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“Sorry folks, but I beg to differ on your reviews”
Review of Ilkeliani Camp

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Ilkeliani Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 7, 2012

For the most part, my views pretty match most people on TripAdvisor, but as a traveller that has spent quite a bit of time at various locations as a tourist of Africa, I was a bit dissapointed in Ilkeliani. This is my family's second time to the Mara with the first being the Serena and the Camp and the service is miles from what you get at the Serena dispite being about the same price I paid (we travelled between Christmas and New Year's so maybe that was why). Dinner in the tent was spent picking the bugs out of our meals. Like another reviewer said, the menu is fixed so there is are no options. The tents are basic. We had a flashlight in our but it did not work and our other two tents had none at all. There is no safe for valuables so I carried our passports everywhere we went. I did not find the staff as friendly as the many other places we have spent in Kenya. Some seemed quite indifferent. I like a morning coffee in my tent so I had to go to the restaurant and get if and walk it quite a ways back to our tent. The location means you have to spend about 15 - 20 minutes of rough driving just to get into the park so if Your game drives are 2 hours, 1/4 of the time is just spent getting there and back. For what we paid, it was a far cry from the service and experience we had at the Serena so if you are going just once, I would not recommend the Ilkeliani.

Room Tip: Not all tents have a view of the park so try and get one of those.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank LoveTravellilng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EcoCamps, Owner at Ilkeliani Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2012

First and foremost, may I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to give us your thoughts on the service and facilities at the camp.

Your feedback is well appreciated and of immense value to us as it enables us to continuously monitor and measure the level of service and standards at the camp.

We would like to address the issues that led to you not enjoying your experience at Ilkeliani Camp. Unfortunately there was lots of rains during this period in the Mara. What happens is after the rains the environment is flooded with rain flys and bugs. There are more noticable at night when insects are attracted and converge on all lights in the camps. This can be an uncomforatble experience during Dinner and once in a while the insects may drop on the dining table and on guest meals. This only happens after the long rains and the swarms do disappear for the rest of the year.Our menu is fixed however accomodating. We serve full english breakfasts and have set menus for lunch and dinner. All dietary requirements and special meal requests are accomodated
We do not serve buffets in camp but provide fresh home style cooked set meals and on occassion
Our ethos and philosophy is eco and hence our back of house service facilities are small compared to 75 room lodges like Serena. Serena is a wonderful large lodge with built up facilities. Our philosphy is to tread "lighly"" on the environment and this at times constraints our ability due to logistical reasons
Supplies are flown and trucked twice weekly and all our linen is transported back to Nairobi for cleaning.
Wake up calls are part of our tradition and cofee/ tea and fresh baked cookies/cakes are served alongside. The wake up call "order" are taken after dinner. Some guests like to sleep in and hence no wake call service is provided to avoid disturbing the guests. We may have overlooked your request and do aplogise for the same.Room safes are not provided in the tent but request all guest to lock any valuables in the luggage. The most expensive gear the guests bring are camera equipment and this all left in tents or carried to the common areas for charging.

Our camp is centrally located on the edge of the boundry reserve in the expansive mara eco system and 3 minutes from the park if the talek river is not full otherwise 10 minutes from talek gate. November and December the roads and paths were exceptionally rough due to rains .
We do sincerely aplogise for not having met your expectations . We will always welcome the opportunity to be of service again and look forward to welcoming you at Ilkeliani Maasai Mara in the not too distant future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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189 - 195 of 269 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2012

Ilkeliani Camp provides a delightful place to stay on the edge of the Mara, surrounded by wildlife and hosted by exceptional staff, nothing was too much trouble.

The food was plentiful and varied, specific requests dealt with easily. The tents were well spaced out and comfortable, with lovely hot showers and flushing toilets. One piece of advice is to take a small torch for inside the tent at night, once the power is switched off (1130pm) The camp have some but if it is full this might be useful for late night bathroom visits.

A fabulous touch was getting into bed to be greeted by a hot water bottle - a great idea for those chilly Mara nights,.

Edward, our game driver, has to be mentioned - his enthusiasm, humour, seemingly endless knowledge, unsurpassed eyesight and "edge of the seat" driving ability meant every game drive was exceptional and memorable.

Joyce gave an excellent nature walk, full of facts on the flora and fauna and how the Maasai use nature in their everyday life. A visit with her to the local village was also interesting to get to know some of the Maasai way of life. Despite the reluctance of some guests to visit the village, owing to their preconceived ideas, I found it to be a really worthwhile visit- just go and see for yourself.
Balloon flight over the Mara is a must!

We'd happily stay at Ilkeliani again.

Room Tip: E4 and E5 have good views over the river Talek to the plains behind (some others also do)
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank DivingK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

I organised a trip for ecology students and we chose Ilkeliani as our base for trips to the Masai Mara. As a group of 16 we had people with special dietary requirements and i was a little worried about getting individually catered meals. I shouldn't have been; the staff were simply amazing and went beyond our expectations for making sure everyone was happy. The camp is great with brilliant views from every tent and over the Mara from the observation platform. At night Masai warriors from the local village escort you around the camp to make sure you are completely safe. The food is great, the tents are extremely comfortable (with their own shower and toilet) and the trips to the Masai and the local village are great. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank Matt L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2011

I couldn`t fault this camp. My wife and I spent 5 nights here with 14 others, all on holiday with `Naturetrek' in November 2011. This place is amazing! all the staff were very friendly and catered for our every need. I was expecting to be roughing it a little before we arrived, but not a bit of it. The tents are fantastic with loads of room and privacy with very comfortable beds that were turned down every evening by the staff and hot water bottles left when the evenings got cold. The food was very good with a good variation in the menu with everybodys dietary needs catered for. The location by the river is great and sightings of Crocs and Hippo`s are a regular thing. This was our first tented safari
and will definitly not be our last, I would whole heartedly recommend Ilkeliani camp and will come back again a.s.a.p.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank c0deye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2011

We were quite impressed by the standards maintained by the camp inspite of being in the middle of wilderness.Extremely hospitable and sumptous food.After a long, exciting and dusty safari in the Mara we really looked forward to our comfortable tents and amazing food.The staff was quite considerate and always sent a well equipped vehicle with food, juices and fruits.We were there during the peak season during the migration and the camp was completely full,but we still didnt feel left out.Talking and Sharing our Safari experiences in the comfortable lounge was also quite nice.So were the books and games provided.We certainly hope we could make it to the Mara and the camp soon!

Room Tip: Rooms away from the dining area are quieter,but if you want to join in the fun and frolic then stay...
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Emily H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2011

What an amazing camp!!! My wife and I stayed at Ilkeliani for 3 nights. It was a great experience. The service was impeccable and the food was quite good. We wanted to stay away from the large lodges and experience something more rustic and quiet. We definitely got that. Our low season/rainy season risk paid off. The camp was practically empty due to low season and the rains, this made it feel even more private. The experience overall as I mentioned was awesome, the staff made you feel welcome at every moment and did everything they could to make you comfortable. After a full day safari in the sun my wife was not feeling too well the next day, when the staff saw me dining alone they were genuinely concerned about her.

The staff can provide you with a wake up call that includes coffee or tea to your tent. I loved this as every morning I would take my tea to the observation deck. I recommend to anyone that if you do not have an early morning game viewing drive, please hang out on the deck from 6 AM to 7:30 if you can. You simply don't know what you might see, on Day 1 I saw 6 Giraffe in the horizon, a Hyena scrurrying about anxiously. On our final day I went to the deck again. I didn't see much for the first 30 minutes, but was my patience was rewarded. I saw some Gazelles acting quite nervous, lo and behold a Leopard appears!!!!! It was breathtaking. Stay at Ilkeliani, it is an excellent camp!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank philly2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2011

My wife and I stayed here as part of our tour group and we were blown away by the standards of this camp. The food and service were impeccable and the location just added to the experience. Getting up to watch sunrise (jet lagged still) from the viewing platform was a highlight, as we watched an elephant and its calf silhouetted across the horizon, a family of impalas with four babies play just opposite and even an otter briefly scurry on to the river bank. The tent was spacious and the tiled bathroom an unexpected delight.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank dlanods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ilkeliani Camp

Address: Masai Mara | P.O Box 64196, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00620, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 142 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $279 - $460 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in a riverine forest in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, the area is a favourite for elephants coming to drink from the Talek River. Ilkeliani camp consists of only 17 tents, each commanding views of the plains and the wildlife action throughout the day. The tented rooms are raised up slightly on earth mounds, overlooking the river and the plains. These mounds are covered in vegetation, and feel quite natural, and each one has been sited under its own cluster of shady indigenous trees and you do feel like you are out in the wilderness. The camp now has a suspension bridge for easy access to the reserve for early game drives ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ilkeliani Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Ilkeliani Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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