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Reviewed September 13, 2014

Friends if you are looking for a private luxury and peaceful accommodation, mara timbo is the best place. Located near the ololoo gate the camp is set at an ideal area. We have booked several clients here and would highly recommend the lodge.
Reuben

Room Tip: The beautiful family tent next to the river with two hippo families.
  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank idealsafaris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2014

Amazing experience of luxury tented camp. We have been to Masai Mara several times and stayed in other properties but Mara Timbo is above all.

Each tent is separate at some elevation and spacious having large cosy beds and attached washrooms. Outside each tent is large area with a swing, bath tub and sofas to sit and relax viewing hippos in adjacent flowing Mara river.

Hospitality is excellent with great food.

The only drawback is of being a bit away from the entrance of game park. it takes approx 40 minutes.

Room Tip: All are excellent
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank AnilNairobi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

This was the trip of a lifetime! The camp was beautiful and everyone went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed ourselves, especially Gideon, our tireless guide who showed us all the wonders of the Masai Mara. We spent six nights at the camp and would recommend it to anyone. My whole family (five of us) couldn't have asked for more! Even the food was delicious! Thank you!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank Bayleym
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

It was an experience we will never forget. Absolutely amazing everything; tents with all their content, the nature, location, tranquility ... It was like coming to a piece of paradise. Absolutely wonderful and so romantic. Moreover, very nice and friendly staff and very good service.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Lisa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2013

Mara Timbo has a great location on the Mara River (albeit 35-40 minutes from the park gate, not 10-15 minutes as advertised), and the rooms are nice. That's about where it ends.

I compare this place to what I experienced in Elephant Bedroom Camp in Samburu, which cost less overall but gave what customer service should be about: going the extra mile to make your customer happy.

Mara Timbo, on the other hand, was about as close an example of trying to ruin a customer's experiences as possible. Lying, lack of communication, yelling, petulant e-mails were all part of the "experience".

The problems lie mostly with one part of the camp's ownership, Klaus. Klaus is about as unprofessional as it comes (apparently this has changed in the last year - from previously being good to deal with). Klaus is rude, yells at customers on the phone and doesn't communicate arrangements to his camp staff. He was arguably the most unprofessional tourist representative I've ever dealt with.

Here's some examples:
- we booked for a large group trip. When organising payment, Klaus refused to take credit card (international standard for these sort of things), demanding - within 48 hours - a local Kenyan money transfer system or SWIFT payment (not all banks have SWIFT agreements with all countries). Yet the camp had credit card facilities.
- when we sought alternate means of payment, Klaus did not respond for several days until further emails and phone calls, then became abusive and demanded payment by THAT NIGHT, threatening to cancel part of our booking if we did not meet his demands. As we had already paid a significant deposit, we were forced to impose on Kenyan friends to scrape together the money immediately to satisfy Klaus.
- when we arrived at the camp, instead of providing 1L of water per person, per game drive, as promised by Klaus, the camp attempted to charge us extortionate amounts for small bottles of water, refusing to accept the agreed arrangements. This is some of the worst service I've experienced in Kenya: drinking water is provided as a matter of course in every other camp I've dealt with, particularly for health reasons. Mara Timbo is not even a budget camp - yet another example of serious penny-pinching and poor service.

As part of the arrangement, I was staying on longer on our final day and returning by air to fit in another game drive. Klaus "forgot" to communicate this arrangement to the poor camp manager. He also charged me an extra USD80 for the final game drive, as it would require an "extra, separate cruiser" for the game drive. Not only was the extra game drive not organised (leaving me sitting at the camp until midday), I was then told it would be a shared game drive (never stated, never suggested, a complete nonsense) otherwise I would have to pay USD250 - an outrageous price given the costs we knew the camp incurred. The camp did not even bother to include a packed lunch, despite the extra cost and the long delay. (The food, given how accessible the Mara is and the price charged, was also of a mediocre quality.)

All of this comes down to poor service. When you have a similar comparison in Samburu, which goes to every length to make customers happy, Mara Timbo went to, it seemed, every length to screw customers over. Sadly, we spoke to other people staying at the camp who had also had bad experiences with Klaus and the head office.

Maybe with different management, this place could be great. But as it is, it isn't, and is one of the most disappointing experiences I've had in Africa - which fortunately didn't quite ruin the real reason we were there (the safari itself). But when there are so many other options in the area? Not recommended.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Mosbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaraTimboCamp, Public Relations Manager at Mara Timbo Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2013

We like to comment this entry as follows.

This client had booked a mix of Road- and Flight package with Mara Timbo Camp.
This package (like every other package bookable at Mara Timbo Camp) was very clearly described in the confirmation voucher the client was send. Since our opening 2009 we not a single time had any discussion with a client about what is included and what is excluded. Therefore this all finds us quite astonished.

Mara Timbo Camp has clear payment conditions, which are indicated in our invoice. We don´t accept credit card payment up front but only in the camp for paying the extras. As payment we expect a bank transfer, payment by cheque (if there is enough time for the cheque to clear) or in cash in three different currencies. Those conditions were communicated to the client BEFORE he did the booking and later by the invoice and voucher.

The client was not able to pay by bank transfer through his bank by a simple Swift. Every other customer from wherever in this world in the past always was able to do that. That this doesnßt work for him, is not our fault. In a demanding manner we have not experienced since camp´s opening the client tried to dictate us our payment conditions. We told him, we are sorry, but we were unable to follow his demand.

The group this client intended to arrive with had asked for two separated invoices. The group booked a pure Road Package, this gentlemen first wanted to fly in, later changed his mind to a “drive in and fly out” and stay even longer than the group.

We had send two different invoices accordingly. The road package group paid their deposit. The single client was told, we cannot mix the down payments but only be able to accept and hold his booking, when even his down payment is done (Even we have to pay flight tickets upfront fully). This is not a “threat” but our simple duty to describe booking and the payment process. This is the same procedure in every hotel in this world. At the end his friends in the group paid for him.

For his extended time in the camp the client was told UPFRONT we would have to charge him a game drive fee, because his group (and their tour van he did the game drives with before) had left already. This was clearly communicated and is normal procedure, and we wonder why this becomes a matter of discussion at all.

In all: Mara Timbo Camp is accustomed to deliver more than just 100% of what our clients book and pay for. We are always going an extra mile for our clients. Our terms and conditions should be respected though.

We are very much happy and proud that all other guests reviews here on Tripadvisor and other guest review platforms proof which high standard of service and friendliness Mara Timbo Camp´s colleagues are showing towards our clients.

Jack Odhiambo
Mara Timbo Camp
PR

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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