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“An Amazing Place - Stay Here and Be Extremely Happy” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mara Explorer Camp

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Mara Explorer Camp
5.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   C14 Keekorok - Talek River in the middle Masai Mara Reserve-, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“An Amazing Place - Stay Here and Be Extremely Happy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

My wife and I spent two nights at Mara Explorer at the tail end of an East African safari trip and absolutely loved it. If you are on your honeymoon, a reunion trip with family or friends, an anniversary trip or any other special visit, this is absolutely the place to stay and be extremely happy:

The 'tents" are high luxury, permanent tented cabins, beautifully appointed, extremely comfortable, with the type of bathroom you'd expect from a super high end hotel. Each tent/cabin is seculded away from others. I believe each has river views. Special features are the outside bathtub (again, as you are secluded from everyone, you have plenty of privacy to use it) and the outside porch.

Service is excellent and exceeds even very high expectations. The small number of tents ensures personalized service and the lodge manager Steve does an incredible job of creating magical moments for the guests. Frankly, its as if he and the staff are compensated based on how often they are all able to suprise and delight their guests. Which is quite often. A few examples:

- Our second night there, the staff arranged for the guest to have a dinner in the bush, setting up tables and grills in a groove area a short walk from the camp. Then then arranged for a Masai troope to come in to dance.

- Our second morning, we were driven to a breakfast in the bush, again, with fully set tables, wait service, full breakfast menu. Just way cool and a great way to take advantage of the settings.

- We did a hot air ballon ride our first morning, which sets out from another camp. On our way back from the experience, we shared the car trip with the two balloon pilots. The next morning, we slept in and were awakened by a weird sound coming from outside the tents. Hippos? No. Hyenas? No. Lions? No. It was, in fact, the two hot air ballons we had been on who buzzed our camp. While there is a small chance this was mere coincidence, given that the camp staff all knew that these were the ballons we had been on (there are *many* ballon companies), I expect it was arranged between the balloon pilots (Jon and Steve) and the camp.

Food is terrific. Seriously great. If this was a restaurant in our home city, we'd likely eat there weekly. Don't skip on desserts!

Game drives are great: we shared a 4x4 and guide (Vincent) with a wonderful couple from California and the drives themselves were amazing: leopard momma and cub eating their kills, cheetah momma and cubs trying to track down wildebeest. Great pictures.

Overall, highly recommend staying here if you are visiting the Masai Mara.

Room Tip: We stayed in Tent 4 which overlooks a bend in the river where the hippos hang out. We also saw a cro...
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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.
BeutifulKenya64, GOM at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
Hello,
Glad you came you saw and you were were elated
Regards,
The Mara Explorer Team
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242 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
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Perth
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

I would have to say this was a truly memorable stay, I have been on safari on four separate occasion and this had to be the best. Ver small lodge with 10 permanent tents all looking out on to the river. Excellent food and wine, being shaken about in a vehicle for 4-5 hurs a day w's a dsaver for the waste line. The staff to a man (all male staff) were delightful, entertaining and helpful, led by their enthusiastic manager Steve. The game in the Masai Mara was very plentiful, leopard, lion, hippopotami, gazelles waterbuck wildebeest. The bird life was also spectacular, vultures, storks, hornbills eagles and many smaller birds. A couple of highlights was a lion bring back prey for her cubs and a short burst of the wildebeest migration. Fantastic. One small gripe no WiFi.

Room Tip: All are excellent
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Group Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, October 20, 2012
Dear Guest,
So glad you enjoyed your stay with us. You will have noted we are rated 2 out 89 units in Maasai Mara and we are glad you apart of this wonderful rating.
We hope to see you again
Regards,
The Mara Explorer Team
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

We stayed at Mara Explorers Camp for 2 nights in September 2012 and then stayed a further 3 nights at their sister camp, Mara Intrepids. Having been to Kenya before we knew what to expect from a safari lodge but the time we spent at Explorers & Intrepids exceeded all those expectations. The main thing that stood out at these lodges was the staff. Steve, Godfrey and all the rest of the staff at Explorers, Francis, Abby and the staff at Intrepids and our expert guide Sammy who was with us at both lodges all looked after us so well that we really did feel sad to leave them. The food at both camps was very good, especially Explorers, and the tents were very comfortable and we quite enjoyed the more rustic feel of a tent over a normal lodge. Sammy was excellent on the game drives, and was very knowledgeable about the area and all the animals. He really got us in to some great positions and the amount of game we saw was amazing. His vehicle was very well kept, well stocked with water/drinks and was completely washed and cleaned after every game drive. I definitely hope to return to Explorers and Intrepids again in the future and would gladly recommend these camps to anyone wishing to see the Mara but also have a great holiday in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly staff around you. Kenya has always held a special place in our hearts and after such a great experience on this trip I can’t wait to go back and visit again!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
BeutifulKenya64, Group Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, December 15, 2012
Hello Guest,
What shall i say other than thank you for having such an awesome review for the Units. We are so glad you came.
The Mara Explorer Camp
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Palm Harbor, Florida, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

If I could move in to the Mara Explorer camp I would definitely do so. It is by far my favorite lodge location that I have ever stayed at. The lodge is situated in the Confluence area of the Masai Mara, which swarms with wildlife (including the infamous Maleika the Cheetah) during the Migration. It is nestled in to bends of the Talek River, providing extreme privacy and excellent views. The lodge is small, intimate, and meticulously run. The food is 5 star and includes a 4 course meal (with desert!) at lunch. The staff was amazing! But the best feature is definitely the hippos. There are several areas in the river where they congregate- you can see them from the main lodge and many of the tents- but you can hear them from almost anywhere in the camp. There is nothing more amazing that soaking in an outdoor bubble bath and listening to the hippos down below. The thought is making me smile right now : )

Room Tip: I understand that Tent #4 is quite famous, but I loved my room at Tent #7 and wouldn't change fo...
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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.
BeutifulKenya64, Group Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, December 15, 2012
Indeed you are correct this is such an awesome Unit. We are so glad you came and had a nice time.
The Team will be happy to host you again.
The Mara Explorer Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Conway, New Hampshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We stayed at Mara Explorer at the end of our ten day safari in Tanzania and Kenya. I was expecting a high quality camp but was blown away by this extraordinary property. The setting is amazing. The Talek River wraps around the property and is filled with wallowing hippos who would occasionally come by the little beach, just beneath our deck and sun themselves. We also had a family of baboons come by every afternoon to entertain us and once a day, a large group of bandit mongoose ran around tent (No. 4) and played on the beach. It was an amazing atmosphere. Our tent was large and beautifuly appointed and provided us with a feeling of secluded luxury and privileged to be surrounded by these wonderful animals and beautiful scenery. The rest of the property was just atmospheric. With only 10 tents, the level of service was the best we experienced in Africa, or for that matter, anywhere in a very long time. We enjoyed beautifully presented and delicious food at every meal. The staff couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. Steve, the manager sets very high standards of service and hospitality. As an added bonus, the proximity to the airport was surprisingly convenient. Oh, and did I mention the outdoor tub. Staying at the Mara Explorer was a wonderful way to end our trip. This was one of the highlights of our two week trip and will live in our memories forever.

Pat & Bob

Room Tip: We stayed in Tent No. 4. The river wrapped around our property and surrounded us with wildlife and...
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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.
BeutifulKenya64, Group Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
What shall i say other than WOW.
Regards,
The Mara Explorer Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

Mara Explorer Camp is just a few minutes from the air strip when flying into the Maasai Mara. A small, intimate setting makes this location ideal. On the banks of the Talek River, it is common to hear the roar of the hippos during the night. The room is large and tastefully decorated...having a very colonial feel. Hair dryers are available upon request, for use in your tent. The ceiling has a beautiful white gathered fabric covering it which feels very rich. The claw foot tub just outside on the deck beside your tent is tempting and a wonderful treat. They occasionally have dinner out in the open, food cooked on the grill, with white table clothes and candles everywhere. Candles light the path as you walk to and from dinner. This is a very special spot. Loved it!

Room Tip: I've been told that room number 5 is occasionally lucky to see the hippos in the water below the...
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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
    • 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.
BeutifulKenya64, Group Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, September 13, 2012
Dear Guest,
We are so glad you found the Unit to be just as you like. We are committed to making it better and so we hope when you come it will be an even better experience.
Good day.
The Mara Intrepids Club
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Lagos, Nigeria
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Myself and my travel buddy from Nigeria made one of the best decisions to visit Masai Mara early in August. Prior to the trip, we had looked at the top rated camps including explorere and Mara Intrepids , a sister company of the explorer without luck as this was its peak season. Just at the point of giving up we called mara explorer and they had availability. May i mention that our main aim was to witness just a day of the Great Migration.

We arrived Mara Explorer on August 16,2012. From the moment we stepped in, we knew we were in for a trip of a lifetime. From the moment we stepped into our room, it dawned on us that it was indeed luxury in the Jungle.

Steve, the camp Manager was extremly nice and welcoming, he answered all our questions and made our stay at the explorer unforgettable. I will not fail to mention James our driver, who took us on all the Game Drives, James was very nice and patient especially as we had informed him that we wished to see the wildebeest crossing the river. We spent three days and two nights at the camp and we saw the Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, Giraffe, warthog, vulture, Lions, hippos, and guess what we saw in addition???.....the wildebeest and zebras crossing the mara river on day 2 and 3 . That was the highlight of our trip. The chef at the camp was the best we had done in a long time.
N.B-You must be very patient to experience the great migration, this is also combined with luck as some tourists never get to see the crossing.

Well done mara explorer for making our trip memorable, to Steve and our Driver James, thank you very much.

Female Traveler from Nigeria.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Group Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
Hello,
So glad you came and had time to post such a wonderful review. It means so much for all of us who work here.
We have taken note of all the Bouquets and can only commit ourselves to raising the bar higher.
We all look forward to seeing you again soon.
Regards,
The Mara Explorer Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara Explorer Camp

Address: C14 Keekorok - Talek River in the middle Masai Mara Reserve-, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 127 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mara Explorer Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the world famous Masai Mara, Mara Explorer Camp is set on its own private peninsula, with each of its ten luxurious tents opening to the Talek River and the stunning savanna. The tents, equipped with all mod cons are set on wooden decks opening out to a private verandah where you can enjoy time alone in the wild away from it all. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mara Explorer Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Explorer Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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