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“Excellent service, luxury, small and quiet (other than the hippos of course)” 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
San Francisco, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Excellent service, luxury, small and quiet (other than the hippos of course)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

What made this place special was not so much the fabulous setting, the quiet and exclusive feeling, the great game viewing, the luxury tents, but the attention and the care of the staff. Service in this place is truly exceptional - the hosts, Steve and George were both the epitome of attentiveness, knowledge and attention to detail. Coming back from our safari drives during our three day stay at the Explorer, we felt like little kids who had someone to share their experiences with - George always came by to ask us about what we saw and if we needed anything. David, a Masai staff member, helped me get the type of Masai necklace that I was looking for. The chef cooked up some amazing meals and was very attentive.

They had surprise bush breakfast for us the day of our departure, a barbecue surprise dinner and a surprise Masai dance during our last evening. The camp was very quiet and at night you could hear the sounds of nature. Even though we didn't stay in the famous tent #4 (right at the Hippo beach), we loved our tents and we got to see the Hippos from the main dinner / hangout deck, in addition to some crocodiles and buffalo. We made friends with the people who were staying there and they invited us to go and hang out by the hippos and take pictures of them. The camp is really small and you get to know everyone.

Our guide, Silas, was a little more quiet and reserved than we had expected but he was clearly very knowledgeable and would take us straight into the heart of the action. He knew where the animals were and if he saw an animal on the move, he would guess accurately where the animal was going and get there before all the other vehicles. Silas was also an expert driver, getting us through some difficult terrain and positioning us for prime viewing if there were other vehicles around. Under his guidance, we saw lions eating, lions mating, cheetahs stalking, leopard walking, elephants and giraffe grazing. We had front-row views of a migration river crossing and we were the second car to arrive to see a black rhino.

The hot water bottles in bed were a nice touch of luxury on top of the already stellar accommodations.

Room Tip: We had tents 7 and 8 which overlooked the river - in 8 you could hear a nice sound of running water...
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
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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, September 6, 2013
clearly you were WOWED and this means so much to us.
The Mara Explorer Family
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215 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 (79)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hartford, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

We finished a 10-day Kenya/ Tanzania safari trip with a 2-night stay at Mara Explorer. From the time we walked into the welcoming arms of the wonderful staff, to the final morning when they pleasantly surprised us with a breakfast in the bush!, everything was just right. John Parmasau- our guide/ driver for the 4 drives we did was simply amazing. He knew the park well and knowing that we had spent time in other camps, asked us specifically what we were looking for- and even made sure we had a rare Rhino sighting (that my daughter badly wanted). James was wonderful, gracious and helpful with his wake up calls in the morning and coffee at our tent. The tents are right on the Talek River and simply sitting out, watching hippos, or the bushbucks, or even the one leopard sighting as we stepped out for dinner...
The cook and serving staff were excellent and we felt pampered.
Last, 2 minutes from the air strip! We left at 950 from our rooms for our 10 o'clock flight to Nairobi.
Would recommend it highly to anyone looking for luxury in the bush, and an awesome guide.

Room Tip: All tents have a river view
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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, Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
What shall i say other than Thank you so much.
The Mara Explorer Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandton, South Africa
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

Mara Explorer is located in the heart of the Mara = Close to one of the Airport Ol Kiambo ( sorry for the spelling if incorrect ) . Was there at the time of the migration and we saw absolutely everything . Black rhino to the leopard called Olive !! It was an amazing day !! One of the highlights was of course seeing-Malika the Cheetah who jumps on cars .. Wow !! The driver we had was also excellent - very knowledgeable and seemed to know exactly where there animals were !
The camp itself is clean- spacious and very comfortable -friendly staff , cater to all your needs . Dinner is Al a carte and food is great. I would recommend the tent near the hippo pool as there is nothing that tells you more that you are in Africa than waking up with the hippos snorting in the water !

Room Tip: I would recommend the tent near the hippo pool as there is nothing that tells you more that you ar...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, Operations Manager at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
So glad you enjoyed. Makes us truly happy as the Service providers.
The Mara Explorer Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marlow, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

If you only ever stay in one hotel then make it this one – it is wonderful! The location is humbling, the atmosphere cannot be bettered and the staff are truly special.
The camp location is idyllic, overlooking a bend in the river where hippos rest on the shore in the sun, zebra and baboons cross over the ford and impala come to drink – all while you are sitting on the veranda with a beer!
The “tents” are very comfortable – beds have memory foam mattresses – and the bathrooms well appointed. Be prepared for the occasional noise at night, by which I mean lions roaring, elephants, hippos, etc …..
The food is true fine dining with excellent choice; well cooked, presented and served. Dinner in the bush around the campfire was a great experience.
Particular thanks to Steve who made us feel at home and looked after all of our administration; Godfrey who treated us like royalty and kept us fed and watered, Daniel who kept us well guarded, showed us the camp and entertained my son; and Dennis who was the best guide/driver one could have. He was extremely knowledgeable about the Mara environment and the wildlife, knew where and when to find a most beautiful leopard, showed us the wildebeest crossing the Mara river, got us close to lions fighting, cheetah, elephants and all the other game, and found some great places to have breakfast! Thanks also to all the people behind the scenes who we didn’t meet but nonetheless contributed to our stay.
It was a real privilege to have stayed here.
Stayed 2 nights August 2013, 2 adults and 2 children aged 15 and 12, in 2 tents.

  • Stayed August 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
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, September 6, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for this awesome feedback. In Mara Explorer are MAD. ( Make a Difference) I am glad we made it for you
The Mara Explorer Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

My husband and I have spent 1 week in the Mara explorer in August, and that was the best experience we had in Kenya! Indeed, we have been living in Kenya for more than 3 years and we have done a lot of various lodges and this one is by far the best one. The location is idyllic, the food is just excellent (from my point of view the chef will deserve a french etoile (star), the camp manager Steve is very efficient and handles his camp with an excellent hand. The guides for the game drives are the best we have ever had in Kenya, thank you Paul!!!!

To sum up, I will advise you to go without any hesitation to Mara explorer!

Thank you to all the mara team!!!! You are the best

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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, COO at Mara Explorer Camp, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Dear Guest,
This is the kind of comment I add nothing too. It is all inclusive. I am so glad you came and stayed with us.
The Mara Explorer Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

We had 3 lovely days in Mara Explorer, The Camp was simply fantastic.
I am normally the skeptic type and would never rate anything 5 star, but must when it is called for.
The tents where absolutely lovely, with views over the river. The bathtub on the verandah was a great little extra, soaking up while looking down over the river and the wildlife. Everything very luxurious.
The food was simply fantastic. We never expected food in this great quality so far out in the bush, like a 5star restaurant in an European city. And the service; Godfrey was simply the best! I have rarely if ever experienced so attentive or personal service. He made every meal special. Maria loved her birthday song, and the cake:-)
The Game drives. We drove with Paul. Probably the most knowledgeable safari guide one could ever find. He simply knew everything there is to know! We were fortunate enough to see all the animals possible, and I am sure only due to the fact that we were driving with Paul. When we are going back to the Masai Mara, We will only be driving with Paul…Period!
Steve the camp manager was also amazing. Personal and attentive, and showed a real interest in how your day had gone by. Your jolly mood was fantastic and contagious. The overall management of the camp and the personnell make many luxury hotels look like amateurs.
In no way to neglect the rest of the personnel which where all simply fantastic. So Steve, Godfrey, Paul, and all the rest of you, thanks for simply amazing 3 days. We will be back as soon as we can.
Best regards
Martin & Maria

  • 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 1
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, September 6, 2013
As you perhaps know i respond to all Guests Comments on this Forum. Some of them make me so happy i can cry. This is one of them. We are so glad you stayed with us.
The Mara Explorer Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Modesto, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

The game drives and our guide Vincent were fantastic, and could not have been better. Engaging, knowledgeable about Kenya, the game, plants, and the ecosystem, Vincent gave us a broad overview of this incredible part of Kenya. The staff was helpful, friendly and very professional. The "tents" were luxurious, and the food was absolutely amazing. The chef, wait staff and camp staff were attentive and always helpful. We recommend this lodge with no reservations, and would love to return.

  • Stayed July 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 1
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, September 6, 2013
We are glad you enjoyed. Thank you for posting this awesome feedback.
Regards,
The Mara Explorer Team
Report response as inappropriate
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 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 
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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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