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“Remarkable camp in the bush” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Mara Safari Lodge

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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
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Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Remarkable camp in the bush”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

This camp was really exceptional. With only eight "tents," it features highly personal service by a staff that is genuine, careful, and attentive. And the sleeping quarters are called "tents," but they are really much more elaborate: large, individual, elevated super-structures that hold up the canvas and mesh tents on their inside, with a large bedroom, bathroom and veranda. The structure and the furniture are all very extravagant and unique, made of whole logs with sculptures carved into them. There are also public buildings at each end of the camp for happy hour, meals, etc., which you are escorted to and fro by armed escorts (beware the hippos). Game drives were amazing, led by knowledgeable drivers and held in small groups (our truck load was just my family of four). You can't imagine all the animals- or the feeling when a large male lion five meters away stares straight at you. The location of the camp is wonderful and the landscape is beautiful, which you get up close to during game walks. It was truly a special place for such a great adventure.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 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 Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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392 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
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English first
Poway, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

This was a very special place. The staff was a delight and the hippos at night were fun too. We saw lions each time we went on our driving safaris, along with mating ostriches, zebras, gnus, hyenas, giraffes, water buffalo, elephants, cheetahs, and so much, much more. Truly a special place. The staff took great care of us, and our host George was a wealth of knowledge. I would stay here again in a heart beat.

Room Tip: All of the rooms face the river and are a delight!!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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Helpful?
1 Thank CCSatKyiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wigan
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

this was my second time in the masai mara but my first to the Mara North Conservancy and wow wow wow lions galoure . I was in heaven many small cubs were about and we got really really close thanks to wonderful James our safari guide . all 4 days of our drives were amazing only 4 of the big 5 but I was happy too see the cats . within the first 1 hour we saw a cheetah mum with her 2 cubs and then a pride of about 15 lions , we arrived at the camp and wow again . its amazingly done with all the carved rustic wood the tent was very spacious and clean .lovely sun lounges for a few hours in the afternoon before the evening drive , mark our tent boy was such a lovely guy and a good friend as was Joshua our waiter . Samuel our security guide was great and kept us safe . James the manager gave us what ever we wanted as we had the camp to ourselves , the chief cooked every day what we wanted and it was delicious every time , breakfast in the bush every day was amazing thanks to James for setting the table and chairs out the last day we had to rush as a herd of ellis were coming to join us . saw 2 different leopards very close and the night drive was awesome and we was lucky to see a beautiful serval hunting , I will return definatly as I always use JT safaris from Diani in Mombasa as my rep he is a great business man with fab prices . thankyou for our memorable stay Royal mara

Room Tip: we stayed in tent 8 , wonderful
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 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?
Thank debigWigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

Words cannot express how grateful we are to the staff at Royal Mara for making our stay in the Mara such a great experience....

My husband and I have traveled a lot and we have never stayed with such lovely, hospitable, friendly, caring people as we did at royal Mara. The staff are the best we have ever come across. In particular, Camp manager James, Simon our driver, Steven our waiter and Steven the security guard, Samuel the security guard, Moses and Johnson.

The owners, George Snr & George Jnr, as well were amazing, so helpful and no request was ever too much for them.

The rooms were out of this world, they are huge all with a large balcony overlooking the river where the resident hippos & crocodiles are on display, all wood used inside the cabin & furniture is hand carved, and the attention to detail is sensational! The game drives were great as well, seeing 4 of the "Big 5" multiple times across the week and getting great pictures of them all. The staff took so much pride in ensuring we had a great time.

The food is restaurant quality, never once were we left feeling hungry. Great variety and wholesome good food. There are also only 8 cabins so it gives a very intimate feeling and everyone gets looked after well.

We would recommend the Royal Mara to anyone who is thinking of this type of holiday, we will most definitely be going back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BridgetandChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
161 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

Looking for a relax four-day holidays, we contacted Royal Mara Safari Lodge. Although the way of paying from another country was kind of difficult, we had an amazing time in the Lodge.
From the first beginning we were warmly welcomed. The staff, rangers, drivers, etc were kind and tried to make us feel relaxed and unwind.
The day when we were transferred from the airstrip to the lodge we could even see lions, zebras, lost of different types of antilops, hippos, etc.
It was useful to mention in advance that I was vegetarian, so they could prepare special food for me. However,every lunch menu was similar, but during dinner we got more interesting dishes.
Cottages are practically the same. We stayed in the cottage number 1 and 7, however we preferred #1 because of small details, although the hippos make more noise during the night.
We loved the picnic we had after visiting the Rhino Sanctuary. It is a must and highly recommended, as well as the visit to the Masai Community.

Room Tip: Cottages are practically the same. We stayed in the cottage number 1 and 7, however we preferred #1...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sandy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

This was an astonishing trip. My friend and I spend 3 days at the Royal Mara Lodge in a beautiful wooden lodge next to a river full of hippo and crocodiles. Our meals were served overlooking the river and we had visits from colourful birds, monkeys, Eland,Mongoose and other assorted creatures as we ate. The staff were fabulous. Nothing was too much trouble. Out on safari we saw the big 5 (though I don't really think it matters if you don't as there is wall to wall wildlife everywhere) and spent many magical hours pinching ourselves as we were a few feet away from lion, cheetah , elephant, rhino and giraffe. This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I would recommend it to anyone ( except teens need to be keen as requires 6am start so I left mine at home!)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
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    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kate M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

Safari trips can be a mixed bag: you can get great accommodations but lackluster wild game viewing, or great game viewing but dismal rooms and service. This hotel gave us plentiful doses of both. Our room tent #6 was perfectly placed on the edge of the Mara River opposite a river drinking point where impala and zebra would come down to drink river water in the late afternoon. For the duration of our stay, we had our own hippo herd below in the Mara River that never seemed to leave except at night when they foraged. The first time we heard random hippo grunting 20 meters away we were startled, then it grew on us and reminded us where we were, and now we miss their hippo singing. Our room was bigger than we anticipated. Beautiful wood floors, carved furniture with carvings of animals big and small, massive king size bed fit for an elephant (as a skinny Turkish man I used very little of the bed real estate), safe deposit box, sink area, toilet area with carvings of a stork holding our toilet paper because tent #6 has the stork marabou animal theme, and large balcony area with sun chairs.

Meals: continental breakfast in the morning, mostly barbecue style lunches with salads, pastas and other sides, with European style meals at night. The soups at every sitting were amazing. On one afternoon the staff took all the tables out to the plains and we had lunch in full view of zebra and giraffe herds. We didn't pay for the outside plains lunch, and when we asked them how much it would cost they said no charge. Ok! The staff were always smiling and very friendly. At every meal they would ask how are we doing. We are doing great! How was the game drive? Excellent. The volume of wild animals running around the Mara is truly staggering. Every few minutes we came across something different. Lions cubs tugging on their mother's tail, elephant mama nursing her calf, giraffe walking across the horizon at sunset. Magical.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 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?
2 Thank Emre4
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 #35 of 135 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 
Also Known As:
Royal Mara Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Royal Mara Safari Lodge Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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