My girlfriend decided it was time to do another safari, so she searched tripadvisor (as one would do) to find a suitable operator. Having stumbled on Muthaiga Black Leopard Safari Camp and reading the excellent reviews she decided to book a 3 day trip. Unfortunately, something came up and we have had to cancel the trip. When asking for our deposit we were told no refunds and that the money would be kept for a later date. After explaining we needed the deposit back and noting that all correspondence between MBLSC and us in no way mentions anything about not refunding deposits in the event of a cancellation, MBLSC refuse to pick up our calls or respond to our emails.
With the prospect of not having our money returned to us we approach the Kenya Tourist Board to ask for guidance. According to the Tourist Board, MBLSC are "operating illegally", as the company and currently under investigation by the authorities. All this is fine but we are still out of pocket. I guess a review on tripadvisor isn't always a seal of approval.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Black Leopard Retreat is your home away from home in the Maasai Mara. The camp offers you a unique personalized experience, in one of the last remaining unspoilt areas of the Mara. The camp is situated in 380 acres of our private leased land, nestled on the side of a hill with magnificent views over one of the most beautiful sceneries in the world. The lush woodlands, hills and two fresh water springs on our site, offer a unique experience of total privacy, away from the busy Masai Mara minibus's. Located in the Olderkesey Conservancy, the camp can be reached from the Keekorok airstrip served by scheduled flights from Nairobi, Mombasa, Malindi & Diani. The drive from Keekorok takes you through valleys and plains, across seasonal rivers and over hills, made famous by "Out of Africa". An experience that will stay with you for many years to come. As you approach the camp you will encounter roaming Masai Morans, dense woodlandsland with lush vegetation, fresh water springs, sweeping views, and grassy hills. The camp is located at an altitude of 1800 Mts, malaria free with no required vaccinations. The Mara is world famous for its abundat wildlife; Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras, Gazelles, Lions and Wildebeests live undisturbed following the rhythm of nature. Buffalo, Zebra & Impala regularly visit the camp's fresh water hole at night. The camp consists of seven luxury safari tents (each one is dedicated to a famous person who has lived in Kenya : Karen Blixen, Beryl Markam, J. Alexander Hunter, F. Courtney Selous, Philip Percival, Denys Finch Hatton and Roy) and two safari villa (dedicated to the famous hunter Berkeley Cole and to Lord Delamere). The safari villas have two en-suite bedrooms respectively 180 and 205 sq. m., with comfortable colonial furniture and a personal butler.The cuisine is a highlight of Black Leopard Retreat. We are proud of our home made Italian food, served with good Italian , South African and French wines.For the the more dynamic the first safari starts at dawn, the best time to view the animals. Guests can wake up with a cup of coffee or tea served on the tent veranda. Breakfast consists of a rich buffet with cakes, croissants, sandwiches, toasts, cornflakes and accompanied by coffee, tea & fresh fruits. Lunch is served at 1.pm, but clients can choose to have a bush lunch served on along the river banks, on top of hill overlooking the Masai mara and Serengeti, or simply on teh wide open plains. Tea time at five o’clock is a ritual with homebaked cakes. If you wish, you can go for a safari at dusk, exactly when the lion starts hunting. Appetizers with ‘pizzette’, ‘samosa’ and ‘bruschette’ wine and beer is served around the fire at sunset. Candle light dinner is generally served at eight thirty p.m. consiting of two first courses of your choice, two second courses, several side dishes, dessert. Coffee or spirits are served around the fire, in the starlight. This is the magic time of Maasai story tales : legend tells about a big black leopard that lurks near the camp, difficult to see in the dark but always present and heard. The safari villa, with a surface of about 185sq.ft., is located in a wonderful area surrounded by a luxurious woodland served by natural fresh water source. ... more less