The scenery you see in the Mara is like you are watching a National Geographic high-def program --but it's real--and you're part of the show! Coupled with the luxury rooms and service at the Mara Safari Club, this trip was one of the highlights of my travel experiences! Going during Migration Season was a treat. After a two hour wait in the hot sun, we saw hundreds of tentative zebra and wildebeest storm the river. It was magical. The crocs weren't on their game; there was only one casualty. We saw many animals and most of the Big 5 except for a leopard.
We left wilson airport and arrived via small plane (actually series of planes) onto a basic the dirt airstrip a five-min drive from the resort. "Jambo" excitedly proclaimed the security guard as we were whisked through the front gate in our rugged land cruiser. As you walk up the entrance into the main lodge, you're offered a cool, scented towel and freshly squeezed mango juice. Even though we get there around 11am, check-in is quick and painless.
Located along the meandering mara river, the property is picturesque. You feel safe at all times. When Fairmont acquired the property (along with the Norfolk and Mt Kenya Resort) three years ago, they undertook a major renovation. The property, lodge and rooms are exquisitely appointed with tasteful, authentic decorations.
The staff at this resort are the most genuine, thoughtful and kind individuals I've ever encountered at a hotel. Within hours, most of the staff knew our names. The staff at this property have now become my benchmark. Many have been with company long before it was a Fairmont and seem genuinely happy in their roles. Upon asking the staff about their situations, they mentioned that Fairmont was one of the best employers in the region...who knows...
Oh the soups; I LOVED the soups at lunch and dinner. You'll know what I mean when you go. All meals have great selection and offer tastes for every preference. With no alarm clocks in the rooms, each morning the hot chocolate/coffee wake-up just added to the whole authenticity of the experience.
Who wouldn't want to stay in a luxury tent? The rooms were comfortable with a rustic-elegance feel. They were the kind of rooms that made you want to curl up and read a book when you weren't on a game drive or eating....We took the 4pm flight back to Nairobi. After our 11am check-out, the hotel staff was nice enough to give us an older room to change and freshen-up in prior to departing the resort (since the resort's new rooms were at full capacity).
- keep your tent zippers closed at all times, i came within milliseconds of sharing my tent with a baboon
- bring earplugs --the hippos are amazing to look at but can be loud at night. actually, while falling asleep we giggled at the noises that came out of their mouths and noses.
- bring warm clothes--it can be chilly for the morning or afternoon (when the sun goes down) game drives
- bring a good camera, we only brought a point-and-shoot sony digital and i'm wishing we could rewind and go back with a better camera
- become a fairmont president club member--you get free wireless
- you MUST go on an all-day game drive, that was the highlight for us in terms of seeing more territory and animals.
- not sure if they do this for everyone, or just people who stay 4-nights or more, but the entire staff brings you a cake and sings you a song the night before you leave. it's a nice touch and I can still hum the tune.
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- Also Known As:
- Fairmont Mara Safari Club Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Fairmont Mara Safari Hotel
- Mara Safari Club
- Fairmont Masai Mara National Reserve
- Masai Mara National Reserve Fairmont
- Fairmont Mara Safari Club Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve