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“All in all a great experience but still room for improvement.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sarova Mara Game Camp

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Sarova Mara Game Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“All in all a great experience but still room for improvement.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

This was the last stop on our safari so we had quite a few places to compare it to. Rooms (tents) are "cozy" compared to other locations we stayed at. Our tent was at the very far left of the main building and was about a 5 minute walk. You would think it would be quiet on the other side of the camp but this is not the case as this is where the drivers stage for the game drives in the early morning, mid-afternoon and late evening and can be quite loud. We asked to move but the only room available was right next to a walkway with a bridge.

The tents are not ideal for tall people and found myself hunched over most of the time inside the tent. You are unable to secure your items in your tent as it is just a zipper that closes your room up to everyone. They do offer in-room safes but nearly enough for everything to be secured away. The hot water never got hot and one day I took a luke warm to cold shower. Beds are rock hard and I seem to have found this with the other Sarova lodges.

They do have a nice animal watching overlook and were told to come back around 7 to get a better chance at seeing some wildlife. We went back around 7, but to my disappointment they were having a private event and we were asked to leave. I wish they would have told us this before inviting us back at 7:00pm.

Most staff were very friendly and accommodating and always smiling. I had a very nice encounter with Jules (I believe that was his name) in security and just adored Emelda at the soup station. She is a shinning example of hospitality and displays such passion in her job. I work for an upscale resort and wanted to bring her with me!

Service in the restaurant was a bit slow and average. We ordered a bottle of wine our first night and they did not have it available, in fact we had to make two more selections before one was available that we wanted to try. It did take awhile to get our bill at the end of the evening and had to find assistance to close out our bill. The server did apologize for the long delay, however.

Kudos to the culinary team for tasty food and a variety of options. They featured many local dishes as well as more traditional selections and made to order stations. On our 2nd day we had the camp prepare a box lunch for us and we were so impressed with the amount & quality of the food provided.

On the 2nd night, we were pleasantly surprised to find a local tribe perform in the lobby with native song and dance and even had some of the spectators participate in the dance. The bar offers live music and a cozy fireplace.

The property does have a business center where you are able to utilize complimentary WiFi, which was very nice.

The power does go out during the afternoon and late evening.

All in all a great experience but still room for improvement.

Room Tip: Do try some of the lovely local dishes offered at each meal. Ask to stay in one of the tents overlo...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Travelgal52000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Mara Game Camp, responded to this review, August 8, 2014
Dear guest,

It was an honour hosting you during your recent visit. Thank you for the feedback. We highly appreciate the fact that we did live up to your expectation in many areas and also take not of the areas we fell short with every intention to make improvements.

We do hope to host you soon and also wish to advise you of the alternative tent categories that you can opt for apart from the Standard tent (Family tent and the Club tents).

Karibu!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Stellenbosch, South Africa
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 via mobile

I read most of the Sarova before I booked. Nothing could have prepared me. What a fantastic place with great people. Arriving at the airport we were met by Anthony, our guide for the 3 days, cold juice and snack at hand. Anthony asked us if we would mind quickly going to see a leopard his friend had told him about. Within 20min of arrival we had seen a leopard and a huge herd of Wildebeest, and I knew this was going to be a trip to remember. I could write a whole review singing Anthony's praises and that we saw not only the big 5 and cheetah but also a wildebeest crossing, but this review is supposed to be about the lodge.

What a great place. The reception team were so friendly and welcoming on arrival you feel at home instantly. Caroline and Grace, thank you. I stayed in a club tent (64) it was a couple of minutes away from the dining area, but the beautiful walk gave me some much needed exercise (with the game drives etc no time to think of real exercise), and it was close to the viewing deck. The tent is clean, spacious and just beautiful. With it being way from everything it is so peaceful and at night all you hear is silence and the occasional animal outside, knowing you are safe because there is a fence surrounding the lodge and guards walking around.
The dining room serves a great variety of food, both vegetarian and meat dishes, pastas, salads and the soup is a must. Lelei the chef is very helpful. On the last morning we were surprised by a wonderful breakfast at salt lick.
Although this is a large lodge and was quite full, i never felt that it was a large crowded hotel, in fact you hardly see other people as most are out on game drives, or relaxing.
If you are looking for a high energy adventure holiday, this is not the place to go, but if you are looking to see wildlife, spend time in nature and unwind, Sarova is the place to visit. If you are lucky, you will get Anthony to show you the Mara.
Thanks to everyone at Sarova for a very special time!!!

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Eliska B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Mara Game Camp, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for having chosen Sarova Mara and more so for your review. The team highly appreciates your detailed experience and feel honoured that we did live up to your expectations.

We do hope to be of service to you hopefully sooner.

asante!
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Mumbai
Level Contributor
118 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

The Sarova Mara was our last stop on our Kenyan tour. We enjoyed the other small properties all over and found the Sarova Mara too big and too spread out.
The vegetarian food was good but the service could have been better.
We were in the club tents which were really far and a long, lonely walk away especially with kids.
Each tent is situated far from another so we couldn't leave our kids In another tent, though the tent was large enough to accommodate all four of us.
The tent itself was very comfortable.

Room Tip: Do not choose the club tents if you are traveling with kids.....unless you don't mind a long wal...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DimpleAgrawal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Mara Game Camp, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Dear guest,

It was an honour to host you and your family during your visit to the mara. We are pleased to learn that you had a pleasant stay with us. We also have taken note of areas which could have made your stay more enjoyable with a view to meeting service excellence.

At Sarova Mara Game Camp we have a variety of accommodation options ranging from Standard tents, family tents and the club tents where you stayed. Some of the standard tents are much closer to the 'main building' but i would have recommended the family tent for your situation as you had children you probably wanted closer than provided in the privacy of the club tents. I hope you will consider this in your next visit.

The Sarova Mara team looks forward to hosting you once again and assure you of your most restful and memorable stay yet.

Karibu tena!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

I have been on many safaris but this was the first to the Mara during the migration. I don't stay at hotel size safari camps, but we booked last minute. We were lucky to time the trip with the start of the migration and saw plenty of wildlife: lions, cheetah, elephants, leopard, jackal, vultures, gazelle, topi and of course tonnes of wildebeest and zebra. Also viewed a wildebeest crossing within 30 minutes of arriving at the Mara River.

However, what added to the enjoyment was the Sarova Camp. The staff, from front desk, chefs/cooks, waiters, housekeeping and our safari driver were outstanding. Something i did not expect from a hotel. The buffet meals were better than average. They could make the game drive experience more luxurious with bitings and sundowners for evening drives, even tea and coffee, biscuits for morning drives. This was discussed with management and I'm sure this will be done in the near future.

Overall, I would recommend the Sarova Mara Game Camp for quick 3 day safari for a relaxing getaway.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank philfong1125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Mara Game Camp, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear guest,

It was a pleasure hosting you and even more so that you enjoyed every moment with us. We do hope that you will be back yet again to experience the migration spectacle.

Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

This game camp is not the very best that is available but very good value for the price.
More luxurious camps offer more personalised service and cater for far fewer guests and are generally more "exotic" in their facilities and location and because they often allow for animals to wander through them.
Sleeping accommodation in the "club tents" was almost as good as more expensive camps.
Furthermore food service at this camp is of the buffet style. While reasonably good for that style with lots of choice and variation at each meal it is not of the service style or quality of more expensive camps.
Again a function of price and for the price it is very good value.
The safari transport and guides were all very good at almost at the level of more expensive establishments.
We were certainly able to see plenty of animals of great variety and of the big 5 only failed to see a Rino
In substance very good value for a 3-4 day Safari stay

Room Tip: Opt for the moor expensive accommodation. The less expensive accommodation appeared to me to be ve...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GeoffKliger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Mara Game Camp, responded to this review, July 12, 2014
Dear guest,

Thanks you for having chosen to stay with us though at short notice. We have noted your feedback and appreciate what you bargained for. at Sarova Mara Game Camp we have a total of 75 tents (20 Club, 2 family and 51 Standard). This may have been larger than the smaller camps with much less people that you anticipated. We however are very pleased that you found it meet your expectation.

The Sarova Mara team joins me in thanking you for your encouraging feedback and we look forward to hosting you yet again.

karibu!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
48 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014 via mobile

I suposse it depends the level of comfort you want. My main problem was cold. The first day when we arrive it was cold and since the tents are in the shade they were quite damp. They put hot bottle waters in the beds at night but I found getting in and out of bed rather unpleasant. The following day the temperature went up and it was better.
Apart from that food it s ok but not more than that.
It s a huge area. If you are away from the reception it s quite a walk.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Alberttinne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Mara Game Camp, responded to this review, July 7, 2014
Dear guest,

It was nice of you having chosen to stay with us during your stay in the mara this July. It was a pleasure hosting you.

We thank you for your review as it gives us a chance to improve on our services. We have taken note of the areas that did not meet your expectations in regard to the cold weather and we shall consider taking every step in making such conditions covered.

The entire Sarova Mara team looks forward to having you back and assure you of a more comfortable and enjoyable stay yet.

Karibu!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

Marvellous Room in the form of luxury camp. Very clean bathroom and very nice room.

We stayed two nights at the Sarova Mara, and the were amazed by the room. Service was excellent throughout and this was the case for all the hotels we visited in Kenya.

Food was good and felt like it's repetitive as we had similar food for both days for lunch and dinner. But it's not a big deal as they had enough variety.
On the second day Masai dance group made a surprise appearance and their performance was good.
The only hiccup was we didn't have hot water, at best we had some warm water. However they had some issue with the power.
But overall excellent place to stay.

Room Tip: Request a room away from the main building
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
1 Thank iV0yager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthony K, Manager at Sarova Mara Game Camp, responded to this review, July 1, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking time to give feedback on your stay with us. We do value your candid feedback as it goes a long way in making us improve. We are delighted by the very encouraging review and we have taken note of areas where we did not meet your expectations and will do everything to turn this around.

Karibu tena Mara.
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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 Sarova Mara Game Camp

Property: Sarova Mara Game Camp
Address: C14, Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve 72493 00200, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sarova Mara Game Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sarova Mara Game Camp is located in the heart of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in South West Kenya. It is 260 km from Nairobi, a 1-hour flight from Nairobi, 20-minute drive from the airstrip and a 5 1/2-hours drive from Nairobi on the new tarmac road. It is set on an elevation surrounded by two streams. The Camp is uniquely laid out over the sprawling grounds that include rolling manicured greens, a virtual mini forest of indigenous shrubs and exotic trees, a large pond stocked with fish, mini bird sanctuary and an authentic Maasai village adjoining the Camp. The Camp includes 20 club tents, 51 standard tents, 2 family tents, a main restaurant, bar and many bush dining options. The free form swimming pool has its own pool bar. In addition, it has its own fleet of well equipped safari vehicles with excellent guides. There are meeting rooms and numerous outdoor venues for dining and leisure. The entire Camp is surrounded by a 24 hour electric fence. The climate is very pleasant with clear warm days and cool nights Temperatures average from 26ْ C during the day to 12ْ C at night. There are sporadic rains in March, April, November & December. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sarova Mara Game Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Sarova Mara Game Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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