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Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp
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Reviewed May 13, 2013

The Mara Intrepids ranked in my book as one of my top guest experiences, for service, safari, accommodations and of course the food. It exceeded our expectations in every respect.

Service: It was evident all throughout our stay that the staff really liked their jobs and interaction with the guests. Kudos to the management for great HR work! Our concierge/service manager Nelson was not only very friendly and forthcoming, he had a superb eye for personalizing the stay. That included knowing our sleep schedules, wake-up calls, food needs, and daily game drive plans. He was just on top of everything with no reminding. Also, big kudos to Tom, MaryAnn, the Edwins and other staff for providing other housekeeping and staff support all through.

Safari: Unlike a lot of other lodges, the Mara Intrepids hosts 3 daily games drives (1.5, 1.5 and 3 hours- from 6 am to 6pm). We were really really lucky to be assigned to our safari guide Dennis. Apart from being extremely knowledgeable on general Kenyan political/social affairs, he was an excellent game tracker. Above all, he was patient in explanation, adventurous and enthusiastic for each drive (and we did probably 12 in all), ensuring we saw most all of what we came to see. We bundled the morning/afternoon drives into one 4.5 hour long drive to explore further into the Mara, and well away from the camp. One added perk is that we had both our guide Dennis' service and the jeep to ourselves the entire trip- no multiple groups. It was very personalized.

Accommodations: 5 star rooms, within a tent with fully appointed amenities. We lacked for nothing we'd find in any other top hotel. Being that the lodge is deep within the reserve, water and energy obviously have to be parceled. So, just be aware that water can sometimes take a few minutes to heat through their manual boiler, and electricity is off for a few hours in the afternoon (you won't really need it anyway because its so bright).

Food: So what can I say. I'm still a little stunned that a little lodge in the middle of the African savannah could produce such excellent cuisine in both quality and taste. I can easily say that the food here rivaled many of the better surf/turf places in my hometown of San Francisco. For ex. they served excellent fresh grilled salmon (when there's no salmon anywhere near there). There are three meal services, with breakfast being a la carte with hot/cold options and lunch/dinner being prix fixe with around 2-3 options per course. Main entrees are usually a choice between 1 fish, 1 meat/chicken, and 1 veggie (typically Indian fare). Its a lot of food, so can guarantee you will not go hungry. Kudos to the chefs, sous chefs and staff!

Some tips:
-The website unfortunately doesn't do a good job of warning guests about the upfront cash requirement for park fees, which are $75/pp per day in cash. The reserve asks for all days to be paid in advance. Luckily we were able to do this via credit card through the front desk.
-Cash access services are fairly limited, but the lodge does do a good job of working with you via credit card
-The nearest airstrip to the lodge is Olkiombo, which flies to-from Wilson airport in Nairobi (International travelers will have to take a cab/shuttle from Jomo Kenyatta to Wilson). Once in Olkiombo, the lodge is about 1,000 feet away. Total flight time there is about 45 minutes.
-The lodge has wi-fi and computer services. However, given its remoteness, expect that internet access is a bit slow so don't plan on doing any large file loading. Email is fine. Then again, if you're in a safari, you really shouldn't be on the computers anyway!
-The lodge sits right on the Talek River, so most guests will be close to the water for some excellent views. Safaris commence on either side of the river depending on which animals you want to see.

Well, we're back home and we really miss this safari! A lot of it is owed to our wonderful stay at the Mara Intrepids. Safari trips generally aren't cheap, but this place really was worth every penny.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank guerillatraveler75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Operations Manager at Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

Good Morning,
So glad you had a wonderful stay and you were WOWED by the Mara Team.
Regards,
MIC Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

I stayed at the Mara Intrepids Camp in early May 2013 and had an UNBELIEVABLE time.
Ranger: Ask or Dennis!! He was the best and found all of the Big Five for us. Not only that but Dennis is also super knowledgeable about the geopolitics of the Northern and Eastern African regions, which made for very interesting conversations! Bonus, if you're a fan of Lion King and Madagascar, Dennis can also analogize the two movies to what you're seeing in the park. Haha kinda cool.

Food: Don't know who the chef was but the food was SO DELICIOUS!!!!! I didn't end up having dinner any of the nights because breakfast and lunch were so generous and I just couldn't eat more, but my friends loved all the dinners. You will not be disappointed by the food.

Staff: The rest of the staff from Nelson, our waiter, to Maryann my housekeeper were so incredibly professional and friendly. We felt really at home and welcomed the entire time! Thank you guys!

Accommodations: Right before Mara Intrepids Camp, I was at the Lake Victoria Serena Hotel so I had just gotten used to a very high level of luxury. Mara Intrepids did not disappoint. The en-suite bathroom, four poster bed, and even the hot water bottle every evening were all great luxury touches.

Pro Tip: We stayed for four nights and I needed about $500 in cash (or Kenyan Shilling equivalent) for the park fees ($76/day), tips, and shopping at the Masai village. There are no ATMs on the property so hit up the ATM at NBO airport.

Room Tip: Try to get a river view. Friends were at 12A.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank SNubla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Operations Manager at Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

So glad you had a Marvelous time. We have taken note of your very good feedback on Denis. His name is now elevated to the Wall of fame and he will receive some goodies this month if he maintains the good contacts he is now exhibiting.
Kind Regards,
The Mara Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2013

Loved staying at Mara Intrepids, tents, restaurants, bar and shop all fantastic. Every comfort met whilst mainaining all the character and charm of a tented camp. We were able to hear the Hippos grunting and fighting just metres from our tent.
The greatest joy at Mara Intrepids were the staff, Edwin is a charming professional whose enthusiasm for his job obviously filters down to all his happy, friendly staff. Everyone so happy to joke and chat and share stories of their life in Africa. Particular fond memories of Nelson, thankyou for making our stay such fun, now there is a little bit of Africa in Australia with Jack running around in his Shuka, practising his rungu throwing. Hope we will be back.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Acegikm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Operations Manager at Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

Hello Guest,
Would not have written it better. So glad your enjoyed your stay with us.
Good Day.
The Mara Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Just returned from a fantastically relaxing stay at the Mara Intrepids Club. Flew in to the Ol Kiombo airstrip and were promptly met by Mary in native dress. We really did not know what to expect from a "luxury tent" experience. What we did come to experience was absolute comfort and genuine hospitality. We were happily greeted by the Camp Director, Edwin and then checked in to our tent. I have stayed in a lot of tents in my lifetime but none of them had warm running water, a morning coffee service, plush bedding and hardwood floors. A vacation to remember. I would recommend this to any of our friends that were considering a visit to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. I could not leave this review without giving a wholehearted positive review of all of the staff at the Intrepids Club. Everyone was engaging, natural, no unforced conversation. All staff added to the comfort and relaxing nature of our stay. Hahuna Matata!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Raoul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Group Operations Manager at Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

Thank You. The Mara Team has been trained to be MAD. Indeed they are Mad About Services.
The Operations Manager

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Reviewed May 3, 2013

Return to the Intrepids

11 months ago (May 2012) I spent 7 nights at the Mara Intrepids and fell in love with the place enough to justify spending 14 nights this year (April 2013).

From the moment I entered the camp I felt like I had never left. I was once again greeted by Edwin (Camp General Manager) who as an amazing manager, arranged for the tent I had asked for and left me a welcome bottle of wine as I was a return guest. During my stay I developed a little case of sunstroke and whilst Edwin was on his way back home he called me from Nairobi to check that I was feeling better.

My Guide this trip was Paul and what a fantastic guide he is, this trip I had a wish list of things I wanted to see and do and by day 8 my list was complete. (I can’t believe we spent 3 days looking for a specific lion called White-Ear, but it was well worth seeing him again). Paul did an amazing job and when I visit again I wouldn’t hesitate in asking for his services again.

David and Daniel were my barmen this trip. I had met David last year and when I arrived he greeted me remembering my name and had arranged to have an ice cold Tusker waiting in my usual seat. Daniel was also fantastic, although I had not met him last year, it didn’t take long for us to become friends.

The facilities at the Mara Intrepids are first class, the tents are perfectly situated on the Talek river and close to all kinds of wildlife. There were hippos bathing just outside my Tent, Saba the Leopard was laying on the track leaving the camp. The camp is protected with an electric fence to protect all the guests, so fear not.

The tent was cleaned on a daily basis during the morning game drive. On the evening game drive the tent is made up for sleeping but it isn’t until you return home from dinner that you find that you have a very warm hot water bottle to cuddle up with. The tent has all the modcons you could think of, electricity, walk in shower, bottled water for brushing teeth and a lockable footlocker for all your belongings.

The food was once again top class and the service from all the waiting staff was fantastic, it was a shame that my regular waiter Tom didn’t arrive back from his holidays until 4 days before the end of my trip.

This won’t be my last trip to the Intrepids although with a baby due in June my wife may not let me out for a little while but as with anything, it’s all up for negotiation.

To all the staff of the Mara Intrepids, thank you for a wonderful trip and I look forward to seeing you again in the future.


Chris
(200 Shillings)

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Chris O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeutifulKenya64, Operations Manager at Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded May 8, 2013

Good Morning Guest,
I am so glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Mars is contagious and allow me to say that even as members of staff we consider ourselves so lucky to be working here. Good Guests like you just complete the equation.
Regards,
The Mara Intrepids Team

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