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“Excellent - highly recommended!” 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
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Excellent - highly recommended!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

We ended our 8-day safari with 3 nights at the Mara Explorer. The other camps we visited had set menus, so it was refreshing to be in a place where we (kids especially) could order off a small menu with a few choices. The food was excellent – top notch! And our accommodations were also fantastic – we had room #9 looking over the river and we really enjoyed listening to the sounds of the water at night (no hippo noise in this room). Andrew, the new manager, was great! We were very impressed with our guide, Michael, and his extensive knowledge of the animals in the Mara. He also knew where all the animals were going to be – often because he and the other Mara/Intrepid guides communicated and shared info regularly. (A side note: we found that using local guides on safari allowed us to see MANY more animals than we would have if we had hired one guide out of Nairobi to take us to all the parks! I can’t tell you how important it is to work with LOCAL guides – this is the BEST way to make sure you see as much as possible on your safari. The local guides will talk to each other and share information, and they know all the backroads in each of the parks so they can get around faster and if the animals are on the move, they can anticipate where the animals will end up and get you there faster.) We saw lions every day in the Mara – and one morning we happened upon a group of lions and a fresh wildebeest kill. We visited during the migration so we also saw a wildebeest crossing and a cheetah kill! I would highly recommend the Mara Explorer!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (70)
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We have just returned back from Masai Mara - probably the most amazing wildlife and hospitality that 9 families from 5 different countries were privileged to experience. We stayed for 3 nights in this camp - Steve, the Manager and all other managers/staff/guides/security - Andrew, John, Vincent, Reuben,Maureen - and a few others whose name I cannot recall ( but remember all their faces!!) - all of them were fantastic. Nothing was too much or trouble for them. The rooms are all well appointed and are very eco friendly. All conservation aspects like water saving, controlled electricity, etc. have been carefully looked at.You can hear/see the resident hippos all day and night long!! The food is just divine - lots of vegetarian food options too !! Bush breakfast, bush dinner, Masai dance - just to name a few exceptional attention to detail. Now, there is NOTHING that can beat the wildlife experience in the Mara - just the vast vast vast vast...open plains, the migration, the phenomenal river crossings of Wilderbeest/zebras, the feasting and pot-bellied lions/lionesses - just divine and bliss!! The guides were fantastic at sightings - not too close, yet very near to cats and positioning of vehicles for great photo angles/lighting etc. We cannot fault or complain about ANYTHING at this camp. Our only regret - maybe we should have stayed a few more weeks!!! Well done to all of you at the camp and keep up the good work.

Comment regarding wildlife - it appears that there are hardly any White Rhinos left in the Mara. We did see a few black Rhinos. It also appears that the numbers of cats - lions, cheetahs and leopards are steadily and rapidly declining - though we saw all the game during our stay. Lastly, no "night" safaris in the Mara.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yardley, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We had a truly amazing experience. We were staying at a different camp and they were overbooked and they decided to treat us to a night at the explorer. I can't even describe in words how amazing it was. Not only was it right on the river in the Mari park but there were hippos all over. The staff catered to our every need and went above and beyond anything I ever expected. I highly recommend this camp. The food was out of this world and everything was included, even drinks. I give this place five stars.

Dianne mcwalters

Room Tip: There isn't a bad room
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

After searching through a lot of reviews and rates on Trip Advisor, I booked 4 nights at the Mara Explorer camp for our first Masai Mara safari. It seemed to have the best balance of being a small exclusive luxury tented camp, but offering good value compared to other similar camps. It turned out to be a great choice, and we had our best safari ever, with last year's Okavango Delta a close second.

The camp is very close to the Okiombo airstrip, so our guide picked us up and we had a quick transfer back to the camp which is on the banks of the Talek river. There are 10 tents in total with tent 4 being the most scenic, but the noisiest due to hippos at night! We had tent 7, which was secluded and quiet, but just as beautifully appointed as the others. Hot water showers and electricity are available between game drives and at night, the bathroom is 5 star, and there is decent wifi at the main camp. As its an open camp you get a radio to call for someone to get you from your tent after dark, and friendly guards are on duty throughout the night. My wife was extremely pleased to find we could close the tent and make it completely bug and spider proof. We had hippos, elephants, and buffalos all come into the camp at night, plus you could hear both hyenas and lions nearby across the river. Amazing to lie in bed safe and cosy, and fall asleep to the sounds of the African savanna all around you with a surprise hot water bottle which was a welcome surprise on the cooler nights!

Special mention must be made regarding our guide Paul. Such an unassuming, polite, and humble guy, but it soon became apparent he had phenomenally good eyes and instincts when it came to tracking wild animals. Once you spend some time with him (about 7 hours a day if you do two drives) you realise he is genuinely warm and friendly with a great sense of humour, and a real sense of ethics and responsibility when it comes to the animals. It's made all the more inspiring when you see some of the somewhat less ethical drivers for hire from outside the reserve. Speaking to the other guests at Mara Explorer, they all had similar experiences with their guides, which explains why Andrew the camp manager listed it as one particular aspect of the camp of which he is most proud. Game wise we saw a cheetah, a leopard and lions within the first day, plus further leopard sightings, multiple litters of adorable lion cubs, and two pairs of male lions with recent kills. Rarer still we saw a black rhino and two mating pythons. Top that off with a wildebeest crossing and a crocodile kill, and we literally couldn't ask for more. The Mara is a special place and Mara Explorer is where to see it.

The food at camp is fantastic, most breakfasts we had stopped in the bush on the bonnet of the land rover, but both lunch and dinner were gourmet three course affairs, offering amazing variety given how remote you are. Maureen and Anastasia were lovely, chatting to us between the meals, and almost immediately remembered our food and drink preferences.

Whereas we were more than happy to have a hot shower and a well needed post lunch siesta in our luxury tent between game drives, or sit and relax in the main camp with a book and a cool drink overlooking the river, for those looking for more varied camp activities apart from just game drives and relaxing, or those with kids, I would recommend the nearby larger sister camp Intrepids which has a pool and children's activities. It's worth noting you can be driven over on request to use these facilities, however Mara Explorer is best suited to couples looking for privacy, luxury, and an amazing unadulterated safari experience.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

Actually had tent number 4. The best in the camp. Hippos wallowing below in the river, animals passing in the night, the most comfortable warm bed and an outdoor bath to relax in. This is truely a five star experience in terms of tented lodge camps. Totally removed from the every day hum drum and totally relaxing. Morning and afternoon game drives - animals galore, big five all in one day but stayed for 3 nights. To be woken at 5.30am by your own butler in the bush with a warm tea and oat cookies, yum. Do yourself a favour, get to Kenya it is very safe, even Nairobi is ok if you are aware of your surroundings and dont do anything stupid.
It is sad to see the slump in tourism which is hitting local workers badly with layoffs but if you go you will be rewarded with the most amazing sights sounds and the friendliest people.
Explorer is top drawer and staff are fantastic. Just do it!

Room Tip: Tent 4 is the best. Hippos can be noisy but that is just part of the African experience.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Media, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

We had an awesome time at Mara Explorer. The manager and staff were friendly and helpful. Vincent, our guide, was wonderful. He was always up beat and very pleasant. He knows the terrain and was very informative. The tents were just right. I highly recommend the Mara explorer camp.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

What wonderful experience I lived at Mara Explorer!

Since we arrived until departure we were treated like royalty.
I begin by saying ..
As soon as I arrived in camp I was amazed at the friendliness and warmth of the personnel and our driver Mr. Dennis.
We were amazed by the natural beauty of this camp great location right on the Talek River where there is a hippos beach, they are in very high number 30 or more
Our tent was great, very clean and equipped with the necessary , there were even lotions against flies and mosquitoes.
Being our first Safari I was looking forward to immediately go to see the animals.
I was impressed by all that beauty that this place havít .
Mr.Dennis, our guide whom I thank's 1000 times ,gave us a chance to see the Cheetah hunting a Thomson gazelle, a crocodile catching wild beast when when thousands of wildebeest's and zebra's cross the River Mara.
I had the opportunity to see a Caracal cat that seems to be very rare.
About Mara Explorer I have only words of praise, with exceptional food menu .(a la cart menu that every day change wow )
The Chef entice us with goodies prepared to high standards which we were grateful.
Me an my husband highly recommend Mara Explorer.

Thank you for the superb experience looking forward to return in this place of heaven .

Sincerely Betty and Keiichi Horita

Room Tip: Tent 4 have the best view to the hippo pool but is very noise , we had tent 3 and it was great !
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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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 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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Also Known As:
Mara Explorer Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Explorer Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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