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“Breath taking view -- but be prepared for the long journey” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mpata Safari Club

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Mpata Safari Club
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Singapore, Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Breath taking view -- but be prepared for the long journey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

Stayed in the lodge for 2 nights during my safari holidays in Kenya. As some other members have already pointed out, this resort is not in the masia mara reserve, it is situated on top of a hill that overlooks the masai mara reserve.

We arrived at the lodge way past the usual lunch hours due to the long, bumpy and terrible drive from Lake Nakuru (and the drive had to stop at a petrol station mid-way for about 1 hour to wait for a "call from his office"). The view from the lobby took my breath away instantly -- the entire masai mara lies at your feet with the view of the mara river glimmering in the distance! This view got even better in the room. Throughout my stay, I was able to witness 2 beautiful sunrise, and night sky filled with twinkling stars just from my bed -- what else can you ask for?

The flip side -- you have to endure an additional 30 minutes of slow and bumpy ride from the resort to the oloololo gate to get to the reserve. That means you have less time at the reserve for your game drive. To overcome that, we did a full day game drive with packed lunch. During our stay, there were only less than 10 guests in the resort. I guess this has something to do with the distance from the reserve.

The staff at the resort were very friendly, and the food was really good. If you have more days in Masia Mara, you may consider breaking your stay with 2 nights here and the rest in the reserve. If you only have 2 - 3 days in Masai Mara, I will recommend staying at the Serena or some other camps that are more centrally located.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 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 wylim163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

The lodge itself was very comfortable and the staff were all very friendly. It made our stay here very pleasant. The beds were comfortable and the rooms were cleaned out regularly.
However, I would highly recommend travelling to Mpata ny the internal flight from Nairobi instead of taking road vehicles. We spent more than 7 hours on the worst roads I have ever travelled on. Extremely uncomfortable! A short stretch of 90km took us 3 hours.
Mpata is also quite a distance from the entrance of the game reserve, Olololoo gate. It takes at least 30 mins to get there. But we had no complaints on this.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank saisaras_sivarajah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2011

You will gather from the title that I like this place - and you'd be right. It's my second visit.
I disagree with reviews that criticise the distance or time taken to travel to and from the Mara.You spend as much time there as any other visitor plus you see a huge amount on the wonderful drive to and from the Mara.
But above all the Mpata guides/drivers are first class. Time after time we were first to the scene, got the best photographs and had guides that are both knowledgeable and completely passionate about the Mara, the animals and the future.

So, each to their own - but Mpata is stunningly peaceful with extraordinary views, a silence punctuated by the wind in trees and people who are quite serious in ensuring you see what you came for but in a friendly, knowledgeable environment.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Brumtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

This lodge was not my first preference since I had read a lot about Mara Serena and wanted to book there but no rooms were available. Having visited Masai Mara and also visited Mara Serena, I will still recommend Serena because of its location and premises.
This lodge can be a good alternate to Serena. The lodge is located outside the park near the Mara Triangle area and about 10 - 12 kms from the Masai Mara park gate, 9kms of which is the road up the hill. The distance is both a advantage and a disadvantage. The advanatge is the amazing view from the lodge on top of the hill from where one can see the mara river. The disadvantage is the travel time to the park, almost 20 mins more than if one was staying near the park gate.
Coming to the plus of the lodge. food is good, the accommodation in the form of cottages is very spacious and the amazingly manicured landscape of the lodge with some very exotic plants is very unique to the lodge. The service is very good, both by the relationship executive and the restaurant staff. Power is turned off in the lodge from 11pm - 5am in the night and torches are provided for the night, the lodges way of conserving energy.
A jacuzzi is built in from of the lodges giving an amazing view of the mara river down below but we did not use it since it is operational only from 5pm - 11pm and at that time in August it was usually cold for us.
Overall a good lodge to stay in Masai Mara, majorly visited by japanese tourists.

Room Tip: Cottages with Jacuzzi are more spacious with better view
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sharadjaiswal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

I totally agree with previous reviewers who have commented on the time wasted repeatedly driving the rough road to and from the Mara reserve gate (30 min, so 2hrs a day of you do 2 game drives). Food OK - pretentiously described but not accurately - lost its way somehow. We have stayed at many other safari lodges, tented camps, bandas etc, and this had the worst food, together with the least atmosphere. The view is amazing, but that's there anyway. The building, decor and furnishings are totally out of keeping with the environment and there was a strong feeling for us that we left Africa at the door when we went inside. Would not recommend to anyone unless, as was the case for us, it is the only place which can offer a room at 36 hrs notice!
Local staff are the only 5* feature.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hil_hants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

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.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Ingu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edinburgh
Level Contributor
219 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 220 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2011

When we first started going to the Mara for the week we used to split camps and we visited this camp for 4 days about six times.

It was designed by one of the best architects in Japan and is perched on a hilltop with super views of the Mara reserve.

It sits high on the edge of the Oloololo escarpment.

It has been voted 'the Best Safari lodges in Kenya' by the Kenyan Association of Travel Agents.

On our first visit we were lucky to be allocated a suite - thanks to our tour operator Ferdinand Mwangwa of Beach Air Tours and Safaris.

Our suite was right at the end of the first row of suites and cottages and had a lounge with bathroom off - mini bar - large bedroom - dressing room and twin bathroom and best of all an outdoor Jacuzzi

The suite is curved and has glass from top to bottom in every room with superb views.

There was decking at the Jacuzzi and also out the lounge door which was well furnished with exquisite furniture.

We had a superb driver and managed to see several crossings from the other side of the river and plenty game.

As it is quite high up we did however leave at 6am in the morning for the early morning game drive and returned at 9am.

The club does only two game drives each day morning and afternoon but we did as usual and took a packed lunch to stay out all day.

The first and last day it was good to relax in the jacuzzi and on the sun decks but even the water heated up quickly with the strong sun.

As usual a gift shop where I headed off to and hubby to the suite!!

Food was excellent and all meals prepared was Nouvelle Cuisine by Kiyomi Mikuni one of the world's greatest chefs.

The menu changed every day and breakfast was wholesome and again a variety of food.

There was entertainment in the evening - masai dancers - guitarists and various others.

The sunken Rock Bar gives a sensational view of the Mara River

There is also a sundowner bar.

We would like to return again but find once we are ensconced at the Mara Safari Club it is the hassle of packing up etc but we shall one day if not just to see our excellent driver whom we still keep in touch with.

The first time we visited we actually did a nature walk and also visited a Masai village.

Again we could not fault anything - rooms clean - friendly staff and the dining room super with glass all around to see the spectacular views.

Asante to all and to Stanley who had eyes like a hawk!!!!

Room Tip: Try to obtain a suite
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank malaikascotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mpata Safari Club

Property: Mpata Safari Club
Address: C14 | Keekorok, Kenya (Masai Mara Reserve), Maasai Mara National Reserve 58402-00200, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #87 of 137 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 23
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

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