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“Truly wonderful.....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mara Bushtops

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Mara Bushtops
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5.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   C14, Keekorok - Masai Mara Reserve | Mara Bushtops private Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
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Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Truly wonderful.....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2012

We can do nothing but add more praise… We had a truly wonderful stay at Mara Bushtops at Christmas.

Location and accommodation are outstanding as mentioned before but what makes this place so special are the people. The staff – everyone we met – is incredibly warm, kind, courteous and professional. There is superior personal service and attention to detail. Top marks to our rangers (Peter and Daniel and their spotters), they are extremely knowledgable and the game drives with them were a great experience.

We were sorry to leave after 3 nights but also looking forward to our next camp: Serengeti Bushtops.

  • Stayed December 2011, 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.
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232 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (68)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

This has to be the best place to start a safari holiday. The food is excellent and service is also first class. We stayed there for 5 nights in August and were royally looked after. We met some lovely other guests who also were bubbling with enthusiasm about the place. The vehicles are in good condition and the knowledge of the spotters and drivers is incredible. The wildlife is on your doorstep and comes right up to the camp. The owners are also very aware of the local environment with very many eco friendly projects for water and electricity. Thoroughly recommend

Room Tip: The new Family Tent is excellent
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  • Stayed August 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heart of England
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

Firstly, it's so difficult trying to book accommodation here, I couldn't do it direct with the hotel, if you are travelling from the UK Kuoni are the only agents who will do this for you.........and it's not cheap but worth every single penny!!! I chose this place as it ticked all the boxes and really is a luxury stay. I told my husband we would be camping to make the wow factor extra special, no need!! The double bed is huge, there's a power shower inside and one outside, and a fully operational flushing loo. The hot tub is fantastic after a long dusty day and they will happily leave a freezing cold drink in your tent and fill the hot tub up for you for your return. When you sleep you zip the tent up and a tribesman will stand watch just in case! All night you can hear the animals snuffling below your tent which is on stilts. I don't want to say too much and spoil your trip. Mara Bushtops have the best jeeps, which are open and roomy not like the VW vans you see. When you dine various animals visit the salt lick. The chef is outstanding. We only visit places once so we make sure it is the very best and found the accommodation exceptional. If you book from an agent in Kenya you have to pay the full amount so I think it's a bit risky, by using Kuoni, we had the only direct flight, other's had to change aircraft several times so if you are a bit nervous I'd give the local agents a miss, tho they are cheaper if you book when you arrive in Kenya. "Tents" and "camping" the terms are used very loosely here!

  • Stayed March 2011, 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.
Rossendale, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2012

This is without doubt the best place I have ever been.
All the staff are fantastic, but I would especially like to mention Peter our guide/driver and Nelson our Masai spotter.
The tents are fabulous and they have the best showers I have ever had in any 5* hotel.
We got married at the resort and Georget and his staff went above and beyond to make our day very special. Nelson and Damasis were our witnesses and local Masai came and danced at the reception,and the camps chef made a wonderful cake for us.
Our Butler Lydia looked after us really well and made sure we had everything we wanted.
We had several game drives and mananged to see the big 5 plus loads of other animals. Unfortunately game wasn't easy to find due to the high amount of rain they have had and the result was really long grasses on the savannah, Peter and Nelson made sure we always had a good drive though and it has to be said the Mara Bushtops vehicals are the best on the Mara
The food is very good and the picnics are great.
We did a balloon safari as well which shouldn't be missed

Room Tip: They are all brilliant
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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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Chicago
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2011

I haven't tried numerous safari outfits so my review is just based on my trip to Bushtops. I found the property through TripAdvisor and stayed from 4 days in September of this year.

Let me begin with a criticism of the booking process. In order to book a room, you contact the US agent for Mara Bushtops in Pennsylvania. They will send you an invoice which must be paid VIA WIRE TRANSFER TO KENYA. It really seemed like one of the Nigerian internet schemes but, I was assured it was legit. I don't know how often it occurs but, the wire instructions were really poor and my bank wired the money incorrectly. This resulted in a huge headache, expensive resending of wired funds and multiple trips to the bank. It doesn't seem that crazy to accept payment via credit card. Really.

That being said, the trip to Mara was amazing. You will likely fly to" the Mara" from Wilson Airport in Nairobi which is a small airport used for domestic travel. Leave PLENTY of time getting to Wilson as Nairobi traffic is some of the worst in the world. We were sent information that we needed to have soft sided luggage without wheels or frames and that it needed to weigh less than 50 lbs. At the airport we saw all kinds of luggage (with wheels and frames) but, given the small airplanes, I would try to pack light.

The flight to the Mara is a quick hour and goes over beautiful varied geography. You are met at the small bush runway by guides from the hotel as well as by local Masai who will aggressively hit you up to buy jewelry and nicknacks. Avoid this, you can get them when you leave and will likely find better prices elsewhere.

Bushtops leases a portion of the park outside the area typically travelled by visiting tourists. This area, while small compared to the whole park, is a great place to start and the guides will likely take you there first to introduce you to safari life. The guides are great, knowledgable to an astonishing degree about the ecosystem, animal behaviors and the life of the Masai.

The rooms are large and reasonable secluded from each other. As mentioned by others, the food is adequate though not memorable and I'm sure that sourcing fresh vegetables and meat is challenging in the middle of nowhere. The staff is uniformly pleasant and kind.

A criticism that should be addressed is the lack of real queen and king sized beds. We were in two twin beds pushed together which created a...gap. This might not have been a big deal but the bed linens were for twin beds so cuddling was difficult without being uncovered. We dealt with it but, there was a couple on their honeymoon who also reported the same issue and I would not have been happy if I'd been honeymooning.

Advise? Well, just a couple things. Bring PJs. I know it sounds crazy but it gets really cold at night and if you can't get body heat its freezing. The hotel thoughtfully provides hot water bottles in your bed but, they cool over the night and we both woke with our teeth chattering. Second advise, go on your safari rides early in the am. It takes a bit to get out to the animals and they aren't very active as the day goes on. We saw the best lions, etc...early in the morning.

Room Tip: I don't think theres a bad one...we were in Lion which is closest to the restaurant
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011

We have tried several camps in the Masai Mara and this is the best by far. The guide was excellent. He knew the Mara and the animals extremely well. The vehicles are in great condition. The food is good (not the best), but that's not what you come to Masai Mara for, anyways. The location and tents were outstanding.

We were greeted at the airstrip by our guide and the Masai who escorted us through the entire time we were there. They set up a very nice table of snacks and drinks for us to refresh after the short plane ride from Nairobi. We then boarded the safari vehicle for a short, pleasant game drive to the camp. We were greeted at the camp by the staff with refreshments and a wet towel. We received an excellent overview of the camp, details on the tent (including the hot tub they will prepare for you in the evening after your safari) , and activities (including the complimentary, in-room massage). That evening we went on a drive and sundowner accompanied by a massive herd of elephants. The elephants were around the tents the entire night and we enjoyed hearing them rumble and trumpet as we slept, including the cute 1-week old baby elephant who was protected by the herd.

The next day we were awaken by morning tea and coffee delivered to our room. We then went on a day-long game drive and saw all of the big five in one day (including two leopards). We also saw a caracal which is very rare. We came back in the evening and relaxed on the patio of the tent as we watched the animals (buffalo, impala, elephants, gazelle, giraffe and warthogs) around the reserve. At one point a giraffe came right up to our deck to feed. We finished the evening by having dinner delivered to us (complimentary) in the tent and listened to the hyaena "whoop" nearby.

The staff and the manager were incredibly professional and courteous. They catered to every request and left us alone when we wanted privacy. This is a top-notch operation. It is also important to note that the entire camp is only 9 tents, so you don't have to deal with crowds.

The tents were very luxurious. During the day, the staff opened the living area completely so you can enjoy the outdoors. They will bring food and drink to yoru room at any time you request. You also have a private butler who will come to your room just by pressing a button on the side of the dresser.

You simply cannot miss by visiting this camp!

Room Tip: Every tent is good.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Storrington, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011

If you are going to do a safari then this is the place to go! Bushtops is super luxury, fantastic staff, exemplary service, wonderful food and the safari trips were amazing. We saw loads of animals close up and learnt so much - the ranger and spotter (Alex and James) were brilliant! This a truely wonderful place to visit and I really cannot think of enough superlatives to recommend this.
Thank you to Mara Bushtops and all the staff for making the absolutely best trip my husband and I have ever had

Room Tip: All the rooms have same view and are magnificent
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  • Stayed November 2011, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara Bushtops

Address: C14, Keekorok - Masai Mara Reserve | Mara Bushtops private Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mara Bushtops 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience 'civilised' wilderness living, in inimitable style. Freedom, comfort and breathtaking views. At Mara Bushtops, you step into a world where nature and contemporary comfort blend into one. Wander through a timeless space where natural wooden decking links the sun-drenched outdoors to cool interiors; where fine furnishings reflect the elegance of African culture; and where your luxury tent affords utter privacy, as close to nature as you can get. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mara Bushtops Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Bushtops Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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