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“Second time back, loved it as much as the first.” 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
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Second time back, loved it as much as the first.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

This is the second time JT safaris has arranged for me to go to the Royal Mara, this time it was to take my children to see what I fell in love with so much the first time. I wouldn't have considered going anywhere else as I felt so safe and had such a good experience during my first time at the Royal Mara. I was surprised and pleased to have Wilson as our guide again although this second time I think we missed out on hime sharing his knowledge of the local wildlife as two of my children are 4 and 5 (not the ideal age to take them but as my oldest children are 16 and 17 it was the only opportunity I may have for us all to travel in one group - would recommend age 5 or 6 as minimum age for safari due to length of the day). Loved the walking safari and it goes without saying that the driving safaris are amazing. Would recommend a visit to the wild white rhino sanctuary. Unfortunately Wilson's car snapped it's axel that day and we had a little adventure waiting for the next car. Wilson and the rangers took really good care of us all and my youngest had fun collecting wood (supervised by a ranger) for the little fire that was built to keep us warm. Just a word of advice - mornings and evenings are cold and daytime is blisteringly hot. Be prepared for this and don't do what my teenage daughter did and just bring warm weather clothes (something about teens ignoring parents). The food is amazing and plentiful. If you have small children you need to be very specific about them just needing a piece of something and maybe cut out some of the courses too. They said that they're thinking of putting up a security fence like other lodges so that guests can walk about more freely. I hope they don't do this as I quite like the feeling of not being separated from the area. Seeing flattened grass near where you slept the night before (but not in a scary way) was lovely to wake up to. While at the lodge we managed to see hippos, and alligator, monkeys, antelope, weaver birds as well as zebra in the distance on our walk.

If anybody can help me out I'd appreciate it - I have a some shillings I wanted to give to Moses the security guard as a tip. We couldn't find him on the last day and I've been unable to find a way of getting the money to him. He was amazingly helpful with everybody in our group and I hate the thought of him missing out. I'm not sure if there's a way of posting the information on here but if someone could find out where I can post an envelope to him then I'd really appreciate it. On that note, while it's customary to tip the room boy, the driver and the waiter people often forget to tip the security people who look after them.

Room Tip: No such thing as a bad room. Would post photos but internet is playing up
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  • Stayed February 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.
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360 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (75)
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

10 of us in 2 jeeps had such a great time for the 3 days we were there. Julius and Wilson who was a spotter on "Big Cat Diaries" are so knowlegeable and found everything we set out to see. Breakfast and lunch in the bush was awesome. The camp was excellent, the food was good and the hippos noisy in the night.
We even had to rescue a group who managed to drive their jeep into a ditch next to a pride of lions.
The best short safari we have been on.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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 May 3, 2013

We were pleasantly surprised by our visit and did not expect to see so much wildlife. On our first day we saw 11 lions and spent the next day hoping to see a giant male lion. We were not disappointed as we saw 2 male lions. Then the cheetah, then the leopard. The rooms were quite enjoyable and I had never felt so immersed in a bush setting. This was our first safari and we did not really know what to expect. The food was great (western style mixed with some african influences) and the staff were extremely friendly. They told us not to walk around by ourselves at night because hippos may be moving around, and they were. On several of the nights of our stay I woke up to the sound of a giant hippo munching outside of my room. By the last night I was used to it, and now I miss the sound. This hotel is highly recommended and I look forward to seeing East Africa again some day.

  • Stayed January 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Beautiful place, wonderful staff, great food and nothing can be said about the location other than absolutely amazing!!

My friend and I went there for 3 days to get a break from the noise and movement of Dubai and it was exactly what we needed and beyond. We were a little fussy at first, not wanting to be near a lodge with loud children or in the same jeep as too many people etc, and the manager went out of his way to accomodate us and make sure we were happy.

Koodos to the chef for his mouth watering soups, and to the drivers who bring you about the safaris. You can tell they really love the wildlife and they can tell you so much about the environment and the animals there...

Love the monkeys and elans and baboons and all the rest of the animals hanging out in the lodge as well... I am a huge animal and nature lover, as well as very picky about service, and eveything about this place was on point. The only sad thing was having to leave after just 3 nights!

Like I said... I would have stayed there forever!!

  • Stayed April 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
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
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013 via mobile

My kids really enjoyed this holiday and will remember the lions for a very long time! Our room was very spacious and right next to the river. In the photos on the website I saw that the rooms are next to the river, but I did not realize the hippos are swimming in the river. You can hear them make noises in the day and the night. My kids got a real thrill every time they grunted. In the first 2 days we saw 14 lions, 2 cheetah, 1 leopard (she was moving fast), elephant and many plains animals like Zebra and Warthog (our driver Julius calls them the Kenyan Express). I was surprised by the friendliness of the camp staff. James, Julius, and Regan were so friendly and welcoming to my family that my wife became emotional when we said our goodbyes. My kids had never been on safari before, and for them it was an experience to remember.

  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

We spent 2 full days & nights here at the recommendation of our son who visited a year ago. Even though he told us what it would be like, we were overwhelmed by the unflagging efforts of the long-time staff to make each guest feel welcomed & valued. Everyone we met seemed like a new friend. The openness of many to share their personal stories enhanced our experience of the Masaii Mara, too. Their knowledge of the region and the animals & their habits was really impressive, as is the education and training that is a prerequisite. Our "room" was quite grand - spacious & well-appointed with beautiful hand-carved furniture, with separate WC & shower rooms. Each meal was served to us by William, who took splendid care to ensure dietary restrictions were met and that we were pleased with our food - which we were. The food was very fresh and healthfully prepared, and portions were very satisfying. Ah, the drives - the reason to visit. Wilson was our assigned driver for the duration and we loved him. His warmth, sense of humor and uncanny ability to bring us within yards of lion cubs, a leopard, cheetahs, et al, all while sharing incredible knowledge about the animals, birds & terrain, was remarkable and memorable. Kudos as well to James, Stephen, Reagan, Samuel & Mark.

  • Stayed April 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caterham
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We spent this Easter at the Royal Mara with a three night stay which was wonderful even though it rained heavily every day. Our ' tent' was fantastic and all the staff were friendly and helpful. Our guide for the three days was Simon who was a fantastic driver in the really muddy conditions and managed to find so many animals including all the cats. (Even if I did spot the second cheetah before you Simon!) We had a really interesting walk in the company of armed guide Regan, an experience not to be missed. I am sure we will return to this great lodge.

Room Tip: All tents are alongside the Mara River
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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 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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 117 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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