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“Simply spectacular”

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Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 16, 2010

I was looking for a unique and idyllic destination for my honeymoon and boy am I glad I stumbled upon breathtaking lodge Ol Seki. I spent ages researching the perfect holiday location and Ol Seki stood out from the first glimpses I had online to all the reviews I read about it. The owners son Leo was fantastic throughout, he looked after my booking in London and ensured any special requests we had were met.

We were received at the Mara Siana airport by our driver/guide David and spotter Barufa in our well-kitted Land cruiser and were driven to our lodge My new wife was totally oblivious to where she was going to spend her honeymoon and she was ecstatic once she set foot into the lodge. We stayed in their largest luxury tented suite - Simba suite - which was truly out of this world. It had old-colonial sytle decor, its own kitchen and lounge area, large beds, lovely hot showers and stunning all round views from our tent of the Mara plains. Words cannot describe this perfect setting and I already started to regret that we only had 3 nights booked in Ol Seki.

We settled in straight way and were warmly received by the Manager James and his team who looked after us throughout our stay. We were completely spoilt on our honeymoon - we had our own personal maid, chef and attendent who made our safari experience a complete delight. All food was cooked to our taste by Evans, the chef. Drinks served up as you like and as much as you like by our Masaii attendent who by the way made a bloody good G&T and Pamela the maid was always around keeping the place looking spotless.

After a delicious lunch we wandered around the lodge and later set off on a short game drive around the local conservancy. At sunset we stopped in the middle of the park and had a table and chair laid out for us with sundowners and snacks served up whilst the wildebeest and other game including hyenas wandered around us. Be assured this is perfectly safe and offers an incredible sense of feeling. As the sun disappeared, there was a complete change in sights and sounds in the Mara as nocturnal wildlife started appearing. On our first night we had local Masai warriors who broke out into song and dance for us in celebration of our honeymoon.This was followed by a hearty dinner and off to bed for an early night in anticipation of our balloon safari the following morning.The beds are very comfortable and you get a good nights sleep even though you can hear lions roaring in the distance from our tent.

Our first balloon safari over the Mara was spectacular with birds eye views of the epic migration visible in large pockets. We were treated to a champagne breakfast on landing and enjoyed a full day game drive thereafter. The game had dried up as we drove for hours and hardly came across much apart from the grazers and a few sleepy lions. The elusive leopard and rhino remained our main targets but it was not to be our luck even though our guide tried very hard to track them for us. Our highly knowledgeable guide nevertheless kept us entertained and educated with all his wonderful facts on every animal we came across. After a long tiring day of game drives we had sumptuous dinner and retired early to bed.

Early next morning after breakfast we sat under the sun lazing in our deckchairs outside the tent and managed to spot a herd of elephants, giraffes and other grazers. Later we had a walking safari, followed by a massage at the Ol Seki spa room and later a night game drive where we came across a lot of nocturnal creatures.

The next day, sadly we realised the first part of our dream honeymoon in the Mara was about to end. We were moving onwards to the 2nd part of our honeymoon to Ol Sekis sister resort on the South Coast of Kenya called Almanara. The excitement of going to Almanara masked our sadness at what we were leaving behind. Ol Seki will remain a fond memory of ours and has a special place in our hearts.

All I can I say is Ol Seki is something normally only what dreams are made of. Thank you all at Ol Seki.

Suraj

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Jadu99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 1, 2010

Stayed here as the final leg of our Kenyan Safari. From the welcome on arrival until the minute we left we were very well looked after.
The "tents" were very comfortable, the views amazing and the food great (especially the Italian influence!). Kathy and Kiko were great hosts - nothing was too much trouble and they went out of their way to make sure we had an enjoyable stay.
The day trip into the Mara was long and bumpy but well worth it for the wildlife we saw; including 4 river crossings and 1 leopard.
However around the camp the game drives were a little disappointing. (We are well travelled "wildlife nuts" so have a number of camp experiences to compare it with.) Whilst there is a wide range of animals in the area, the low tourist density can make the predators particularly, hard to find. Whilst we were there the wildebeest migration began to arrive and this boosted the number of herbivores in the area.
This is a great place to chill out and relax with wildlife away from the crowds of the Mara, but I would advise keen safari-goers to combine it with other properties in order to get their fix.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lucyleopard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2010

My husband and I spent the first part of our honeymoon at Ol Seki before heading to Zanzibar. Ol Seki was a fantastic start to a wonderful trip. We spent four days there, one day in the Mara reserve and three days around the camp. We saw a wealth of game, everything you can think of save for the allusive leopard and rhino. Ol Seki is a paradox of luxury and genuine living amongst the bush and its inhabitants. It is a small camp, with supherb attention to detail in every respect from the pristeen, luxury tents to the top class meals. The Bloody Mary's rival those offered up in any central London waterhole. Kathy and Kiko welcomed us into their gorgeous home with warm and generous hospitality, yet we were given plenty of privacy as honeymoon guests. And the team of staff were extremely friendly and catered to our every need with great efficiency. I could not fault the camp or its hosts - it was a truly special and memorable trip.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank London1XQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2009

I have to confess that I was a bit reluctant to go to the Mara given that I had to leave our beautiful beachside resort in Kenya - Almanara! However all my fears were gone five minutes after landing (although I loved every minute of the luxurious private plane journey - someone had to pinch me to make sure I wasn't dreaming!) after encountering my first zebra and three elephants on the way to the camp.

Ol Seki is a truly magical place to be, its energy is one of warmth and complete peace with the outstanding natural beauty that surrounds it. We were greeted with the same warmth and treated like we were extended family from the moment we arrived.

Our personal guides showed us our tents.... um can you really call them tents?- more like luxury house tents! There are many high points to where you sleep after a long day seeing the amazing Mara and plentiful game, not least the hot showers and masai assigned to your tent! But what really made me shriek with delight was the hot water bottle I found in my bed - it is the little touches like that and the breakfast cooked and served to you in the middle of the Mara that fill that moment with joy and make your holiday feel bespoke to you.

I could ramble for hours about the food, the service, the amazing people that occupy the camp, the scenery, the luxury etc but I think the other reviews speak for themselves. There is nowhere that compares to this for safari in style. I can't wait for my next visit when I can see simba and have a massage whilst looking out onto the beautiful Mara all in one day! Wow!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank HollyMcK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2009

You can not travel to Kenya without taking a trip to Ol Seki. After a short drive from the air strip we were greeted by our guides and taken to the most luxurious camp I have ever seen with views that were breath taking.
The game drives were amazing and the game were plentiful, we even saw simba! Sundowners in the mara is a must, along with chats around the fire pit and delicious dinners over looking the mara - amazing!
The staff are wonderful, so knowledgeable with such magical stories. Ol Seki was a dream come true and I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rebecca1806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2009

The tent (if you can call it a tent) was amazing. There was a large bed and a sofa/day bed, partitioned shower and toilet, storage areas for your clothes, desk and a lovely outside seating area. They also have a system to give hot water both morning and afternoon/evening.
There is more than enough local wildlife - we saw leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, hippos, gazelle etc (too many things to name) all within a close drive of the camp. Whilst eating breakfast we could see elephants and giraffes in the distance. The joy of being outside the Mara Reserve was that we would be the only people there seeing these animals - in the Game Reserve you see hundreds of other people. I even heard the lions nearby one night. I should add that there are guards at night to keep you safe!
Although Ol Seki is outside the Mara Game Reserve, we found we had better quality game viewing and experiences - we were able to go on night drives, walks, and get out of the jeep and wonder down the river admiring hippos.
The camp allocates a driver and a spotter to each tent - so you keep the same guides all the time you are there and it is just you in the jeep when you go out. This means you have a great amount of flexibility - you can choose what you want to do each day without relying on other people wanting to do the same.
We would reccommend visiting the local village and the school, both of which are supported by the camp. Many of the guides are from the local guiding school which they also support.
The food was lovely - they have a fantastic chef (Evans - you have to try the omelettes!), and the service was always friendly and attentive without being overbearing. The food is western in style (the owner is Italian and you can see the influence in the meals!), and plentiful - 3 course meals at lunch and dinner!
We spent four nights here before moving onto a beach holiday, and both really wished we had spent longer here as we had the most amazing holiday, and experiences we will never forget.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank vicandnick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2009

Perfect spot for honeymooners. Amazed at the amount of game considering all the comments on here. Was a bit worrried in fact but in the end decided to go for the luxury as the person putting together my honeymoon seemed to know what they were talking about and, luckily, was really pleasantly surprised. We were treated like royalty by the staff but in a friendly way! Nothing was too much trouble. The rooms were spacious and really cool. Booked through Imagine Africa who were really really helpful especially as this was my first safari and also a really special trip and I had lots of questions (and worries!).

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank jjs35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ol Seki Hemingways Mara

Address: Naboisho Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (Formerly Ol Seki Mara Camp)
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $1,514 - $1,543 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ol Seki Hemingways Mara 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
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Also Known As:
Ol Seki Mara Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Ol Seki Hemingways Mara Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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