We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fantastic intimate safari camp”
Review of Kilima Camp

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Kilima Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 16, 2012

Researching which Safari would be best for our honeymoon took far longer than we imagined it would. It was made all the easier once we contacted "Imagine Africa" who went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure we had a great holiday and a stress free experience and a company we would recommend.

We spoke to several so called specialist companies and were staggered to find them either not really interested in what WE wanted or pitching holidays that we really couldn’t afford (despite explaining our limits).
One thing we learned is that this is an expensive and “easy to get wrong” experience and whomever you chose to book your holiday with, make sure the person you are being advised by has been to the resort you are looking at going to. That’s why we ended up talking with and buying our holiday from Imagine Africa. We planned to go from Safari (in Kenya) to spend 10 days on Zanzibar, so it wasn’t just the safari we needed guidance on, it was the whole trip. Fair play to Imagine Africa, the staff were able to give advice on every aspect and we knew the people we were speaking to had been to places we needed advice on. Not only that but when we went to check in online (the day before we were due to fly) and the Kenyan airways website wouldn’t take our check in details, Imagine Africa took a very panicked phone call from us and talked us through how to do it etc…so we could relax and enjoy our holiday (huge thanks to them for that).

So..to Kilima camp, a beautiful tented safari experience from start to finish, one we can wholeheartedly recommend. We chose it because it was mid priced and tented, it is also a small camp and feels very exclusive as a result. The views from the camp are stunning , don’t be put off by the comments some reviewers have made about the length of the drive to the reserve gates. Sure it takes 30 mins but there is wildlife wherever you go. We had a zebra feeding right outside our room one night and we saw a lonesome hippo on the lower slopes as we drove up to Kilima on the first day.

We opted for a deluxe tent upgrade and we were thrilled that we did. The difference between these tents and the basic ones is enormous. Hot water is in short supply in the basic rooms, you only get an hour a day to shower and when on safari it is really nice to know that you can have a hot shower whenever you please – albeit that the water pressure is very low so the shower is more of a dribble than a power shower (as you are in quite a remote spot). On arrival we were met with a very warm greeting and shown to our room. Our tent was separated and our veranda was totally exclusive and crucially not overlooked. The view here is stunning (see photo’s below). The kingsize bed with hot water bottles provided at night and the facilities in the tent (shower and toilet) were lovely – real luxury. Food in the camp was good and our Masai waiters were quite funny as they put the food down under cloches at every meal and we had to wait until a count of three was given so we could have the “reveal” and find out what we were being fed. The chef catered fantastically for my wife who is vegetarian, he even did a pizza for her, which was greatly appreciated.

All the safari drivers are brilliant and our driver (called Nixon), was fantastic. A lovely man, who clearly had studied in order to be able to answer any question thrown at him and he was fun too. On the first day when he asked what animal we would like him to find and we said “a dolphin” – he wasn’t phased and promised that he’d sort it out (it was his only failing though).

We also chose Kilima as it is close to the migration sites (in September) watching the anticipation of the lions and crocs was fascinating.

I have been on three Safari’s in Africa and the Mara is by far the best. We saw the big five and we saw Lions every day, one of which had just made a kill. If you chose to go on safari and are considering the balloon ride then unless you really can’t afford it, make sure you do it. It was the highlight of our honeymoon. It appears to be pricey but when you’ve finished the trip, you feel amazing and very privileged to have had the opportunity. We were taken very early in the morning to the launch site by another great driver called James. He was a really interesting man who explained a lot about the history of the region (and Kenya) and if you want to be educated he is the man for a day’s safari. After an amazingly smooth ride in the balloon and a very exciting landing we found ourselves sipping champagne and being treated to an amazing cooked breakfast in the middle of the Mara was simply wonderful. James then took us on our own personal safari (just the two of us) for the rest of the morning which was fabulous.

Kilima is a very relaxed and efficient camp, the food is good and the views and ambiance simply stunning. The staff are lovely, we did the Masai Village trip (walkable) and had a spa massage. Our Masai guides were relaxed and helpful and our masseuse was a lovely girl from Nairobi who treated to an early evening bath with the best views anyone can expect to see from a bath tub!

The only disappointment in the whole experience (and it is true of everywhere I’ve been in Africa), is that the owners of the hotels and resorts are clearly getting rich while the people working there rely heavily on the tips of the patrons. I engaged most of the staff in conversation whilst there and whilst they have good jobs for which they are grateful, they really aren’t paid very much. This is particularly galling when you consider the cost of the holiday to us the customers. Our staff deserved tips so we gave generously but really this shouldn’t be necessary and note to owners, makes you feel more than a bit exploited. That said Kilima has a good method for tipping which is a central box which you contribute to (if you want to). I have always been concerned that this method would be open to exploitation and not everyone would get their fair share, however, I witnessed them sharing the week’s tips and it was clearly equitable and fair. As we were leaving I realised I had left my jumper at the bar so ran back down the track to find the manager (who was another nice guy) sharing out the pile of cash from the tip box into equal piles while all the staff looked eagerly on.

So in summary Kilima is an amazing camp which is reasonably priced (all safari’s are expensive). We left having had four exquisite nights (about the right time for us) to go onto Zanzibar. A brilliant start to our holiday of a lifetime made all the better by the lovely people working at the camp and the beautiful surroundings of our temporary home.

Room Tip: Ask for the upgrade - you wont regret it
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Bleexxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (309)
There are newer reviews for Kilima Camp
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

147 - 153 of 309 reviews

Reviewed December 12, 2012

The sleeping tents....don't worry about sleeping in a tent. This is not camping by any means. The tents are large and very comfortable, with everything you need and great views looking out over the masai. Each tent is separated from the others by space and bushy fences for privacy. At night when it was cold the tents were closed up and hot water bottles were put in our beds by staff while we were eating dinner. Great touch!

I was dubious about the 'on demand' hot water, but it was never a problem. The water was hot hot, the showers were fantastic rain showers and the water seemed to last forever.

At night the fire pit was a great place to relax and talk, have a few drinks and some 'biteys' before dinner. All meals were 3 course, and if you have any specific food requirements just let the chef and staff know and they will do their best to help you out. It was all fresh and tasty and you wont be going hungry!

A very easy place to relax and hangout, and the smaller size camp definitely gives you a more private and personalised feeling.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank thistravelingdesignr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2012

We (2 couples) stayed 5 nights at Kilima Camp and enjoyed the very friendly staff, the location of the camp up the hill with a great view over the Masai Mara plaine, the professional massages and pedicure treatments and lust but not least the excellent cuisine.
The tents are usefully furnished and beautifully decorated. Nothing was missing.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Corinne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We booked about a month before travelling having done the usual research online. We booked direct with kilima camp and they arranged the transfer from the airport, overnight stays in Nairobi both ends and the internal flights. I suspect by doing it this way we saved alot of the hidden premia that a tour operator would have loaded on. The whole trip end to end was flawlessly smooth.

Kilima Camp is situated on top of the escarpment overlooking the Masai Mara and the Mara River itself and due to its height THERE ARE NO MOSQUITOS. This was a huge bonus for us as one member of the family is a bit of a mosquito magnet and we went the whole trip without a single bite. We travelled with 2 children (8 and 6yrs old) and the DELUX room was excellent with a large kingsize for us and 2 singles for the children. The bathroom/shower area was tastefully curtained off and we thoroughly enjoyed having the shared space with the children as this allowed a far greater degree of interaction. Hot water on tap also what a differentiator.

We opted for the early morning and afternoon game drives and the whole day drive which alowed us to go farther afield. Our guide's name was Martin and he did an outstanding job of finding the hard to see animals (including the elusive Black Rhino) and multiple packs of Lions. Martin was extremely well versed not only in the different types of species and habits etc, but was borderline clairvoyant in his ability to put us in the path of animals and we were quite often first on the scene (important if you are a keen photographer). Thanks Martin! The children were thoroughly entertained on each trip, just remember to take some snacks a camera for them and/or a pair of binoculars to keep them involved.

The food was excellent and plentiful, well done to the chef and Philip the 'front of house' manager. We went all inclusive, and the beers were ice cold and the (South African) wine very drinkable.

The Camp, like most, is unfenced so at night there was always someone on hand to escort you back to your tent (thanks Fistus, Brika and Daniel). We went to sleep with Bats flying outside the window catching moths and awoke to find Zebras right infront of the property. Amazing.

We went on the nature walk with Brika and the Masai village trip with Brika and Daniel. Would recommend both. Don't forget to ask what the Masai eat (incredible answer - I won't spoil it for you!).

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable stay. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Thoroughly recommend an upgrade to the delux room. We had number 15 which was right at the edge of t...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank mark w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Absolutely brill family holiday. I was unsure what to expect on our first trip to Africa but Imagine Africa and Hilary were brilliant - answering all my queries.

The organisation and detailed itinerary was first class. The support network in Africa was outstanding so if we had any queries or had to be taken from A to B, it was all done superbly and without us having to worry an iota.

The Kilima camp was just breath taking in its location and faultless in staff, food and safaris.
Nixon was a first class guide and could not do enough for us. Nancy the beautician was lovely and the massage I had was pummelling - as requested - and in a stunning back drop.

The staff ere fab with the children, the visit to the Masai village absolutely fascination. They are such gracious and lovely people.

I would love to return one day. A mesmering holiday. We went in August and you shd take fleeces, caps, warm socks and even gloves as it does drop cold in the evening.

The lights in the tents are a bit dim so take a good torch too.

Imagine Africa a superb company who suggested Kilima - they delivered all the goods and I have reccommended them already to people.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MSB184
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

We overnighted at Kilima Camp after a few days safari in the Mara and it was the perfect way to top off a brilliant experience. We stayed in a de luxe tent at a very reasonable price and enjoyed a magnificent view over the Mara - especially the sunrise. I'd especially mention the excellent food, the archery lessons and guided walk by a Masai warrior, and the magical experience of a very professional massage from the redoubtable Nancy followed by an outdoor bubble bath overlooking the Mara; but everyone at Kilima was friendly and the overall standard of service is fine. Loved the hot water bottles - a nice touch as it can get cool in the evenings. And sundowners around the fire pit. We were a party of six and every one of us agreed that this was an experience we'll always remember with deep pleasure. We'd do it again - probably will.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Stephen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Had a lovely time at Kilima, the service and the Mara game viewing was fantastic. the views from the camp are amazing, there are some quirky details like there is very little light and the shower is a water filled canvas bag that is filled once a day, but can be filled more on request is part of the camping experience. The staff singing was something to behold, and gave a great feel to the evening.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Gary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Maasai Mara National Reserve hotels
4.6 mi away
Governor's Camp
Governor's Camp
#14 of 142 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
940 reviews
23.0 mi away
Naboisho Camp, Asilia Africa
Naboisho Camp, Asilia Africa
#3 of 142 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
509 reviews
1.3 mi away
Sanctuary Olonana
Sanctuary Olonana
#28 of 142 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
284 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.4 mi away
Karen Blixen Camp
Karen Blixen Camp
#8 of 142 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
354 reviews
2.6 mi away
Mara River Camp
Mara River Camp
#62 of 142 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
48 reviews
14.6 mi away
Losokwan Camp Maasai Mara
Losokwan Camp Maasai Mara
#81 of 142 in Maasai Mara National Reserve
28 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Kilima Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Kilima Camp

Address: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 142 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $461 - $765 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kilima Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kilima Camp is a small and intimate eco-friendly tented camp with a stunning view over the Mara rive and the Masai Mara Reserve.Like all our standard tents, our two new Deluxe tents benefit from fantastic and unspoiled views!We offer excellent game viewing in the Mara Triangle with our 4x4 vehicle and our qualified and experienced guides. Being this close to nature , with panoramic views of the Masai Mara, we guarantee you that you will see amazing wildlife ! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com, Priceline, Orbitz and Hotwire so you can book your Kilima Camp reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Kilima Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Kilima Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing