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“Excellent!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tipilikwani Mara Camp - Masai Mara

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Tipilikwani Mara Camp - Masai Mara
Certificate of Excellence
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
“Excellent!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

This camp delivered great comfort, excellent service and outstanding game drives! I only have minor remarks and non of them of the sort that harms the experience. I will gladly recommend the camp to everyone that wants to visit the Mara.

  • Stayed October 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?
Thank Andreas E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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156 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    104
    33
    12
    4
    3
See reviews for
45
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7
4
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

As other reviewers have mentioned, the Masai Mara is a very special place. I have been on several safari's in South Africa while also visiting Etosha and the Okavango Delta. The game watching in the the Mara has been by far the best. However, the Tipilikwani experience does not measure up to other luxury safari experiences.

Arrival:
We had a very smooth arrival from the airport, but upon arrival at the camp, we were barely greeted by the camp staff. A woman at the front eventually came out to quickly go over camp guidelines. Fresh juice was offered then we were sent on our way. I was very unimpressed with the welcome.

Tents:
Average room. Bed was hard as a rock. Large bathroom. We had several problems with water going out and no hot water, but problems were attended to when we brought them to the camp's attention. Tents get warm during the day; a fan would be nice. Turn down service was appreciated as was the nightly guard as there was only a zipper on the tent.

Food:
There was very little food offered before morning game drives, but you could get tea and coffee. Lunch was 3 courses and a bit heavy for lunch. I left craving a nice salad. Dinner was 4 course. Food was average, but for my vegetarian travel partner, the options were basically the same everyday; everything was in a red sauce and served with rice. Wine is overpriced. We spent around $225 USD on drinks during a 5 day stay for 2 people. We had almost a beer a day and a couple bottles of wine. Breakfast was the same buffet everyday. There were no snacks offered before afternoon game drives.

Game watching:
This was the highlight of the stay. Our guide Dee did a great job finding the cats, but he didn't do a great job giving us much information about what we were looking at. We had to ask lots of questions to gather information. At times, he was quite disengaged from the drive and the game watching experience. We saw all of the big 5 except the rhino. No sundowners offered on the drive and it was often a race to get back to camp before 6:30.

Service:
I was very unimpressed with the front desk service and warmness. This is the face of the lodge and I expected more. Housekeeping and bar staff were the friendliest.

I have experience luxury safari's and this camp didn't even come close. This camp is expensive, but I recommend spending a little extra money to have a great game watching experience and a warm place to spend your afternoon and evenings-some where other than this camp.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jamiller44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013 via mobile

Tipilikwani mara camp was a truly memorable experience. The tented rooms are very spacious and very elegant with a true african authentic feel. The male chefs and waiters were very warm and friendly and the food was excellent. However, the ladies at the reception were snobbish and unfriendly and thats why i cant rate the camp as 5 star.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Edward K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

There are three camps in Kenya owned by the same company, and Tipilikwani is one of them. As with Elephant Bedroom Camp, the tents are large with very comfortable beds. The bathrooms are also very roomy, and there is plenty of hot water for a shower. You can also charge your phone, iPad, etc. right in your room. The hot water bottle to warm up the bed on a cool evening is very nice. Service is wonderful. My bed was turned down when I returned from my game drive, and the hot water bottle was in my bed when I returned from dinner. The food was wonderful. I never thought I would experience a weight gain while on safari, but varied breakfast offerings, three course lunches and the dinners as well were hard to resist. With menu items as varied as caprese salad to velvet chocolate mousse with raspberry glace, there were definitely many tempting selections at each meal. One day I asked the chef if he could prepare a "typically" Kenyan item for me that evening, and he supplied a delicious side that was not a listed menu option. On a Friday evening, a surprise treat was entertainment provided by some of the local Maasai men. They danced and jumped much to my delight. In fact, George and the chef, who are also Maasai, ended up joining in as did two children who were guests at dinner.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 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 Diane0405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

Masai Mara is one of the most special place on earth: however, to get a full appreciacion of the place you should find another lodge. There is an overall lack of organisation in Tilipikwani that somehow spoils the stay.
The tents are beautiful although not too clean (we found plenty of hairs of previous guests in the shower).
Our guide did not speak English, and you want to avoid the communication barrier in game drives! Also, he was a pretty bad driver and he kept talking on the phone.. And we couldn't tell him how annoying that was because he didn't speak English, and this was really frustrating. Even so, he was a good lion spotter. But a good guide should also be able to explain you stuff!
This is a very expensive lodge, and it's really just not worth the price, not because of the infrastructure (which is fine), but because of the management. The ladies at the reception are so rude and make no effort whatsoever to try and solve your problems, making them even harder to solve.
On the other hand, a couple of waiters were nice and our nightguard was lovely.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LosPis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jude b, Operations Manager at Tipilikwani Mara Camp - Masai Mara, responded to this review, August 28, 2013
Dear Los Pis,
We are truly sad to hear that your stay at our Tipilikwani Mara Camp did not live up to your expectations. Though some of your observations come as a surprise to us, we have initiated a thorough investigation into the matter with special emphasis on the areas that you highlighted.
We hope you do not mind providing us with the name of your driver guide to enable us delve further into your experience, as all our guides and driver guides speak clear English. In addition they are certified Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association bronze level guides. Further information from you will enable us ensure your experience is not repeated.
As a matter of policy our tents are maintained at the highest level of hygiene and cleanliness, however we are treating your comments very seriously and our housekeeping staff are undergoing additional in-house training. Rudeness has no place in any of our properties and as a result all our receptionists have been reprimanded and are also undergoing retraining.
A detailed memo has been sent to the camp manager with your comments attached and he has been tasked with ensuring that no other guests to the camp, ever has a reason to make comments similar to yours.
We are glad to hear that you found our tents to be beautiful and some of our waiters nice and the night guard lovely.
It is our hope that you will reconsider your decision and stay at the Tipilikwani Mara camp on your next visit to the Mara, we are confident that you we will exceed your expectations.
Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
59 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

We stayed at the camp 3 days/2nights as the middle portion of a visit to Kenya, the first part being at the beach. The first shock was how truly luxurious the tents were - two queen-sized beds and an enormous bathroom that included a full bathtub! We enjoyed that each tent is named after a famous conservationist, with the history of the individual on the wall in the tent. The decor was beautiful and incorporated Maasai art tastefully.

The staff was exceptional, everyone was very helpful and attentive and really went out of their way to make sure our visit was enjoyable. We particularly enjoyed our driver-guide extraordinare D (David). Having been born and raised within walking distance of the camp, D knows the Mara like the back of his hand and ensured we saw every animal we hoped to see and more.

The food in the restaurant was great, the chef and his staff created wonderful meals worthy of the luxury of the camp. Bernard was our waitperson at the restaurant and was exceptional in remembering how we liked our tea each day.

We had purchased an all-inclusive which included specific beverages, there was some difficulty with this at the restaurant and again at check-out so advice is to make sure the staff is aware that if this package is purchased that beverages are included and keep a copy of the reservation confirmation with you to show staff should they forget.

Room Tip: The rooms all overlook the river, advise for choosing a good room is consider how far you want to wa...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 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?
2 Thank kaleimakamae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
staffordshire
Level Contributor
62 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We stayed at the camp for 3 nights as the 2nd part of a 5 day safari and it was a wonderful experience, made all the better by the wonderful staff.
We had previously stayed at a sister camp in Sambura so we knew what to expect of the room facilities , this camp was a little better as its more ‘permanent’ the bathroom was ‘brick built’ on the back on the tent, so was a little less noisy when the wind blew!
You will get all you would expect from a nice hotel really with bathroom toiletries and little hot water bottles in your bed each evening. There is plenty of hot water for showering and somewhere to plug your phone in to charge etc. it’s a fair sized camp so I didn’t see all the tents but we had one over looking the river which was great to watch the animals wandering by on the other side of the bank etc.
The sleep quality can be a bit hit and miss as you may get the odd elephant or baboon making some noise! But you have to expect that really!
The food was really good and they do make you feel like they are preparing it especially for you, George looked after so well and even tried to teach us some Swahili (he didn’t succeed…..sorry George!) We were given a warm welcome each evening in the bar by Peter or Bernard (hope you enjoyed the wine Peter!) There is a good choice of wines and spirits considering the location.
David the head of security will keep you safe in your bed each evening, we spent 3 lovely evenings sitting around the fire he made for us with a nice drink and some lovely conversation, and then William would walk us back to our tent. All in all excellent facilities.
The game drives were amazing……and we saw just about everything you could want to….... but I have to say I think was all down to our magnificent guide Dee who is one of the most talented, intelligent and funny people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. His laugh is so infectious, and he laughs A LOT! He will make your game drive sooooo exciting, every day he asked what I would like to see , then deliver it in about 15 minutes....such talent (never did find the aardvark though Dee ). He made the drives so exciting taking us to some fantastic places, like the hippo pool where we sat at the side of the river on a log and watched them play, pride of lions sleeping in the sun or a huge male lion that we were so close too you could almost smell his breath, or a leopard walking round so close the truck you could almost touch him.
The trucks are excellent and are really open and spacious much better than some of the other ones we saw on our travels which looked very tightly packed and hot!
All in all we were very pleased with our choice and would have happily have stayed for longer if we hadn’t have had a flight to catch.

Room Tip: Get one overlooking the river
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank STRINGERS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tipilikwani Mara Camp - Masai Mara

Property: Tipilikwani Mara Camp - Masai Mara
Address: C14 Keekorok | Pio Gama Pinto Road, Westlands, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00100, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 136 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Tipilikwani Mara Camp - Masai Mara 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This uniquely situated luxury camp on the banks of the Talek River overlooks the mottled plains of the Maasai Mara, where vast herds of wildlife co-exist with the colourful Maasai people. Between June and October the Maasai Mara plays host to one of the most spectacular wildlife shows on earth the great annual migration of over a million wildebeest and zebra as they enter the Mara ecosystem from Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania. Tipilikwani's tents enjoy river frontage and are decorated with warm, rich Maasai colours. The family tents have a stand alone bath tub in addition to showers. Excellent food, personalised service and traditional Kenyan hospitality further compliment the prime location. Game drives offer the unforgettable opportunity to enjoy the diversity of animals and birds living permanently in the Masai Mara, as well as many migratory species. Guests can also learn more about the Masai people, proud pastoralists and warriors, many of whom still retain their traditional nomadic lifestyle. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tipilikwani Masai Mara Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Tipilikwani Mara Camp - Masai Mara Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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