We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“What a super place !”
Review of Mara West Camp

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Mara West Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
70 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“What a super place !”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

My friend and I recently spent a few wonderful days at Mara West as part of our Kensington Tours safari.

What a great place!

Super accommodations, staff, food, and view of the Mara.

Lots of activities and a unique, wonderful experience, with a who's who of African wildlife wandering through the camp at night and a Masai 'warrior' to escort us to and from the dining room after dark, to protect us from lions, tigers and bears. This sounds hokey but it is anything but that.

In fact, our stay at Mara West, along with our stay in a similar place on the Tanzania side (Mbugani Camps) was not just the highlight of our 2+ week safari tour of Kenya and Tanzania, they were two of our favorite travel experiences of ANY kind, EVER!

(In fact, our idea of the perfect trip would be combining the above two venues, with some time in the Masai Mara in Kenya coupled with some time in the Serengeti in Tanzania). Even though we've only been back to the states for the past couple of weeks, we could both head back over tomorrow! It was that superlative an experience!

To be this close to nature, in a lovely, friendly place with Western amenities but the sense of being in the middle of the fabled Masai Mara preserve was an extraordinary experience.

As I explained it to someone over lunch today, the experience was like the movie Jurassic Park, only on steroids.

It is indeed a trip of a lifetime.

Room Tip: The safari camp has higher end chalets and 'tents', which are actually tent material built a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gene1133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Hello Gene1133,

It is always a joy hearing such positive feedback from our guests.

We are glad you had such a great time while staying with us.

When you decide to head back here tomorrow, we will be glad to have you. ;-)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

181 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    147
    20
    7
    6
    1
See reviews for
47
37
8
7
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Let me preface my review by stating that this venue could have earned a 'good' or perhaps 'very good' rating if not for two key faux pas that happened late in our stay. First the positives: the location is incredible. The camp sits a top the 'enscarpment' which is high plateau that overlooks the entire Masai Savannah and game reserve. The views from the porches on the luxury 'glamping' tents were spectacular, and captured both the scale and pristine beauty of the Mara. (I highly recommend having a morning coffee at sunrise at the giant 'chair' and picnic table, where you can take in the serenity of the Mara while watching hot air balloons launch in the distance of the valley floor). The 'tents' were quite spacious and possessed both indigenous hardwood floors and tasteful stone bathrooms with hot running water, an open shower, and flush-able toilet. The beds were also quite comfortable. The main lodge at the Mara West camp was ample, and the staff was quite friendly and professional. One of the Camp's best features was the stone fire pit outside the main lodge, which offered a nice gathering place to take in happy hour and share stories of the day's sightseeing with other guests. Now for the negative: First, the food was very mediocre. There was nothing inherently wrong with the food, it was just not commensurate with the quality and variety that one would expect at a luxury resort at this high a price point. The second negative is more about the safari experience in general: if you are expecting a high degree of interaction with the animals, prepared to be disappointed. The safari experience is very cookie cutter, and has more hand holding than a trip to Disneyland. Don't get me wrong--seeing jungle cats, elephants, the 'great migration', and giraffes up close is very cool-- and our Masai warrior guide, John, was quite knowledgeable and gregarious. That being said you are cooped up in a cramped vehicle all day long, and there are hundreds of other people chasing the same animals along bumpy roads in terrain that looks not much different than California or Colorado. Every sighting felt like a claustrophobic tourist trap. I am glad I did a Safari once, but would not choose to do one again. The final straw happened in the last 20 minutes of our stay as we were preparing to check out. After being told stateside that we could pay for the trip with a credit card, the staff both refused to take Amex and charged a 10% surcharge for utilizing a Visa. (On top of what you already get charged as a foreign traveler by your home bank). When we brought up this kind of nickle and diming to the Manager, (an American), he was both evasive and combative. Until the conversation degenerated in to an argument did he eventually acquiesce. This was an unfortunate, petty, note to end our stay on, and I would not recommend any business that was neither forthcoming of all of its charges, and that didn't engage in better customer service.

Room Tip: Rooms 5 to 7 have better views of the Mara for sunrises.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, January 29, 2014
Hello Julian S,

Thank you for spending time to give your detailed feedback.

We endeavor to create a wonderful experience for our guests. That being said, we apologize that you found our meals mediocre. We do our best to serve our guests with a rich and diverse menu, spread out during their stay, as well as provide a vegetarian or otherwise diet daily. We take your criticism seriously and are working to improve the variety and quality of the meals we provide.

The safari is meant to be the highlight of being at the Masai Mara. Thousands of people come from different parts of the world to see the great migration as well as the big five. While our guide, John, tries his best to stay clear of the overcrowded areas of the reserve, we cannot guarantee that you will not find tourists circling around the same area you are in.

It is important that our guests receive the proper information before they come down to camp. For any card payments made to our offices either in Nairobi or down at camp, a 5% surcharge (the percentage is given by the banking systems) is applied. We accept Visa and Mastercards ONLY. I believe after your compliant was received, the 5% surcharge was waivered. However, we apologize for the way the situation was handled.

We are glad that despite the downside of your stay, you found the view from your tent spectacular, the rooms tastefully made, our staff friendly and professional, and that you enjoyed being around the camp fire sharing stories with other guests during happy hour.

Hopefully, you will come back again and give us the opportunity to offer a better service.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2013

We stayed 2 nights at Mara West as part of a 5 day trip to Kenya's parks. The lodge is located at the top of the Oloololo escarpment, at the western edge of the Maasai Mara, and offers beautiful views of the Mara at sunrise.

The lodge is small and had a much more intimate feel than the other lodges we stayed in during our trip. This also meant that we received a very personal and friendly treatment from Rose, a true champion of hospitality, and her staff. And do listen to her when she says not to venture out at night on your own: we had elephants walking across the property one night!

Breakfast and dinner were very good (the boxed lunches for our safari trip a bit less). Overall, a very positive experience.

Room Tip: Cabins are very nice and spacious, and offer a beautiful view of sunrise on the Mara.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MDP03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Hello MDP03,

We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us.

We are particularly pleased that you found camp intimate, and that the staff was warm and friendly.

We look forward to your next visit.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed August 4, 2013

Stayed here for 3 nights in january 2012. Fantastic place. Good staff and awesome food. Not much variety though but likeable. We were well taken care off. No complaints as such. The best thing about the place is the location. Gives u a birds eye view of the mara . Loved it

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rajiv2503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Hello Rajiv2503,

We are always glad to hear positive reviews from our guests.

Hopefully, you will visit us the next time you are in the Masai Mara and enjoy and even better service.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh/Durham
Level Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2013

From the moment we arrived we fell in love with Mara West! The up scale tent cabins on the edge of the escarpment offer the most incredible views of the Mara! There are no fences so the wild animals are all around. My wife and I decided to not go on any of the day long safaris as we had seen so many wild animals driving up to the camp and at the camp. If you are so inclined there is a clinic, a church and a school that serve the Masai within a few miles from the camp that Andrew and Frances Aho , (camp owners) helped build and support.There are opportunities available for those that are so inclined to serve in some small way.
The food is well prepared, plentiful and delicious and the service is excellent. The staff worked really hard to make sure that our stay was a good one and it surely was!

Room Tip: Spend the extra money for a luxury cabin it is worth it for the view alone!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mercedespooldude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Hello mercedespooldude,

We are always glad to hear positive reviews from our guests.

Our aim is to provide an unforgettable experience for our guests and we are over-joyed that you and your wife had exactly that!

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback and we look forward to having you stay with us again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
64 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2013

The good: We stayed in the luxury cabins for two nights and they are beautiful, with comfortable beds, nice bathrooms with hot water, amazing views of the Mara and incredible wildlife. The food was delicious and the lodge/restaurant staff was very nice. They have apparently made recent repairs to the road and we thought it was ok.
The bad: It is also on our top 5 list of most expensive places we have stayed, and our driver and the car they put us in for our day-long safari were absolutely terrible. Since the safari is pretty much the entire reason most people come here, I think this needs some discussion. There were huge holes in the seats (which also had a funky odor) and the car didn't run. The guy was flooring it and it never went over 20 miles per hour. He ignored us when we told him to get a new car and told us it was fine. He also ignored us when we thought we spotted wildlife and unhelpfully only pointed out things that were standing in the middle of the road. Whenever he turned off the car it needed a jump to get it restarted, and he still insisted it was fine. After that however, he didn't turn it off for the rest of the day and kept it idling every time we stopped, which meant that we spent the day inhaling blue exhaust fumes. He told us to enjoy this "unique" experience of having a car break down in the middle of the Mara. Sorry, but I really didn't travel that far to inhale fumes from a broken down car. The owner of the result blamed it on the driver for failing to maintain the vehicle and basically accepted no responsibility for putting us in such a crappy car. I would have thought it was the responsibility of the resort to ensure that they are sending their guests out in acceptable equipment, and I don't think the "Africa is different" excuse works very well when they are charging as much as they do. To be fair, he did say that he would give us a free drive the next morning, but frankly that seemed like a pretty hollow offer to people who were nursing headaches and racking coughs from breathing fumes all day.
Also, we were traveling with someone who had been there at least 3 other times. It is astonishing, and inexcusable, to me that this is how they treat a repeat guest. As a result, I really can't recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Hello Mel T,

We are grateful that you took the time to give a review of your stay with us.

It is our aim to offer our guests, whether staying with us for the first time or are a repeat guest, an entirely satisfactory service. We sincerely apologize for the experience you had during your safari. More-so we are sorry for the way the matter was handled. It is our responsibility to ensure that our guests are out with comfortable and well maintained vehicles. Mara West has undergone major changes, and that includes ensuring that our vehicles are in top notch condition.

We are very happy that you found our camp wonderful and our staff friendly and helpful.

We hope you will visit us again and give us another chance to give you quality service.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chaves, Portugal
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Every meal served was excellent. Rich with both flavor & texture. We were there for several days and the menu was varied, interesting and more than delicious. As vegetarians we were more than favorably impressed with the abundant options afforded us. All the staff were friendly and very helpful. Zebras, giraffe, Thompson gazelle and elephants grazed all around our tents and the Mara West grounds. Whether watching for game animals or for birds viewing wildlife is superb. Perched on the side of the escarpment overlooking the Mara Game reserve the vistas are without rival. Hours of peaceful tranquility -- basking in the natural beauty of the surroundings-- as well as very pleasurable inspiration and stimulation of the closeness of the animals are opportunities that Mara West affords. Knowing other parts of Africa I can say that the days spent at Mara West for the pure enjoyment and inspiration of absorbing some of Africa's natural wonders are well worth the visit. Whether you are there to simply game view and benefit from the pristine environment or participate in the humanitarian and development projects that Mara West promotes -- you will be enriched.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pedro T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace G, Marketing at Mara West Camp, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Hello Pedro S,

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback.

We are glad that you enjoyed your stay, found our vegetarian meals such a delight, and that the staff made you feel welcome.

We hope that you will stay with us the next time you visit the Mara.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Maasai Mara National Reserve hotels
29.0 mi away
Keekorok Lodge-Sun Africa Hotels
Keekorok Lodge-Sun Africa Hotels
#4 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
1,021 reviews
13.1 mi away
Mara Siria Camp
Mara Siria Camp
#6 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
186 reviews
23.7 mi away
Mara Leisure Camp
Mara Leisure Camp
#7 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
218 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
30.7 mi away
AA Lodge Masai Mara
AA Lodge Masai Mara
#8 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
104 reviews
30.3 mi away
Sarova Mara Game Camp
Sarova Mara Game Camp
#2 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
1,008 reviews
20.1 mi away
Fairmont Mara Safari Club
Fairmont Mara Safari Club
#1 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
510 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Mara West Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Mara West Camp

Property: Mara West Camp
Address: C13, Oloololo Gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled against a wooded thicket and surrounded by savannah, Mara West provides nature lovers with luxury accommodations while experiencing the sights and sounds of an unforgettable African safari. Luxury tents are perched in secluded spots on an escarpment edge overlooking the vast plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve giving tremendous views and a sense of private exclusion. Mara West is an American owned and managed private safari camp providing high quality service with beautifully designed, comfortable accommodations. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mara West Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara West Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing