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“Amazing Kicheche” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kicheche Mara Camp

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Kicheche Mara Camp
4.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Acacia valley, Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing Kicheche”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Kicheche Mara Camp

From being picked up from the Mara North Airstrip our adventure properly began. Right from the off we were greeted by numerous zebra, wildebeest and gazelle, and somewhere in the region of 20/30 hippos! We were so distracted with the wildlife that we forgot that we were in fact just on our way to the camp. Sammy and Colin greeted us and Sammy gave all the new arrivals a briefing of how the camp worked (the amazing bucket showers, torch / night-time escorted system etc.). We were put straight at ease and quickly got into the flow of things.

The ‘tents’ were incredible and well distanced from each other (ours was called ‘Kiboko’ which means Hippo), and during the nights we had elephants, buffalo and other animals wandering freely between the tents and I really enjoyed the wild noises at night! A good night’s sleep was fairly important as the days were quite long, sometimes stopping briefly for a tasty breakfast or lunch whilst out on safari. It is quite a strange feeling nibbling on a bit of toast with half an eye out for lions, hyenas, vultures etc. (we had our breakfast pretty close to a cheetah and her grown cubs who were also tucking into their ‘fresh’ breakfast aswell)!

Our guide during the drives was an amazing Maasai chap called Jimmy Tinka who knew everything about everything. His knowledge of the animals, plants, ecosystems, terrain and seasons was second to none. He knew how to approach animals so that they were not disturbed from doing what they would normally do, and he always managed to get the vehicle into the perfect position for photographs (this also included consideration for other vehicles so that our vehicle wasn’t in their photographs). Jimmy is a very patient man and clearly adores his work and his country. His love of nature is an inspiration and he has very strong environmental and conservational beliefs which are strengths that should give hope to Kenya and her future.

We decided to visit the Maasai village and were very happy that we did. They’re a tad cheeky with their prices, however I am notoriously difficult to extract money from however I did dip into my pocket! If you decided to go be prepared to get a little involved! Great people, and thank-you to David for telling and showing us how his tribe survive (and good-luck with your education too!). We also visited the Rhino sanctuary and got extremely close up to these beautiful animals. How can someone murder one of these animals just to cure a cold or ache? Idiots, have a lemsip instead or lop-off your own body parts and grind them up. A rhino horn is made of hair so why can’t they just gulp down a wig? Anyway…

We also decided to do the guided walk with an armed guard which was very interesting. Once again Jimmy excelled with his knowledge, this time with tracks, trees and shrubs etc. The animals were a little quiet and we were beginning to get a bit suspicious as it usually clears of animals when the lions are in town! We bumped into a couple of Elands and Hyenas and some very big and busy ants though and it was all very interesting. I kept lagging behind to take photos which probably wasn’t the best idea…

The food was amazing and every night was different. We would all gather by the fire-pit in the dark and have a drink and a chat about the day’s adventures, then sit down at the big table. It seemed people came from all corners of the globe which is always nice as well. It was also nice that Sammy and Colin; the camp managers, joined us throughout the evening.

We were very sad to leave and the whole experience was incredible. If you want an environmentally considerate first class safari experience look no further than Kicheche Mara Camp.

Alex & Aleks

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

Having already stayed at the Kicheche camp in Laikipia, we knew roughly what to expect when we came here, and once again the Kicheche experience doesn't disappoint. The camp is spread along a hillside overlooking a river valley, and unlike Laikipia, this camp is open to any passing animals. Consequently, even in day time we were in the midst of the wildebeest, zebra and gazelles of the migration, and also saw giraffes, hyenas, buffalo and a host of other ungulates. The tents are very comfortable indeed, the food is very high quality and plentiful, and the hosts Sammy and Colin do a great job of running the place, backed up by an exceptional team.

We stayed for three nights, and in the four days we were there saw all of the Big 5, thanks to the outstanding skills of our Maasai guide Benja. His expertise and ability to spot the tiniest hint of an animal at great distances meant that we saw everything we set out to see. What seems to set the Kicheche guides apart is their qualification levels (guides have to take exams, and there are medal tiers of certification) and their understanding that you don't want to just follow the radio calls and sit with dozens of other vehicles around big cats all day long. We were able to discover the animals for ourselves resulting in a much better experience.

I recommend the walking safari trip, and if you're in the Mara, it is worth doing the balloon safari too. Make sure you see "Leopard Canyon" where the Big Cat Diaries were filmed.

Room Tip: All the tents are well separated. The "honeymoon suite" is like the others, but set at on...
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  • Stayed August 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013 via mobile

We spent 3 nights in the camp and were extremely satisfied. Great service, great place, great staff!
Sammy and Collin, the managers of the camp, have thought about everything:the tents were cosy and beautifully furnished; the staff was friendly and always available; the food was delicious and the guides very knowledgeable. As we were on our honeymoon, we were surprised with a romantic dinner under the stars in front of the tent.
Thank yOu for the great memories!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

the location is superb where else can you sit on your tent veranda and watch the wild life go by.
the game drives are an experience we shall never forget watching lions feeding only meters away, the knowledge of the Masai guides is second to none.
Colin and Sammy run an excellent camp which is a luxurious way to see wild life in its natural settings

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bendigo, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Thank goodness we were able to visit prior to the fire at Nairobi Airport! I would not have missed this spot for anything less! Great hosts and staff, superb food and the best guides around made this game viewing location a dream for our group. Hot water bottles in bed and under the blankets for early mornings and cool evenings were just delightful touches. And how they manage to get the laundry clean and dry in that environment makes my head spin! Personal service at the highest level, beautiful fresh grown local vegetables and herbs straight from the garden, what a great set-up for a moveable camp!!! Would certainly consider another visit, possibly just a week or two either side of our dates on this occasion (first week in July).

  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oman
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013 via mobile

Cannot recommend this camp highly enough. Our hosts Sammie and Colin were an absolute delight, the staff were super friendly and helpful, food and drink fantastic. Everything is so well thought out and delivered with assurance and a smile.

In just 3 days we saw Lions with cubs, Leopards, Cheetahs, Elephants, 2 types of Giraffes, Zebras, Wildebeast, Rhinos, Buffalo, Hippos, Crocodiles, Hyenas, Jackals, Monkeys, Babboons, many types of Antelopes, Dik Diks, Water Buck, the list is simply endless!

When we booked the holiday, the daily rate for the camp seemed awfully high and we weren't sure if we'd done the right thing. Having now experienced the camp, we can honestly say it was worth every penny. I wish we'd been able to stay longer. 5 nights would have been sublime.

We felt spoilt beyond belief. You will too.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013 via mobile

This is our second visit to Kicheche Mara Camp in 3 years, returning to a different location than before. It's a fantastic location with beautiful views. As per our previous visit, our hosts were extremely welcoming, all the staff remember your first name, asking for your choice of sundowner drinks, time to be woken up with hot drinks for your early morning safari drive.

Talking of safari drives, we were not disappointed this time. We saw everything from Cheetahs taking a young gazelle to Lions mating, and a whole pride eating their way through a buffalo. Elephants, buffalo, hyenas and leopards all seen too! Our guide, George was enthusiastic and very knowledgable, understood where to go to get great photos for perfect sunrise and sunsets and took some great photos also. Nothing was too much trouble for him.

Kicheche make you feel welcome and part of a family, with personal service to match. We also made some new friends which is part of the intimate setting of the camp and dinner table.

Our son, Oliver (15) was again entranced by the whole experience and loved improving his photography skills during our time there.

We'd recommend Kicheche wholeheartedly to anyone who likes a "get away from it" holiday, close to nature, with a great level of service and comfort but without the fuss and crowds of the bigger lodges. Thanks for another perfect time.

Hilary, Oliver and Andrew Gerrard

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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 Kicheche Mara Camp

Address: Acacia valley, Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 109 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kicheche Mara Camp 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our bush hideaway welcomes you to a different world, centered at the heart of the African wilderness. Experiencing a traditional luxury camp is a must on safari and, with Kicheche, one that is intimate, secluded and in an area surrounded by prolific wildlife. Staying in a bush camp doesn't mean compromising on comfort, the food and service are first class, as are the warmth and experience of Kicheche's staff making your safari an unforgettable experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kicheche Mara Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Kicheche Mara Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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