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“Amazing safari” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa

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Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Amazing safari”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I just returned from a 3 day safari where we went with my brother and his family who has lived in Kenya for the past 11 years. The encounter staff arranged everything from transfers to/from Nairobi to the food we ate at sundown each day on the mara. The safari exceeded our expectations in every way. We felt safe and pampered and was in the middle of the wild bush (with lions, cheetahs and elephants), all at the same time. Highly recommended. Our guide (Andrew) made the trip extremely memorable with his vast knowledge of the whole eco system in the Mara, good humour and expert driving in a very tricky environment.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank RickyBCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EncounterMara1, Public Relations Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Hi Ricky
Thanks so much for your review, we always appreciate our guest taking the time to share their experience. We are so pleased you experience the wonder of the Masai Mara and loved the camp and the conservancy as much as we do. We hope you will come back and visit us soon.
Warmest Regards from the Encounter Mara team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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285 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

As other reviewers have stated - this place can't be more perfect! The animals are amazing, but the down times, when not on game drives, were so relaxing and peaceful: the palce is just amazing. Chris, Sam and the whole staff pay attention to every detail, and the customer service that is provided is so good that you really notice it, because it is so uncommon in most other places.

I especially want to remark on how great our guide Dickson Kaleku is. He was really more than a guide - his knowledge of wildlife and natural science was very impressive, he was as interested in making the experience fun and exciting for us as we were, and he went out of his way hunting down the leopard so that we could see it before we left the camp. He was great, Encounter Mara was great, and I hope to be able to return some day!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bill A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EncounterMara1, Public Relations Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your experience. We are thrilled you managed to see a leopard kill! With Dickson on the case you were in good hands! Chris and Sam send their regards and they look forward to welcoming you back to the camp sometime soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

Myself and my two boys (14 and 11) spent 3 nights at Encounter Mara back in July. Everything about this camp is wonderful and the game viewing is spectacular. I cannot say enough about our guide, Dixon......he is an absolute gem.
The game drives were fantastic, and the majority of ours were just us and Dixon. The vehicles offer superb viewing and there is always a blanket for those chilly mornings.
The managers Chris and Sam run a well oiled machine, are very visible to the guests and always checking in that everything is to your satisfaction. They kindly arranged a surprise birthday cake and song for my youngest, with which he was thrilled. They even had a birthday message written in the tiniest of leaves on my bed for my celebration...best present ever:)
In short, this camp is in a beautiful setting, clean, eco friendly, delicious food and excellent game drives. I do not hesitate in saying this is the place to stay in the Mara...we certainly hope to be back one day.
Chris and Sam - thank you and keep up the good work. And thank you to each and every one of your staff, they are a delightful group.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Aly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EncounterMara1, Public Relations Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thanks so much for your words, Chris and Sam loved having you there and we are so pleased you enjoyed your experience.
It was an absolute pleasure to host you and I know Chris and Sam enjoyed the birthday surprises.
Dixon sends his regards and we hope you will come back and visit soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

I dare you to find something out of place, or off kilter. This Safari encounter, is like no-other. The people, the Luxury Tents, the staff, the tour guides. It is unbelievable how smooth this operation is. The food is delicate, and amazing. From Steaks, to Pork, Chicken, Lamb, Top Cuts. Sunsetter drinks every evening out in the bush, Excellent touring vehicles. Land Cruisers! Open sides makes it feel like you are right there next to the animals...because you are. They take care of all the details, so you can relax. You don't have to think, you just enjoy. The animals are prevalent, and if their not, they will go find them! Management greets you as soon as you arrive, and literally hugs you goodbye. They are like family. I would recommend to anyone who is wanting an amazing time.

Room Tip: They didn't have a fitness center or a swimming pool, I got a little click happy. You are on a S...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Matt Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EncounterMara1, Public Relations Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thank you for your review, we are always delighted to hear our guests sharing the same passion we feel for The Masai Mara and for Encounter Mara.
Thank you for taking the time to write this review and we hope you will come back and visit us sometime. Chris and Sam send a special thanks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

I can't find enough superlatives to rate this accommodation and attraction.

The Tented Safari Camp, the Safari Drives, the excellent Food, the Hospitality, the Staff, the Management, the little incidentals, let alone the animals we "encountered" ... absolutely EVERYTHING was catered for and to perfection! I (along with my 7 companions) were thrilled with the accommodation and overwhelmingly enjoyed beyond description, our 2 night stay and 5 Safari Drives.

This group is a well deserved winner of the Trip Advsior Certificate of Excellence for 2013.

The attention to detail, the eco design of the Safari Tented Camp, the superb Safari Drives and friendly & knowledgeable guides, the Michelin hat worthy Chef, the more than fabulous accommodation, the Tented Lounge and Dining Room, the Sundowner drinks, the courtesy and warmth of ALL staff ... blew us away!

We are so grateful for the opportunity to experience the stunning Safari Tented Camp at Encounter Mara. Thankyou SO much to Chris, Sam and our guide "Dickson Sentura". You're a winner!

I guarantee you won't be disappointed if you book with this group - you will definitely have an absolutely fantastic experience.

Room Tip: Any Tented accommodation is Excellent ... no place here for disappointment, it is ALL AMAZING!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DiBuchanan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EncounterMara1, Public Relations Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Thanks so much for taking the time to write up such a lovely piece about your time with us, and being willing to share with others, we really appreciate it!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

Encounter Mara was a fantastic experience; luxury accommodation, Michelin quality food, and brilliant guides (head and shoulders above the drivers on many safaris with their quite remarkable local knowledge). The conservancy clearly has a positive and sensitive relationship with locals, wildlife and tourists which means visitor numbers are low, vehicles at each siting are restricted, and animal numbers are high. Many highlights - the walking safari was fascinating, sundowners a real treat, the food, quality of our rent, and Moses unsurpassed knowledge. We also saw all the animals we could hope for. A real privilege.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank matthewandtracy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EncounterMara1, Public Relations Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, October 30, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write the review, we are so pleased you had such a fantastic time.
The Conservancy and the camp are both special places and we are always thrilled to share it.
We hope you will come back and visit us soon.
From the Encounter Mara team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

we stayed for three nights at encounter mara and it was our first safari experience in africa. here's our insight:

the staff - we are pleased how they treated us from reservations up to our stay at the camp. josphat, the person who handled our reservations, sealed the deal by his quick, friendly and responsive communication with us. our guide, dixon (senior), was exemplary! he was very friendly, courteous, able to track most of the animals and knowledgeable about the wild. sam was always there to check on the guests. sammy gave us warm greetings with the zebras on his background while he briefed us on our safety and itinerary. andrew, another guide from the other group, was also friendly and helpful in suggesting our itinerary on the last day. they are all amazing.

the camp - we were assigned to tent no. 2 and it was luxurious and spacious enough for two. it was protected with mosquito nets and well provided with hot showers, drinking water, flashlight, insect repellant, umbrella and boots (in case it rains), safety chest and hot water bottles for the bed at night. zebras, warthog, and topis made an occasional visit just a couple of meters during the day while we were resting at the day bed. food was superb and great service. they kept our evenings different from entertainment to dining setup.

activities - game drives were great due to the camp is located at the naboisho conservancy. you get to see the animals by yourself or alongside with a couple of land cruisers compared to the main reserve (where hordes of vans following the animals). it was also nice for them to include a full day trip to the main reserve and witness the great migration at the mara river (or what's left of it). however, there was a long downtime when not doing a game drive and probably to add a few more activities when you are in the camp.

the bush walk was fun and exciting thing to do where you get to know more about flora and fauna (we're guessing bones, plants and [--]!). one of the good things we also did was visiting the masai cultural village. we made a sneak peek at the way of life of a traditional masai without the commercial aspect of selling souvenirs to tourists. simple and informative.

overall, EM exceeded our expectations and there are a lot of good things to talk about. we do not want to spoil the excitement for future guests. it was a good decision and we won't mind to re-live the experience with them!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank zchizzerz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EncounterMara1, Public Relations Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Thanks so much for taking the time to write about your time with us, and being willing to share with others we really appreciate it!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa

Property: Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa
Address: Mara Naboisho Conservancy, 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 #5 of 137 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the sought-after Mara Naboisho Conservancy, award-winning Encounter Mara is the stuff safari dreams are made of. Enjoy some of the best game viewing in Africa all year round from the low-key yet lavish comfort of this superb eco-camp. Shaded by a thick acacia forest, Encounter Mara enjoys glorious views of the surrounding savannah, while closer at hand a salt lick attracts a range of animals throughout the day, from plains game to big cats. The sheer comfort of the traditional-style safari camp combined with the opportunity for bush walks and night drives mean that there are few more rewarding places from which to experience this slice of wild Africa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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