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“BIG FIVE TWICE!!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mara Sopa Lodge

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Mara Sopa Lodge
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C14, Keekorok, Oloolaimutia valley (Masai Mara Reserve) | Oloolaimutia Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
wales
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“BIG FIVE TWICE!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2011

We satyed here for the last two nights of our safari in the massi mara. What a lovely lodge, cold flannels and juice on arrival and both given with a smile. The staff were great , we never waited/wanted for anything. Pool was lovely and clean with lots of little lizards running about :)
Our room had 2 double beds, dressing table , safe and shower and fresh bottled water morning and night. A really comfortable stay. I noticed some people complain there is no t.v , we did'nt miss this at all as we were out early and back late and to be honest why would you want to watch tv whilst safari?? there's too much to talk about.
The food was ediable as was it in all lodges we stayed and you have to expect that it is just that. Afterall its AFRICA! But we weren't there to experience fantastic food we were there to see the animals, we saw the BIG FIVE the first day in the massi mara within 2hours!!!!!! And also again the second day there , we were so lucky! Most amazing experience of my life so the fact that the food wasn't the best and water and electricity was limited it didn't matter. Every part of our stay here was fantastic and i'd definitley go back.

Room Tip: Hyena feeding in the night
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  • Stayed March 2011, 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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424 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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Freeport, Maine
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2011

We stayed in room #65 for two nights. The location is amazing. Monkeys everywhere. Watched Masaii dancers perform and hyenas feeding. The room was fine – comfy – no telephone or TV. Nice little porch. Water and electricity is available at specific times (no hot water or electricity during the day, no hot water after 10pm). The food is just awful – almost inedible for lunch and dinner – breakfast by far the best, make sure to eat a big first meal. There is absolutely no soundproofing between rooms – you will hear *everything* your neighbors say/do. Staff is nice and helpful. There’s a small bar downstairs, next to hyena feeding area, where the staff goes and there are few tourists – check it out. Have lots of small-bill shillings, as you'll need/want to tip all the time. Had amazing game drives. Loved the ride in, looking at all the Masaii people.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2011

What a great place to relax. We booked this through a tour company Silverbird Adventure Tours and Travel (more on this in a minute). I really did not know what to expect. The rooms are large. They are not modern with no TV's but this doesn't matter when on safari. The food is amazing and the service is excellent. I visited with friends, but I would certainly go back with my family. The lodge is in the park and within 15 minutes you are seeing Lion, Elephants etc etc. Thanks Sopa.

Regarding Silverbird Adventure, not again. Out of 5 of us three of our credit cards were cloned as a direct result of booking through them. They may offer reasonable prices but you will run the risk of your credit/debit card being cloned, thus having no money for your holiday of a lifetime.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2011

I cannot praise this lodge highly enough. From the beautiful rooms which are kept immaculately clean to the fantastic food and friendly service. The people are wonderful and nothing is too much trouble. It really is like a home from home. All the staff go out of their way to help and make you feel welcome and they are particularly fantastic with children.
The food was wonderful, so much choice and so well cooked, our waiters Lawrence and Michael were charming, funny and helpful. Our room housekeeper David was polite and helpful.
They also have entertainment from the local Masai village warriors, bush babies come into the bar to be fed. And there is an are where they feed hyenas, jackals, yelllow tailed mongoose, literally yards away from you! Amazing!
Elvis who looks after the pool area and bar is another member of staff I must name as he also is helpful, friendly and never fails to notice a thisty guest!
Even the medical staff, the doctor and nurse are fantastically helpful and caring.
All in all I am looking forward to returning and would highly recoomend anyone to stay here.

  • Stayed February 2011, 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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Chichester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2011

We stayed here for the last leg of our Virgin holidays trip "A Taste of Africa". We did one week safari and a week in Mombasa at the Voyager Hotel. Please see my other reviews regarding these hotels and the safari in general.

This hotel is on the actual reserve, and is accessed along a very bumpy track, but once you are there it is a very comfortable and relaxed oasis of luxury in the middle of the reserve. After a long drive, and the rigours of the roads, it was wonderful to have a beer and relax. The rooms are OK, if not as big as we had experienced before in other Sopa lodges earlier in the week. I would say the main issue with the rooms is that the walls are thin and as each lodge is ‘semi-detached’ you can hear pretty well everything that goes on next door. Apart from that they are comfortable and have all the usual amenities.

The main hotel bar is quite large but has cosy corners and is styled as a Masai village hall. The restaurant was buffet and the food perfectly ok, plenty of choice and so on.

There is another smaller bar lower down the hill, overlooking where they fed the animals at night and this area was always busy when the scraps went out. Hyenas and mongoose as well as jackals came to feed, and you could see quite a bit of action.

The pool was stunning and really beautiful, with a backdrop to die for. It was never too busy and you could usually find a sun bed and some shade, although a few of the wooden sun beds were broken.

The safari itself was incredible and we loved every minute. We saw so much, including a large pride of lions in on a kill and also cheetah which was relaxing after finishing its lunch and leaving the carcass to be fought over by jackals and vultures. Although we didn’t see a leopard which is a shame, we saw 4 out of the big 5. Overall the whole safari we saw about 60 or so different types of birds and animals, including at Amboseli hundreds of elephants and giraffe, and wildebeest and buffalo, and Lake Naivasha hippos and water-bucks.

The only thing about safari that I would point out is that the roads are very rough and if you enjoy a bit of off roading then you will love it. The Landcruisers we were in were brilliant - much better than the little 4x4 minivans that most people were crammed into like sardines. These Toyota Landcruisers were bigger and more comfortable especially bearing in mind the sorts of roads you will be on. Once on the reserves themselves, you are going off road all of the time as they have only tracks to get about. And anyway most roads in Kenya are broken up and many virtually nonexistent so if the idea of being hustled along dirt tracks and pot-holed tarmac roads for hours in a 4x4 doesn’t appeal, then stick to the David Attenborough DVD box sets.

If you wear contact lenses then a pair of wraparound sunglasses is a must as the drive is often very dusty indeed, especially when other vehicles are nearby as you can end up in a dust cloud.

It’s a good idea to take a pair of binoculars each so that you don’t have to argue about it, as sometimes you only get a fleeting glimpse of something. And take a jumper – useful if it gets chilly but also to sit on as you can get a bit of a bruised backside after a few days of the Kenyan roads and the game park tracks.

Take your malaria pills with food every time as they can bring on stomach problems otherwise. I thought I must have eaten something that disagreed with me but it was the pills and not the food.

And take the brochure with you so that you can compare the actual accommodation described with what you actually experience. Always useful if you need to take up any complaint with the hotel or your tour rep.

And never ever leave any valuables anywhere for a moment. The people of Kenya are very poor, generally - with exceptions of course – and it is best not to put temptation in anyone’s way. Keep your wallet in your pocket and your hand-bag or camera etc close by and keep an eye on it all. Use the safes in the rooms and take the minimum cash with you that you require. Don’t wear fancy jewelry and expensive watches etc when out and about, particularly if you venture out in the more built up areas around the towns. Whenever I got out of the Landcruiser to use toilets or go for lunch etc. I took all my valuables including binoculars with me - it is just better to be safe than sorry. Someone could break into the vehicle for example. And if someone nicked your camera then you would be devastated!

Don’t give sweets or money to children who, as soon as they see your 4x4 approaching, will run up and try to engage you, if the vehicle is stopped. They will get in trouble with their parents. A couple of coloured pencils would be better, or a ball-point pen. And don’t take photos of the Masai unless you check with them first – and they will expect some financial reward – as they have been known to pelt vehicles with stones if you simply start photographing them out of the window of the car. The Masai are still very evident here and are found all over, tending their goats and cattle.

Apart from these simple pieces of advice, have a great time. The safari we went on was superb: we met up with some lovely people in our group, and a good time had by all!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2011

Large, comfortable rooms. Great meals. Very friendly and helpful staff. But it is on the edge of the Mara. If staying a few days in the Mara consider breaking up the stay and staying a night at a more central location, on the other side of the Mara River. Otherwise there is less variation in the safari drive routes because of the location of this lodge in the corner of the Mara. Check out the animal feeding at night! Highly recommended.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Espoo, Finland
Top Contributor
190 reviews 190 reviews
99 hotel reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2011

We stayed in two nights here in Sopa Lodge during our safari (I don't actually know how expensive it was to stay here, since transfers and game drives as well as the accomodation were all included in the price of the trip). The journey to Mara Sopa was really interesting (read: the last two three hours were bumpy and we saw many broken vehicles on the way) since the road was in very bad condition, but immediately after arriving it was like another world. Clean, nice place in order.

The location of the lodge was just outside the Masai Mara National Reserve, but you don't have to drive through the gate every time you go to the game drives. The lodge is located up on the hill, but the view isn't especially nice, and usually blocked by trees. There are some small monkeys on the area, and many baboons just outside. But the lodge area is surrounded(?) by metal fence, so large animals can't get in, I think. Electricity as well as hot water was available in the morning and in the evenings (electricity also shortly in the afternoon). The rooms were big and nice, bathrooms with shower. The mosquito net around the bed wasn't mosquitoproof, but all the windows were equipped with nets, too. And perhaps they sprayed the rooms daily, at least there was a weird odor inside after the game drive...

There was pool, but otherwise there aren't many activities in the lodge. Just a bar... and one tv in the bar, the only one(?) in the whole lodge, I think. So if you come here, make sure your days are full of game drives. But the meals were suberb! Even though I didn't eat any cold dishes (bad experiences from previous trips in other places), I always ate a lot. Especially BBQ dinners with many meat varieties were delicious, as well as warm pancakes (made by a chef in front of our eyes) were my favourites. I really miss those meals... But you had to pay for all drinks (not included)!

Some people say that the eastern side of Masai Mara isn't as good for wildlife watching as the western side. It's hard to compare if you haven't visited the western side, but I think you can see all the most important animals also near Sopa Lodge. On our second day we drove about 120 kilometres (I had a GPS with me) and didn't go west of Keekorok. Still we saw four out of Big Five. Elephants and lions were plentiful (lions were easy to spot, since usually there was five cars or so around them...) as well as buffalos. We also saw a lonely rhino, so I think we were lucky... We also saw a carcass taken to a tree by a leopard, so those shy cats were somewhere nearby, too... In addition we saw giraffes, many antilopes (wildebeests etc.), warthogs, ostrichs, zebras and so on. We even saw a lonely hippo, which was quite a surprise, since our guide thought that we are not going to see those unless we drive half a day to Mara river (in addition there was some hippos next to Keekorok lodge, but they live in an artificial pool)... The only bad thing in Mara Sopa, considering game drives, is that you have to leave every time to same direction, and to reach Mara river or any western areas of the park you have the spend much of the day for transfer drives... But as I said, you can see actually all the most iconic animals in the eastern side, too. At least if you are lucky...

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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 Mara Sopa Lodge

Address: C14, Keekorok, Oloolaimutia valley (Masai Mara Reserve) | Oloolaimutia Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #86 of 120 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Number of rooms: 90
Also Known As:
Mara Sopa Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Sopa Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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