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“Absolutely exceeded expectations!”
Review of Mara Leisure Camp

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Mara Leisure Camp
Certificate of Excellence
minnesota
Level Contributor
53 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Absolutely exceeded expectations!”
Reviewed April 19, 2012

We were treated warmly by all the staff. Receptions handled well by the beautiful Masai Tina, her husband Joseph looked out for our needs dining, and Chef Joseph provided us with excellent and creative foods. Best we had in Africa. We were treated to a kitchen tour by the Chef and was very pleased with what we saw. Staff made every efforts to meet any desires or requests we made.
Our tents were wonderful, large,comfortable and almost elegant . I could have stayed for weeks.
The Camp treated us to special things which may not always be available. One night we had an outside barbeque under torches and with a bonfire. We also had the pleasure of the camp setting up a bar on the Masai for us one evening at the end of our Safari. Snacks and drinks at no charge and an armed guard to keep the hyenas and jackals away. The game drive itself was fantastic with more animals of all types than i could have dreamed of. Lions galore, beautiful giraffes and elephants. Gorgeous scenery. We actually saw and lion kill and a leopard kill!
A tribe of Masai men joined us at the hotel lobby after dinner to show us their dances and we returned the favor by teaching them the traditional American wedding dance, the Hokey-Pokey! Great fun for all!
All the staff from the general manager to the gift shop operator did their best to welcome us as family.
On the down side - of course the roads to the camp are horrible! I can only imagine with fear what the rainy season must be like! Not the Camps fault.
The pathways to the tents need work desperately - i felt unsafe walking them especially at night. Rock paths in poor shape.
It is a tent safari camp so hotel amenities are in keeping with the camp. Generators for electricity are cut off at times. No fans, we did get a bit warm but a dip in the pool takes care of that.
I would recommend this camp to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rick e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
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UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2012

Me and my partner visited Mara Leisure Camp September 2011. To describe our experience I can say only WOW!! 4 out of 5 BIG FIVE we have seen in the first day! Amazing sunset, 3 small lions cubs, hunting Leopard, pride of 14 lions and wildebeest are just some top highlights of our 3 days stay in Masai Mara.

CAMP:
Brilliant! Going there I was prepared that it will not be standard of 4* hotel which I know from my holiday resorts, but surprisedly I must admit it was good. Key thing for me was that room and toilets were clean. I did not expected posh decor in the middle of Africa. I could spent comfortable 2 weeks there as well.

STAFF:
Friendly, helpful and always with big smile on the face. Those people were stress free which has positive affect on us. Ben our guide from airport and Dan our guide for remaining of our stay were superb! On the way from "airport" we have seen buffalo's, cheetah with cub and couple of lions! What the start!
Last day we have been hunting leopard down as this was our last animal we have not seen yet. 3 hours of hunting and intense looking around all we been rewarded with great view. Leopard was posing to our photos just 5 meters away from our car!! Amazing! All thanks to Dan hunting experience!

FOOD:
The best food I have eaten on any holiday! All absolutely delicious! I have not eaten that good food in 5* star hotels!

I can highly recommended Masai Leisure Camp and guide Dan to everybody. You will not be dissapointed and will remembrance this experience for many years!

Room Tip: If you are after Africa experience I would advice to take Jumbo tents as all of them are just in fro...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Rafal C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beirut, Lebanon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2012

We were 4 girls who booked our trip through big five tours and safari remotely and we were not disappointed. We stayed there two nights for a 2 day safari.
The tents we got were great! Beyond anything we expected. Clean, neat, well equipped (most importantly, clean bathrooms and showers, clean towels and hot water available!!). The beds were very cozy and comfortable. There were nets to prevent the mosquitoes from entering the tents!
The food- buffet style, was average. Not bad, not great. Definitely edible.
The service was great! The staff were always smiling and very helpful!
Would recommend this lodge for any travelers who are looking for comfort and cleanliness and peace of mind, but not necessarily luxury! let's not forget, we are there on safari to see wildlife, not to indulge in modern society luxuries.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mira S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tarpon Springs, Fl
Level Contributor
241 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2011

My husband and I stayed in one of the Jumbo tents. We arrived with a party of 8 others who stayed in other tents between Jumbos and group tents.
I really appreciated the "green" efforts of this camp (solar heating for water), turning off power to conserve energy during hours that most are sleeping/out of the camp on safari.
The staff were courteous and kind. We especially enjoyed the company of Sulu (a Maasai warrior who runs the gift shop).
The food is delicious! Not much traditional African, but gourmet of many ethnicities
On one of the nights we stayed, a group of Maasai men danced for us, and encouraged men from our group to dance/jump with them. We had a great time.
We fell asleep one of the nights to the sounds of hyena (don't worry, the camp is fenced so land dwellers can't really get in, but one from our group said he heard a critter scurrying around his roof one night!)
In the morning, you can hear the sounds of Maasai hearding cattle.
I would definitely recommend staying at Mara Leisure!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank MeredithandJoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wide World
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2011

Coming from the brilliant Flamingo Hill in Nakuru, I have to admit the first impression of this camp was not all that positive. We had high expectations, as the camp unashemedly claimed to be a "boutique camp", expectations which were also reinforced but our driver ("just wait until you get t Mara Leisure")

Located on the river Talek, the camp is about 15-20 minutes drive from the gates of the reserve, meaning quite a bit of your three hours game drive gets eaten by driving to and from the reserve...

Staff are mostly friendly and helpful, although on a few occasions a bit too informal (as a former catering pro, when someone claims to be a boutique establishment, I tend to expect better than waiters leaning back on a chair when taking orders or being called with a "hey", to sign a bill, just to name a couple of things...)

The food was generally good, although not exceptional. Also, the choice was a little limited compared to the othe two camps we visited.

The Jumbo tent is what is says on the tin: absolutely huge, with wooden flooring and tiled bathroom, a standard four poster bed and a spare single bed. We were not too keen on the openly colonial theme of the tent, although one cannot deny the classy feel of it. Only let down was the plastic canopy under which the tent was placed: ugly too look at and rather warm when the sun was out, compared to the palm/natural roofing of the other camps. And, to be picky, the finish in the tiling and concrete work in the bathroom was a bit sloppy...

The grounds of the camp felt a little crowded with trees and bushes, which covered the views of everything around and did not make for nice walking (but at least protecting privacy as we could not see any other tent or path from anywhere but a side window). The pool was a little small and nothing to write home about.

Overall, after the not excellent first impression, we warmed up to this camp a little, but boutique it isn't, let there be no mistake!

Room Tip: Go for the Jumbo, plenty of space!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Locondro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2011

We stayed at Mara Leisure Camp for two nights on our recent visit to Masai Mara. We were completely tired after the long bumpy ride to Masai. Once at the Camp we were welcomed with Hot Towels and refreshing welcome drink. The staff was very friendly and was eager to show us everything around. They have tented accommodation raised above the ground and are equiped with good beds and self contained wash rooms with Hot & Cold water. NO TV or Telephone, just be with nature. Tents are located amongst a nice garden and river flowing back side. Nice restaurant with plenty of food varities. No lights after 11pm, and its pitch dark. They provide with flash lights and candles in the tents if you wish to check something, otherwise its just in wilderness. at times you can hear the sound of animals roaming around. In all a wonderful place to be.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Nimesh A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2011

My wife and I have been visiting Kenya most years since 1998 and this, our 2011 trip, took us to the Mara Leisure Camp. This was our fifth visit to the Masai Mara but our first stay at this camp which had been well recommended by Salim and it did not disappoint.
We arrived in Nairobi from Newcastle around 06.30 on 15 July and as always were met by our very good friend Salim Senty who we have known since July 2000. Salim has been a safari guide/driver for over 30 years and it is he who arranges, organises and takes us on our safari each year. With his expertise, experience, enthusiasm, incredible knowledge of Kenya and its wildlife together with his great driving skills, he always ensures that we enjoy a safe and memorable holiday/safari.
Our first 5 days were spent at Rondo Retreat in the Kakamega Rainforest (see separate review). We left Rondo heading off to the Mara at 07.00hrs on 19 July, a long but reasonable journey of about 10 hours. Our route took us via Kisumu and Lake Victoria where we spent about 2 hours at Dunga Bay (‘serious birders’ see separate review). Then on through Ahero, Sotik (where we stopped for our ‘picnic’ lunch) and Bomet before leaving the reasonable roads behind and arriving at the Talek Gate around 17.00hrs.
During our 9 day stay we were housed in one of the camps ‘Jumbo’ tents overlooking the Talek River. This tent was very spacious, very clean and comfortable with a large en-suite bathroom including bath, shower, his & hers wash basins and of course, a flushing toilet. The bed was a huge four poster, well fitted with a mosquito net, there was a good size wardrobe, bedside tables and a desk and chairs completed the furnishings. There was also a table and two chairs on the veranda where we enjoyed drinks in the evening before dinner. Yes, it was a lovely tent! There are also ‘Nyati’ tents available which are somewhat smaller and do not have a river view. Not sure if they are different in price but when we booked this accommodation in January 2011 we specifically stated that we required a ‘Jumbo’ tent for our stay.
The camp grounds, although not particularly open and spacious, were well kept with plenty of bushes and trees surrounding the tents which, together with the reception/lounge/dining and swimming pool areas, are linked with easy going ‘crazy’ paved walkways. For any of you ‘birders’ out there these camp grounds were not the best I have stayed in but there were birds to be found. Probably the best spots during our 9 days were a Double-toothed Barbet and a Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike.
The camps’ dining facilities were very good with an excellent variety of foods always available from the usual ‘self service’ menu. The soups were superb and there was always a good choice of meats/fish which were sometimes offered from the barbeque. For seven of our nine days we ordered picnic lunch boxes so we could spend all day out with the game. These were good with the usual ‘picnic’ items of chicken, boiled eggs, sandwich and fruit together with bottled water and fruit juice. Always went down well!
We found the staff to be pleasant and helpful many of whom became friends during our stay. After dinner you can retire to a comfortable lounge area to enjoy that last drink before retiring for the night. Must recommend their ‘Drostdy-Hof’ cask red wine. This lounge area was the stage for the Masai dancers who provided the entertainment by performing every other night. We have seen many performances during our visits to Kenya but these guys were the best!
This camp is outside of the park boundaries, a 10-15 minute drive from east of the Talek Gate. Effective 1 August 2011 the park fees for such camps increased to US$80 pp per day, US$70 if the camp is inside the park. However, we were told that the management are to build a bridge over the Talek River to give access to the camp from inside the park. Once this is achieved there will be no need to ‘enter/exit’ the camp each day so the fees should reduce to US$70 pp per day. We understand these plans are imminent.
Mara Leisure is in an excellent location and as it is securely fenced I suppose it must be considered ‘safe’. Being very central on the northern boundary of the park gives quick and easy access to good game areas and of course the Mara River is within easy reach. Just in case it may bother any potential visitors I would mention that this camp lies in very close proximity to Masai villages and as such there is always cattle movement and the noise that this creates. The cattle are moved to grazing grounds late afternoon and again very early morning when the sound of the bells they wear rules out any need for the use of an ‘alarm clock’.
To summarise I have to say that in our opinion this is a very good camp being well managed with friendly staff which we would not hesitate to recommend. Once the planned bridge over the Talek River is operational, this year hopefully, things will be better still.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at ‘goshawk_444@yahoo.co.uk’ or send me a message should you wish to find out more about our Kenyan holidays, safaris and experiences or make enquiries about arranging a very personal customised safari with our trusted friend Salim who comes highly recommended.

Tom & Linda – Northumberland, England.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tom_Goshawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara Leisure Camp

Property: Mara Leisure Camp
Address: C14, Keekorok, Talek River | PO Box 17545 Enterprice Rd, Maasai Mara National Reserve 254, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mara Leisure Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mara Leisure, a Luxury Tented Camp nestled in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. The camp is situated on the northern border of the game reserve and this makes all areas of the park accessible for game viewing. Our accommodation facilities include 1 exclusive honeymoon tent, 8 spacious jumbo tents, 17 standard “nyati” tents and 3 family “jamii” cottages. With these, all social groups are adequately catered for. You will have the chance to meet the local Maasai community. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mara Leisure Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Leisure Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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