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“Absolutly amazing”
Review of Naibor Camp

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Naibor Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 31, 2012

It was an amazing experince and absolutly wow !!!
We stayed 3 nights at the little Naibor over Easter 2012, it was perfect as we had two rooms, one for my kids and one was for us with a little sitting area facing the river. The rooms were very nicely decorated and had beautiful comfy beds.
The staff were very friendly, Ivan the manager was Great. They catered for my husbands special diet which was delicious. Very child freindly and food overall was fantastic. The desserts were out of this world. The dining area faces the Hippos in the river and it is magical to see them go in and out of the water.
Ivan made sure we had the best of everything. He had all the patients for playing card games with my kids :0)
David was our perfect guide.
We got to see all the three cats in action, having meals. The best was the Ol Kiombo pride eating a hippo. That was the highlight of our trip, thanks to David.
N- NICE
A- AWESOME
I- INCREDIBLE
B- BEAUTIFUL
O- OPULENT
R- RARE
We are for sure going back to Naibor ...it was the best holiday from the beginning to the end.

Room Tip: Its for sure the best lodge we have been to in the Mara.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank pameh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 - 102 of 220 reviews

Reviewed May 25, 2012

We stayed at Naibor Camp in the Mara for 3 nights in February and it was AMAZING! I wish I could go back right now. Great location and small, intimate set-up on the river near a hippo pond. It's in the Mara and a short drive from the airport (which means you don't have to drive for hours on bumpy roads to get inside the Mara national reserve). The staff are fun, friendly, and hospitable. Great management and safari guides. We didn't have to think of a thing-- they lined up any and everything for us. They organized many safaris, hot air balloon rides, private tent-side dinner, and sundowners. Imagine drinking a glass of cool white wine while you wait for lions to mate. We saw so many cats -- including a lion kill! Cocktail hour by the campfire every night was also a highlight =) I've lived in East Africa for quite a few years and have been on many safaris -- this place is at the top of my list. I would definitely recommend it!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Katie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2012

We stayed at Naibor earlier this year and had such a wonderful time that we wanted to share our experiences with everyone! Since returning to the UK we've told many of our friends about the wonderful camp, service, tents and guides they have at Naibor.

We had such a nice stay, and the staff even organised a private dinner for us in our tent one night which was really special and romantic! The location is perfect - right on the river where you can just sit and watch the resident pod of hipps while enjoying a G+T!!

The tents are really comfortable (we loved the day-bed outside!) and to be honest, my wife was a bit dubious about the 'bucket showers' before we left, but they are quite a novelty for a few days!

The game drives were perfect and our guide Daudi was really knowledgeable. We got to saw a pride of lion stalking some warthog which was pretty amazing to see!

Luckily the staff showed me to 'Little Naibor' which are bigger than the normal tents and much more luxurious - this is definitely something I'd like to look into booking next time we come back (and we do plan on returning!!)

Thanks to all for our wonderful stay at Naibor - we couldn't recommend it highly enough!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank NomadicDuo2034
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

We stayed 3 nights on tented suit no 1 - best double suit in e camp- in April 2012. Great staff, very friendly and trying very hard and good safari experience are positives however camp infrastructure is very poor, packaged with the trendy "Eco friendly" excuse which is making a "luxury experience " almost impossible ie. manually heated bucket shower, no running water in the room, poor condition/ hygiene in toilets and showers, no fresh towels, poor amenities. We found also food quality rather poor despite lots of creative efforts ie no choice in menus, same salad, similar simple rolls for 3 days. One short visit to the kitchen area may be an eye opener for the shocking infrastructure in the camp. Given all these limitations non- resident rates are simply not competitive for a camp claiming to be " exclusive luxury".

Room Tip: All tents are fuly exposed to wilderness i.e. black spitting cobra in the room; do not consider if y...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Y G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2012

From the moment the plane's wheels hit the dirt strip at Ol Kiombo, you know you've entered another world. Even though I live in Kenya and the Masai Mara is practically in my back yard, I wasn't prepared for the breathtaking experience I would enjoy at Naibor. Our guide, Daudi, met us at the plane with a warm grin and told us we were just 15 or 20 minutes from camp. But even that short trip turned into a miniature game drive as we spotted a pride of lions resting under the bushes right by the side of the road. Daudi stopped the engine so we could sit and watch these beautiful creatures only steps away from our safari vehicle--a truly hair-raising experience the first time even when these big cats are lazily sleeping!

Driving into Naibor, I kept wondering when I would spot the tents, but this place is so expertly blended into the scenery that it is like becoming a part of the Masai Mara. Hidden under the shade trees along a river gorge, the camp offers a slice of intimate space that becomes your home the moment you step out of the vehicle and grab a delicious cup of fresh juice from a welcoming staff member. After being escorted to our tent by a Masai askari, we sank into a comfortable couch with our own private view and watched the dwarf mongooses run through the grass as brilliantly plumed songbirds swooped down in search of food. When called for lunch, we followed the trail to the mess tent and discovered a private table for two set up right on the edge of the gorge where we could watch the hippos in the river below. The food was a delightful surprise for one who hadn't known what to expect: fresh, crisp salad greens; a delicious tomato and onion quiche, cold beet salad and focaccia bread made a tempting repast that we thoroughly enjoyed.

After resting through the hottest part of the afternoon, we met with Daudi for our first real game drive at 4:30 and spent over two hours enjoying the vastness of the landscape, the fresh breeze, and the amazing animals. As we headed back to camp, we ran into the first pride of lions we had seen in the morning, this time with a fresh kill. We stopped to break out our own "bitings" (roasted nuts and arrowroot chips--yum!) while we watched the lions nosh. It was hard to tear ourselves away, but we were ready for the promised hot shower and delicious dinner, so we headed back to Naibor. Living in Kenya, we've learned to practice water conservation, so the thought of a five-minute shower didn't daunt us. But this is not your average bucket shower! The water pressure is fantastic, and there is plenty to wash away the afternoon's dust before you head back to the mess.

We made our way to the campfire below the mess where the askaris used a flashlight to point out the hippos coming up out of the water in the gorge. Beauty specialist Anne gave us both a complementary head and neck massage to completely relax us, and we enjoyed hors d'ouvres before heading back to the mess tent. Dinner that first night included fresh snapper with veggies and Brandy Snaps for dessert. We thoroughly enjoyed dining with our camp host, Ivan, who shared intriguing stories about the animal life on the Masai Mara, the birth of a baby hippo earlier in the year, and other fascinating bits about Kenya.

The next day we took an early morning game drive, which was simply incredible. It gets quite cold during the night, so we bundled up in our sweaters and headed out before dawn, which allowed us to view a splendid sunrise over the Mara and to see two hot air balloons ascending with the sun. The entire drive was a delight, as we stopped several times for up-close observation of animals, including a giraffe, several zebras, Thompson's gazelles, waterbuck, topis, dikdiks, hyenas, ostriches, and jackals. During our afternoon drive, we added the thrilling up-close sight of a cheetah to our list of animals, as well as a large herd of elephants with several babies. The best part of the day was sitting silently by the cheetah as she looked for prey, just staring into the vast stillness of the Mara--a stillness that nevertheless includes the whispered sound of the long grass waving in the breeze and calls your mind to simply absorb all the small things going on around you. It was amazing.

The evening meal centered around succulent steaks and roasted vegetables with pepper sauce, followed by tiramisu. The chef cooked the steaks to perfection right in the mess and brought them sizzling to our table. Utterly delicious! We lingered over the meal, enjoying our conversation with camp managers Ivan and Rosie, who felt like good friends by the time we left. That night we were treated to the giant roar of a lion across the river from our tent and fell asleep to the sounds of hyenas calling for their supper.

Our final morning we opted to sleep in and enjoy breakfast at the mess before our departure. Once again, we enjoyed hot items cooked to order and cold sides of fresh fruit and yogurt. I watched from the deck as an Egyptian goose bossed her three babies down to the river's edge with motherly noises, then fussed loudly when she caught a hippo yawning. While waiting for our transport to the airport, I flipped through several beautiful wildlife magazines in the comfortable lounge and looked through the available books on the shelves (what a great place this was to read in the afternoon!)

It was hard to tear ourselves away after such an exciting and thoroughly refreshing visit. As our plane took off from the dirt strip, leaving the Mara behind, I couldn't help but think of Beryl Markham's evocative descriptions of flying in Kenya: "We swung over the hills and over the town and back again, and I saw how a man can be master of a craft, and how a craft can be master of an element. I saw the alchemy of perspective reduce my world, and all my other life, to grains in a cup. I learned to watch, to put my trust in other hands than mine. And I learned to wander. I learned what every dreaming child needs to know -- that no horizon is so far that you cannot get above it or beyond it." We've gone beyond the Mara's horizon, but we hope to return. Naibor made it easy to fall in love with this place, and I truly cannot imagine staying anywhere else. Naibor Camp is magical from start to finish.

Room Tip: All of the tents are set on a line following the river gorge and have lovely private fire pits and o...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JennieCSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2012

Living in Nairobi means I have been to the Mara several times over the years but I've stayed at the more "touristy" safari camps/hotels (like the Mara Serena/ Sarova). They are very nice but have more of a "cruise ship feel." Naibor is a wonderful change. First of all, it's small. If you have 10 people in the camp with you, that's a good size group. Secondly, it's an open camp. No fences. Animals everywhere. Thirdly, the camp is on a river filled with hippos. Fourth, the service is highly personalized. Ivan will see to it that you are well taken care of.

If you want a more rustic, private, and peaceful safari, Naibor is an excellent choice. I specifically recommend Naibor for a short, romantic getaway for residents and a wonderful place to recover from jetlag if you are an international. After landing in Jomo, try to get to Naibor as soon as possible and just "crash" for a few days. The pace is slow, but tailored to your needs. Sleep, read, eat, have a cocktail, go on a game drive, sit by the campfire, enjoy a massage by Ann, the resident "beauty specialist," etc., etc. You will enjoy it as much as I did. I guarantee it.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank Nairobay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2012

I arrived at Naibor from Lewa Downs after a fight of approximately ninety minutes. We had landed at various places along the way to offload other passengers. My guide for the next few days, Matthew met me at the airstrip. We immediately bonded and it was wonderful to spend four days with him. Matthew is a Maasai and it was great to talk to him about his culture.

I was met by the manager Ivan when I arrived at the camp and he gave me a tour of the property. I was immediately sold on the camp. Naibor is very natural and in a lovely location on the banks of the Talek River where the hippos play and laugh all day and sometimes all night long. I can honestly say, I completely lost track of time and did not know what day it was. Being low season, for a few of days I was the only guest in camp. None of the camps I visited were close to being full. More guests were arriving at Naibor on the day I left.

My tent was large and very comfortable. All electricity in the camp is solar generated from panels on the roof of the tents and common areas so conservation is important. You should have enough light for many, many hours of reading after dark but by the time you finish dinner and enjoy the camp fire by the river you will just want to go to sleep. There are also oil lanterns around the property. I experienced my first ever bush shower in the comfort of my tent after a wonderful massage at the camp spa, thank you Ann! Heated water is placed in a canvas bag and raised by a pulley system up a pole outside your tent. Move a couple of levers on your en-suite shower head and with the help of gravity you have hot water. It can last five to seven minutes. Extremely neat.

In the morning my coffee arrived with biscuits at my pre-arranged time of 6 am along with jugs of warm water for washing up before heading out on the morning game drive. By 6 30 am I was in the rugged Toyota Land Cruiser heading out to search for game. Mathew was great and very knowledgable. He identified all the game, birds and vegetation during the game drives. As my main reason for being on safari was photography he was exceptional at positioning the vehicle in the best spot to get great pictures. Looking for big game, especially cats is a game of patience. They are not waiting around to be seen and photographed. Matthew taught me some of the signs to look for to identify where there may be interesting predators lurking. A herd of Impala not grazing but facing a bushy area and appearing agitated may be a sign of a predator in the area. Another, really good sign is a group of camp vehicles stopped by a path — something is going on! Sometimes you have to feel sorry for the animals. On one occasion there were nine vehicles with safari paparazzi in a semicircle viewing and taking pictures of a female leopard.

What was most impressive was Mathews ability to predict what action an animal may do next. Over my four days I was fortunate to see, lion, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, elephants, giraffe, hyena, jackal, gazelle, antelope, zebra, beautiful birds and others to numerous to mention. I also witnessed two jackals taking down a small Thompson Gazelle.

I had breakfast on the morning game drive consisting of coffee, cereal, fruit, muffins and a hot egg and bacon sandwich. Most days Matthew would find a suitable location and he would set up a table for us to eat breakfast. One day we were observing a female leopard and not wanting to leave, ate a scaled down version in the Land Cruiser. Lunch was enjoyed overlooking the Talek and consisted of amazing fresh salads, quiche, pizza and other lighter fare. Dinner was inside the main lounge and was always great. I dined on incredible steak, red snapper, pork chops and chicken. Ivan had a passion for chillies and they were available at every meal - I am hooked. The cuisine is out of this world and the desserts are decadent. At some point you will have to say, stop feeding me!

After diner, I sat beside a roaring fire down by the river before turning in. I did not last for long, the days are long and 6 am comes early. The hot water bottle in the bed was great as the evenings can get cool.

There are no fences here of any kind just wide open space. There are guards (askari), always vigilant, particularly at night to escort you to your tent. The askari are Maasai warriors with very serious looking spears which they know how to use! They appear out of nowhere when you exit your tent.

I highly recommend Naibor to anyone looking for an incredible camp & safari experience. Ivan and his team are great and the only low point of my stay there was having to leave!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank lwdem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Naibor Camp

Address: Masai Mara National Reserve, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $919 - $1,269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Naibor, set in the heart of the Mara Reserve on the Talek River, offers a standard of comfort and personal attention that brings “camping” into a new dimension! Minutes from the famed migration crossings and completely surrounded by game, Naibor is luxury and relaxation. 7 tents in Main Naibor and 2 Little Naibor suites are complemented by the spa, fine dining, and a high standard of service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Naibor Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Naibor Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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