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“Stellar Safari Experience” 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
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Stellar Safari Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

We chose Mara Explorer 'cos my sister had stayed for 10 days at the Intrepids camp and had a fantastic time. She strongly recommended the driver/guide who showed them around and I too wanted to Safari with him. We weren't disappointed. Our driver made us feel welcome right away..... and shared in our excitement to be on safari in equal measure, showing us animals, including a very pregnant giraffe, on our way from the air strip to the camp itself.
The camp is beautifully located right on the banks of the Talek River, a permanent home for some very boisterous and amusing hippos. If you are lucky you might even see Olive (the leopard) make a kill on the banks of the Talek River, just across from the dining area. The tents are beautifully done up..... they are truly luxurious with every amenity. The tents even have an outdoor tub and running hot water (contrast this with some other camps like Kicheche Mara Camp that offer only one bucket of hot water daily for your bucket shower between two tent occupants). After a full day of safari, when you return hot and covered in sand, a hot running water shower is just what you need.
The staff at Mara Explorer was very warm and friendly..... even the Masai who saw us to our tents had a smile and a story about which animals had visited the camp overnight. The food was fantastic.... we couldn't believe that such good quality food could be consistently offered in the middle of a wildlife reserve. There was always a choice of 2-3 for every course of the three course menu. This meant that if you weren't partial to say pineapple, you weren't stuck with eating pineapple upside down cake for dessert. For vegetarians or people who don't eat red meat, such a menu would be even more welcome. We have no dietary restrictions, but were happy to indulge ourselves with the choice offered. On the occasions the camp had few guests, they showed us the menu in advance and we made our picks, to avoid wastage in the kitchen. The packed breakfasts (we did breakfast every day on the go on safari and one lunch on the go too) and lunch were fantastic. There was always too much, and we could never finish what was packed, and we did not regret missing the camp breakfasts and lunch.
Our driver was the best. He gave us so much information on the animals and their behaviour and even told us anecdotes about the animals. By the time we left I knew of all the various prides of lions resident in the Mara (had seen almost all the prides) and was well versed in the local lion political scene. Before each safari our driver would explain where he was taking us and to see what. For example he would begin a safari by saying that he planned to travel east to try and find the male lions, Notch and his sons.... and we did find them, mating with lionesses. In this manner we covered all directions of the Mara. The migration had just about started when we were there, so our driver organised a full day of safari, and drove us down to the Sand River (the border of the Mara and Serengeti), to see the early migration and animal crossings. We were the first jeep there, and it was an amazing feeling when on the way we were surrounded by the migrating animals and not another human soul besides us.
We even got to see the elusive Rhino.... again with not another jeep in sight. Our driver had a knack of finding animals. Once we were passing a bush with no visible sign of animals and a few jeeps looking lost a couple of kms ahead, and our driver took a turn and we found an entire pride of lions behind the bush. We saw so many special sights.... animals feeding on a zebra kill, cheetah with cubs feeding on a kill, Malaika the cheetah on the roof of the jeep and her cub waiting below. Olive, the leopard, out for a morning stroll with her cub, baby elephants and teen elephants showing off. With multiple leopard, lion and cheetah sightings.... we counted ourselves very lucky. We even saw the relatively rare sight of two Serval cats. We enjoyed watching and photographing the birds of Mara too. Our driver was very sensitive to my interest in photography and would angle the jeep, entirely on his own initiative, to get the best shot.
The jeeps of the Mara Explorer came equipped with a fridge ..... so the long safari days were made comfortable with a supply of cold water, soft drinks, beer etc. For the chilly mornings there was always the thermos of coffee and tea.
We had such a fantastic time and we cannot wait to go back.

Room Tip: Ask for a tent overlooking the Talek River so that you can have a ringside view of the hippos.
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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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, COO at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Guest,
So glad you had such a wonderful time. We hope to see you again soon. It was such a honor to be of service
Regards,
The Team
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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
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Eindhoven
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

This was our second stay at Mara Explorer Camp.
As promised we came back as soon as possible :-) and again enjoyed every second. Highly recommend the Camp to every one looking for luxurious tents, a laid back atmosphere, awesome food and great service.
The location is wonderful and the tents are very comfortable, and well positioned for views and a degree of privacy.The food is varied and prepared and presented to a very high standard. The staff gifs an unbelievably high quality service, and nothing is ever too much trouble, thanks guys!!! And last but not least a special thanks to our driver Paul, who managed to make every drive a very special one.
Can't wait to go back to this place, it has a special place in my heart.

  • Stayed June 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
We are so excited you came again. It means so much to us to host repeat Guests. you are now part of Family. In Maasai you are a "Ndauo" meaning Friend.
We are waiting for you next visit.
God Bless
The Mara Explorer Team
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Oslo, Norway
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

We visited this luxurious camp in the Mara on the recomendation of my sister who had been there before and we were not dissapointed for a moment. We visited most camps and decided that this was the best location to see the big five on regular basis due to location and easy accesss from the air strip (literaly in the camp)

From our guide Samson to every one of the staff at mara Interprids were simply quite extraordianry, the food and the tents were quite perfect and the game was fantastic. Laundry service was provided at a fee and this enabled us to travel light, Hot water was a welcome luxury in the evenings after a long day in the bush. The evening entertainment was great with masai warriors performing and informative slide shows keeping everyone entertained and informed

The camp is located in Leopard country by the Talek river and the sightings surprised us, we saw the big five in one day.The variety of animals and the frequancy of our sightings was a wonder and our guide Samson was a real expert and seemed to have eyes like a hawk! he spotted a thresome of cheetah's from literally 2 KM away walking in the tall grasses of the savanah and this memory will stick in my mind for ever!

Our typical day started with tea at 5.30 am and a game drive in the morning with a bush breakfast at around 8.30 am amongst the Zebra and Gazelle (on one day we found a cheetah watching us from afar ) we returned back to camp for lunch and then it was kids club for the children from 14.15 PM to 15.15 (free of charge with a different activity every day). we would set out for the evening game drive at 15.30 and return to a glorious sun set by 18.30 PM. The dining experience was simply 5 star!!!!

All in all I highly reccomend this camp to any one planning a trip the Masai Marah and give it two thumbs up!

Room Tip: Try to request for tents 1&2 if you book 2 tents as these tents come witha living room in the ce...
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  • Stayed June 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.
BeutifulKenya64, Chief Operations Officer at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Ashe Oleng. This is Maasai for thank you so much. The Team appreciates you.
The Mara Explorer Team
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watamu
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

We went Masai mara from Malindi by Aeronav,it was three days safari and our accommodation was at Mara Explorer,The staffs were upto their tusk,very welcoming and professional in doing everything,from reception, food,front office and house keeping,
We used tent No.4 it was clean,spacious and well furnished overlooking Talek River full of Hippos.and crocodiles.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Chief Operations Officer at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Dear Guest,
We are so glad you enjoyed your stay in the Mara Explorer. Thanks for sharing with the World.
Good Evening
Operations Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

We have just returned from five perfect days at Mara Explorer. This camp offers it all, great food, fantastic tents, wonderful food and staff who are always willing to go the extra mile.

We were in the infamous tent four which offers an incredible view over the Hippo Pool. We spent most of our time in between game drives watching the Hippo's 'sunbaking' or wallowing in the pool, along with the Baboons who would also entertain us with their antics along the riverbank.

The tents are fantastic and offer a large bed, desk, rocking chair, large vanity space and shower and toilet. The outdoor bath is a great bonus and very relaxing. It was always nice to find a warm hot water bottle in our bed at night and waking to tea/coffee and biscuits in the morning pre game drive.

Joseph our drive/guide was everything we could ask for, patient, knowledgeable and a pleasure to spend time with. We had fantastic sightings of Lions (including the infamous 'Notch'), Leopards (almost every drive), Hyena with Topi Kill and surrounding Vultures, Serval Cat, Giraffes, Elephants etc etc and the anticipated Malaika the Cheetah. We really enjoyed being in the Mara in June as it was relatively quiet and we could enjoy the animals without to much interference from other jeeps.

George the Manager is a true asset to Explorer and we enjoyed his company very much. He organised wonderful surprises including the Bush Dinner including Masai Dancers, Sundowners in the Bush and a Bush Breakfast on our last morning. We always enjoyed chatting with him on our return from drives and were sad to bid goodbye to him.

The Chef is to be commended for the wonderful food. We opted to go for long drives in the morning (6.30 - 12pm) and the breakfast boxes were more than ample, lunch on our return was a five course menu with a great variety on offer, as was dinner. The food is of extremely high quality and the menu's are very well thought out.

Every member of staff really makes you feel welcome, including James, Daniel and all the security guys. I cannot recommend Mara Explorer highly enough, it is a fantastic place and I would urge anyone making a trip to the Mara to spend some time here. We will never forget our five days and plan to return in the future.

  • Stayed June 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear Guest,
We are so glad you enjoyed your stay with us. We all long to host you again soon.
Kind Regards,
The Mara Explorer Team
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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

This luxurious safari camp was the last stop during my East Africa trip last November. The tent was tastefully-designed, well-equipped, big, comfortable, clean and overlooking the Talek river. Good game viewing around the tent and camp. It was the most luxurious of the three camps during the trip. The water supply was briefly interrupted at the end of my stay (apparently some elephants had tripped over the water pipes) but it was quickly sorted out and incidents like this should really be tolerated when in the African bush. The service level was top-notch from the camp manager to all the staff. They planned surprised bush dinner and breakfast for all the guests. Food was also excellent. Unlike most safari camps or lodges, they have separate dinning tables instead of one dinning table which I also prefer. It's extremely good value for such a luxurious and high quality camp but it's worth noting that I visited during the low season and the rates are seasonal and can increase considerably. Highly recommended.

  • 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, June 5, 2013
We are so glad you enjoyed your stay in the Mara Explorer. This is truly a place of choice and even as employees we do fill truly honored to be working here.
We all look forward to inviting you again in the near future.
The Mara Explorer Team
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Ahmedabad, India
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

We visited Mara Explorer on the insistent recommendations of my son who had been there twice already. We were a bit apprehensive about the purely rustic conditions but were surprised at the luxurious tented accommodation along the Talek River. We were given morning tea in our tents and laundry was free. We were the only guests at the camp and were given a royal reception on an advance request by my son, and our tent No.4, overlooks a group of 20 hippos who came out to graze at night right under our room and sun themselves on the sand below. We were warned not to walk alone after 6 pm when they could be right in the camp too. The food was very good with the chef taking our preferences and request after each meal - however vegetarians were not too happy with their cuisine. Wine and local liquor was complimentary, which we enjoyed with every meal. Our guide for safari rides was Rafael and he was truly enthusiastic about showing every variety of animal possible. We saw two cheetahs eating a kill just 10 feet away, two cheetahs who climbed on top of a jeep and sat there unconcernedly before 5 jeeps for 20 mins, and four huge lions having an afternoon siesta within the tall savannah grass. He also spotted a deer having just given birth 20 minutes before, with the calf struggling to stand on its feet. Truly a wonderful experience as Rafael did not bother with time limits and showed us elephants,,zebras, deer, giraffes. On the last morning we were treated to a champagne breakfast with the chef dishing up hot items. Truly a wonderful experience with fantastic hospitality and friendliness of the entire staff

Room Tip: Actually the camp is very expensive, but as our tour operator had organized the bookings we got a ve...
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  • Stayed May 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
    • 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, Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Hello Guest,
Thanks for this awesome review. I notice your concern on Vegetarian food and this will be worked on. So glad you came.
The Mara Explorer Team
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Additional Information about Mara Explorer Camp

Also Known As:
Mara Explorer Camp Hotel
Mara Explorer Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Explorer Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve
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:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 109 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mara Explorer Camp 5*
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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