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“An absolutely brilliant place”
Review of Karen Blixen Camp

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Karen Blixen Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Cruz, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“An absolutely brilliant place”
Reviewed December 22, 2012

From the moment I stepped off the plane in the Mara North Conservancy to the moment I bid farewell to new friends some days later, the staff at Karen Blixen Camp (KBC) provided me with a superlative and unforgettable time. Situated adjacent a waterhole, along the banks of the Mara River, one could simply sit on the verandah all day long and watch the parade of giraffes, warthogs, impalas and others as the resident hippos provide endless fascination. But better to go on the 'game drives' to experience the incredible natural diversity of the fascinating Mara
North Conservancy - a remarkable private 'reserve' where vast numbers of wildlife seem to co-exist well with the landowners, the Masai, and their livestock. From the luxurious tented cabin, with balcony-like deck, one hears the flow of the river and the calls of several types of birds. Solar-heated showers cleanse one after a drive or perusal of the lovely grounds on foot. The staff were fantastic to a person, always graciously extending every courtesy, and the food exceptional. All of the guides are Masai, as are many of the other employees, and the relationship between KBC and the local landowners is one of mutual benefit. Innovative projects - such as the forestry and IT training and cooking classes - may serve as models for the region. This was without a doubt among the very best places I have ever had the privilege to visit (and I am a widely traveled naturalist/field biologist).

Very special thanks go to Sunil for his kindness and companionship, to Dominic and Nicholas for being such excellent and knowledgeable guides, to Sharon, Lilian, Susan, and Kisaka, and so many others, for the best hospitality imaginable. A simply fabulous place in a magnificent wild setting with equally fabulous people -- a place that I cannot recommend enough.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank BBenito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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349 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
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English first
Rossett, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2012

I have just returned home to a wet and dismal UK after an incredible week at Karen Blixen Camp. This was my first stay there but will not be my last. It was outstanding. I travel a lot, and have been to Africa many times but this property stood out.
Wildlife was really GREAT. Had multiple leopard sightings, close to lions too. But what made it really special were the staff. manager Sunil, guides Dominic and Nicholas, who were so very knowledgeable and informative. Everyone was great. Fabulous food, fabulous setting, lovely tents with nice outdoor showers. Bird life from my balcony was incredible. Watched a hawk being mobbed by a paradise flycatcher. This would be a great place to go as a couple, or with friends. LOVED it! Would highly recommend.

Room Tip: Think they are all lovely! I was in 19 which was a 2-3 minute walk from main lounge area.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank SusieQBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2012

We stayed here for a few nights for our honeymoon. We were greeted with a refreshing passion fruit juice upon arrival and the host, Lillian, was very welcoming.
We had the same waiter for the whole visit, which we liked, since he was great! We received a complimentary 1-hour massage, which was incredible and one of the best I've ever had (I opted for the aromatherapy massage).
The camp is situated in front of a river, with a resident hippo pod. It makes for amazing scenery and while we were there we saw elephants, gazelles, giraffes and the hippos while hanging around the main dining hall.
Every night there was some form of entertainment, from a traditional Masai dance to a 'sundowner' (drinks and appetizers with a beautiful view of the sun setting).
The food was okay, not outstanding but decent. There is wifi in the main reception area that works so-so. You can go to the office where the signal is stronger if you really need to get on.
The manager, Freddie, was always available and would send you off on safari every day and greet you when you get back. The gift shop is quite nice with reasonable prices, we got some nice gifts and souvenirs.
A third day would have been really nice to do the morning drive (6:30am), then relax at the camp until the afternoon drive at 4pm. The scenery and the tents are beautiful but we barely spent any time at the camp since we did full-day drives to see as many animals as possible.
We saw some amazing things and the landscape is beautiful.
A word of caution about staying in the tents (at this camp and others), expect that people will come and go out of your tent even if you lock up (for room clean up, evening turn down, and maybe some 'unscheduled' visits), so do NOT leave cash in your tent (even in your bag) at ANY time, even for an hour to eat lunch, or any other valuables you would be sorry to lose.
We would recommend this camp and hope to return!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank K-STARR_777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
1 review
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We went there for our honeymoon in october 2012, and had an amazing time. The staff are so nice and we felt welcome right from the beginning. The drivers have a lot of knowledge about the area and the animals there and we enjoyed every game drive. They really do everything to make sure its a trip you never forget.

We strongly recommend Karen Bilxen Camp

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ann740
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Karen Blixen Camp is a very beautiful tented camp in Masai Mara!
Very good sevice, tents and surroundings! The gamedrives were very good with proffesional drivers with a lot of knowledge! We saw the biggest numbers of animals in our whole trip in East Africa exactly here in Masai Mara. Even - we still need a close look at the Leopard.
The food is overall very good - but not gourmet - and it is OK.
I can only recommend this camp!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Severino1944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2012

As the title says, they made our holidays!
Everything was perfect from the very beginning. We spent only two nights there (unfortunately) in the begining of September as part of our honeymoon but we remembered them as the best ones as part of our 8-day safari.
Seriously, everything was perfect: at the time we arrived, the manager welcomed us and the stuff helped us to settle.
We were assigned to guides: Peter and Brenice. They were great! they did all their best so that we could see as many animals as possible. They were very nice and always open to explain us details about animals or masai culture.
The really taked care of all details making our stay fantastic: we got two massages as welcome present and they prepared a private romantic dinner the last night: Oustanding!
The place is very well located: facing the river where you see animals at anytime!
Tents are also great: clean and very well equiped! you really feel comfortable and at the same time you have the feeling that you are into the wild.
We strongly recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a special place where to "taste" the savannah.. if we would get back to Masai Mara no doubt that we would get back there.
Pilar & David

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dpineiro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2012

We thoroughly our three nights at Karen Blixen Camp. We were amazed that so many animals were at the river to drink on the opposite side of the river bank. One afternoon we saw hippos, giraffe, zebra, gazelle, topi, crocs, elephants and impalas all from the comfort (and safety) of the camp. We were quite spoiled for when we went to the Masai Mara because then we had to travel quite a way between sightings except for zebras and wilderbeest which were everywhere in the thousands. The best thing about the Mara is the crossings of the widerbeest and zebras which was a sight to behold.
We also managed to spot two shy leopards and a cheetah. The balloon ride was amazing but expensive and watch the price as they charged us a lot more than agreed upon. Probably a mistake is the conversion but we will see, we have contacted sky ship co, yet to be sorted. I would recommend this camp but be prepared for the 88kms of very rough road to get there, we flew out which we were grateful for. Not recommend for people with back problems.
The tents were lovely, but recommend an afternoon shower as its outdoors and the wind can be cool, not a winter place. The food was good but I had to be vigilant with the gluten free aspect, I was served food with bread or gluten several times. Serivce was excellent and staff friendly and helpful. We stayed three nights and that was enough to see the Mara and animals as the rough roads take their toll.
We took an albatros tour to get there and had a personalised tour which meant we only had to please ourselves but did add to the cost.
Didn't have any problem with mosquitoes but repellent is provided.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Maree M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 140 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 
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Also Known As:
Karen Blixen Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Karen Blixen Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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