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.