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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
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Reviews (430)
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Reviewed October 29, 2013

A wonderful stay. We experienced outstanding service during our 5 night stay.
The driving safaris (in comfortable vehicles) were superb. Julian, our driver has a great knack of finding animals and went out of his way to look for which ever animal we wanted to see.
The great thing about staying here is that it's situated in the Mara North Conservatory and there are rules about viewing animals. This means there are not hoards of vehicles crowding each animal. Only a limited number of vehicles can observe an animal/animals at the same time. So, on many occasions we had a pride of lions, etc, to ourselves and you don't feel like animals are being hassled by tourists as it may feel in less regulated areas.
The cabin's are far enough away from each other to offer privacy and are a perfect place for viewing wildlife (without even leaving the balcony). We delighted in watching the resident hippos in the Mara river from our cabin's balcony.
The manager, James, runs a great team. All staff were very friendly.
The chef makes delicious soup and even made them with vegetarian stock whilst we were there.
George, the owner was very good to deal with in the booking process answering all my questions via email.
The only suggestion I would make (and this goes for all lodges), is that rather than providing so many plastic bottles of drinking water every day, guests are given metallic, refillable bottles on arrival which they can refill as required from a water dispenser at the dining area or lounge. (they could even take these home as a memento of their trip, with Royal Mara printed on the side!) Or a large jug of spring water could be delivered to cabins each day to cut down on plastic bottle litter.
Also, the weather means it'd be a great place to install solar power. I think these environmental practices would be welcomed by guests. Just a suggestion to make the place even better!

I recommend the Royal Mara 100%. If you're going to travel all the way to Kenya you may as well stay in a place where you won't be disappointed. The experience of seeing all those animals up close will stay with me always. We were close enough that I filmed them all on my iphone. Didn't need a zoom lens at all!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank novalane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2013

Overall, this place is great if you are looking for small (only 8 cabin tents) and peaceful. Not much to the grounds outside of your tent and the main building for meals, but its all well appointed and perfectly situated along the Mara river. Be warned, if you get nervous when things go bump in the night, this place gets loud at night from the wildlife in and around camp. The Hippos never stop!

The staff are all very friendly and the food is really good. The Mara north conservancy is also great a sits very open and not crowded. I highly recommend staying if you want to enjoy a peaceful safari without much to distract you.

I went during a weekend while in Nairobi for business and will say its not great for solo travelers...much better for couples and decent for families too.

Room Tip: Pick a room in the middle 4-6.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank AnnapolisCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
george741, Owner at Royal Mara Safari Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

Thank you for your review. Please accept our apologies if your sleep was disturbed by hippo noise. Most guests who come to the Mara bush and sleep next to the Mara river and amidst our 200 resident hippos expect to escape their normal quiet sleep at home or in urban hotels and fully enjoy the experience of sleeping amidst the night noises of the wildlife. We are not able nor do most guests expect us to maintain total silence in a bush environment.

Regarding value many guests may not fully be informed of the costs involved on a safari package. After domestic airfare transfer costs, park fees which are now $100 per night with the new 16% VAT, the commisssions taken by overseas and local ground handling tour operators, the 2% hotel tax (in addition to regular 30% income tax), and the new 16% VAT tax on safari packages, in most cases safari camps receive less than one third of what a safari package may cost and struggle to break even, let alone make any profit, with only seasonal operations in the bush but full year round expenses.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2013

We stayed here in October 2013 for 4 nights, everything was perfect: - staff at all levels spoke good English, very pleasant & helpful. The manager went out of his way to ensure everything was 500%. Excellent for families. We were very lucky in seeing the wilder beast migration thanks to our excellent guide James. We saw the majority of wild animals at close range & could not have asked for more. We will return

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Fred R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

We cannot praise this camp enough. From the time we arrived until the moment we left we were treated like royalty. 4 nights of pure indulgence with food, company and game drives. Special mention to James our game driver who found everything we asked for, even going out early so we could photograph the sunrise! Up close and personal with so many of the wildlife. Mark who kept our lodge spotless and tea in the morning. Sammi who was our personal waiter, Reagan and other rangers who kept us safe walking around the camp day and night. Also to James camp manager who checked on us everyday to ensure we were happy and enjoying our stay. Oh gosh we loved every bit of it. Please please keep doing what you do so well. We can't wait to return with other family members. We will cherish this holiday for life. Donna and Grant Kent England.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank dreamofmetonite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Stayed here for 2 nights in September.
It is a magical place with wildlife all around - as has been said on many occasions the staff are wonderful - our guide, Julius, made sure that we got to see as much as we possibly could including a leopard on the hunt and a river crossing of a couple of hundred wilderbeast.

My only, very slight, gripe would be that you can't just sit and enjoy your surroundings.

On our last night at around 10pm, after dinner, I wanted to just sit on the verander outside our tent and listen to the wildlife all around - however, just seconds after i had sat at the table the security guard came to inform me that he would be there for the whole night. Whilst i appreciate that we were in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by wild animals it would have been nice to just have a few minutes, alone, to appreciate this. I fully understand why this is done - in order to safegaurd the guests - this is why i have said that it is only a very slight gripe in an otherwise wonderful stay.

If i go back again this would be my first choice of accommodation.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank duffd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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