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“Best decision for a safari in Kenya”

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Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 25, 2010

We have only spent 1 night (2 days in total) in Mara Intrepids Camp, but it was a lifetime experience for all of us. Our driver Samy was fantastic, he knows everything about all animals, finds them as well, and was very kind to our children. We were all very happ to meet him. We food was good at the camp, even the kids found something they liked. Great appreciation for the hot botles in the bed at night!! :)

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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Thank wzsuzsi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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748 - 754 of 863 reviews

Reviewed November 23, 2010

whoever opts to stay at intrepids must ensure allocation of a river facing tent...it's an out of this world experience.....ask for best of the guides for safari...we got Mike...he is the best...beware of monkeys/baboons they can be really scary...especially at night....do not carry any eatables to the tent.Food is good but not plentiful ...sometimes...drinks are very reasonably priced.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank vb05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2010

Our stay at the Mara Intrepids was fabulous! Nothing short of amazing.

Upon arrival we were greeted by local Massai and driven to the camp. We checked in quickly and without incident. The grounds of the camp are simple and seemingly undisturbed. The natural charm of the wild is left untouched.

Our tent was amazing. Very nicely appointed, with simply lovely bathroom. As soon as we walked into our tent, we noticed 2 baboons about 10 feet from our door who seemed just as interested in us as we were in them! The service was GREAT! Every morning we were woken at our desired time with a friendly voice and hot chocolate, cookies, and coffee. In the evenings we returned from dinner to find our bed pulled down, tent zipped up for the night, and hot water bottles under our sheets!

On our numerous game drives we saw 4 of the big 5 on MULTIPLE occasions. Only the Rhino was elusive. Our guide for the week, Augrie, was amazing! He was so personable and very knowledgable. We learned an enormous amount of information from him and by the end we felt as though we were driving around with a friend.

The meals were wonderful as well. Food was great and the atmosphere was extremely quite and serene. There were not many other guests during our stay and we felt like we had a very personal experience. The only "negative" part of the entire stay might have been the mischievous monkeys throwing nuts at us from the trees above one day at lunch... but it really sort of just added to the fun of it all! I would HIGHLY recommend this resort. I can't wait to go back again some day!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank kofedog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2010

I had done a lot of research into where to stay in the Mara and eventually was easily persuaded by my cousin brother who lives in Kenya to try Mara Intrepids. Given the lack of detailed information out there about accommodation in the Masai Mara it was difficult decided where to stay out of about 3 shortlisted places. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I am *delighted* that we stayed at Mara Intrepids. I later came to know after conversations with locals in Nairobi that Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer camps have a very strong reputation as THE tented camps in the Mara.

Being 2 people not in an organised tour, we decided to embark on the adventure and see where it took us.

Since information out there is so scant I'll make this review and recap as detailed as possible so anyone considering Mara Intrepids knows what they can expect.

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Meet and greet
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We were a bit unsure about how things would be, who would collect us from the airstrip, where would the tented camp be, what would it be like, would it be clean and comfortable etc.

All these worries were unfounded.

From the moment we were landed, our guide to be, James, was waiting for us in a very very smart Mara Intrepids uniform, immediately knew who we were (I'm not sure how) and introduced himself as James from Mara Intrepids. He handled the unloading of our luggage from the plane, and insisted we rested in the shade in the vehicle and enjoy the scenery while he completed the game park formalities on our behalf.

We were then transported in the Mara Intrepids safari vehicle to the tented camp, while is literally 2-3 minutes from the airstrip. Upon arrival we and other guests were greeted by Peter and his colleague whose name I've most unfortunately forgotten since she and all other staff made a point of remembering our names through our whole stay! We were offered a very fresh and delicious juice and cool refreshing towels and were warmly welcomed before Peter ran through some do's and don't's for the Mara and the tented camp itself in a precise but informal way, and were given a rundown of the property.

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The tents
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What is it like sleeping in a tent? Usually uncomfortable, hot, stuffy and sleepless. I can assure the tents at Mara Intrepids are not your normal tents. These are more like luxury standalone large hotel suites. Comfort does not do justice in describing the great tents themselves with ample windows for viewing the Telek river flowing outside your tent, the exceptionally comfortable beds, the range of pillows, the furnishings, wood flooring, and luxury shower fittings and ammenities. A great quirk was the safari style polished wooden toilet seat.
Hot water is available at set times since wood fires have to be lit to manually boil the water for the whole camp -- but hot water is available on request at any time you feel, so there is no restriction.

The tents feature a great veranda where you can watch the sun rise or set over the Telek and if the water level is sufficient observe game cooling off or having a drink. There is also rumoured to be a leopard who likes to drink along this stretch of the Telek so a camera nearby is always a must.

At night if it gets cool you will find that along with the evening turndown service the housekeeping staff will tuck a hot water bottle in to your bed ready for you after dinner.

The ventilation in the tent is great, and you can open and close window panels if you want more or less ventilation also.

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Dining
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The service is what stands out for this property. In every aspect they go the extra mile at Mara Intrepids.

I was expecting some bush style cuisine, nothing too fancy nothing too great - just good clean food. Boy was I wrong!

The chef team here exceeded any dreams I may have had being in such a remote location!

Breakfast:
if your companions in the vehicle agree, breakfast can be had in the car and the 2 morning drives combined into one so you don't come back for breakfast you picnic in the Mara instead.
If you come back for breakfast it is a dazzling buffet style experience. Somehow here the fruit tastes freshes and crispier, the meat tastes leaner and more tasty, everything feels that much more natural. There is a live cooking station, fruit and yogurt sections, hot foods and the continental section. The tea selection is great too - many varieties of herbals teas, fruit based teas, green teas and your standard tea selections too.

Lunch:
Buffet style, but it's very hard to have a light lunch here with all the great food on offer! Every day the menus change and there is a huge amount of variety. We really enjoyed the brown rice which we had a few times at lunch. There are various items such as vegetable dishes, live cooking station for pastas, live cooking for meats (we had tandoori one day and live grills the other 2 days), usually some fish, very fresh bread rolls --- we LOVED that they also baked their own breads in the kitchen and had not just white bread but wholemeal brown bread too!
Dessert is by order and is always decadent!

Dinner:
Several courses and degustation style. The quality and creativity of the chef team was mind blowing! I'll post some photos below.

Bed Tea:
Woken at the time of your choosing (usually before sunrise to get out into the Mara at prime viewing times) you are greeted with a choice of teas/coffee/milk/hot chocolate with homemade kenyan style biscuits which are divine!

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Game Drives
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Fantastic!

One outstanding point was the vehicles. Looking at some of the vehicles from other camps/lodges of "repute" I was quite repulsed by how cramped, rundown or old some of the vehicles were. The Intrepids vehicles were well maintained and most importantly spacious and comfortable on the rough terrain with full 4WD capabilities.

The location of Intrepids allows for optimal game viewing. Being so close to so many favourite spots for so many game it's hard not to see a huge amount.

Our guide James was excellent. His manner of describing animals' habbits and also insights into Masai History was very polished and descriptive.

The great thing about Intrepids guides is that theyre always smiling and they have a passion for what they do. They are no "I don't knows" either, they are highly informed and have a vast knowledge on all things Kenya.

The shining light of our trip was Raphael Koikai. It was such a pleasure to meet him and share some stories with him. His responsibility is the logistical work for the games drives and coordination of guest movements. His bright personality and dedication to his work is really what defines Mara Intrepids. His demeanour and approachability along with efficiency really is a strong backbone for the whole property. If you have a great time on safari at Mara Intrepids it's probably thanks to Raphael.

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Evening activities
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Weather pending there is a great bonfire lit overlooking the river for pre-dinner drinks or after dinner relaxation.

There were several activities in between game drives during our stay: Masai cultural shows, a great wildlife talk and slideshow presentation by Joseph, Masai dance, there's also a great observation deck where you can look out across the Mara from an elevated position.
The pool looked very inviting but we didn't use it.

We booked in for a foot and leg massage one evening after many hours of sitting. It was extremely professional and the masseuse (I've unfortunately forgotten her name) had a very polished training in several types of therapies including swedish massage, remedial massage and reflexology. It was very relaxing and done very precisely and professionally. I'd highly recommend getting one done.

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The Bottom Line
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A very very enjoyable tented camp, great game drives and absolutely brilliant staff! I would highly recommend Mara Intrepids to anyone going to the Masai Mara.

I'd recommend 3 nights or more if possible, but if you're really starved for time you'll also see a decent amount in 2 nights.

I'll look forward to returning to Mara Intrepids or trying their sister property at Mara Explorer when I return to the Masai Mara!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank miamiheat33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2010

We stayed at Mara Intrepids in 1994 as well as this year, and it has not lost its considerable charm. The tented accommodation was comfortable and beautifully appointed, and each evening when we arrived back after a dusty game drive it was invitingly lit from inside. Unlike some other Mara tented camps, Intrepids has not gussied up the wildness of the environment with fancy lodges and excessive landscaping. The dining and bar areas are simple but lovely, and the rich riverside vegetation is appreciated and frequently labeled for the horticulturally curious. Breakfast and lunch served on the terrace, and dinner under the roof. Meals were satisfying and the game viewing the best of the best. The Mara was unusually lush for the end of October, and the wildebeest had not yet completed their migration to the Serengeti. The crossing of the Mara River is withing the game driving range of Intrepids, and we were priviliged to witness the mass of zebras and wildebeest lining up and taking the plunge to the other side.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank znntms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2010

We had a fantastic 'short break' at Mara Intrepids in October of this year. The location of the camp is perfect and we experienced some fantastic game viewing. Our ranger, Raphael, was extremely knowledgable and passionate about what he did and was always keen to ensure we made the most out of our game drives. The tents are superb - very comfortable indeed, yet still ensuring that you gain the 'under canvas' feel that makes the experience so special.
Definitely recommended.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank nikki_mortimer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2010

The Family tents were superb - truly a luxury and not camping! We travelled with our 3 young children and we requested nearby tents. When we arrived they told us we were in the family tent-- it exceeded our expectations - Two luxury tents conencted by another living room/lounge tent all high quality furnishings, finishings and with a spaciosu deck facing the river. We saw a heard of Kudu crossing one early evening.

The chidlren's centre was great and Johnson was loved by oru children. Our guide Dennis was excellent! Would come back again.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
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Thank CanucksAbroad62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp

Address: C14 Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $460 - $702 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp 4.5*
Number of rooms: 30
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Also Known As:
Mara Intrepids Club Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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