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“Fine overall with one major exception” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Mpata Safari Club

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Mpata Safari Club
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C14 | Keekorok, Kenya (Masai Mara Reserve), Maasai Mara National Reserve 58402-00200, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Fine overall with one major exception”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

My family and I, including 2 kids aged 5 and 2, stayed at Mpata at the end of July for 2 nights. This is the 5th time I had been to the Mara and stayed at a variety of lodges over the years. My overall impression of Mpata was favourable with one exception which I will get to later. The rooms were good, I wouldn’t say there were exceptional based on the other lodges. They certainly weren’t as good as the rooms at the Mara Serena for example. We were in a suite which had a Jacuzzi but the power is off from 1030am-430pm and that’s they only time you are in the lodge due to game drives, so we didn’t really get an opportunity to sample it. The service in general was very good and the guest relation managers were very responsive to any need that you may have. They had a nice touch in that they placed hot water bottles in your bed on cold nights, and the nights can get cold in the Mara. The food was good, I wouldn’t say it was exceptional, but definitely good.

My only beef with the lodge, which I communicated to the guest relations, was the pressure they placed on their drivers to return to the lodge by 9am for breakfast. Their breakfast hours are 8am-930am and so they got everyone back to the lodge by 9am. I suggested to them that because of their location, which is 30 minutes outside the park on the rockiest road in the Mara, they really should extend their breakfast hours to 1030am. This leaves people more time to have a decent game drive in the morning. They leave at 6am but by the time you are in the park, its 630-635, and then they head out by 830am to get you back by 9am. So your game drive in the park is less than 2 hours. This results in the drivers/spotters tending to keep to areas close to the lodge and also not wanting to keep you there to observe game, and instead opt to have a “spot and shoot” (picture) mode. In my opinion, I am at the Mara, not for the photos, but to observe wildlife and to spend some time staring at a herd of elephants and noting how they interact. That’s the fun. Pictures are great, but I can get them from postcards as well. If you compare the hours to lodges or camps in the park, they would leave at 615-630am and return at 915-930am. The difference being, all 3 hours are in the park and you are likely to see a kill for example just around the corner from the lodge. So at Mpata your game drives are actually 1 hour shorter. Same with the evening- the park closes at 6pm, but if you are in a lodge in the park, then you drive to the lodge between 6pm and 630/645pm and are likely to see a hunt as I have. That doesn’t happen at Mpata.

All in all it was a good experience, but the game drives could have been so much better and longer. Management did see the issue, but not sure if they will do anything about it. If I was to do it again, I wouldn’t return to Mpata until they had fixed the issue because somewhere like Serena provides much better opportunities for seeing game at dawn and dusk when most of the action happens.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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52 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
143 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2011

When we first started going to the Mara for the week we used to split camps and we visited this camp for 4 days about six times.

It was designed by one of the best architects in Japan and is perched on a hilltop with super views of the Mara reserve.

It sits high on the edge of the Oloololo escarpment.

It has been voted 'the Best Safari lodges in Kenya' by the Kenyan Association of Travel Agents.

On our first visit we were lucky to be allocated a suite - thanks to our tour operator Ferdinand Mwangwa of Beach Air Tours and Safaris.

Our suite was right at the end of the first row of suites and cottages and had a lounge with bathroom off - mini bar - large bedroom - dressing room and twin bathroom and best of all an outdoor Jacuzzi

The suite is curved and has glass from top to bottom in every room with superb views.

There was decking at the Jacuzzi and also out the lounge door which was well furnished with exquisite furniture.

We had a superb driver and managed to see several crossings from the other side of the river and plenty game.

As it is quite high up we did however leave at 6am in the morning for the early morning game drive and returned at 9am.

The club does only two game drives each day morning and afternoon but we did as usual and took a packed lunch to stay out all day.

The first and last day it was good to relax in the jacuzzi and on the sun decks but even the water heated up quickly with the strong sun.

As usual a gift shop where I headed off to and hubby to the suite!!

Food was excellent and all meals prepared was Nouvelle Cuisine by Kiyomi Mikuni one of the world's greatest chefs.

The menu changed every day and breakfast was wholesome and again a variety of food.

There was entertainment in the evening - masai dancers - guitarists and various others.

The sunken Rock Bar gives a sensational view of the Mara River

There is also a sundowner bar.

We would like to return again but find once we are ensconced at the Mara Safari Club it is the hassle of packing up etc but we shall one day if not just to see our excellent driver whom we still keep in touch with.

The first time we visited we actually did a nature walk and also visited a Masai village.

Again we could not fault anything - rooms clean - friendly staff and the dining room super with glass all around to see the spectacular views.

Asante to all and to Stanley who had eyes like a hawk!!!!

Room Tip: Try to obtain a suite
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  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2010

I stayed there for a weekend safari during a business trip - excellent place in terms of service, architecture and room comfort, food and safari experience. I got a great deal by booking through Genet Tours in Nairobi - contact Jane Karanja at +254-722-875835. I called Friday morning and was on the plane to Masai Mara in the afternoon, nothing to worry about.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2009

We stayed in this lodgeš for three days with our friends (6 people). The lodge is not situated in the park but it is on the top of the cliff and the view over the valley is spectacular.
If you go there book the rooms with the view. It has glass wall towards the valley and you will experience absolutely amazing view. Also there is no problem with the distance from the park (30 min drive) because all the game drives are longer than in other lodges. Staff is very helpful and food is very good. 100% recommended.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Duxbury, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
54 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2008

We stayed at this lodge while on a safari in July 2007 but I just noticed that I never finished reviewing the lodges for that trip. Our experience here was very brief- one night. We were upgraded here after we had booked and paid for the safari and only stayed for one night-a $200 increase in price. We had a fabulous safari but until now had stayed in mid-priced lodges, all of which were very nice. We arrived at about six P. M. after a long day and left the next morning after breakfast. The lodge has a magnificent setting on a hill over the Masai Mari. The entire lodge is extremely modernistic in design- lots of concrete-almost looks industrial. The reception area looks out over the Masai Mara through several stories of glass. The individual accomodations are all separate cabins with all glass fronts which overlook the Masai Mara. The room and bathroom were definitely more luxurious than places where we had been staying-the sheets had to be those multiple thread sheets you read about- very nice. Dinner that night and breakfast were excellent- no buffets-individual service and dinner was gourmet. We didn't go on game drives from here but as others have noted the road to this lodge is probably the worst road we were on in Kenya- a very slow experience and we wondered if guests would get sick of it, especially if they went back and forth twice a day for morning and evening safaris. The pool and grounds were magnificent. The service was superior but of course that was the case everywhere in Kenya.

  • Liked — Views/luxury room
  • Disliked — Access road
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2007

Whilst on holiday for two weeks in the Voyager Resort, Kenya we booked a 3 day air safari to the Masai Mara with Bruno who operated on the beach at the Voyager on behalf of a local travel agency!

Before we went to Kenya, we had read all about people booking safaris with vendors on the beach and this guy - Bruno's - name kept coming up in really good reviews. I must admit though i was still a bit aprehensive about it, but the experience i had from booking the trip right until i came back again was nothing short of Excellent.

We booked to stay for 3 days, 2 nights at the Mpata Safari Club which was rated 5 star and it cost us $700 each which was a bargain in comparison to booking with holiday reps.

Included in this price was return flights from Mombassa to Masai Mara - what an experience the very small plane (which incidentally was also carrying others who had booked through holiday reps for so much more) took off and landed 3 times before it got to our hotel airstrip - it was like a bus! 2 nights in a beautiful lodge, all meals (including the most wonderful picnic breakfast on our last game drive), the services of a professional and highly experienced game ranger who found us almost all of the Big 5, as well as a total of 4 game drives of which the last one was a half day!

The Food at the Mpata Safari Club was excellent. As we were there low season the place was pretty quiet but it is Japanese owned and run and is clearly of such a high standard because it caters for hundereds of discerning Japanese tourists every year.

The actual rooms were lovely too, i think rustic is the right word. Although you aren't staying in a tent, as you can in some safari camps, it is still pitch dark and pretty cold at night - they sort this out though as when you go out to dinner each evening you return to your room to find a cosy hot water bottle in your bed! Also, even though you are in a room you can still hear the sounds of wild animals - all be them small ones - scurrying around outside - it honestly is amazing! The electricity automatically cuts out between 11pm and 4.30am and is also off for a long spell during the day, we were so impressed by this "eco-friendliness" in a place were electricity really didn't fit in anyway!

One small thing that i will mention - if you are like me and will face a lion or goliath for that matter but are utterly petrified of small insects - beware! If you leave your lodge lights on at night you will come home to hundereds of moths in the room! This is avoidable though by simply keeping only the very top light on so they all remain high up and you can have a nice moth free sleep! You may also on occasion find a wee lizard or two in your room just ask reception to deal with this for you and they will remove them!

When you arrive at Mpata you are allocated a game ranger who will take you on your game drives for the duration. We were so lucky! We got allocated Geoffrey - who was without a doubt the best in the whole of the Masai Mara! I know this because with the exception of the rhino which evaded us, we saw everything... lions, cheetah, all the various deer, elephants, monkeys, warthogs, hippo and even a real live kill and so much more i can't even list them all!!! And it was always Geoffery who tracked and found these things and who then got on the radio to other vehicles for them to see it too.

You will hear people say that if you book Safari's outwith the normal holiday rep deals you will all get piled into a big bus and it won't be authentic - not true. We went in a toyata land cruiser and there was the two of us plus two other girls that came with us from the Voyager and we had a window each and could get our heads out of the roof anytime we wanted it was amazing. We had only just met the four of us and we shared a truly wonderful experience!

I need to apologise now for having written a novel about a 3 day experience - but i hope this gives you some small idea of how utterly amazing this trip was and i hope you get a chance to do it some time!

  • Liked — Rustic, in the heart of the Masia Mara with amazing views!
  • Disliked — Nothing! Well maybe the Moths - but what can you do?
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
119 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2007

This hotel was located 1000 feet above the Mara River over looking the National Reserve. There was a central complex housing all the public areas - lounges, dining romm and bars with the swimming pool area adjacent.

The accommodation was in individual thatched huts and connected to the central area by pathways. Each of the huts was circular and had a large bedroom with a bathroom behind and a balcony in front. The front wall of the bedoom was glass and gave the occupants an uninterrupted view over the Masai Mara.

The penalty for the magnificent view was the half hour journey to the Reserve for any safari but the facilities made up for that in every other way. The staff were extremely helpful, the food was outstanding and the accommodation was perfect.

The hotel provided the driver/guide and the vehicle and they gave us some of the best safari experiences of our African holiday. We saw the big five, we saw cheetah, hippo, crocodile, jackal, ostrich, hyena, giraffe, many gazelle, many birds and above all we saw the start of the wilderbeest migration. An emotional experience to say the least.

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — The extra half hour travel (each way) to the National Reserve
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Mpata Safari Club

Address: C14 | Keekorok, Kenya (Masai Mara Reserve), Maasai Mara National Reserve 58402-00200, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #88 of 128 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mpata Safari Club is perched right on top of the Oloololo escarpment in the world's famous Masai Mara. The Club is endowed with a breathtaking view of the panoramic Masai Mara and the Mara river. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mpata Safari Club Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mpata Safari Club Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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