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“Finest Safari Experience in Kenya” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Mara Safari Lodge

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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
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4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Pasadena, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Finest Safari Experience in Kenya”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

I have stayed in a dozen different lodges in the Mara over the last 30 years of visits, and none comes close to equalling Royal Mara in terms of its sheer unique elegance and unequalled service. George Sr. & Jr. have created a magical experience for their guests. Don't miss it.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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357 reviews from our community

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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
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Mississippi
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

We had such a fabulous experience at the Royal Mara! From the minute we were picked up at the airstrip until after the plane lifted off to take us away, we felt totally cared for, safe, and relaxed.

The staff was incredible - they truly wanted to meet your every need and request and were able to do so! The tents (suites really) are impeccably clean and have every amenity you could possible want. The furniture is beautifully carved with African animals and is executed in such a way that the more you look the more you see.

There is a tremendous emphasis put on the safety of the guests. Guards escort you everytime you leave your tent. They also watch over the camp during the night to ensure your total safety. All this is done with a smile - you feel that you have made new friends by the time you leave.

The dining experiences are great. Food is delicious and plentiful. It is served al fresco on delightfully appointed tables with a server who makes the experience even better. The "bush lunch" is a must, as is the picnic they will pack for you if you do an all day game drive.

The location of the Royal Mara is really superb. It is located within a conservency, but only about a 30 minute drive from the Reserve, so you are able to experience both locations easily. The game drives were amazing. We were there for 3 days and saw the big 5 over the course of the stay, and were even able to see all five in a single day. Our guide, Simon, was amazing in his knowledge and ability to spot animals. He was able to anticipate their movements and put us in the best possible positions for viewing and photos. We went on early morning drives, where we saw lions on a kill, morning and afternoon drives where we saw a plethora of animals. We also were able to view a crossing of the zebra and wilderbeast on the Mara river, complete with some amazing crocodile action! We will never forget the lions catching a mongoose - quite a battle, but the mongoose eventually lost....


We could not possibly say what we liked best. How do you compare lovely people, viewing animals in the wild, and incredible accomodations? What we liked least is easy - leaving.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Mississippi
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

We had the best time at the Royal Mara. Our trip there exceeded all of our expectations! Our cabin (#7) was great and our room steward, Mark, did an excellent job. All of the staff at the Royal Mara made us feel very welcome. Their hopsitality was top notch. We were greeted at the airstrip by our guide, Simon. We did a small game drive on the way back to the lodge and saw so many different animals. Each day we did an early game drive and an afternoon game drive. We did one full day game drive by actually going into the Mara preserve. Simon led us to so many things. From what I understand we had one of the best trips anyone could have - We were able to see the wildebeest crossing the Mara River, all of the big five, lions eating breakfast, etc. It was so much more than anyone could have asked for. We also did a walking safari with armed guards, Reagan and Steve, which was very informative. It is a must do. Also, special thanks to our waiter, Steven, who was also great! George Jr., I'm sorry we weren't able to meet your dad when we were there, but I wanted to let you know that I think that your lodge is a wonderful place....something that everyone should experience.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Accra, Ghana
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

My girlfriend and I spent the weekend of August 5th in this beautiful lodge, having lived in Kenya for a few months I would not expect that the George's, Sr and Jr, the managers at Royal Mara would arrange everything from the air fare to the air balloon without charging an extra penny, the furniture in the rooms is beautifully wood carved, having the hippos just across the river facing our room was just incredible!, the staff is super friendly, very attentive, one of the drivers, Wilson, took the time to pick us up after our air balloon trip and took us to see the great migration, that was the cherry on top. We tip Julian the room caretaker and Wilson for their services. Definitely we will come back!.

  • Stayed August 2011, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011 via mobile

Our stay was incredible. Our room was exotic, hand crafted, gorgeous, comfortable. The staff were professional and well informed, kind, and entertaining. Safari was breath-taking and full of adventure.

I highly recommend. The owner George and his son are amazing people and very accommodating!

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 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.
Tempe, Arizona
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

This Safari Lodge is Awesome

My girlfriend and I had never been on a Safari before, so I was nervous about spending alot of money on something that wouldn't be the best, and none of my friends had ever been. I did a bunch of searches online and I found Royal Mara, then I found the reviews here, and with so many people saying great things, we decided to book it.

If you've never been to africa before (we've just travelled mostly in the US and 1st world countries), it is a bit of a shock to arrive in Nairobi airport. We left the next morning from Wilson Airport to fly out to the Mara (About 45 minutes I think). When we landed, a driver was there to bring us to the camp. The amount of animals we saw just driving to the camp was unreal. It was like we were the animals in the moving zoo of the car, because all the animals, Elephants, Zebra, Widebeest, Topi, and many others were just hanging out as we drove by.

The camp itself is definitely a private place, and made us feel like we had spent twice as much money. Our own private villa, with guards (there are no camp fences there). We could hear the animals all around us at night, even the roars of the lions across the river as they hunted at night. Just too much to do justice to the experience. Top notch food (lots of variety), service (early morning until late night the staff is actually tuned to serve you), cleanliness and comfort. Really a 5 Star Hotel in the middle of nowhere.. Who would have thought it possible..... Two words.... "Go There". Royal Mara has us hooked. We'll be back. Fantastic work on a life changing experience.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

I felt like we found Shangri La at Royal Mara..

First off, when you fly into the Mara, you feel like you are going back in time. Twin Prop plane to a small dirt airstrip. When you leave the plane behind, you take another step back in time, travelling through trees, across savannah and through herds of animals. Just getting to the hotel is exhilirating, and after the warm greeting at the airstrip, they already had me antsy waiting to see if what I've read on Trip Advisor about the camp is true, and boy I tell you it is.

I was greeted by a line of the hotel staff that made me feel like a visiting dignitary. They gave us fresh juice and moist towels to wash our hands and face. After passing pretty much no traces of civilization along the way to the camp, I was astounded by how luxurious it was once I got there. Just to imagine everything they had to do to get all of that out there built in the middle of nowhere, and this was by far not your typical tent on the ground that you find at pretty much all of the other Safari camps (even the expensive ones).

We were escorted to our room, and my eyes almost popped out. I'm sure you've read the other comments, but I definitely wasn't really expecting so much. It was like a mini house. Double vanity, toilet, shower, private deck, king sized bed. All hand made furniture with intricate carvings, and pure privacy with an intimate view of the river.

Even before we had our first game drive, we were watching monkeys across the river and listening to hippos. Our deck was bigger than my patio at home, and it was our private deck, not some shared thing, and had our own private view of the river.

Julius was our driver, and he seemed to know everything, and simply knew where to go to find any type of animal we were looking for. We didn't pay the extra for a private car, but we got lucky and had one anyway for the 3 days we were there. I guess it just depends on what other groups there were, but it definitely added to the feeling of luxury (having a private driver).

I'm not sure how they have such a diverse selection of food in the middle of nowhere, or how they manage to find the people who cook and serve it so well, but they do. It is hard to believe, but when I first started looking for places, a tour operator I spoke with didn't even mention this place as an option. Just goes to show you that doing your homework pays off.

I will definitely come back, and recommend to others. I just hope they don't get too busy that the rates go up, because for the price, I couldn't find anything comparable or even close to what I got at Royal Mara.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Mara Safari Lodge

Address: Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 111 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Mara Safari Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Mara is a luxury safari and game viewing lodge located in Kenya's world famous Masai Mara, home to the annual Great Migration of the Wildebeest. We are situated directly on the Mara River with six riverfront guest suites. All suites are raised upon wooden decks with full mahogany flooring and original hand carved furniture. See the same wildlife-rich areas as broadcast on the BBC Big Cat Diary. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Royal Mara Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Royal Mara Safari Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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