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“Ol Seki - Great location, great game, great camp, great staff!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ol Seki Mara Camp

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Ol Seki Mara Camp
Innisikera River, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ascot, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Ol Seki - Great location, great game, great camp, great staff!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

Coming into land at the Ol Seki airstrip all we could see was a mass of zebra and wildebeest. I thought that the migration has come early, but no, there are very large numbers of resident game that stay in the area eating the lush grass throughout the year. I felt then and there it was going to be a special place.


Ol Seki, is set on a promontory within the Naboisho conservancy to the north of the Masai Mara reserve. Being a conservancy, the amount of safari traffic is limited to the small number of camps within the conservancy. The conservancy is very pretty with varied topography - plains, riverine woodlands, acacia and rolling hills. During our visit there was a large number of varied game, very large numbers of zebra, wildebeest and giraffe. We also regularly saw elephants, lion (complete with cubs), cheetah and a serval. The camp offers full day trips to the Masai Mara which is a plus for people wishing to visit the actual reserve. We took them up on the trip which was very enjoyable complete with a picnic lunch next to the Mara river. However, to be honest, purely based on the number of game seen in the reserve compared to that seen in the Naboisho conservancy a visit outside it is not necessary. I guess at certain times of the year it may be beneficial, but in future I would take a view after sounding out the advice of the guys in the camp.

The camp itself is a series of good sized tents, with a large sleeping/sitting area, very spacious shower and good size bathroom. WE had good hot water every time we showered. They also have a lovely deck in front of each tent offering a wonderful view of the landscape and game below. All the tents we saw were very private. I have visited a number of camps in the general Mara area and these were the largest the most comfortable and had the best view.

Food is served in a communal dining tent overlooking a water hole and the plains beyond. The food was plentiful and tasty. The service was very friendly and attentive.

I was very impressed by the numbers of game, the location and the camp. This can only be made memorable by the staff. James was the manager during our stay and he was extremely personable. It was also immediately apparent that he was passionate about providing good service and ran a very professional/efficient camp. Every staff member we came into contact with was very friendly, helpful and professional. Finally, a very personal note to our guide, George - he was the personification everything I love about safari, he was so keen to show us everything he could, so patient with our numerous questions and just very, very pleasant company - thank you George you were an absolute star!

I definitely recommend Ol Seki and I will (unusually) definitely be going back there again - hopefully soon!

  • Stayed January 2014, 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014 via mobile

It was our first time to do the safari trip and Ol Seki Maasai Mara couldn't a better place to experience safari.The camp matched every detail as it was described on the pictures and reviews of the imagineafrica.co.uk website and yet when we arrived it exceeded our expectations.
We loved everything starting with our lovely tent Nina 3 with a great view of the valley,bush dinner on our first night with all the noises of the animals around,morning and night drives with our great guide Joseph and of course our three to four course dinners the variety of which kept surprising us every time:)
Our special thanks to James,the Camp manager and Tamara for sharing with us the knowledge of the area and the camp.To our guide Joseph who made our drives so much fun.We managed to see cheetah and leopard, packs of lions and their cubs,baboons,hippos and many,many others.Big thanks to Josephat for keeping us a company in the camp and being so attentive to our requests.
If we were to come back to Maasai Mara one day,I can say without a doubt,it would definitely be Ol Seki.

I would recommend it to everyone ,trust me you'll simply love it.

Stayed February 2014, 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.
USA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

My husband and I are slightly jaded travelers and I had to do some pleading to add a 3 night safari onto my husband's work trip to DR Congo and Kenya. Our goal was to get away from it all, relax and unwind in the beauty of nature and enjoy a little adventure. We were not disappointed! The trip began when we boarded a single prop plane at Wilson airport and had fabulous views of the Kenyan country-side and drop into the Rift Valley during the short flight. We landed on Ol Seki's own runway just 8 minutes from the camp! David, our guide for the duration met us at the airport and we had just enough time to take in our luxurious yet eco-friendly canvas tent and unpack before lunch was served. Wow! We had read that the food was good at Ol Seki but really didn't expect the high quality cuisine from Chef Evans that we enjoyed on the trip. The camp has its own garden and each lunch a gorgeous salad was served with fresh lettuce, herbs, avocado or vegetables.

Naibosho Conservency is incredible and you absolutely do not need to go to Masai Mara Reserve to have the perfect safari. We pre-paid the reserve fees but elected not to go because we did not feel it would have enhanced our experience. David is such an expert guide that he can find you just about anything! He knows to follow the sound of impalas huffing to find the predators and that noisy jackals just may be signaling a leopard on the prowl. We had lion, leopard and cheetah encounters not far from camp (and in the case of the leopard- in the camp!!!). We had absolutely amazing experiences- right out of a Nat Geo documentary- lions mating less than 15 metres from us, lion cubs playing, hyennas scavenging with their young, male giraffes fighting and a herd of elephants gracefully strolling through the grass with their many little ones. Exciting at times, ironically it can also be so peaceful and calming to be out there on a drive with nothing but nature in sight.

Ol Seki does an incredible job of personally tailoring each day to your needs! We arrived on our anniversary and Tamara- the incredibly cool woman on a hospitality work study- had already arranged a romantic dinner on our tent deck replete with sparkling wine long before I ever thought to ask if a private dinner would be possible. Tamara doesn't really need to finish that BA in Hospitality Management- she already knows what she is doing! We really enjoyed the public spaces of the camp and spent quite a bit of free time relaxing in the wonderfully decorated library tent- the best place to enjoy the sunset with a cocktail. The wait-staff Josephat and Leonard really make you feel at home and are attentive without being obtrusive in the least. We truly enjoyed Evans' meals- tender lamb with a traditional mint sauce, perfect pork chops with homemade apple sauce, grilled rib-eye and chicken in the bush and were pleasantly surprised by the flavourful Kenyan dinner of beef stew, fish in a fragrant, lightly spiced sauce and ugali. The starters, soups, mains and deserts were all delicious. On Valentine's Day Evans made homemade vanilla and strawberry ice cream for dessert at lunch- what a treat on safari! As we were returning to the camp on our evening drive we saw a camp-fire ahead and came upon a clearing with a romantic bush dinner laid out. Josephat manned a drinks table (having brought everything he knows you like!) while starters were served at camp tables around the fire before dinner a deux by candlelight with sparking wine and a flame lily for me. A lovely minted pea soup was followed by a steak dinner and decedent chocolate mousse for desert. No five star restaurant in the world could compete with the ambience of that bush dinner. It was a truly spectacular surprise Valentine's dinner and end to such an incredible trip.

We did not feel pressured to do anything and pick and chose our drives and experiences. I highly recommend a walk instead of a drive one morning. We went with a young Masai guide, Joseph, who showed us all the micro-life we were missing from the cocktail ants protecting the acacia trees to nature's compass- the communal spiders' web! We truly enjoyed just lounging on the deck- sun-bathing, reading a book or just getting caught up in the moment. The bed is large and incredibly comfortable with heavy blankets and hot water bottles to ease the evening chill at bedtime. The tent looks timeless with classic campaign furniture and simple décor but the hot showers are true luxury and the bathroom areas are thoughtfully appointed.

The staff at Ol Seki are what make it special and a place you know wasn't just a one-off experience but somewhere you know you will return. James and Tamara were great hosts and we especially enjoyed all of our mealtime chats with Tamara! David was the best guide and driver, so patient and knowledgeable from the moment he picked us up to his great send-off as our plane barreled down the runway taking us back to Nairobi.

Needless to say, I highly recommend Hemmingway's Ol Seki Mara. We truly relaxed and next time I hope we get to spend more time there. Thank you so much for a magical experience!

Room Tip: Nights were chilly throughout my February travels in Africa and I'm glad I brought a travel-size...
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

After spending ten nights at Hemingways at Watamu, we arrived in the Masai Mara to be met by our driver and guide, David. We spent the day in the reserve, the most memorable part of which was sitting at a table under a shady tree eating lunch and sipping chilled white wine whilst watching the game. We were very impressed by Ol Seki camp - the tents were large and clean and all had great views of the animals on the plains.
Meals were communal affairs and Jeff was a brilliant host, leading to some entertaining meal times discussing our various experiences.
Although we had plenty of unseasonal rain, this did not detract in any way from our game drives and the amount of animals we saw. Each day we had morning drives, with a wake up drink beforehand, evening drives with sundowners out on the plains and also a night drive when we saw an aardwolf (a first for us). We saw far more game in the conservancy than in the Mara reserve itself, including lions, cheetahs, a leopard, hyenas, elephants as well as all the usual plains game - mainly due to the expertise of our driver, David, who was also very knowledgeable.
We were very sad to leave the camp, certainly we would not like to have spent less than the three nights, and would like to say a big thank you to everyone - we can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: We were quite happy with an ordinary tent, but the family tents looked great if you had a bigger par...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spalding, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

It is impossible to find anything negative to say about this fantastic Safari Camp. From the moment we arrived at the airstrip in the Mara Reserve to the point when we took off from Ol Seki's own Airstrip everything was perfect. All of the staff were friendly and genuinely please to see you and so proud to show you their land, the level of service was fantastic, the knowledge of the everyone not just the guides was highly impressive and the food and the facilities of the camp belied the fact you were indeed staying in the middle of the bush very close to nature in its purest form. The excellence of the tents have to be seen to be believed, fantastic! Nothing was too much trouble, nothing seemed impossible, everyone seemed intent on making this the most memorable holiday ever - this was our first trip to Africa so I can not claim this is the best Safari Camp to stay in, but I will say that WHEN I return I will return to Ol Seki to stay as I am quite sure that there is no better! One tip for those thinking of visiting for the first time, whilst the Masai Mara Reserve is very popular staying on a Conservancy near by seemed to offer more intimate interaction with the animals. The restriction in the number of vehicles and reduced number of camps certainly gave us an advantage. Thank you all at Ol Seki - We already miss you! Coolio! PS New Years Eve on Safari is the ultimate!

  • Stayed December 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

The Ol Seki Hemingways camp was truly amazing. From the minute we arrived the service,scenery and safari were excellent. There is so much to see and do there, game drives and visits to the Masai villages. All through our stay the staff were friendly and there for whatever you needed and the food was spectacular. The knowledge of the safari guides was great and you see and learn so much.

Thank you to everyone at Mara Hemingways, an unforgettable trip!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

Thank you to all of the wonderful staff at Ol Seki for making our honeymoon the best trip ever! The tented camp was wonderful with incredible views, food and the most attentive and friendly staff. If you are looking for an intimate safari experience, with hugely knowledgeable guides, helpful staff, first class food and some thoughtful extras (e.g. hot water bottles, sundowners) this is the place for you. We could not fault it!

  • Stayed October 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.

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Additional Information about Ol Seki Mara Camp

Address: Innisikera River, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #40 of 108 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ol Seki Mara Camp is a luxury tented camp, boasting 6 spacious Nina tents and 2 two bedroom suited tents. Located in the Maasai Mara, just outside the famous National Reserve, Ol Seki offers guests the chance to enjoy big 5 game viewing in pristine environment away from the hustle of mass tourism. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ol Seki Mara Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Ol Seki Mara Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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