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“Awesome Stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sekanani Camp

Sekanani Camp
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C12 Keekorok -Masai Mara Reserve- | Langata, Nairobi, Kenya, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Awesome Stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

If you want to stay in a camp that makes you feel close to nature and the animals this is it. My fiancé and I stayed here at the beginning of January and will recommend the place to everyone. First the staff made you feel like VIP every step of the way. Every time you step out of your tent after dark there is a warrior waiting down the path to walk you to the dinning tent or wherever you would like to go. They had turn down service so that when we arrived back at our tent there were hot water bottles in the bed to make it nice and cozy. They even surprised us with a lantern lit romantic dinner on our deck when they found out that my boyfriend had proposed on the trip.

The tents were very clean and comfortable and the full size bathtub was great. You were in nature but still had the finer things of home. The food was really good and every meal had big portions and top notch service.

The Safari they provided was the best. I would definitely recommend our guide Jeff if you are going. He went out of his way to make the safari memorable and we were able to see 4 of the "Big 5" by the time we were done. He was very knowledgeable about the animals, land and plants. Also the camp uses Land Cruisers for the safari unlike other groups that were in these type of vans. This meant we were able to go places and through creeks/river beds that others could not . It was great! The safari is a trip of a lifetime that we will never forget.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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11 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
moving
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014 via mobile

I stayed here on my own for a week and had an amazing time. Staff were amazing, safari tours were fun and the tent rooms were simple but perfect. The swimming pool needed cleaning but it was too cold to swim so that was fine. Great for a solo female looking for a bit of quiet. Beware their monkeys who, despite the slingshot wielding staff jumped on the table to share my lunch twice...

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Blackpool, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights in September 2013.
This was my 5th visit to Kenya but my first visit to Sekanani Camp. I loved it.
It is an open camp, therefore wild animals can enter. Crossing the bridge back to our tent from dinner, our security guard shone his torch down on some elephants which had entered the camp and were just enjoying themselves.
Also, there seemed to be a resident zebra. We were told that the zebra had come into the camp with some more zebra about 3 weeks before we arrived. When the others left, this one stayed. He seemed quite content being there and it was quite a delight to wake up in the morning, look down from our balcony and he was there eating below our tent.
The food was excellent. When we were there the camp was quiet. We had set meals. we chose what we would like from a small menu. I don't eat meat and the staff were most obliging in substituting fish for the meat. Very delicious fish, I may add ! The soups were excellent also.
James who worked there was a delight. Nothing was too much for him. The female staff (sorry, I have forgotten your names) were just lovely and as far as I am concerned it was the best place in the Mara that I have stayed. Can't think of any bad points at all. Oh, yes, just one. we did have trouble with water for the bath/shower. It really was almost impossible to use. However, we never reported it to anybody so I guess we can't complain too loudly.
Keep doing what you're doing, Sekanani. Thank you James and the girls.

Room Tip: We had tent no. 3 and it wasn't too far to walk from restaurant/bar. As the numbers get higher...
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  • Stayed September 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.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013 via mobile

Just returned from 2 night stay.
Positives:

1) Location is wonderful.
2) Zebra wandering around was a magical first impression for us.
3) Swimming pool is beautiful.
4) Our safari driver, Paul, was great.
5) Staff helping my son to feed bush babies in the evening
6) Private and secluded tents all with great views and comfy beds
7) Great dining area
8) Great landscaping and immaculately maintained grounds

Averages:
1) Tents are simply furnished - which is fine, but this is a very expensive place to stay...
2) Bathroom was clean and functional but again this is a very expensive place to stay and the bathroom facilities are in need of modernisation
3) Food was average (not a buffet fan). We had one good meal and 3 very average ones. Yes it is the Mara and it might be more challenging to get fresh produce etc. but again this is a top end price range. My expectations were higher.
4) Staff were not well trained. Despite not having a lot to do (by appearances) no one seemed to have much or any information or answers to any questions. Included about facilities, activities on offer etc. The bar menu offered cocktails which the batman looked at as if he had never seen before (so I ordered a beer!) The restaurant/ bar staff looked panicked when we asked them where/ how we could get a hot drink from in the middle of the day (we got one after some conferring by about 6 people!). It's not a big problem and I know Sekanani aim to employ local staff which is great. But customer service training should be provided and staff should be supported to be excellent at their jobs. It took us about an hour to pay our room bill as bar chits were searched for, card payment was sorted etc, Fortunately we were not on our way to a flight! Having said all that, everyone was very friendly and eager to help... If only they knew how!!


Poor:
1) Security.
On check in, we were told about how Sekanani was a very secure place, about the Masai night guards and about their excellent safe reputation. (I hadn't read the review below at this point!)

The first night we stayed, a neighbouring tent was broken it (some one slashed the material) at 1 a.m whilst the occupants were sleeping and stole a laptop. We were told by the guests who were very upset the next morning. They raised concerns about security to all the other guests - but no staff assured us of any additional security measures or actions taken in light of this break in. The manager just said it had never happened before. Not true I now read below. The guests informed is that they had to call for help in the pitch dark as no power was on and no lighting worked. This was pretty scary.

The next night I had real trouble sleeping and jumped up every time the lock rattled in the wind (which was a lot!) So unfortunately for this reason and for reasons of value for money I would not go back to Sekanani. Despite its wonderful landscaping and location.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We spent 3 nights at Sekanani in July while visiting the Massai Mara. The 3 other camps we stayed on this safari were fantastic in every way, but I think I would rank Sekanani near the top. It was that good. Maybe I feel that way because after being in 2 “wilderness” camps and 1 “less wild” camp, Sekanani was a little more civilized while still being in the wild. I know I am splitting hairs, but here are my reasons:
• It is far off the road in the woods. Every tent is not visible from any of the other tents. They are very private. It has a great location
• The Sekanani River (more like a stream) flows though the camp. You take a suspension bridge to go from the office and tent area to the dining area
• You have an unlimited supply of hot water in the tent. Tents were spacious
• Each tent as a balcony/veranda that overlooks a ravine – looks wild
• The dining room is very nice. Has flagstone floors and looks first class.
• They have a good cash bar which is reasonably priced. I think the Tusker beers were ~$3, and that was a deal.
• The grounds are very well maintained and manicured. It was great sitting around the fire with a cold one
• Their high season had not quite started. We practically had the whole camp and the very attentive staff to ourselves. We were a party of 4 and maybe another tent was taken. The week after we left, it was going to be almost full.

The food was good, on a par with the other camps we visited. Every day, you had a choice of 2 entrees for lunch or dinner, which you selected before leaving camp.

There are 4 security guards on duty from 6:0 PM or so until 6:00 AM patrolling the grounds. All you had to do was step out of you tent, and they were there. The only wildlife we saw around camp was plenty of monkeys, 2 bushbucks by the stream, and a few night critters around the dining room. They tell you to lock the zippers on the tents to keep the monkeys out.

This camp is about 20 minutes further from other camps we saw. However, the other camps we saw apparently cater to large groups, and all the tents/huts were almost on top of each other. The seclusion was nice.

The migration came to the Massai Mara early this year much to our benefit. In addition to thousands and thousands of wildebeest and zebra, we saw large herds off elephants and cape buffalo, and very large groups of giraffe (as many as 19 at one time). We also saw a leopard, dozens of lions and with cubs, and a cheetah that put on quite a show using the roof of a tour vehicle as a lookout point. Wildlife was awesome. Our guide was a camp guide who is Massai. All we had to ask for was a male lion, cheetah, or giraffe and he literary sniffed them out. No kidding!
The camp has a swimming pool. The water was too cold for my taste.
On our last day, Kepur, the lodge manager gave us a tour of the facilities. They grow all, if not most, of their vegetables. They recycle just about everything – cardboard, plastics, spent glass is used as aggregate in concrete, they have a wood shop, and an upholstery shop for tent and chair repairs. It was quite an operation.
I would return to this camp any time.

Room Tip: The tents near the office area are as private as any of the others, and you would have a shorter wal...
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  • Stayed July 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.
St. Albert, Canada
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

We just returned from three weeks in Africa and Sekanani ranks at the top of our list. Located in the forest on the Sekanani river it provided a lovely respite after long days on the plains. The staff were exceptionally friendly and the food was delicious. They treated us to a meal of "yama choma" roast goat when we saw a group from Naroq enjoying it. The tents are beautiful and well equipped. Animals roam through the camp--we had four lions in camp one morning we were there. Security guards stand near your tent all night to ensure you not only are safe but feel safe. Interestingly, this was the only tented camp where we locked our tents not because of security but because the resident monkeys have figured out how to work the zippers and will invade your tent if you don't lock it. :)

  • Stayed February 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.
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

There were so many things about Sekenani that we loved. It's a
beautiful camp, the tents are clean, comfortable, cozy. The recycling
program is impressive to say the least. The concept of the camp (with
the money going back to the local Maasai community in concrete ways)
is very well considered. And the food was very good. (I'm not a fan of
the buffets at most Safari camps -- I've been to Kenya many times and
have been to most of the parks.)

My low rating comes from the lack of security:

1. Maasai Mara is the most corrupt park in Kenya. The costs at the
gate are about twice that of other parks, and the costs mysteriously
jump by $10 or $20 if you have white skin. Others we met on safari had
the same problems we had had at the gate. (A Kenyan lawyer told us
that most of the money keeps a few people in Narok, the closest city, wealthy.)
If you CAN go to a different park, do so.

2. (And this is more specific to Sekenani.) We were robbed of $500 USD
in the camp and management response was abysmal. Someone with a key
entered our tent (perhaps working in tandem with the fellows at the
gate who saw our hidden pouch of cash when they suddenly raised the
gate fees), rifled through our things, found the pouch with cash, and
took it, ignoring other things of value.

We informed the manager and his first response was "Oh, there's a new
Somali worker. Somalis are bad people. It must have been him." We
worried then that racism, instead of thievery, would do this Somali
guy out of a job. For a second, more considered response, management
simply said -- the robbery didn't happen! In fact, they blamed us,
said that we had "misplaced" the pouch, and implied that if we had
been more careful guests this wouldn't have happened.

Their flawed reasoning was a) that other valuable items had been
returned to guests before and therefore everyone who ever went through
that camp was entirely honest, b) that they hadn't had similar
robberies before and therefore there would never be a robbery in that
camp, c) that we could have put the pouch in the hotel safe. (If we
had known that the safe was an option, we would have used it. But no
safe was ever mentioned. Further, if there is a safe for guest use,
then clearly baboons are not the only security threat in the camp.)

We have lived in Nairobi for a long time and know not to keep valuables visible.
We never expected to get the cash back, but we did expect a more
reasonable response. We hoped the manager would consider altering the
welcome speech (that said baboons were the only security threat), and
perhaps the camp might even have offered a 10% discount on our next
visit or some token like that.

But to say that a robbery didn't happen, that the guests were simply
irresponsible, and that the opening speech would not be modified?
Unacceptable. Despite its beauty, I must then emphasize: avoid
Sekenani. Avoid Sekenani at all costs.

David, Canada (Review from Nairobi). BA, MA.

Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sekanani Camp

Address: C12 Keekorok -Masai Mara Reserve- | Langata, Nairobi, Kenya, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #92 of 127 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Also Known As:
Sekanani Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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