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.

“The full Maasai Mara Experience”
Review of Karen Blixen 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
and 4 more sites!
Karen Blixen Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The full Maasai Mara Experience”
Reviewed May 3, 2011

I booked a flying package to Karen Blixen through Lets go Travel in Nairobi.

When we got there we were welcomed by the Maryanne (camp manager) and a very friendly receptionist called Sharon who gave us a brief overview of the camp.

The restaurant staff, Benson and Joe, were also very friendly and the service was fast and warm.

We were taken through the game drives by Masai guides, Peter and Nester, who are very experienced, fluent and humorous. They went the extra mile to ensure we enjoyed and comfortable.

IT WAS A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lennygathu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

339 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    300
    30
    7
    2
    0
See reviews for
97
160
16
5
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
East Anglia
Level Contributor
140 reviews
138 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2011

This seriously swanky tented camp is outside the Mara NP proper, on the banks of the Mara River in the North Mara Conservation Area. But don’t let that put you off. You don’t need to slog the hour or more back into the NP – there are masses of animals in a wide range of attractive habitats close by. We had four of the Big Five (no Black Rhino, of which only 20+ anyway in the 1500 square kms of the Mara…) within fifteen minutes of the camp. And few camps can guarantee close-up views of noisy Hippo and sinister Crocodiles from the porch of every tent. The tents are preposterously large and luxurious, with a separate changing/washing area, and a huge outdoor showering patio, which was fun if a tad chilly after dark. Each tent is on the river bank; the hippos are noisy, but not in the middle of the night, when presumably they go off to feed (hopefully on the opposite bank). The food was excellent, making a real effort at freshness and presentation, but with just limited picks from two or three menu options (one vegetarian), so no buffet. We were offered breakfast and lunch out on the lawn in front of the restaurant, which was lovely.

The Karen Blixen theme is pervasive; in the genuine structure of the tents (no tin roofs here, no tiled bathrooms) – and in the camp shop (where there was a public netbook computer with free access and surprisingly good speeds). In fact most of the guests when we were there were family groups from Denmark. The camp seems to cater mainly for people coming in on two-night fly-in packages (rack-rate USD799 per person at present, inclusive of game-drives). We were different inasmuch as we drove in with our own guide (from Pollmans in Nairobi, who, BTW, are absolutely first-class in every respect).

This led to a misunderstanding which left us feeling a bit uncomfortable. We were told in our briefing on arrival that they were treating us as if we were on a fly-in package, which would give us complimentary sodas, beers and house-wine. (After all, we weren’t going to need airstrip transfers, or their own game-drives.) The full detail on this deal was confirmed in a personally addressed welcome letter waiting for us in our room, signed by the manager, Rudy. We hardly went mad with the free drinks, running up a bill for about USD40 (about eight drinks) over our two days. On departure, however, they tried to insist that we pay for these. When we refused, as they were so demonstrably in the wrong, they simply wouldn’t give up, arguing, trying behind our back to get our guide to pay, then apparently hassling Pollmans by phone for the rest of the day. Anyone can make a mistake, but no hotel charging these sorts of silly prices should persist in arguing over such a trivial sum, even if the offer to us had been made in error. This sort of thing just leads to unfavourable TA comment!

We mention this as this seemed symptomatic of a generally haughty and condescending attitude from the management. We wondered whether they were actually trying to discourage drive-ins, but remain baffled as to why they would do so.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Homa Bay, Kenya
2 reviews
Reviewed January 28, 2011

Karen Blixen was wonderful. As an expat living in Kenya, I booked through Let's Go Travel out of Nairobi (who were fabulous) for a safari trip for my sister and myself (2 nights/3 days). I suggest you go to Karen Blixen's facebook page to see more photos and comments form guests. I definitely could have stayed longer if our time restriction was not a factor.

We flew out to the Mara and were picked up by our personal guides at the airstrip --- it was amazing to see so much wildlife from the airstrip to the camp and the guides took their time to show and explain on the way. We did not fee like we were in a hurry (and they have cool sodas and water right in the vehicle to refresh yourself). Our guides were experts and tailored the trips for what we wanted to see. We wanted to see "cats" and we did -- lions (both male and female) and leopards (we met other couples from other outfits who were on the search for a leopard for 5 days, and our guides got us one on the first try the first day we searched!).

Watching the hippos at the river while drinking your morning tea or coffee is an unbelievable experience. Our flight back to Nairobi was early/mid-day so our guides offered to have breakfast out on the Mara on the way to the airstrip. AMAZING! We ate surrounded by two giraffes that were equally amused and stopped to watch us. The food at the camp was amazing and more than sufficient. The service is quick and if you're sitting outside they will come around to inquire if you need/want anything. They are into little details - even changing the way they fold their napkins at nearly ever meal.

We each had a massage which was good; she came to our tent . The pricing on the massages were reasonable. The tent itself was beautiful. It comes with a shower and a tub, outdoors, and beautiful. What a joy to take a shower outside (yes, there is privacy). The front views of the porch faced the Mara river.

I am marking the cleanliness as a 4 out of 5. This is because we went on a camp tour and in and around the staff quarter's area we saw trash thrown on the ground , water bottles being used and tossed on the ground, etc. We were told when we were picked up at the airstrip that the camp is committed to the environment which is why they provide us with a reusable water bottle instead of plastic (non-recyclable) ones. I had wished that the camp would then provide a reusable bottle to each member of their staff. The cleanliness around the guest areas are remarkable and very clean....it was just this oversight.

I would go again; and like others have said, what you see on their website is what you get -- it's that amazing. My photos don't do the place justice. But what would push me back to Karen Blixen without a doubt would be the guides. They knew their stuff, were wonderful and are professionals (they care about their jobs and the performance they are giving).

I would highly recommend for anyone wanting to go on safari whether it's that "once in a lifetime trip" for your honeymoon or any other occasion. Karen Blixen does it right. Very impressed.

PS -- We didn't have really "good" cameras with us (just 12 mega pixels, simple point and shoot) and the photos we had turned out good. Yes, photos from a Rebel, etc. would have been better but don't that that you /need/ a more expensive camera to have a good time -- they drive as close as they can and you can really observe the animals.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NiagaraEscarpment
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
Reviewed January 16, 2011

Our wedding experience was everything we could have expected and more. We are speechless.

From the moment we were picked up at Shikar airstrip, our experience began with first class service. Each of the safari drivers introduced themselves with large hearts and smiles. We boarded the Jeeps and began our game drive to camp. Each driver was incredibly knowledgeable and took the time to see to our needs.

On arrival at camp, we were greeted by Marianne, Annerita, and staff, and given cold towels. The towels were just one of many small tokens that contributed to our overall fabulous experience. After receiving a warm welcome from Marianne, we all walked outside to see a view unlike any other. There were hippos, elephants and giraffes bathing in the river. Some friends said, it was just surreal. What a magnificent view. I think we were sold already and hadn’t even been at the camp for longer than 30 mins!

Our group of excited travelers rushed to see the luxury tents, and luxury there were. Before Matt and I entered our tent, we stood and took in the view of the river from our enormous balcony. Inside, every detail of the tent had been carefully planned and nothing left out. From the bathrobes to the natural soap, my hat goes off to you.

The meals served were delicious and hearty, with lots of variety. And displaying the menu each day was great, another touch very well done. The serving staff were out of this world. They had big smiles and delivered top class service every time. Their hospitality skills were second to none.

Annerita was also a great help. Every time I saw her, she was running around to make sure our experience was one we will never forget. As there were 16 of us, that was a lot of running around! The two beauty ladies that Annerita supervised, performed fabulous manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. Of course they did, everyone in our group just kept going back for more!

On the morning of our wedding, we all started with a game drive and then a hearty breakfast, followed by manicures and pedicures. Between Annerita, Marianne and Rudy, this day became a true fairytale.

David and David performed the Masai blessing after the ceremony. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think of the meanings behind the wine, milk and grass cuttings. As David and David are very kind hearted people, we felt blessed just to have had them be a part of the ceremony. We became very close to David (also our safari driver).

After the ceremony, there were drinks and canapés served with a setting indescribable.

On return to camp, we eagerly made our way to dinner. The dinner location was AMAZING. Again, every last detail had been thought of. From the lanterns to the first class ‘bush toilets’. Having a quiet drink with friends whilst overlooking the Mara river was exactly how we pictured it.

The dinner tent and table were set up beautifully, so simple but just perfect. The food was incredible and the setting was perfect.

One of our highlights (and the highlight from every guest) was the Masai dance you surprised us with after dinner. It was AMAZING. We felt very honored to have the local Masai dance at our wedding. It was such an unforgettable experience. It felt like we were one big family.

Our overall experience is something we will never, ever forget. It puts tears in my eyes just thinking about the lengths everyone at Karen Blixen went to, to ensure we had the most FABULOUS experience. The Karen Blixen staff are more than just staff, more your family. Everyone’s bubbly personality and passion for the Masai Mara truly shows on each of their faces.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katedohers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silkeborg, Denmark
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2011

We spend a whole week for christmas at Karen Blixen Camp, and it was an unforgettable week. My 2 children had an experience for life (well, us grown ups had that too :-)). They went out and planted a tree each, and got there name and date on a plate beside their own tree - I am sure they are going to bully us for going back in a few years to see how big their trees have become. And the Safaries were amazing. The drivers are so experienced, and know just how to find all the animals. The camp is so wounderful in itselves, it would even be enough to stay at the camp. You can sit in the "garden" and see all the animals coming to drink water at the other side of the river - just about 20 meters from you. A wounderful place, wounderful staff who are extremely service minded and wounderful food.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kamstrup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester
Level Contributor
38 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2010

This was out first trip to Kenya and this was the first camp we stayed in. We didn’t really know what to expect from this type of trip but we were very impressed. The tents were at the top end of comfortable and luxurious by usual camping standards (I camp a lot in the UK so my expectations were low!). The staff were excellent and when I had a migraine, they couldn’t have been more helpful and concerned.
We had our own driver guide who came with us and stayed at the camp. The staff accommodated and treated him very well.
We didn’t use the swimming pool as it was too cold, but it looked well maintained. The camp was in a good position on the river to see game and also for safaris out into the Mara reserve.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank polarbearonthinice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed November 15, 2010

We had some fantastic days at the camp. Great game driving with lots of animals.
From the camp there is a nice view of the Mara river, and you can enjoy your lunch while elephants, hippos, monkeys, impalas or even a leopard is drinking from the other side.

The tents are very comfortable with a great outdoor shower and beatuiful views. Our tent also had an outdoor bath.

Don´t miss the camp tour. You walk around the camp and learn how the camp is driven according to sustainable principles. Its free.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank UlrikF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Maasai Mara National Reserve hotels
30.4 mi away
Keekorok Lodge-Sun Africa Hotels
Keekorok Lodge-Sun Africa Hotels
#4 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
1,021 reviews
7.9 mi away
Governor's Camp
Governor's Camp
#14 of 138 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
900 reviews
12.1 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
29.8 mi away
Sarova Mara Game Camp
Sarova Mara Game Camp
#2 of 8 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
1,008 reviews
24.9 mi away
Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa
Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa
#4 of 138 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
332 reviews
16.2 mi away
Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp
Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Cam...
#16 of 138 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
810 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Karen Blixen Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Karen Blixen Camp

Property: Karen Blixen Camp
Address: Marula Lane 40C | PO Box 9913-00100 GPO NBO, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 138 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Karen Blixen Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Karen Blixen Camp in the Masai Mara offers an authentic ’yesteryear’ experience for visitors wishing to gain that little extra from their safari. Set on the bank of the Mara River; the location is spectacular. Throughout the day elephants, giraffes, zebras and impalas come for a drink while a large hippo pod rest lazily in the river. The Camp gives a feeling of the early 1920’s era with beautiful and comfortable furniture. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Cancelon, Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda and Orbitz so you can book your Karen Blixen Camp reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Karen Blixen Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Karen Blixen 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