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“This one we can truly recommend” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa

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Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Mara Naboisho Conservancy | P.O. Box 541 Limuru, Kenya 00217, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“This one we can truly recommend”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I spent parts of three days and two nights at this wonderful "tented" camp. Don't let the word "tented" fool you. The accommodations were first class and the food was five star. Kudos to the chefs! The camp uses solar energy for all its power and hot water. The hosts were friendly and very informative. The majority of the staff are Masai, who themselves are also knowledgeable, kind and protective. And our Masai driver-guide, Dixon, was the best. We saw a lot of animals but very few other vehicles. What a great stay we had. We highly recommend it!

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Marvin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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265 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Rugby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

A group of eight of us spent 2 nights at Encounter Mara as a treat during a three week volunteering project near Nairobi. From the moment we were greeted by our guides (Daniel and Dixon), camp staff and management we had an incredible experience at Encounter Mara. The tents were fabulous - spacious, private with lovely homely touches, the food was delicious and plentiful and all the staff were great and made us feel very welcome. The game drives were in a comfy 4x4, and we were given masai shukas to keep warm. The picnic and sundowners were special - sitting on the african plains under a tree or as the sun is setting whilst drinking a bottle of Tusker! Fantastic!

We had four game drives and saw most of the things we wanted to see. Unfortunately we missed the Cheetahs but there's always next time. At night you could hear the Impala and Zebras and we were woken up by Lions outside our tent on the last night which is a memory I will treasure forever. We knew the masai guards would take care of us :)

The thing I love about Encounter Mara is its focus on the environment, eco-system and local community which for me is very important. Most of the staff are trained/qualified local masai people, they are conscious of plastics and water usage and their impact on the bush. This conservancy operates low impact tourism - less cars/people than in the Masai Mara itself so it means you have a much nicer experience however they do offer drives to the Mara during migration. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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Helpful?
Thank Jules P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roswell, Georgia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

After nearly two weeks of mission work, our team spent a couple days at Encounter Mara before returning home. What a wonderful treat the stay was for our team! The entire staff is incredible, the food was delicious, the tents were divine, and the game drives were just awesome. Chris and Sam took excellent care of our team while we were at camp, and our drivers - Daniel, Dickson, Moses and Dickson - gave us the experience of a lifetime on our game drives. Not only did we see the amazing animals, but they gave us quite the education on the different animals we saw and the ecosystem of the savanna. Thank you so much on behalf our whole team - Encounter Mara was the perfect finish to our trip to Africa!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
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Helpful?
Thank GatorGirl71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montpellier, France
Level Contributor
73 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013

This was an awesome place to stay! 5 days, 4 nights. The rooms, service, and meals are definitely 5 star! The beds were extremely comfortable, the shower was great, and the overall room itself was spacious and had a great view! Where else can you sit on your porch and watch giraffes gambol across a hillside?

The trips themselves were awesome. Our guide, Daniel, knew just where to go to get to see all the animals we wished to see. We got to watch a Cheetah late in the evening and follow him for about 45 minutes. We also watched lion cubs play on an old tree for at least an hour!

The refreshments and meals were excellent! The whole camp atmosphere is wonderful and relaxing. We also immensely enjoyed the trip to an actual Masai village, not a tourist trap, but a real, working village. The women warmly welcomed us and we enjoyed out time. there.

This is a great place to go, especially in May. We had the whole camp to ourselves except for 1 day! May is the rainy season, but that did not stop us from seeing all the animals!

I would not recommend any children under the age of 14 on this trip. They need to understand that they are in the bush, not a zoo. They also need to have an understanding for the need for quiet and stillness while watching the animals.

This is definitely a MUST see, bucket list type of place to go!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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Helpful?
Thank LHABtrombone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

From the moment we arrived, we were treated to amazing experience! DIckson, our guide was very knowledgeable and engaging from our first encounter. He was an excellent spotter, allowing us to capture shots of exceptional creatures. Whatever the question, he had an answer.

The managers, Sam and Chris were very thoughtful hosts - every evening meal was a different dining experience (we ate on the lawn, in the field by lanterns and in the open, in the airy dining room). The food was outstanding! They use as many ingredients as possible from their own garden (see pics) and their chefs treated us to five star quality meals. I had vegetarian meals and they were all amazing. I could really go on and on about the food and the service....

The rooms were very comfortable - and very clean. The tents are more like portable hotel rooms. Seriously. That the whole site is powered by solar panels is impressive, especially given the great temperature of the showers, and the overall 'bathroom' experience (double sinks, a very nice 'public' bathroom, etc)

It's an eco friendly site, offering service and accommodations that rival top hotels (and I've worked for a few). The staff really goes out of their way to ensure you have a full experience in the Mara. It is located in a conservancy which means (among other things) that only four cars are allowed at one sighting. This time of year we rarely had company - and we spotted lions, hippos, elephants, monkeys, giraffes, wildebeest etc - all in the OFF season!!

I strongly recommend Encounter Mara and hope one day to visit again. If you go, definitely take advantage of the visits they offer (to the school and the local village) and the bush walk. Each provides an enriching experience, that will make your trip more rewarding.

Thank you Sam, Chris, Dickson and staff! You made my first safari an excellent one!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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Helpful?
4 Thank Tracy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BwanaKev, Manager at Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Thank you so much for your review. And thank you for taking the time to detail everything that you enjoyed from the trip!
We really do appreciate your feedback and look forward to having you stay with us again.

Kind regards,

The Encounter Mara Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

We had a lovely three nights four days stay at Encounter Mara. Chris and Sam are great hosts and the entire team ensured that we enjoyed our stay. Daniel our guide was very knowledgeable and patient, answering all questions and providing lots of info and anecdotes. We saw lots of lions and other wildlife. Sadly didnt get to see rhinos and leopards. Food at the camp was well prepared and they catered very well to our vegetarian requirements. The hot showers and hot water bottles at night were truly appreciated!

We drove from Nairobi to the Mara; that was tiring and very dusty. Guess flying in is a better option, though of course far more expensive!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SS1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

Just spent a week there on a photographic safari. I concur with all of the positive views below. The place is very well run by friendly people and the wildlife....well it is just special. With the exception of the elusive cheetahs (and leopards) we had a "feast". So much so that one almost became blase about seeing lions (I did say almost). The Maasai staff make a great team under Marek with Sammy, Moses and Dickson being exceptional (Moses got me to the airstrip at Olkiombo in record time and on roads that were less than helpful). Luxury tent accommodation was most comfortable, the evening hot shower very welcome, and the food was very good too.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gully51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa

Property: Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa
Address: Mara Naboisho Conservancy | P.O. Box 541 Limuru, Kenya 00217, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya, Maasai Mara National Reserve 20500, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 135 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Encounter Mara Safari Camp by Asilia Africa 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the highly sought after Naboisho Conservancy, Encounter Mara Camp gives guests access to some of the best wildlife viewing in East Africa. The award winning camp is set in the shade of a thick forest with sweeping views out onto the traditional savannah that makes up much of the conservancy. As with nearby Naboisho Camp, the wildlife viewing is excellent year round and combined with the breadth of activities on offer and the comfort of a camp built to the highest eco standards, there are few more rewarding places to experience this slice of wilderness. Encounter Mara is a permanent camp with 10 comfortable tents. The intimate size of the camp means that it has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and very personal service. The spacious tents have been designed in harmony with the eco-system around them. All tents have en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets and traditional bush showers. The private verandah with seating area, lounger, and views of the endless savannah ahead means that you might struggle to drag yourself away from the captivating view! For families there are 2 tents which can fit a third bed. The lounge area looks out to a salt lick which attracts a variety of game throughout the day so you can relax and not even leave camp to enjoy your game viewing. The Encounter Mara team members are drawn from the surrounding communities and many own part of the land leased by the conservancy. Their sense of ownership and belief in our ethos is evident in the genuine warmth offered to every guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Encounter Mara Safari Camp By Asilia Africa Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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