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.

“Up Close & Personal With the Hippos” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Mara Safari Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Save
You added Royal Mara Safari Lodge to your Saves list
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Nairobi, Kenya
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Up Close & Personal With the Hippos”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

The lodge has just six rooms all by the Mara River. There is no perimeter fence and at night some hippos clamber up the steep path to graze inside the property. Elephants and Impala wander in as well and one morning we saw fresh lion pug marks just a few metres away from our room. The rooms are very big and each one has a large verandah that overlooks the Mara River that flows right in front.
Wilson, the driver who took us around on most of our game drives is the best we've ever seen. An expert tracker, he actually led us to a pair of lions sleeping below a bush by tracking their pug marks and hair snagged on branches of bushes. Because the lodge is in a private conservancy with very few lodges, you feel as if you have the park to yourselves. We had the most amazing 30 minutes with five lion cubs playing and two lionesses. Our car was the only one there. In Masai Mara we would soon have had ten other vehicles, each jostling for the best view.
The service at the lodge and the food are very good as well.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Write a Review

369 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    341
    22
    4
    0
    2
See reviews for
100
197
14
2
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 (79)
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
Huntington Beach, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

Our family stayed in two rooms at the Royal Mara. When you walk into your room you are really wowed with the splendor and African decor. No detail is left out. The room is spacious and beautiful, and you also have a wonderful porch which overlooks the river and the rhinos.

We had excellent game drives and saw the big 5. Staff was so attentive. Food was delicious. We visiting a nearby Masai Village and thorougly enjoyed meeting the villagers and mingling with them. The women danced for us and the children sang. We also enjoyed the walking safari and got very close to buffalo and giraffes.

What an incredible experience.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

The Royal Mara Lodge was by far the highlight of our 2 week long Kenya safari. The RML is actually located in the Mara North Conservancy, which is a private conservancy adjacent to the actual Masai Mara Reserve. Because the Mara North is private, drivers can offroad at any time (in the actual national reserve, vehicles are generally required to stay on paths). Offroading permits you to get closer to and seem more animals. We had the closest and best animal encounters of our entire trip while in the Mara North.

The lodge itself is perfection. There are only 8 tents, so it offers a very personal, private experience. Each tent comes with its own staff - you have your driver, your housekeeper and your server, who stay with you throughout your stay. Each tent is spacious and immaculately decorated, with a very comfortable king sized bed and an extra large bathroom. Each tent also has a large porch overlooking the Mara River and the resident hippos. At night, you can fall asleep to the sound of wildlife (particularly the hippos that come out to graze). No tent is better than the next - they are all equally wonderful and spaced reasonably far apart so you have a great deal of privacy.

The food was excellent. Every meal began with a delicious cream of ___ (some vegetable) soup and ended with a lovely homemade dessert.

The best part of the RML experience was the staff. Everyone went above and beyond to make our stay wonderful. Each employee seemed genuinely happy to be there, which says a lot for the way the staff must be treated. In particular, our wonderful driver, James, showed us all of the Big 5 in our short 3 day stay, including THREE leopard sightings. Reagan, Steve, Simon, Tom, Alex, to name a few of our wonderful staff.

We will be recommending RML to all of our friends. I can't speak highly enough of the entire experience.

Room Tip: All of the rooms appear to be similarly great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 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.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

This review is long overdue, but none the less it’s still worth writing as I know how helpful these reviews were when me and my friends were planning our trip. Pictures cannot express well in words how amazing this Lodge is. If you like what you see, be prepared to be blown away. The exterior and natural surroundings are absolutely breath taking and it was so surreal having wild animals crossing the grounds so peacefully. The Lodges are beautiful and the wood craftsmanship is simply gorgeous, this even beats the best of hotels around the world.

Another great thing about the Royal Mara Lodge is that all the staff are friendly and provide you with all the information that you need. Guards are at hand 24-7, so you can rest assured that you are safe as they are there to protect the visitors. In regards to food, I was pleasantly surprised that the food was so good. So the fact that you are all inclusive, this worked out very well.

Lastly, the game rides were an absolute highlight to the trip. By the second day, we had already seen the big 5 and some exciting hunts through the course of the three days. I would highly recommend Royal Mara Lodge and a Trip to the Masai Mara is an absolute must add to the bucket list. Great honeymoon destination also. 

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

Well the title says it all
This camp sited in the Mara is a wonderful place and you are looked after by the most pleasant and attentive people you could ever meet. They are a credit to the company and cannot do enough to ensure that our 2 night 3 day stay was absolute perfection. The lodges are amazing the staff are there at hand to keep you safe from the wildlife that you are surrounded by. On our arrival at the air strip we were met by Julius our personal driver for our stay. He was very knowledgable and ensured that we saw the Big 5 and much more during our stay. The food was varied and plentiful and again nothing was too much trouble .
We had an amazing 2 hr walking safari with The guards which we found to be informative bad fun if not a little exhausting in the heat. This was preceded by a ballon trip which again is a must and ended with the most enjoyable full English breakfast with champagne in the middle of the Mara ( quite surreal ) thanks to all the staff for making our stay a memorable one and also to JT Safari's for organizing the whole trip . We cannot thank you enough Julius Nzumbi for all you and your staff done to ensure this was a trip of a life time
Cannot wait to return and use your services again

Room Tip: All lodges are fantastic and sited right on the river Mara
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Austria
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

This is an excellent lodge in a really good location. It is right next to the Mara river. At night the hippos come out to graze next to your bungalow. It is safe at all times and guest are being accompanied to and picked up from the bungalows. Staff is exceptionally nice. Also the food was really good (except for desserts which are a bit too sweet and artificial) - but really excellent chef who knows how to use herbs and spices. You have lunch and breakfast right next to the river and can enjoy the view of the hippos. Dinner is next to a nice fireplace. During safari you get a blanket to keep you warm in the mornings when it gets cold. Our driver was called James and he was excellent!!! For the drinks we decided to go for a lump sum to avoid having to sign every time and this was really a good choice. You can get your laundry done for free as well - just be careful there and check whether you get everything back (I checked and one piece was missing - after claiming they found it and brought it to me. My husband did not check and also noticed that one of his shorts was gone). Overall a really well run luxury camp which I can only recommend.

Room Tip: They are all the same quality.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

Our stay at Mara was just perfect, from touchdown on the local airstrip 10 minutes from the lodge till we took off again a week later we were looked after. The staff are excellent and arranging all the small the details, they carry you along without ever feeling intrusive and without exception they are pleased to see you and genuinely welcoming.

we soon got to know the names of them all and it felt like leaving a new group of friends when we left.

The Safaris were great, the guide was a wealth of knowledge and skill (particularly with a 4 wheel drive). The drive can be bumpy but then you are literally driving through the bush, that is how you get within a few meters of wildlife.

Treat yourself to a real experience, this place is definitely great value for money - and don't forget to tip at the end, this is the way it done on Safari so seek guidance.

We will be going back if we get the oppertunity

Room Tip: All the rooms I saw are essentially the same, all excellent - we were in No.6
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 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.

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 #23 of 127 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

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.