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“A lovely camp, but not quite up to expectations..”
Review of Rhino River Camp

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Rhino River Camp
Reviewed September 5, 2012

A lovely quaint camp. The tents are superb, seriously comfortable beds, the situation magical, the staff are really helpful and Meru Park is wonderful and uncrowded. It was so nice to go to sleep to sound of monkeys, baboons and bush babies calling. However during our stay something wasn't quite right. The hot water didn't work in our tent (apparently the booster heater had burnt out before we arrived), food in the evenings wasn't brilliant - we had to send back to the kitchen the food one evening as it contained so much salt it wasn't edible (though the lunches were always brilliant) and the whole camp looked like it needed a good dose of TLC. One afternoon we walked around the camp looking at all the different tents available. All needed sweeping, with leaves and dead palm branches littering their verandas creating a rather desolate atmosphere. The manager was away (but did turn up on the last evening), and perhaps that was the reason. Though the staff did try very hard, particularly to meet dietary needs. We were also the only guests. Overall at the rates charged we felt the management could make more efforts to keep up standards, and when guests are expected a manager should be present as it adds so much to the experience. We partly chose Rhino River Camp because they advertised mountain biking. Sadly the bikes turned out to be badly maintained heavy steel mountain bikes in poor condition. I'm sure the owner Andrea could turn all this around easily, and we hope he will note our comments about how his camp is when he's not around.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Xoolaha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 24, 2012

Over a recent summer weekend, my wife and I visited Meru National Park. We stayed at Rhino River Camp, a luxury tented camp located just outside the Park's Rhino Sanctuary. It was fantastic: excellent staff, fabulous food and a very relaxing atmosphere. We have lived in Kenya for three years and been to many a camp, and this is definitely the best place that we have stayed in Kenya. Owner Andrea Maggi has put his artistic talents to great use in masterfully designing uniquely luxurous tents in a small camp that is situated among high trees and adjacent to a lovely running river. Andrea and his staff are running a 5 star camp with fine dining that equals the best in Nairobi. We can not say enough good things about Rhino River Camp and we highly recommend it.

Room Tip: We stayed in the "Tarzan" tent but all the tents are first rate.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012

My family and I visited the camp this summer, we took up all the rooms. We were treated like royaltly, their top priority. The food was simply delicious, the best I've had in my trip to Kenya. The host, Andrea, made sure we all felt comfortable in his camp. Security is really strict, no dangerous animals set foot inside the camp or near us. The game drives were at our service, the drivers made sure that we saw all that could be seen. Our driver, Jackson, made sure we saw everything in camp. He was unstoppable! The cleanliness is better than we expected, the rooms get cleaned every time we leave and our valuables were trusted with the staff. I had the time of my life! I never felt a moment of boredom during my visit, there were a few activities that kept us busy. I cannot honestly think of a flaw that could out rule everything we have experienced. Our group had a great vibe with Andrea and the rest of the staff,we would go back any day.

Room Tip: The last room is called the Tarzan, it's the perfect place for adventurers to feel the longest a...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Mariam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

Andrea, as promised a glowing report of our wonderful stay at Rhino River. Thanks for the excellent directions, from Nairobi. A six hour drive as you said. A wonderful location you have. OK I was stressed that the Internet connection did not work, but I got through the the therapy session which if you recalled included a excellent Savignon Blanc. I think there was a conspiracy with my dear wife there ! The rooms were wonderful, and so close to nature. A little too close with the early morning call from the baboons, and barking leopards ! Thanks for the advice on the reading matter, some of the books I have ordered. See you soon.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dixie_in_Africa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2012

We had a fantastic two nights at Rhino River Camp. Excellent hospitality, superb food, beautifully furnished tents. We enjoyed a range of activities: relaxing by the pool; three game drives in our own vehicle with a very knowledgeable guide; a visit to a local primary school; and a walk up an old volcano with excellent views of the park. There was an amazing range of books in the main lounge and the individual tents, including books on local wildlife and scenery and good quality fiction. We enjoyed the contrast between the jungle setting of the camp and the bush and savanna on the game drives.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank CRaitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Andrea and crew have made this a gem. It's a perfect launching off location for our second safari. We had never been to Meru, and after lots (lots!) of research, Rhino River seemed like the perfect choice. It offers everything other camps do, for about $100 to $200 less per night per person. We have stayed at more expensive camps, but some did not have the heart and soul of RR.

We were met by a welcoming Benson at the air strip, who would be our guide for our 4 days stay. An easy game drive of about 45 minutes to camp, we arrived to cold drinks and towels. The main lodge and dining area are comfortably elegant and overlook the jungle, pool and river that runs in the small valley below.

Tents: Our tent was the first tent downstream from the main lodge. If we had concerns about being so close to the lodge, they were unfounded. There was complete privacy and the soothing sound of the river blocked any noise that we might have heard from the lodge. Our tent was actually two tents - spacious bedroom and bathroom, deck over looking the river, and the library/lounge tent. Gorgeous. Plenty of space for us to spread out, take naps, read between game drives. Very clean, and nice amenities (shampoo, conditioner!, soap). Our tent was well shaded from the sun - surrounded by jungle it kept cool during the hot days. I spent time viewing wildlife from our deck - water monitor, monkeys, tons of birds.

Pool: Priceless. I love pools, and the mid-day heat of Meru called for swimming. I usually had it to myself. It was clean and crisp with a nice view of the upstream waterfall. Staff would bring drinks down if requested.

Food: Best food of our trip. Lots of variety, fresh veggies and fruits, pastas and proteins.

Camp: We were offered a tour of the camp, and we eagerly accepted. The garden is gorgeous, so well kept. The kitchen was huge, tiled and state of the art. It has to be the best bush kitchen ever created. The staff tents were similar to ours, with a little less space, but the staff seem very happy about them. Every thing was new looking - or very well cared for so as to look new.

Game Drives: Totally flexible with our photography needs. We chose to leave very (6am) early so we could get way into the park by the time the sun came up. We took a snack with us, and ended up being very late for breakfast two days, staying in the park until 11am or so.

Sightings: Elephants, rhino, birds, buffalo, grevy's zebra, cheetah. We got very close to the rhino. Lots of more common herbivores. The elephant herds were huge and lots of babies.

Staff: It was obvious the staffed liked working at Rhino River. They were very helpful, gracious and knowledgeable. Benson, our guide, was very knowledgeable, and a good driver. We loved his company and he made our experience rich. Thank you, Benson!

Highly recommend Rhino River. Andrea was over the top helpful during our planning, his knowledge of Kenya is extensive and his suggestions were perfect. We will be back!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Living_The_Dream_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Otocione, Manager at Rhino River Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 17, 2012

Dear Living The Dream,
Thank you very much for a most complete and comprehensive review.
The staff, whom are flattered, printed it to show-off jokingly with their colleagues working in other lodges and Parks!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

With only 5 tents you are never going to feel crowded here! Tents are huge (with your own extra 'living room' tent!), on the river, and surrounded by so much greenery you feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere. Lots of space between the tents for privacy too, which is good. Andrea has made a little piece of heaven here.
He's also taught the chef some great Italian cooking, the food was wonderful. We used a local guide Joe who took us all over the place on unmarked roads, and eventually found us our rhino!
The rest of the staff were very friendly and helpful, and also extremely flexible in meal times, wake up calls, with morning tea. The cool towels on returning to camp are a nice greeting to wash off the red dust. We enjoyed the bushbabies at 6.45 p.m. and a visit from George the hyrax! The beauty of Meru is that you don't see many other vehicles in the park, and it certainly didn't disappoint on that score. The frog/toad chorus at night is unbelievable! I would definitely go back here over other lodges in the park itself.

Room Tip: they're all good!
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank gmn23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rhino River Camp

Address: Kindani, Meru National Park, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Eastern Province > Meru National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Meru National Park
Price Range: $251 - $751 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Rhino River Camp 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A collection of six luxury cottages built out of sumptuous caramel canvas and sustainably grown wood, raised on platforms above the gently flowing Kindani River will turn your stay at Rhino River Camp into a quiet, exclusive experience. ... more   less 
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