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“Chikes”
Review of Sekenani Camp

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Sekenani Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 21, 2011

We recently stayed 3 nights at the Sekanani Camp in Masai Mara and were extrememly pleased with everything the camp had to offer. The tents are very roomy and include all the comforts one could ask including limitless hot water showers! We felt like we had complete privacy in tent #9. Meals were excellent, staff was great. The camps and tent were kept very clean. We found the staff to be very friendly and willing to engage in conversation. I hope to get the opportunity to return to see my new friends at Sekanani Camp.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chikes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 - 96 of 133 reviews

Reviewed August 31, 2011

There were so many things about Sekenani that we loved. It's a
beautiful camp, the tents are clean, comfortable, cozy. The recycling
program is impressive to say the least. The concept of the camp (with
the money going back to the local Maasai community in concrete ways)
is very well considered. And the food was very good. (I'm not a fan of
the buffets at most Safari camps -- I've been to Kenya many times and
have been to most of the parks.)

My low rating comes from the lack of security:

1. Maasai Mara is the most corrupt park in Kenya. The costs at the
gate are about twice that of other parks, and the costs mysteriously
jump by $10 or $20 if you have white skin. Others we met on safari had
the same problems we had had at the gate. (A Kenyan lawyer told us
that most of the money keeps a few people in Narok, the closest city, wealthy.)
If you CAN go to a different park, do so.

2. (And this is more specific to Sekenani.) We were robbed of $500 USD
in the camp and management response was abysmal. Someone with a key
entered our tent (perhaps working in tandem with the fellows at the
gate who saw our hidden pouch of cash when they suddenly raised the
gate fees), rifled through our things, found the pouch with cash, and
took it, ignoring other things of value.

We informed the manager and his first response was "Oh, there's a new
Somali worker. Somalis are bad people. It must have been him." We
worried then that racism, instead of thievery, would do this Somali
guy out of a job. For a second, more considered response, management
simply said -- the robbery didn't happen! In fact, they blamed us,
said that we had "misplaced" the pouch, and implied that if we had
been more careful guests this wouldn't have happened.

Their flawed reasoning was a) that other valuable items had been
returned to guests before and therefore everyone who ever went through
that camp was entirely honest, b) that they hadn't had similar
robberies before and therefore there would never be a robbery in that
camp, c) that we could have put the pouch in the hotel safe. (If we
had known that the safe was an option, we would have used it. But no
safe was ever mentioned. Further, if there is a safe for guest use,
then clearly baboons are not the only security threat in the camp.)

We have lived in Nairobi for a long time and know not to keep valuables visible.
We never expected to get the cash back, but we did expect a more
reasonable response. We hoped the manager would consider altering the
welcome speech (that said baboons were the only security threat), and
perhaps the camp might even have offered a 10% discount on our next
visit or some token like that.

But to say that a robbery didn't happen, that the guests were simply
irresponsible, and that the opening speech would not be modified?
Unacceptable. Despite its beauty, I must then emphasize: avoid
Sekenani. Avoid Sekenani at all costs.

David, Canada (Review from Nairobi). BA, MA.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank DavidDF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2011

We are so grateful to have stayed at this beautiful oasis in the Mara. The service was impeccable, the staff were friendly and most engaging in wonderful conversation, the food was excellent and plentiful and the game drives were just wild!

Room Tip: Ask for tent #2 as it is close to everything and yet holds absolute privacy
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bryon s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2011

I've never done one of these hotel reviews before, but I will in this case. I stayed at Sekenani Maasai Mara camp and someone stole money from me. They defininitely have a security problem. (They also have a very nice camp, the nicest I've seen.) I've travelled a lot and know to be careful, especially in Africa, so I lost only some cash. I kept my passport, most of my money, and other important things with me at all times. But I had a travelling moneybag with cash, and I put it carefully in a very specific place in the tent and locked the tent. When I came back from dinner two hours later, the moneybag was gone. My moneybag WAS visible at the Maasai Mara Park Gate so maybe there's something going on with one person at the gate and another in the camp who has a key? I guess I'll never know. I didn't file a complaint. Cash can't be traced, and the camp manager creeped me out. I didn't want to deal with him any more than I had to. Oh, and I didn't hear anything about a safe guests could use.

Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
1  Thank R A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2011

A camp without a fence, in the Masai Mara....truly living with the animals. Very well guarded by the Masai guards, though. Personalised service as there are only 15 tents. Mr Lkapur the Manager is truly the allied C in C, and there is never a No, and not much that he cannot organise. Truly remarkable man!! ...Dixon, the best Masai guide possible. A great experience, in semi luxury. Outstanding cook, and great service with a smile......Heather had hers on, throughout...OKAY !!

Room Tip: take lower number tents, you dont have to walk too much after tipple at night
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank MosheKohli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

I stayed here in July 2009 with my parents, and I think back so fondly on that trip that I felt compelled to write a review of it 2 years later. When I went to Sekenani, I had been living as an expat in Kenya for 2.5 years, and had taken several different safaris (both in the Mara and elsewhere). Our stay at Sekenani was by far the best experience I had. The camp is small and rustic, but lovingly cared for. We were taken care of wonderfully -- we flew to the camp, and then had Aden as our guide. He took us out every evening and every morning, and he was one of the most knowledgeable guides I'd ever traveled with (his specialty is birds). The food was delicious, the evening campfires were wonderful and serene, and the tents with patios over the ravine were really cool and well-kept, still maintaining a very authentic, rustic vibe. There are much fancier camps available, but they're either far more crowded and larger (and Disney-World-feeling, trust me), or much, much more expensive. This was a wonderful value for what felt like an undiscovered treasure. I highly recommend it!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank LisenaD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2011

Kapur, the manager at Sekenani, describes his camp, one of the smallest in the Mara, as a ‘rest camp’, which sums the place up quite well. It’s an understated, different, low-key place, which may not appeal to everyone. The camp is located on a small stream on a wooded hillside about fifteen minutes from the Sekenani Gate to the Mara NP, and is outside the park. You are accordingly pretty close to the animals, but are, of course, sharing this end of the Mara with the dozens of white minivans which can only operate on the roads closest to the Gate; it is very different in the North of the Mara which is only accessible to serious 4WD vehicles. This means that you will almost certainly be sharing your Lion or Cheetah with at least a dozen other groups, not all of which will be sticking to the rules.

As for Kapur’s camp, the tents are widely spaced on the hillside, set on raised platforms deep among the trees, and perfectly comfortable, with real plumbed-in baths and constant hot water. Electricity is, however, limited to mornings and evenings for appliances (hairdryers, charging), with battery light the rest of the time. Quite cold and rainy when we were there, so the hot-water bottle was appreciated. There is a very small pool, replete with its own wildlife, unheated. The food is simple, bordering on unimaginative, with no buffet, just a couple of choices at dinner, and none at lunch, though an additional option was provided for my vegetarian wife. Birdlife around the camp is impressive, and it’s a fun place for the smaller animals. The blood-curdling screams and squawks at dusk are Tree Hyrax, which can be seen around the camp; and we had fun before dinner feeding curried chicken and cake respectively to the resident Genet Cat and Bush Babies. Slightly less charming were the Vervet Monkeys, which were frankly a nuisance, as ever, and presented a hazard at our lunch which had been thoughtfully laid for us in the garden – and this despite a defensive team of two catapult-wielding and stone-throwing junior lodge staff.

Overall, this is a nice quiet place, without frills, and pleasantly friendly and unassuming. It is made by the staff; there were only three guys ‘front of house’ and nothing was too much trouble for them.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Michael424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sekenani Camp

Address: 6 km from the Sekenanai gate, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $241 - $442 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sekenani Camp offers an authentic bush experience for visitors wishing to get close to nature. Set at the source of Sekenani River, The camp offers a serene environment in which to relax, unwind and enjoy all the Mara has to offer. It comprises fifteen exceptionally well-designed tents set well apart for ensure maximum privacy. Each tent has a wooden floor and en-suite bathroom complete with full-length bathtub. The camp is accessible in five hours by road or a 45minute flight from Nairobi. Custom safari Vehicles are available by reservation. In addition to game drives in the reserve, guest may walk along the river or over the hills behind the camp escorted by Masai guides. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sekenani Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Sekenani Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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