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All reviews the river game drives hot water hippos and crocodiles pasta station day bed indian food four poster nice pool our waiter fire pit lunch and dinner dining area turn down service buffet style electric fence luxury tents
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Reviewed October 29, 2019 via mobile

If you’re staying here you’re on safari and although I have no other safari accommodation to compare it to this was an absolute gem!

The staff were all unbelievably friendly and helpful. Wish I could remember everyone’s name but our waiter at meals was George, a really nice gentleman brought us hot water bottles every night (personally I didn’t need one, it was very warm for me but my wife loved it), the bar-men were super friendly and was every single person you bump into around the site.

The “tents” were only just a tent, far better than anything you’d expect from a tent and amazingly the showers were brilliant - seriously much better than most hotels I’ve stayed in. Ours had a lovely porch with sofa and table overlooking the river and you’d often see small wildlife wandering between the tents.

The food was probably the most surprising element, absolutely excellent. Huge choice from the most adventurous appetite to the most bland (saw a few kids eating plain pasta and bread). Super-impressed at the variety and quality of the buffet every day, you will not go hungry!

Finally... location!!! You are bang in the thick of the action for safari, literally you drive out of the gates and you have every animal literally within yards! We saw so many animals and with them being so close to the camp you don’t need to get too stupidly early (it’s still early, but least you’re not driving for 30 minutes to see something good).

Overall - 5 star review is easy to give! Thanks to everyone there that made our 3 night stay so memorable.

Oh, and literally never saw a mosquito, let alone be bitten by one - stopped taking anti-malerials on our second day, total waste of time!

Date of stay: October 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2  Thank Finbar_Saunders
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Edwin N, Manager at Ashnil Mara Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 30, 2019

Dear Saunders,

It was our single honor to have hosted you at our luxurious tented camp.

We thank you for choosing to stay with us and more so for taking time to,put down your experiences highlighting how classic our overall product was.

At Ashnil, we take pride on our warm professional staff who goes the extra mile to ensure our esteemed clients are well taken care of. And coupled with our gorgeous rooms, sumptuous culinary delights and not to mention our vantage positioning by the banks of the mighty Mara river which guarantees abundance in game viewing, Ashnil is a must visit when in the Mara!

I'm delighted you experienced and can testify to all these.

Together with my team, we salute you for these and would like to welcome you back again or any of your colleagues/friends you may refer to us and hereby promise our very best personalized attention at all times.

Thanks again and best regards.


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2019

Stayed with family for 4 nights during October 2019.

Staff & service:
Staff was great - very personal service. The waiter e.g. memorised all our names. If we had issues, the staff resolved them immediately and with a smile. In cold months, the housekeeping puts a hot water bottle under your duvet, to warm up the bed for you while you have dinner. A great plus!!

Food:
Food was amazing. Chefs preparing freshly made egg-dished in the morning and pasta-dished at lunch and dinner. A variety of different kinds of food are available - also great vegetarian options. We are quite picky with food and have one vegetarian and we all left the buffet full three times a day.

Accomodation:
Tents are amazing. Large in size and with a large bathroom as well (with hot water). Amazing to fall asleep to the sound of hippos - which can also be spotted from the main restaurant/bar area.

Overall experience:
Would definetly return if we ever come back to Kenya. Really a great place! WiFi is not so fast - not an issue for us, but something to be prepared for. However, you are in the middle of the savannah and can enjoy relaxation by the pool or in their garden watching crocodiles and hippos instead :-)

Date of stay: October 2019
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Edwin N, Manager at Ashnil Mara Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2019

Dear Sarah,

We thank you for this encouraging review and once again welcome you back or any of your friends/colleagues you may refer to us, and hereby promise our usual best personalized services ever.

Thanks again and wish you all the best in your endeavors.

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Reviewed October 11, 2019

We stayed at the Ashnil Mara Camp from 14th – 17th September as two couples in their 50’s 60’s from England enjoying their first African safari.
Accordingly this review does not attempt to compare the Ashnil with other safari lodges.

We stayed at the Voyager Hotel in Mombasa before and after our safari at the Voyager Hotel which is the subject of a separate review.

We travelled to Ashnil Mara by air in a 12 seat single engine Cessna aircraft, from Mombasa using Air Safari Mombasa. The flight took about 2 ½ hours including a stop at Amboseli to pick up additional passengers.
We were lucky enough to have a good view of Mount Kilimanjaro and of Amboseli elephants from the air during the flight. The flight was full but there appeared to be plenty of luggage space available.

The camp is situated on the Mara River within easy drive of the Olkiombo Airstrip. We were allocated rooms (tents?) numbered 21 & 23 which were close to the swimming pool, overlooked the river and were about 100 metres from the main complex. The rooms are a good size with a nice bathroom with modern shower and toilet and an external terrace with furniture. At the times we wanted hot water it was in plentiful supply. The room has a safe for valuables and there is a cooling fan and sockets for charging phones and cameras. At night a hot water bottle was provided, which although not really necessary was a nice touch.

Others have commented on the considerable distance that the farthest rooms are situated from the main building and having walked there I agree that this could be a difficulty for those with any mobility issues.

Swimming Pool
The swimming pool was in a very good clean condition and well maintained, with towels provided for guest use at the pool. Around the pool are a number of sun loungers with parasols. At the time of our visit the pool was not at all busy.

Bars & Drinks
There is a well-stocked bar serving drinks at reasonable prices which are charged to your room or can be paid for as you go. The house wine was perfectly drinkable at KS450 a glass, with bottles of wine starting at KS 2250 for Mara white and KS 3350 for a Pinotage or Shiraz. A coke was KS200 and beer about KS 400 from memory.

Buffet restaurant
The buffet restaurant provides breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There was a good selection of breakfast choices, fruit juices, bacon, sausages, freshly cooked eggs, pastries, fruits, cereals and so on. Coffee and English breakfast tea (an essential!) are brought to the table.

The buffet area is quite small, but a reasonable number of nicely presented and good quality dishes were made available for lunch & dinner. There are a number of Indian style dishes served daily.
The restaurant size and staffing were suitable for the number of guests and we were allocated a waiter for the duration of our stay, who was very attentive. Some tables are available during lunch which overlook the river.
Drinks are ordered at the table and were provided promptly.
If the buffet choice is not to your liking, some a la carte meals are available at a reasonable price.

First thing in the morning coffee, tea and biscuits are provided. For an early game drive, when we would not be returning for breakfast, we were provided with breakfast boxes that were excellent. Water is also provided in the vehicle.

Having purchased malaria tablets and anti-mosquito clothing it was a relief not to see a single mosquito throughout our stay at the Ashnil and the only insect bites suffered were midge bites to the ankles when I went for a walk off the path in the Ashnil grounds.

Entertainment
A fire pit is lit next to the bar of an evening and there were educational talks given on things like Maasai culture. A number of guests had birthdays during their stay and the staff made a real thing of providing a birthday cake with very enthusiastic celebratory singing and impromptu music and dance.
Given the early start for game drives, lively late night entertainment was not what we were looking for and the quiet peaceful atmosphere was just right.

Gift Shop
There is a well-stocked shop selling a diverse range of souvenirs, jewellery, clothing, camera SD cards, books and maps etc. at what we thought were very reasonable prices.

Game Drives
We were allocated a six passenger land cruiser with our driver/guide Musa Senteu for the duration of our visit. We were met by Musa at the airstrip where we waited a short while for two other passengers to arrive.
We then set off on a short game drive to the Ashnil camp. We saw so many animals in that first drive, it was amazing. The vehicle was open on both sides and so we were glad that we had arrived dressed suitably.
Musa is a very knowledgeable and entertaining guide and we thoroughly enjoyed his company. I believe that Musa is going to retire at the end of October and so we wish him the very best of luck for the future.

Having checked in we had lunch before the afternoon game drive. We enjoyed a total of 7 game drives and were lucky enough to see lions, cheetahs, a leopard, hyenas, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, ostriches, secretary birds, vultures, eagles, warthogs, antelopes, zebras, wildebeest and other wildlife. We did not manage to see rhinoceros or a migrating wildebeest herd crossing the Mara River; but we did see a herd of elephants make a river crossing which was truly magical. We also got to see the most fabulous sunrises and sunsets that I have ever experienced.

One option on offer was to visit a traditional Maasai Village which was interesting, if a little contrived; be prepared to pay a fee of about $20 per person, which we were told was to help fund the school, so it is for a very worthwhile cause.

Something to bear in mind is that the terrain in the Mara can be very rough in places and being in the vehicle for 5 hours or so in a day may not always be too comfortable, some people could find this a bit of an ordeal.
The weather conditions during our visit were very pleasant, with a slight chill early in the mornings (a fleece/sweater make things comfortable) and getting warmer but not uncomfortably hot in the afternoons. We were fortunate that we experienced only one short rain shower, otherwise the canvas sides of the vehicle would have to be dropped which I think would be very restrictive.

There are a number of different styles of vehicles that we saw in the game reserve, that ranged from small mini vans to large 4x4’s with some having lifting roofs that allowed for standing up for viewing. We saw a number of vehicles which had suitable bars or mounts for attaching long lens cameras. Our particular vehicle had a fixed canvas roof, windscreen, rear screen and open sides. Accordingly even though we had some clamps and monopods, all of our photographs were taken by hand holding the camera. If you are a keen photographer you may wish to research the types of vehicles that are on offer. As far as I am aware Ashnil only use the open sided land cruisers and they do not provide camera mounts or bean bag supports.
However the wildlife in general seems to be completely at ease with safari vehicles and we were able to get close to the animals, consequently a 300mm lens was all that was required to get some reasonable (for novice amateurs) hand held shots.

Ashnil Wildlife

The Ashnil has a terrace that overlooks the River Mara and there was a large group of hippos in close proximity to keep us entertained. There were also crocodiles in the river and lots of birds, some mongoose and antelope in the grounds to be photographed. At night the sounds of hippos and on one night lions and hyenas, could be heard which only served to intensify the safari experience.

Conclusion

The Ashnil Mara is a well-managed establishment that lived up to its publicity and delivered everything that we expected of it. The staff were efficient and friendly and we really enjoyed our stay. The game drives with Musa as our guide were truly spectacular.

Date of stay: September 2019
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Mike C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Edwin N, Manager at Ashnil Mara Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2019

Dear Mike,

How nice to read your review!

We thank you for these in depth analysis of our property and the services as you experienced. These for sure will do a great deal in enlightening other desiring travelers willing to go for a safari of life time experiences, hence marketing us to the world!
Thanks again, we surely owe you for these and will reciprocate in style when you come visiting again, as look forward to your return.

We wish you the very best in your endeavors.

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Reviewed September 30, 2019

The camp is beautiful. It's location is perfectly placed inside the park. I loved having meals & tea looking over the river watching all the hippos (we counted 39 one morning). The staff at Ashnil Mara Camp make the place - knowledgeable, friendly! Everyone has time tp help & chat. We were really looked after incredibly well. The food was great. We stayed 4 nights & loved all the special touches including the bed turn down & the hot water bottles every night.
Our guide, Edward, was amazing & we were able to see the big 5, & more. So incredible
Thankyou so much to everyone there, especially the manager, Joan, Regina & Edward

Room tip: ask for a river view room
Date of stay: September 2019
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Katrina R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Edwin N, Manager at Ashnil Mara Camp, responded to this reviewResponded October 1, 2019

Dear Katrina,

How nice to read your review!

Once again thank you very much for having chosen to stay with us in expense of the other properties in the diverse Mara reserve.

It's gratifying to note you had a lovely time and enjoyed the warmth of my staff, some of whom you can single out by name. At Ashnil Mara apart from our gorgeous rooms and sumptuous culinary delights, we take pride in our staff who are our ambassadors and are known for their enchanting services. I'm glad you experienced the same and can testify to that.

We take this opportunity to welcome you back again or any of your friends you may refer to us, and thereby promise our best personalized attention ever.

Thanks and wish you best of regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2019

We have just spent 3 nights and 4 days at this beautiful camp. The accommodation is so luxurious and with all the extra touches of the bed being turned down and hot water bottles, you could have been in any 5 star hotel. The manager and the staff we met were so friendly and always had time to chat about anything and always with a friendly smile. The most amazing part for myself and my husband was the safari’s. These were made extra special by our guide Kerore. He amazed us every day with the animals he found, we will not forget him. He is a very valuable asset to the business, look after him. Moses was our waiter who looked after us very well each day. A holiday we will never forget and hope to return again.

Room tip: We had one near the river because we wanted to see the hippos.
Date of stay: September 2019
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JJBnpton
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Edwin N, Manager at Ashnil Mara Camp, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2019

Dear JJ,

Thanks for having chosen to stay with us and even more so for these nice review!

We truly feel pampered and really appreciate the gesture.

Together with my team, we say a Big Thank You and welcome you back again,

Wish you all the best in your endeavors.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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