Stayed her for the first time in August 2012 and had to come back; so we arrived back more or less a year to the day of our first visit. We booked again via JT Safaris and we flew into the local airstrip from Amboseli in an old DC3 Dakota operated by Mombasa Air Safaris this was the perfect start to our return stay at the Royal Mara. Simon who was our guide the previous year picked us up from the airstrip and we had a short drive on our way to the lodge stopping off to have our photos taken on the banks of the Mara with hippos basking in the background. On arrival at the lodge we were met by Stephen who explained the camp rules and introduced to our housekeeper, Mark, and to our waiter ,Sammy, who were to look after us during our stay and they took us to our luxury "tent" which overlooked the Mara river with its own resident pod of hippos. Our game drives were now guided by Julius who had a work experience student, Mark, with him and we can honestly say that he has the most amazing eyesight of any guide we have used. His local knowledge of the animals within the conservancy is amazing and he could identify the individual animals within the prides of lions. He found us cheetah, rhino, giraffe with a week old calf. all manner of antelope, gazelle and birdlife. However his best find for us was a leopard cub about three months old, this was during a day trip into the Mara reserve itself also cheetah hunting again and the Marsh pride of lions hunting. he also has a photographer eye knowing where to get the best photos. With him we had breakfast in the bush under an acacia tree with the animals of the great migration milling around us a truly magnificent experience. On our day trip to the Mara we had lunch on the banks of the Mara watching the pods of hippo and crocodiles basking in the sun and the birdlife flitting from branch to branch around us. Thank you Julius and Mark for these memories.
Thank you also to Reagan and Moses for looking after us on our walking safaris into the bush, their knowledge of the surrounding area is terrific and you feel safe walking around with the animals around you.
Back in camp the food is superb with plenty to eat, the chef works wonders at producing such good food, especially the soups, the cost of drink is very reasonable with a good choice of wines. You are woken up in the mornings with fresh tea or coffee prior to going on your early morning game drives. Also included is a free laundry service which enables you to cut down on the amount of clothes you need to take. Also there is now free good quality Wi-Fi available in all the tents for those of you who feel the need to stay connected personally we enjoyed being away from it all.
During our stay here we had the misfortune to be staying at the same time as a group of 17 Chinese who were very rude to the staff and showed no consideration for other clients however the camp manager James and the rest of the staff went out of their way to ensure that we did not endure any of their bad behaviour. At two evening meals they arranged for us to have our meal on the banks of the Mara outside our tent with full waiter service so we did not have our stay spoilt by their antics. Thank you for this, it was very much appreciated and we were made to feel that our custom was appreciated and valued.
This is a place that we will visit again as it is perfect for everything you need to see the animals of Kenya all in the knowledge that you are well looked after and appreciated and in a fantastic setting.
Thanks to all again. We will be back again in the future.