I visited the Mara Explorer at the end of an eight day safari booked through Gamewatcher. On the recommendation of Julie from Gamewatchers, I stayed here for two nights in August 2012. This is a nice camp in the Mara Reserve. The nice thing is that it is only 5 minutes from the airstrip.
This was a different experience from the Porini Camps I had stayed at (Rhino, Amboselli, Lion) but I am glad I came.
I arrived at the camp after being in the Mara for 3 nights a the Lion camp. I was greeted by Steven the camp manager. He was really nice and pleasant. This place is 5 stars and definitely has the feel. Unlike other camps, you have the ability to dine and order off a menu. This is good and bad. You can eat when you want but you lose the group feel you get when everyone eats together. Luckily, the people at my camp were really social and we all sat around the fire before dinner and talked. I was traveling alone and was invited each night to sit with other people.
What is great about the Explorer is that it is small. I talked to some people who stayed at the Intrepids and that camp has far more tents. The Explorer is really intimate!
The game drives are different than Porini in that they are "scheduled" at 6:30, 10 and 3. Porini takes you out and its less structured and you stay out as long as you want. What I gathered is that the reason for the structure is that the drives are scheduled around the dining room times. However, they will pack a breakfast if you go on an early drive and take you out longer to 1 or so.
I enjoyed the game drives and the jeeps are really comfortable. I am going to go out on a limb and say this camp is for the less adventurous vs the Porini camps. However, it was GREAT to have a long hot shower and a bath tub to soak in at the Explorer. I even had a message in my tent on day! The tents are BEAUTIFUL and on the Mara River. You can see and hear the hippos all day and night! It is really special. The other thing that is nice about the Explorer is that they do you laundry for free. This was much needed after washing my clothes in the sinck for 8 days!
On our game drives, we saw three total male lions, leopards, a rhino (only one of 83 in the park) and many other animals. We also saw the migration.
The last night, Steven surprised us with a bush party! I was really special. I really enjoyed my stay but it was really different than the Lion Camp. I have posted my review separately on Trip Advisor along with tips for travel on your safari. Have Fun!
- 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