During my recent stay in Kenya, this was the best lodge that I have experienced. The best thing is that it has a very large lodge, with running water bath room. Having a running water bath room is important, at least in my view, when doing safari in Maasai Mara. You will not believe how dusty it would be after a whole day out in the safari. I could not imagine how to survie if I only have the option of bucket shower as in other camps. The bath room is also big and allow you to clean yourself after a whole day of hard work in the field.
Food quality is also something suprisingly good and worth a mentioning. The chef is really doing a great job here to proivde all kinds of quality food for the guest. Lucnh is usually served next to the river where you can wath the Hippo while you are eating. Dinner is usually served at the courtyard next to a fire place.
There are also other nice things which have all been commented by others so I will not repeat them here, inlcuidng the nice carving, nice furniture, comfortable bed, right next to the Mara River where the Hippo stay ...etc.
The only one drawback, if I have to list one, is the distance from the Maasai Mara National Reserve. This lodge is located in the Mara North Conservatory which is next to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Your game drive is in the Mara North Conservatory. You can see all animals here but if you want to see the river crossing, you have to travel back to the Maasai Mara National Reserve which is almost two hours drive from the lodge and you have to pay for the enterance fee which is USD 80 per person, not yet including the hire of a driver and a car to go there (2200 KES for the car and drive, or 25 USD). If you are staying here for more than 3 nights, it will include a one day visit to the National Reserve. Otherwise you have to pay for yourself. In order to see the river crossing, we spent two full days in the National Reserve but still no luck.
During night time, you will hear a lot of noise from the animal, like the Hippo. monkey, sometime the Zebra and Elephant will also come close to the site so it coudl be noisy during the night. At one night, it was so noisy that we were waken up. During the next day, the security staff (who stay overnight every night to guard the site) told us it was because of a group of zebra fighting with the Eland) also because of that, you will be guarded by a security staff wtih gun wherever you go inside the lodge site, e.g. going to and from the restaurant, going to and from the reception etc.
Electricity supply is morning and evening only. You will have plug inside the room to charge your camera etc. The supply is up to 10:30pm so when you are back from the game drive at around 7pm you still have plenty of time to feed you gadgets. In the moring it starts at 5:30am. but will be out soon after everybody gone on game drive.
- 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