We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“magical place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Mara Safari Lodge

Save Saved
You added Royal Mara Safari Lodge to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Royal Mara Safari Lodge
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Bolton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“magical place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

Stayed here for 2 nights in September.
It is a magical place with wildlife all around - as has been said on many occasions the staff are wonderful - our guide, Julius, made sure that we got to see as much as we possibly could including a leopard on the hunt and a river crossing of a couple of hundred wilderbeast.

My only, very slight, gripe would be that you can't just sit and enjoy your surroundings.

On our last night at around 10pm, after dinner, I wanted to just sit on the verander outside our tent and listen to the wildlife all around - however, just seconds after i had sat at the table the security guard came to inform me that he would be there for the whole night. Whilst i appreciate that we were in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by wild animals it would have been nice to just have a few minutes, alone, to appreciate this. I fully understand why this is done - in order to safegaurd the guests - this is why i have said that it is only a very slight gripe in an otherwise wonderful stay.

If i go back again this would be my first choice of accommodation.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
Write a Review

341 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    315
    20
    4
    0
    2
See reviews for
90
185
14
1
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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Mold, North Wales
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

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.

  • Stayed August 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

This facility, it's location, staff, amenities, and activities (game drives) were outstanding. The best time we had in Africa and absolutely the best safaris. The staff and management were so personable that we cried when we had to leave. This is what we always thought Africa to be. We lived with all of the animals and the wonderful Masai people and their lands.
We say this after experiencing other areas of Africa and other game drives. This place was magical.
If you really want to experience real natural and caring Africa, the Royal Mara and its offerings are a must.

  • Stayed September 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013 via mobile

Good things :

- Perfect location.
- Lodge front of Mara river with hippo view.
- Rooms very well decorated.
- Wifi free and fast.
- Tours are magic. Morning & noon safaris are great !
- Staff Nice and helpfull.
- Service perfect


Bad things :

- Heaters should be available especially on winter Time.

- There wasnt a lot of variety of food.

Conclusion :

Worth going there for a wonderful expérience !

  • Stayed September 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st Petersburg, United States
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

Having enjoyed our Safari in 2012 so much we decided to make a return visit to the Royal Mara in June 2013 and were certainly not disappointed with our decision. This is a very small Lodge with only 8 spacious and well equipped lodges, remembering where you are I truly believe the owners and staff do an outstanding job. The food is good, the atmosphere is great and the game drives are wonderful. As our guide of 2012 was so good we requested his services again this year and the Royal Mara obliged with this request. James, our guide is a wonderful person, guide and now "part of our family." This year the game viewing was particularly good for me as I am a "Big Cat Lover" and we had so many Leopard, Cheetah and Lion sightings that you could easily loose count. There we many Lion Cubs this year which was a real bonus. We were fortunate to see a Giraffe of only a day old and huge hers of Elephant with babies of all ages and sizes. I hope to return again if health and resources allow. The entire staff need to be recognized for their outstanding work and the owners George Sr and George Jr need a special thanks for being so accommodating to our needs. The Perfect Safari experience.

  • Stayed June 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
    • 4 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.
Surrey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

As a party of five we stayed for two nights in the Royal Mara, it exceeded expectations the lodges were large and very spacious decorated in Safari style but still with modern facilities excellent shower and his/her sinks. The food was fantastic better than a lot of hotels we have stayed in around the world and served outside by the river with hippo's and other wildlife passing by. Our safari driver Wilson had been working on the the "Big Cat Diary" and the passion he felt with his job was infectious. We saw five out of the Big five although the Rhino was in a sanctuary for obvious reasons. The staff were always cheerful and very helpful including the two guides who accompanied us on a walk where we saw an hippo which had been hurt, they became very strict and insisted that we should be quiet and move the long way around the animal as in pain he could lash out and become very dangerous. Would we go back - yes definitely. We were there in September 2011

Room Tip: There are no bad lodges on this site
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgewater NJ
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

We stayed two nights at the Royal Mara and truly enjoyed our stay! The staff (everyone included) was warm and very accomodating. Since the conservancy is private only used by tourists/travel guides affiliated with camps on the conservancy it creates a much more intimate sarfari drive experience. Our guide, James was very knowledge and went out of his way to enable us to see what we wanted. Nestled along the river, the lodge has a prime location and since it only has eight lodges it is located in peaceful setting. Kudos to the James the Manager and his staff for making it a delightful stay!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.

Been to Royal Mara Safari Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 #16 of 108 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Mara Safari Lodge 4*
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Jovago.com so you can book your Royal Mara Safari Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Royal Mara Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Royal Mara Safari Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Royal Mara Safari Lodge, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.