My family and I, including 2 kids aged 5 and 2, stayed at Mpata at the end of July for 2 nights. This is the 5th time I had been to the Mara and stayed at a variety of lodges over the years. My overall impression of Mpata was favourable with one exception which I will get to later. The rooms were good, I wouldn’t say there were exceptional based on the other lodges. They certainly weren’t as good as the rooms at the Mara Serena for example. We were in a suite which had a Jacuzzi but the power is off from 1030am-430pm and that’s they only time you are in the lodge due to game drives, so we didn’t really get an opportunity to sample it. The service in general was very good and the guest relation managers were very responsive to any need that you may have. They had a nice touch in that they placed hot water bottles in your bed on cold nights, and the nights can get cold in the Mara. The food was good, I wouldn’t say it was exceptional, but definitely good.
My only beef with the lodge, which I communicated to the guest relations, was the pressure they placed on their drivers to return to the lodge by 9am for breakfast. Their breakfast hours are 8am-930am and so they got everyone back to the lodge by 9am. I suggested to them that because of their location, which is 30 minutes outside the park on the rockiest road in the Mara, they really should extend their breakfast hours to 1030am. This leaves people more time to have a decent game drive in the morning. They leave at 6am but by the time you are in the park, its 630-635, and then they head out by 830am to get you back by 9am. So your game drive in the park is less than 2 hours. This results in the drivers/spotters tending to keep to areas close to the lodge and also not wanting to keep you there to observe game, and instead opt to have a “spot and shoot” (picture) mode. In my opinion, I am at the Mara, not for the photos, but to observe wildlife and to spend some time staring at a herd of elephants and noting how they interact. That’s the fun. Pictures are great, but I can get them from postcards as well. If you compare the hours to lodges or camps in the park, they would leave at 615-630am and return at 915-930am. The difference being, all 3 hours are in the park and you are likely to see a kill for example just around the corner from the lodge. So at Mpata your game drives are actually 1 hour shorter. Same with the evening- the park closes at 6pm, but if you are in a lodge in the park, then you drive to the lodge between 6pm and 630/645pm and are likely to see a hunt as I have. That doesn’t happen at Mpata.
All in all it was a good experience, but the game drives could have been so much better and longer. Management did see the issue, but not sure if they will do anything about it. If I was to do it again, I wouldn’t return to Mpata until they had fixed the issue because somewhere like Serena provides much better opportunities for seeing game at dawn and dusk when most of the action happens.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mpata Safari Club is perched right on top of the Oloololo escarpment in the world's famous Masai Mara. The Club is endowed with a breathtaking view of the panoramic Masai Mara and the Mara river. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Mpata Safari Club Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Mpata Safari Club Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve