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“Very good camp”
Review of Ilkeliani Camp

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Ilkeliani Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Amman, Jordan
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Very good camp”
Reviewed October 27, 2013

We enjoyed our 2 night stay at this camp. Our tent was very large and easily handled 3 beds. I really liked the way the bathroom was setup. The bathrooms in some of our other camps the bathroom did not provide a lot of privacy. Here the entire bathroom area zipped closed. There was also plenty of warm water for a shower.
The camp grounds are very nice and scenic. We saw a baboon troop right across the river as we arrived at our tent. At night a staff member escorts you to your tent. They say this is for protection but I think it is more because the pathways and tents are not marked. Therefore it’s easy to get lost.
My wife and I really liked the food but my kids did not like the two dinners. The food is targeted more towards adults, which means that they do serve a few vegetables. This caused my younger children to revolt (they can starve). Everyone liked the breakfasts and we were grateful for the box lunches.
The camps location is a little strange. There is no signage for the camp so our driver got a little lost returning to the camp one night. It is a 10-15 minute drive to one of the entrances to the park. It looks like there are other camps right next to this one.
I would definitely return to this camp. It provides good access to the park, good value and good service.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank jdhale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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256 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2013

We stayed at Ilkeliani for 4 nights at the beginning of September and we were met at the airstrip by Edward, our excellent guide, who took us on a game drive en route to the camp - a good taster of what we had to come. When we arrived, we crossed the bridge and were greeted by welcoming staff. The setting is wonderful, the deluxe tents are extremely spacious, comfortable and well appointed. This camp is a great combination of being surrounded by nature and wildlife whilst enjoying luxury. All of the members of staff are so helpful, polite and affable.
There was quite a bit of variety at breakfast, the three course lunches were absolutely delicious and in the evening the dinners were gourmet. The food was some of the best we have ever tasted whilst on a holiday, catering for meat/fish eaters and vegetarians with mouth-watering sauces. The waiting staff, Stephen, James, Paul and Reuben, were silver service but at the same time really warm and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble for them, after lunch every day we enjoyed sitting outside the lounge area, they would carry our coffee to the tables at the back where we were amazed by the stunning bird and animal life around the river. There were so many beautiful and different birds but we didn’t have a book to research so we started to ask the staff and we found that Stephen was especially knowledgeable, he even lent us his handbook so that we could write down all the species. We thought he would make an excellent guide.
We had morning and evening game drives and a couple of days we were given picnic breakfasts so we could stay in the Mara longer and we had a brilliant time with our fantastic Maasai guide/driver Edward. What he showed was remarkable: many male and female lions with cubs, often eating their kills, cheetah, hyena, jackal with cubs, black rhinos, buffalo, giraffe, elephant to name but a few animals plus many birds. One afternoon, Edward wanted to show us a leopard and on the way to the area where he had been seen previously, we happened upon a serval cat who we watched kill a rabbit. He managed to find the leopard for us too. Something which had always fascinated us about the Mara was the thought of seeing thousands of wildebeest, zebra and deer together, we were not disappointed, it was fascinating. We had hoped to see a crossing and Edward took us to an excellent spot with hippo and crocodile in the water so we could appreciate in reality what we had seen many times on TV. One evening we saw quite a few vehicles parked in the distance watching something but Edward decided he would take us in the opposite direction. This showed what a superb guide he was because he had spotted something much more interesting: there was a large herd of buffalo, restless as there were three pairs of lions in their vicinity. We saw two of the pairs of lions chased away and one buffalo actually caught rear end of a big male lion with its horn – not everyone has seen that!

All round Ilkeliani, is a fabulous place to experience, we had a great time and we would not hesitate in staying again. We wish to thank Charles and all his staff for helping make our trip a holiday of a lifetime.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank SafariLovers78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights in Ilkeliani tented camp during our Masai Mara safari. The tents are large, spacious and clean. Each evening, while guests are at dinner, an attendant came and sprayed the tent with bug spray and provided turn down service. Also, they had Masai men along the paths to ensure guest safety (there is a hippo that lives in the river by the camp) and walk people to and from the common areas.
The food was good, but the drinks were a bit expensive ($4 for a pop).
A couple of things I wish were better:
- We arrived over the foot bridge and there was no reception area on arrival. We arrived in time for lunch, and after eating were shown to our tents. There was no briefing about the camp, especially about the Masai men we saw walking around.
- No mosquito nets around the beds.
- No signs marking the camp. It was very easy to get lost, had it not been for the Masai men working there to help guide you.
- A couple of the staff were a bit aggressive and suggestive. It made us feel uncomfortable.

Overall, Ilkeliani is a safe bet for travelers.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank NGM_1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bozeman, MT
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Absolutely perfect in every way, this tented camp provided us with a relaxing and comfortable base for our Masai Mara safari adventures. The tents are fabulous and very spacious with fine bathrooms and very comfortable beds, and you are right on the river. The food was excellent and the service outstanding. Exceeded our expectations! We didn't want to leave!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gemBozeman_MT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2013

We stayed at two camps on our visit – this one being the less expensive of the two – the other being the Kitchwa Tempo tented camp. To be honest I think we preferred this one.
I think the only reason this camp is not higher on the list is that not many Europeans can remember / or pronounce the name of the camp to recommend it to others!!

Tent: 8/10
Our tent was located facing the river – we even saw a hippo swimming / walking past in the river one afternoon! Sitting outside your tent you felt alone in Africa – wonderful.
The tent itself was large with a good bed and working bathroom. A bit worn in places – a bit of a facelift may be needed soon.
Slight niggle that there was no shampoo or shower gel – only a rather tacky looking liquid soap dispenser – I know this is not an expensive camp but just these small details would have made a good tent into a wonderful tent.

Service: 10/10
The friendliest, nicest staff of our whole trip. One got the feeling the staff really liked working here ( something we didn’t feel at Kitchwa Tempo). The staff really made a difference here.

Food: 10/10
We loved the meals – Most of the meals in Kenya seem to be buffet – which we don’t like – so we really enjoyed the meal times here. As a couple it was far more romantic than a buffet meal. Choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian main course. Slight niggle that there wasn’t any ice for my gin and tonic after a long game drive. Having said that in the evening when entering the bar tent – I was met with a gin and tonic with ice and a smile!

Safari: 10/10
We came at the end of the great migration but managed to see so many animals and had so many great photo opportunities.

Whole experience – 9.5 / 10
I think I was bothered by a couple of things more out of frustration that this good camp could be a great camp with a couple of minor changes. Even though it doesn’t have the pool that the Kitchwa Tempo camp has or probably because of that we enjoyed our stay here far more.

This is a camp that would probably appeal more to Europeans than to Americans – and probably more to couples and small groups and not to families with children because of the lack of a pool, spa etc .

As a couple we loved our stay here

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GLJDavies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2013

I went with a group of 15 last month, and it was one of the best experiences of my life! The camp is so nice, and the staff is wonderful. We were in such good hands, and were able to get to know some of the people that worked there. They were very friendly and open, especially the manager, Charles. I can only hope I can come back some day and stay once more at the Ilkeliani Camp!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank heather b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

Can't say enough about the experience at this camp. Beautiful, spotless, excellent service, comfortable rooms, hot water in the bathrooms. Waking up at 5.30am to birds and nature sounds and coffee delivered to your tent - amazing. Location is perfect for so many of the gamedrives we did.
Food was very high quality and reasonable. They accomodated many of the (unreasonable, in my opinion!) requests from other guests, but I thought the food was delicious and well prepared. Impressive.
Now, the important stuff that I was most worried about...the bathroom! Flushable toilets, large separate area of the tent, hot water shower, and high quality set up. I was impressed.
Place is really unforgettable...so many vacations will have a lot to live up to in the future. I would 100% go back to this camp and recommend it to friends and family.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bezoona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ilkeliani Camp

Property: 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 #27 of 140 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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