear some elephants and when we arrived he appreciated a just baby born elephant !!
I felt very save with Simintei. I can´t say enough good things about him.

The landscapes we saw were breathtaking. Big skies and open savannah of very green grass lands.
Hard working staff who always had smiles on their faces, received us back from the game drive.
Then we stayed at the restaurant, just talking with the owners and listening to the beautiful sound of Peters voice and his guitar. NAKUPENDA AFRICA !
Here we had plenty of snacks and alcoholic drinks in a real full board accommodation.
Free wifi was such appreciated.
The dinner was just excellent. Great soups and meat or fish. Delicious dessert.
The big fire we shared made it more charming.

We saw such an abundance of wildlife, but I will stay with the love of all the people we met at the Cheetah Tented Camp. They are the reason of the spirit of the place, which is hard to put in words, its what attracts you over and over.

If I could, I would give the location 6 stars.

  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Cheetah Tented Camp is one of the most amazing places not only in Masai Mara or Kenya, but in Africa as a whole! It’s so unique thanks to its owners, Jorge and Mariola, the Spanish couple which, together with the Masai people and animals (three dogs and a young warthog named Trufa), make any guest feel like home.
For many years I’ve been travelling with my husband throughout Africa (and not only Africa) and I’m happy to announce that we finally have found our second home, our African home.
Jorge – a charismatic naturalist, fascinated by wild cats. Mariola – an incredibly warm and friendly person. Together they created a special relationship with the Masai people; the kind of ties that are so difficult to achieve nowadays.
Jorge and Simintei - the Masai – waited for us at Musiara airstrip, where we arrived by a small plane from Nairobi. And so our incredible seven-days safari began. Jorge was with us all the time, sharing his intimate knowledge and experience. He showed us the face of Africa that so far we had known only by watching the best documentaries.
Thanks to Jorge and Mariola we time-travelled back to Karen Blixen’s Africa! We lived by the Mara river in a huge tent consisted of a bedroom, a bathroom (two washbasins and a hot water shower available 24 hours a day), a toilet, a hallway with a closet, and an extensive terrace from which we could watch hippos and crocodiles dabbling in the river.
Going to Cheetah Tented Camp, you don’t have to take cosmetics and many other things with you. There is always soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner available for guests, as well as bath-robes, slippers and fresh towels. It’s very important for travelers, as you can only take limited amount of luggage to the plane. Moreover, if necessary Jorge is ready to drive you to a local shop so you can buy other things you need.
Beds are equipped with mosquito nets and at chill nights you can get hot-water bottles. There’s Internet and cell-phone’s reception.
You can have your meals at a terrace of a tent, at a table by the river, or by a chimney in a tent-restaurant, listening to the life music. Food is fantastic, made of local products, there are delicious fruit and home-made fresh bread. When our hosts discovered that I don’t eat meat, one of the Masai men every day caught fish especially for me. All inclusive price includes any beverages, alcohol too.
You are free to organize your time as you wish. It was us who decided where to go and when. Night safari, long walks with the Masai along the river, a trip to a village, to a market place, or to a rhinos reserve – all of this and more without any additional fee. And most of all – every tent (there are only three of them but we were lucky to be the only guests at the time) has a car with a guide assigned. It makes you feel totally free and independent.
This is really the dream place if you want to experience an extraordinary adventure in Africa, far from popular tourist trails and attractions.
But look out! Once you spend your time at Cheetah Tented Camp, you’ll never want to go elsewhere!

  • 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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Additional Information about Cheetah Tented Camp

Address: Masai Mara National Reserve, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #42 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Cheetah Tented Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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