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“Fantastic tented camp experience”

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Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reading
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Fantastic tented camp experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2013

Being picked up from the airport and greeted with a glass of champagne set the scene for a fabulous few days in the Mara. The view from the main deck is vast and spectacular and the whole ambiance is casual but very attentive. The tents look a bit strange at first, but inside everything is perfect, even wifi in the room! The best thing about the camp is definitely the staff. From the welcome, the fabulous food, waiters and guest services and especially the lovely send off when we left it was all very friendly and it all felt like family. On our last night we had our dinner served on our balcony which was very romantic and when we woke the last day we found a zebra had taken up residency just outside our tent. he looked very at home settled by the pool. Overall the game drives made the holiday very special. Although the shy leopard escaped us Jackson did a brilliant job in getting us to see some spectacular sights and sounds of the Mara. We had a devotion journey massage which was brilliant and such an amazing location. I think we really got the Eco bit by the end - it's not that obvious from the start but every aspect of conservation is considered. Lacking nothing I would thoroughly recommend the whole experience.

Room Tip: With only 12 tents, they are all equally well located.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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5 Thank ReadingTweds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

From the moment you are met by your Masai guide, cleverly parked under a tree next to the airstrip unlike all the other vehicles out in the baking sun... from that first sip of champagne at the airstrip, until your last goodbye cold drink and the last glimpse of your guide waving from the truck as you take off towards Nairobi... this is a really great, personal, experience.

The drive from the airstrip to the camp is bumpy (understatement) but the new trucks, bedecked in natural leather hide and stashed with cold drinks, warm blankets (for cold mornings and evenings), power sockets to recharge your camera batteries, make it a relatively comfortable transfer and to be honest, you're so busy watching the endless wildlife you barely notice the bumps.

You certainly don't notice the camp, which sneaks up on you which is a miracle given the size of the beautiful tents, nestled down into the side of an escarpment so you don't see them until you are practically on top of them.

A warm welcome from the management team who give you the guided tour of the property which, at 12 tents is not large but the tents are set well apart from each other giving a real sense of seclusion and privacy. You are immediately struck by the sense of calm and peace about the place and the passion of the team who are working there that you should feel the same way about it as they do having spent 4 years+ negotiating with the Masai landlords to ensure that this camp is self sufficient, eco friendly and most importantly, helps, supports and works with the local community rather than tramples on it.

The tents are stunning, as are the views all around the camp. They are enormous with lovely outdoor seating and loungers on the deck to watch the animals come to the valley and watering spot - which they do, frequently. The large bedroom has stunning views out across the valley, particularly if you choose to sleep with the fly nets down but the tent flaps open (highly recommended!) The lovely bathroom has twin sinks, shower and a bathtub with the obligatory Virgin Limited Edition duck! Great hairdryer, inclusive stocked fridge, complimentary laundry service, no tv, good wifi and plenty of power points are the standard questions answered!!

There's a spa on site though we didn't use it, too busy relaxing by the lovely pool admiring the views. Ulusaba regulars will recognise the Africology products used in both the spa and the rooms, local products which smell and feel amazing.

Food is mostly local and very fresh. Our highlight was a bush dinner which was very well organised, with local dancing/jumping competition, candlelit lanterns suspended from trees and a long table laid out with a wonderful BBQ, served, obviously with plenty of wine and champagne.

The game drives are good, the Masai guides do the job of 2 people as they drive, track and guide! We were lucky enough to be there during the start of the great migration and witnessed tens of thousands of wildebeest across the Mara together with lots of lions, elephants, hyenas, hippos, leopards with cubs, giraffes.... our highlights were coffee one morning amongst a tower of giraffes who strolled past us for about 20 minutes and a more energetic cheetah hunt where 4 cheetahs made 4 attempts to kill a wildebeest... all unsuccessful but breathtaking to witness.

As huge safari lovers, but always in South Africa, Kenya was new to us. The space of the Mara and the sheer volume of animals were the main differences we thought. The service, views and welcome from the wonderful staff at Mahali Mzuri is highly recommended!!

If Virgin Limited Edition put together a trip combining Mahali Mzuri and Ulusaba with flights connecting air strip to air strip, wow, that is going to be one AMAZING safari experience!!

As it currently stands, just go to both :)

Room Tip: All rooms are the same size and layout (except the 2 family suites), rooms 1 and 2 are furthest from...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Maldivesgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VLELondon, General Manager at Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you very much for such glowing comments, it was fantastic to read your review and I’m so happy that we were able to show you what a wonderful destination Kenya is for a safari experience. Regarding your note about combining Mahali Mzuri and Ulusaba, we totally agree with you and highly recommend combining the two!

Once again thank you for such lovely feedback which brought smiles to all the team here and I hope we will get to see you again in the near future.

Kind regards
Tarn Breedveld
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sf
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2013

Mahali Mzuri is a magical place.

The tents are beautiful with lovely outdoor seating and chaise lounges on the deck to watch the animals come to the valley and watering spot. They also feature a bedroom with a desk and a beautiful, modern bathroom with a shower and a tub. It was especially nice to have a hot bath at the end of the day. Every element of the interior design is thoughtful and beautiful The tents are strong enough to drive a landrover on top. Wi-fi is fast. There are no TVs in the tents, but there is a TV in the bar if you need one. I only saw it on one night when someone was watching the British Open. I loved the tents. Definitely my kind of "camping".

The staff are amazing. They are very friendly and lovely. One of the most important things about a safari experience is the staff, and they definitely got that aspect 100% right.

My massage was one of the best ever and the view over the watering hole from the spa was fabulous. I absolutely loved it! From the spa, I watched impala fighting and zebra wandering by. They used Africology products in both the spa and the bathrooms. It is an organic line from South Africa that I wasn't familiar with, but I wound up buying some of the products as I liked both the scent and the quality.

Food is great--mostly local and very fresh. After muffins and fruit and coffee and tea, you are off to your first game drive around 6:30AM. Back in time for a proper breakfast of fresh baked pastries, fruit, fresh squeezed juice followed by a hot option of eggs or french toast and sausage, bacon, beans, etc. Lunch which is served around 1pm is a vegetable soup, followed by a buffet of fresh salads (cucumber and grapes, beets and squash, pasta and broccoli, etc) and a main course. And then a decadent dessert. Evening tea and a dessert is 4:30. Followed by an evening game drive, a sundowner and then dinner. Wines and champagnes were all excellent. You won't starve or be thirsty.

Seeing the migration today was amazing! We also saw lions (3x) with a fresh carcass. And a small crossing of the Mara river by about 50 wildebeest. We almost saw a massive crossing of over a thousand wildebeest but they got frightened by the crocodiles and all of the dead wildebeest in the river and spooked away. Totally thrilling. As we were eating breakfast at the lodge, we saw cape buffallos, zebra, giraffe, wildebeests, baboons, hyena, impala, gazelle, and more on the valley floor. On a single game drive we saw the big 3: 3 lionesses and their nine cubs, a huge herd of 200+ cape buffalo, and a solitary bull elephant. The land cruisers are new, obviously, and are open-sided with a roof to protect from the sun. They seat six passengers and the guide. As the masai mara is unfenced, the game are increasingly finding this spot hospitable and they have the largest concentration of lions in Africa.

One of the wonderful things about Mahali Mzuri is how they are conserving the area for at least a generation. The partnership between the Masai landlords and the company will ensure that there is an area of abundant grasses for the wildebeest to migrate to rather than an area of over-grazed farmlands. As a mom, I'm glad this magical place is being protected so that my non-existant grand-kids will be able to experience and enjoy it. If you can, you should go too.

Room Tip: There are 2 family tents and 10 regular tents. It appears that the only difference would be distanc...
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Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
8 Thank sfhappycamper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VLELondon, General Manager at Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Firstly I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being the first person to write a review of Mahali Mzuri and secondly to express an even bigger thank you for sharing such wonderful comments!

I’m so pleased you had an amazing experience during your stay with us, it’s still early days for Mahali Mzuri in terms of operating so to receive such positive comments is very much appreciated. I’ve passed on your feedback to the entire team and they were thrilled; it certainly made their day so thank you for taking the time to share with us.

I hope that we get to welcome you (and indeed any future grand-kids!) back to Mahali Mzuri!

Kind regards
Tarn Breedveld
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp

Property: Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp
Address: Motogori Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 137 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mahali Mzuri is located in the Motorogi Conservancy and there are 13,500 hectares of bush to explore along with the neighbouring Olare Orok Conservancy. Against the backdrop of a valley and sprawling plains as far as the eye can see, visitors to Mahali Mzuri can expect exciting game drives with experienced Guides, delicious meals, a cosy and relaxing atmosphere at our camp and in a uniquely designed, spacious and luxurious tent. ... more   less 
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Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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