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“Exceeded expectations and truly memorable”
Review of Aruba Mara Camp

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Aruba Mara Camp
Ranked #1 of 8 Narok B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Our first visit 'out west' was a family adventure, with my husband's parents visiting East Africa for the first time. Daniel met us at Ol Kiombo airstrip and the adventures really began. Within 24 hours, just four game drives later, we'd spotted the Big 5. The food was great, tents just what we needed (spacious), plenty of time to relax and chill out. Daniel was really superb and was patient and informative. Peter and the team really went out of their way to make the trip special - our Papa was celebrating a big birthday and we have wonderful memories of a sundowner with Wildebeest and a Secretary bird. Super for families as you can watch animals grazing by the river at breakfast and sit around a fire pit at night. Felt safe and secure during our four day stay. Questions to owner answered quickly - make sure you get clarification of cost/currency as no credit cards accepted.

Room Tip: Residents can pay the lower charge to enter the park - make sure you have ID with you. Take warm cl...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 15Annemarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 45 of 86 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2013

Traveled with our two children and loved the accommodations. Enjoyed hearing the wildlife at night and seeing the stars around the campfire. Fantastic food...much, much better than you'd think you'd get at a safari camp and they cooked around any dietary concerns that we had. Staff is thoughtful and friendly. Our standard, permanent tent had a four-poster bed and all the comforts of home. Can see baboons playing across the river...also other animals. Very pleasant.

Actually (to address a complaint in a previous review), our driver took us so far into the park that we nearly didn't make it back out when the park closed! We saw *all* the animals that we wanted to see, right off the bat. We felt like we had a very good experience with the safari drives.

They provide a footlocker-style bench to lock up valuables while away from the tent.

The dining hall tent provided electrical strips for guests to charge their electronics, if wished.

The Masai village was also a fun experience--have to recommend that tour, as well.

Room Tip: All of the permanent tents are on the river...with nice views, I think.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Elizabeth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

While the staff were nice, the camp looked tired and was massively overpriced for what you get. You feel quite ripped off, especially given that the camp cost didn't include the park entry fees (us 300 per day for our small family). Also, the drivers only go a few kilometres into the park - so you see the same scenery on every game drive and are there will several other groups.

I suggest to do your research and look for game.drives that go all day and that go deep into the park - with lunch prepared while in a quiet spot out on the drive.

Hope this helps

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank JJBB123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights in July, during the wildebeest migration. The manager sent a driver to pick us up in Nairobi and bring us by road to the camp. We were traveling with my brother and his family, their first time in Africa, so the drive gave them a chance to see more of Kenya than if we had flown. The drive was long (6 hours), but pleasant and we stopped as needed.
The camp itself is small and beautiful, right on the edge of the park. My husband and I had previously stayed at one of the "big name" camps, and it had more amenities (like a pool), but this was every bit as enjoyable. It's small enough that the staff all know you and can help with any questions or problems. We stayed in a standard permanent tent, and it was spacious and just as comfortable as the ones at the big name camp. We had a great driver, friendly and knowledgeable, for our game drives.
We would highly recommend the visit to the Masai village. They asked 1000 KES, and it is obviously a commercial venture, but it was relaxed and friendly just the same. We saw some dancing, visited a house, learned some about the customs, and were invited to join in with some of the dancing. Afterwards there were crafts we could buy, and the guide helped us haggle a bit. But it was all very low pressure, no problem. And a pleasant walk.
We were delightfully surprised by the quality of the food! Delicious, varied, lovely presentation. They catered to the needs of my sister who is vegetarian, as well. We highly recommend this camp.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank ejcb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013

I stayed at the Aruba Mara camp after reading positive reviews on TripAdvisor; I wasn't disappointed. Questions prior to arrival were answered promptly, and travelling tips were helpful. The flight to Olkiombo airstrip was an adventure in itself. I was met on arrival at the airstrip by Tom, in his Masai finery. He was my safari driver too, very knowledgeable and considerate, a really lovely guy. My tent was lovely, big bed and cosy hot water bottle for the cooler evenings. From the verandah you could see warthogs, baboon, gazelle, mongoose etc across the river, I even saw a hippo too. The food was good, and the guys had no trouble catering for me even though I'm vegetarian. The full board deal with inclusive game drives is excellent value. My stay was great, I only wished I had stayed a little bit longer.

Room Tip: All the tents overlook the river (not sure about the bush tents)
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Peaky2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

The canp was fairly quiet when we were there. Just a few people staying in the regular safari tents, one couple staying in one of the beautiful top-end tents, and us in our own little tent out the back. The top-end safari tents looked wonderful inside, and are in a fanstastic location with little terraces looking right over the river Narok. We saw elephants eating right on the other side of the river! If you seeing that while sipping a drink on your terrace, I imagine it would be even more magical!
Worth mentioning that the food in this place was excellent and extremely reasonable. We were in East Africa for 2 months and this was the best food we had.
The staff were really friendly and knowledgeable, and it was great to sit and play cards with them after the dinner service.
The staff were incredibly flexible about what kind of safari we did. We were strapped for cash and so only wanted to pay park entrance once, so they took us out in the truck for 11 hours and we had a picnic lunch out in the middle of the Mara. They still just charged us a 1-day safari, which more often involves 2 hours out in the early morning and 2 more around dusk. I will say though - it was pretty exhausting being out for 11 hours. Sounds silly when you are mostly sitting down, but it was very hot and you are 'excited' for 11 hours straight! If you have more money, I would recommend doing it at a more leisurely pace over more days.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sarah Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

We stayed two nights at Aruba Mara and we were completely delighted by the experience. The tents were well setup, the service was perfect, the food was delicious and the game drives were superb. This is a luxury experience at a very reasonable price.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Bill K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aruba Mara Camp

Address: Postbox 727 Narok | Talek Massai Mara, Narok 20500, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Narok
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Narok
Price Range: $68 - $70 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aruba Mara Camp is a tented Camp boardering the Talek River, next to Talek Gate in north Massai Mara. From Nairobi 260 Km driving through Narok. Just outside the gate, so no parkfee if you not do game-drive. We have from budget tents ( comfortable beds with mosquitonet an public bathroom ) to Big-tent ( spacious with privat bathroom ) and Luxury ( ask us for new pictures please ) category for every budget for everyone. We also have a spacious campsite with facilitys like kitchen/dining, toilets and hot water shower, security, carwash, firewood and laundry service. our buffalo bar and restaurant serving highly recomended food and a fine selection of wine, spirits and cold sodas. Naturewalks,visit of cultural village, birdwatching and hotair-balloon is available.Bushbreakfast, sundowner and fullday-drives with Lunch on request.Shutteltransfer from Nairobi can be arranged. Transfer from our airstrip is free. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aruba Mara Camp Hotel Narok
Aruba Mara Camp Kenya/Narok

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