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“Royal Mara made us feel like Royalty” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Mara Safari Lodge

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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
kent
Level Contributor
42 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
“Royal Mara made us feel like Royalty”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2011

My husband and I had the pleasure of staying at Royal Mara in September 2010. We booked our Safari with Abdul of Tunda Tours like the previous 3 Safari’s we had done. Abdul picked us up from Turtle Bay for our Transfer to Malindi Airport. Flight was about 2 hours flying past Kilimanjaro and wow what an amazing sight that is. When we landed on the Mara our Jeep was waiting for us and our Driver did a small Game Drive on the way to the Royal Mara Lodge.
Once arriving at Royal Mara we were shown to our Room. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we got to the Room, it was absolutely beautiful and nearly everything was carved from wood. We had a spacious living area, a four poster bed, a separate bathroom and toilet area. Outside the room we had our own private sun deck with loungers. The view from the room was the river where we could clearly see Hippos and Crocodiles. Every room was built up off the ground.
We had our own Waiter, a young man called William who was very attentive. Nothing was too much trouble. He did long shifts as he served us early morning breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Food was excellent.
Our Game Drives were early morning at 6am, so we had a young lady bring us Coffee and Hot Chocolate at 5.30am then off on our game drive, back for breakfast at 8.30am, then out again from 10am to mid day, then we ate lunch and relaxed until 3.30pm, our next game drive was 4pm until about 6.30pm, then we returned to Royal Mara for Dinner and an early night.
On the Game Drives we saw Cheetahs, Lion's Elephants, Zebra’s, Antelope’s, Warthog’s, lots of different species of Birds, Wildebeest, Hippo’s, Hyena’s and much more. Our Guide and Driver was Wilson, such a great guy and very knowledgeable about all the animals.
Royal Mara has no fence around it, but plenty of armed guards around day and night. Every time you walked either to your room or you just fancied a walk you were accompanied by a guard with a Gun...!! Every night during the early hours there were Hippo’s outside our room who weren’t the quietest Hippo’s
On our last day we did The Bush Walk with a Guard, we walked for about an hour along the River seeing a massive Crocodile on the opposite bank watching us....!!! We continued walking and saw Warthog’s, Antelope’s and Zebra’s but nothing much more which was a relief to me being on foot as I spent most of the walk looking behind me.
Our Driver Wilson took us back to the Airstrip where we boarded our plane back to Malindi, where Abdul was waiting for us to take us back to Turtle Bay Beach Club Hotel
We can highly recommend this Lodge to anyone you wont regret going there..... we will return one day.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SnorkelQueen7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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396 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
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Bahrain
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Royal Mara for two nights at the end of May. Although we had visited the Mara during low season, we had a wonderful time! The tented camps are spacious, comfortable, and situated right on the Mara river! However, the best part of the lodge was the impecible service offered by the staff. Our guide Simon was execellent and went to great lenghts to ensure that we could see all the big five during our stay and indeed he was successful :) We got to see a pride of lions, a leopard, 2 cheetahs hunting, and even made a trip to the rhino sanctuary! We also had a walking Safari with our guide Regan who was very knowledgeable and was always providing us with useful information about the area and the animals throughout our stay. Finally, I have to mention the amazing food which is offered at the Lodge. We had some of the best bush lunches and dinners which were set up by our very welcoming waiter William who ensured that we were never hungry :) Overall, an excellent experience which is highly recommended!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Aisha_Bahrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
129 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2011

The entire point of a safari is to view game and although we visited during the 'long rains and low season' we saw so much and particularly the babies of all the animals, including the numerous and noisy hippos. It was a joy to behold.
George, his son, Wilson and Regan are very knowledgeable about the environment and Joshua was a very conscientious waiter. The staff were amazing and made our visit very enjoyable. They took great care to make our 2 sons love every minute of their visit and my husband and I were completely relaxed.The camp is open and not fenced so free wandering is not possible or permitted, but wardens were always close by when we needed to be escorted to meal times or to the viewing vehicles.
Sleep is not that easy due to the presence of the vocal hippos and other wildlife that enters the camp, but at no time did we feel unsafe. The resident eland provided moments of light entertainment along with the monkeys at mealtimes.
The game drives were unbelievable and Wilson's keen eyes spotted cheetah and lion long before any of us did. He provided us with the most incredible photo opportunites.
The room itself is spacious and clean with comfortable large beds and mosquito nets that are drawn every night ( the room is also sprayed) and good bathroom amenities are available, however the electricity is limited to the evening times and hot water is mainly available after dinner.
There are no coffee or tea making facilities in the room but a prompt delivery of coffee/ tea/ hot choc was made at 6 every morning as a wake up call before the early game drive.
The afternoon game drives end at 7 pm and night drives must be prearranged as these are not readily available, and we unfortunately only found this out at the end of our stay.
We recommend the walking safari done after breakfast which is very educational and fun.

Room Tip: all rooms are well positioned on the river
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank econokal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2011

Stayed 3 days/2 nights. Superb unfenced location overlooking River Mara and Hippos. Superb large timber stilted Lodges with internal tents and veranda. Beautifully and luxuriously furnished with carved furniture, 3 piece suite, 4 poster king-size bed, and excellent shower, wash and toilet facilities. Personal escort armed guards (for safety from animals that wander through), butler and waiter. All staff were caring, attentive, communicative and professional. The Guides were excellent - they fully conveyed their knowledge with commentary, their eyesight and senses unbeatable in pin pointing the animals. We saw just about everything close up in fur, skin and feather but unluckily missed out on the Rhino (very rare) and the Leopard (very shy). Wife's birthday made especially memorable in evening by Masai warrior dancing and chanting not to mention specially made accompanying birthday cake! This was an unforgettable experience and we cannot recommend the Royal Mara highly enough - surely this has to be the best in the Masai Mara?

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank simes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kent
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2011

This was our 1st and probably only visit to Kenya so of course we had to include a safari on The Mara. Which camp was our next decision? After reading many good reviews about JT safaris ( seperate review ) I contacted him and after a few e mails decided on The Royal Mara.
We did a 3 day 2 night which turned out to be the most amazing thing we have ever done.
After a 2hr flight from Ukunda we landed at David Livingstone airstrip and was met by our driver John who would be with us for the length of our stay. We made our way to the camp but did a mini drive on the way down so had our first encounter of wilderbeest, lions and hyeanas.
We arrived at the camp to be met by Charles the manager who went through a few house rules with us then allocated our lodge.
We were taken to Tembo ( elephant ) lodge by 2 masai guards, one leading and the other bringing up the rear. This happens every time you go to and leave your lodge as the camp is not fenced and therefore any animal can be around!
On entering our lodge we were blown away by it all, something way beyond our wildest imagination so simple but so very much!!
The bed was enormous and needed steps by it to get into, all the furniture is carved with animals etc and everything is so clean. We had Simon as our house boy who we would like to say thank you to for looking after us so well and bringing us our early morning cuppa before our drives.

Breakfast and lunches were taken outside of the restaurant by the Mara river and again we had our own waiter for the duration--Little William- a big thank you to him for looking after us. The food was wonderful, could not fault it at all, evening meal was taken in the open fronted restaurent and then drinks in the bar next to it.
John our driver took us out each day and worked so hard to find the big five for us, we did not see the rhino or cheetah, but found a leopard asleep in a tree which more than made up for not seeing the other two!!
We had to keep pinching ourselves to make sure that we were really on the masai mara seeing all these beautiful animals and the scenery in general, nothing can prepare you for any of it , it is truly amazing!!
On our last day we sat on our balcony and watched a hippo being born which really finished the trip on a high.
Moses, one of the guards would take us for a wander between lunch and the afternoon drive and we were able to see the newly built reception,bar,dining area which should be up and running very soon, there will also be a swimming pool there at some stage and it is all placed on a bend of the river where the hippos come out at to lay on the banks in the sun, a spectacular view when dining or swimming!!
I also had a cuddle and chat to the pet Eland that walk around the camp, they also like to try to pinch your lunch if they can!!

Our 1st night was spent lying in bed listening to all the animals grazing andwandering around the lodges, we did not get a wink of sleep as Rob said 'it's abit like Jurassic park waiting for the heavy footsteps and the shaking of the lodge!!! Apparently we had hippos, 3 lions and zebras all around the camp. The guards sit up all night in a tree outside of your lodge to keep you all safe but have never had to harm any animal .
The Royal Mara is only a small camp with 8 lodges at the moment I think 2 more are going to be built and hopefully that will be it, to make it bigger will lose all of its charm. It is a wonderful place to stay the staff are trully wonderful and cannot do enough for you--our heartfelt thanks to all of them

We would recommend this camp to anybody, it is absolutely wonderful, and an experience not to be missed! We have not stopped talking about it and it will be in our heads forever.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kentmaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2011

As we flew down into the Masai Mara we spotted Hippos in the river and Giraffe across the plains. So Wonderful! At the airstrip we were then met by our Game Driver from Royal Mara who was also called Julius. On our way to the Royal Mara we saw lots of animals truely wonderful! We arrived at the Royal Mara and was greeted by Goerge Jr who was a lovely guy and explained the Rules of the Lodge (The lodge does not have fences which makes it very special! You are accompanied by an armed Masai when you move from your Accomodation to Meals, Game drives etc so you are totaly safe!) We were taken to our Tent/Lodge which was wonderful overlooking the River. Huge Bed and Balcony with lovely carvings of Animals within the Woodwork just Beautiful and so Spacious! We were then greeted by Mark our room guy who asked us what our favourite drinks were so he could stock our Mini bar, he then showed us around the tent and said if we needed anyhing washing he would arrange this complimentary and he would bring us Coffee in the morning to wake us for our game drive. We settled in and then looked outside our door to find our Masai guard ready and waiting to take us to lunch. We were then greeted by the charming William who was our waiter for our stay. Again so lovely! We settled at our table next to the river and had a wonderful four course lunch which was second to none. After lunch we then met our driver Julius who took us for our first game drive. Julius was great! Asked us what our favourite Animals were and what we would like to see. In our first game drive alone we saw so much! Giraffe, Elephants, Zebra, Wilderbeats, Hyena, Lots of Lions to name just a few and so close. Julius would drive just straight to them.. Our next few days were so wonderful! We had amazing food, exciting game drives ,met lovely people and to cap it all we had a wonderful bush lunch on our last day. George Jr and his guys had set up an open air restaurant in the middle of the bush so we ate wonderful food watching all sorts of animals just roaming around us. There was even a Hyena hiding behind a tree close by hoping for some left over chops. Truely spectacular! We saw four of the big five during our stay so we will have to tear ourselves back next year to hopefuly see Leopard and Cheetah. Thank you George Snr, George Jr, Julius, Mark and William for making our stay so special not to mention all the other wonderful staff at the Royal Mara.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JasonJukka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tn.
Level Contributor
44 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2011

This place is great. The service is very personal and exceptional . This was one of 4 places we stayed in Kenya and it was the best. The tents are amazing and the game drives wonderful. I agree with all the other positive reviewers and hope to go back soon.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank smjsmj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Mara Safari Lodge

Property: Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Address: Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 138 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Mara is a luxury safari and game viewing lodge located in Kenya's world famous Masai Mara, home to the annual Great Migration of the Wildebeest. We are situated directly on the Mara River with six riverfront guest suites. All suites are raised upon wooden decks with full mahogany flooring and original hand carved furniture. See the same wildlife-rich areas as broadcast on the BBC Big Cat Diary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Mara Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Royal Mara Safari Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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