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.

“Nice camp” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mara Explorer Camp

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
and 4 more sites!
Save
You added Mara Explorer Camp to your Saves list
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
San Diego
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
“Nice camp”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

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!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 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, January 27, 2013
Good Morning Guest,
It is always nice for us to read a review of one who has visited many products as a good comparison is made. this helps benchmarking and improving.
I have noted all your comments and particularly the generous words you had for Steve. These are all recorded and will be remembered as we plan his career progression.
So glad you came, you enjoyed and hopefully you will come back.
The Mara Explorer Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

216 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    204
    11
    0
    0
    1
See reviews for
20
128
12
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 (79)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Just before Christmas in December 2012 I spent 4 amazing days in this fantastic and charming place in the middle of the magnificent Masai Mara. It was truly everything I had hoped for. The camp is exclusive and very cosy at the same time. Everyone at the camp is so dedicated, warm and friendly and they went out of their way to make us feel welcome - they succeeded very well in this :-) The tent was very comfortable with a great veranda, and the food is just delicious. Our guide Koikai was absolutely great and knowledgeable and with him we experienced the wonderful and outstanding scenery and wildlife. We had a great time and would love to visit again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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, January 26, 2013
Good Morning,
Thank you for posting your comments on this Forum. We are so glad you had a wonderful and memorable experience.
The Mara Explorer Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leicester
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

My wife and I stayed at the Mara Explorer for 4 nights from the 5th November to the 9th November 2012. I feel it is fair to say that the Mara Explorer is the single most wonderful place we have ever stayed!! The aspect that we felt really sets the Mara Explorer head and shoulders above anywhere else we have stayed, is the absolute dedication of the staff that work there in make your stay as pleasurable as possible.
We received the warmest of welcomes from all the staff on arrival to the camp, and following a refreshing glass of mango juice and a quick brief on how the camp operated, we were escorted to our tent by our attentive steward James. On our first day we watched elephants feeding on the greenery from the bank opposite our tent, and at night while tucked up in bed, you can hear Hippos literally walking through the camp. James our steward was wonderful, very polite and kept our tent pristine. He provided us with hot water bottles at night to combat the cold, giving a prime example of the camps personal touch.
The food and drink provided at the Mara Explorer was exquisite. Our waiters Odin and Noor were fantastic throughout our stay, always working hard to make sure we had everything we could ever want.
We had 3 game drives a day, first thing in the morning before breakfast, mid-morning until just before lunch, and late afternoon until the early evening. Our dedicated driver was James. Primarily, these game drives are the reason why you choose to go on Safari and we were not left disappointed. James was amazing. His knowledge on each animal, bird, plant and flower found in Masai Mara was exceptional and he was genuinely a lovely guy with a great sense of humour. It was a pleasure spending such a large chunk of the day with him. He also had an uncanny ability in finding every animal we asked to see. The Masai Mara itself is teeming with wildlife. James was very flexible with the timing of our game drives, and even suggested substituting them for activities such as bush walks and visiting a Masai village, of which he was more than happy to organise.
Towards the end of our stay at the Mara Explorer, my wife celebrated a birthday. Two days before her birthday, I was approached my Kabui, the Site Manager who asked if my wife would like a surprise massage. I agreed, and on the following day my wife was treated to a full body massage on the decking outside of our tent, over-looking the river. The evening before her birthday while having a BBQ dinner next to a campfire, the staff broke out into song and dance, wishing my wife a happy birthday and presented her with a birthday cake. This is in addition to the “Sundown Cocktails” and “Bush Breakfast” that we were treated to as well.
If you have ever considered that Safari is something that you would like to do, then book yourself in at the Mara Explorer, you will not be disappointed. We are already working out how we can get back! Thank you so much to Kabui, James our driver, James our steward, Odin, Noor, and all the staff for the most magical time of our lives!

  • Stayed November 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, January 19, 2013
Dear Guest,
I am truly so glad that you enjoyed immensely your stay in the Mara. The Doors are open for you to visit again soon. How about recomending us to your friends
Regards,
The Mara Explorer Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
København, Staden Kobenhavn, Denmark
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

I stayed three days at Mara Explorer and had an amazing time. The staff were so professional and yet so sweet and we felt very welcome. The food was really good and our luxurious tent with outdoor bathtub was overlooking a small river where hippos bathed. It is ideally situated in the middle of the Masai Mara and we got to see all the Masai Mara wildlife.
I would love to go there again sometime.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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, January 3, 2013
Hello,
We are glad you enjoyed your stay in Mara Explorer. we look forward to having you again soon.
Regards,
The Mara Explorer.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Very happy stay !
The camp is really well located in the middle of the bush at 5 minutes from the landing.
The staff is really friendly, Steve the manager did a very good welcome with his team.
The lodges are spacious, beautiful, quite comfortable with hot water!
The cuisine is good, I was expecting to be disturb by small animals during the dinner but not at all. Samy the guide was awesome ! he is working since 20 years old in the bush and you can imagine Samy's knows the reserve like his own pocket and he have lot of stories very amazing to tell and I learned many things regarding the wild life.
And yes I saw all the animals of the jungle !
Nothing left to say, I loved this camp !

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Guest,
We are MAD "Making a Difference" Glad we made your stay memorable
Regards,
The Mara Explorer Team.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We and no idea that our experience at the Mara Explorer would be so incredible. We flew into the Mara in a small plane from Nairobi and the resort is literally 5 minutes from the landing strip. From the moment we were greeted, shown around and escorted to our abode, a luxurious, romantic and cozy tent next to a flowing river, we felt like we were in a dream sequence. When we went to our room that first night after dinner, we were gloriously surprised that our sumptuous bed was turned down and had two hot water bottles tucked under the sheets, a delightful way to slip away into slumber, as the sounds of the night lulled us to sleep.

The game drives left us nothing to want for, as our guide, Vincent, showed us every kind of animal one would want to see, including a rare black rhino, a pair of cheetahs, and a mother leopard and cub, among all the other wild inhabitants that peacefully roam the Mara. Vincent was intelligent, experienced, and very pleasant and friendly. We will request him again, as he made the game drives exciting and delightful.

Our meals were amazing and the service was impeccable. We did not expect the variety of fresh foods, eclectic menus and high quality. Our server Odin was one of the most gracious hosts and we looked forward to seeing him every day. He took care of us like we were royalty. One of the highlights of the day was to wind down around the fire with other guests, cocktails in hand, before being escorted to our private table, under a billowing tree, to dine and reminisce on the day's adventure.

We travel extensively worldwide, but to say this was a trip of a lifetime is no exaggeration. We are planning to go back with our grown children to share this with them.

Room Tip: We were pleased with tent 4!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 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
    • 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.
BeutifulKenya64, Group Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
Dear Guest,
It is always my pleasure to be the one responding to such Guests reviews particularly when the Guest immensely enjoyed themselves.
What a pleasure to have been of service
The Explorer Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mysore, India
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

This was our second trip to Maasai Mara and it couldn't get any better than this. The camp is at the best location possible and has very friendly staff - from the guide, waiters, guards to the manager. The Bush dinner was an unforgettable and one of the most romantic dinners ever! We stayed at Tent 4 which was right in front of the hippo's. The tents are beautiful and very well maintained. When it gets dark, its quite scary to walk around after dinneras you can hardly see anything at all, though the guards try their best in making you feel safe. However, its not recommended for the weak hearted, you can hear wild animals grazing right outside your tent or lions roaring so close by! Nevertheless, If you like to be the closest to wilderness, no place can beat this

Room Tip: Tent 4- noisy but awesome!!!!
See more room tips
  • 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, December 15, 2012
We are exhilarated that you had a nice time.
The Mara Explorer Team.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Mara Explorer Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 117 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Agoda, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Mara Explorer Camp 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:
Mara Explorer Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Explorer Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

Owners: What's your side of the story?

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