We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Accommodation Questions

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
166 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Accommodation Questions

For those of you that have stayed in Mara, which place would you recommend? Taking into consideration the actual lodge/camp itself but also proximity for game drives and any roaming animals that may be nearby.

My choices are:

Ilkeliani

Mara Serena

Keekerok

Thanks!

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
166 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Accommodation Questions

One more thing----we were looking at Mara Sarova but it's apparently booked for September----is this place worth trying to secure as our accommodations for our 4 nights in MM?

Thanks again.

Michigan
Level Contributor
1,321 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Accommodation Questions

Of your places listed, I've only stayed at the Mara Serena, and just a few weeks ago, for 3 nights. It has been extensively remodeled since I was last there in 2010 - an entire new dining/lounge/reception building. It is very nice. When leaving on a game drive, you are quickly down into the wildlife area. A lot of times, you can see wildlife from your balcony -giraffes and elephants and impalas in the valley below. In the immediate area of your room are lots of birds, dwarf mongoose, vervet monkeys, hyrax and maybe even a bushbuck. I have been during the months of January and March though. On the 2010 trip, I saw lions and cheetahs fairly close to the lodge. The food was good, nice gift shop, friendly staff, rooms a little smaller, but very nice. It is a larger lodge but very nice.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
166 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Accommodation Questions

Thanks for the response MichiganLaurena. Very detailed which I appreciate!

Did you find it to be crowded or too busy?

Is there a better area for rooms?

Thanks again.

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
2,873 posts
193 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Accommodation Questions

Mara Serena and Keekrok are massive which means more people, more noise, etc. If you can consider smaller camps (more expensive but more intimate). We always stay at Mara Explorer which has 10 tents, and is on a river bend. From the dining deck and tent decks, we have seen Leopard, Hippo's Elephant, Giraffe, endless bucks/gazelle's, warthogs,

Last week we were there, and saw a huge hippo fight / stand off, baby hippo (less then one week old), elephant, a rhino just outside the entrance, hyaena, giraffe, water buck, baboons, and loads of birds.

Michigan
Level Contributor
1,321 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Accommodation Questions

I didn't find them to be overly busy, although the first trip in 2010, was busier than my last trip, but it could have been the days of the week. Both times, I've been in a room that is near the dining area and pool. There is a central pathway that leads down a hill to the rooms. At times, people may stop and chat but later at night it was quiet. I hear most all rooms have a good view.

I've also stayed out at Mara Safari Club, which is a very large tented camp, but it seemed very far out from the animal viewing.

On my website (which I did because I had a lot of people asking me about my travels to Africa, photos, and I'm high school coordinator), you can see reviews of lodging I've stayed in on various trips as well as photos. I posted some of these reviews on TA as well.

laurenajenkinshoffmeyer.com/africa-2010-itin…

Laurena

nyc
Level Contributor
14,427 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Accommodation Questions

Don't know your budget - but fyi:

Serena and Keekorok are lodges so rather large.

Ilkiliani is a tented camp, mid-sizes outside the Talek gate and small village (to me not an ideal position.

Serena is probably the best positioned.

Inside the Reserve is Entim Camp with 10/tents on a bend in the river... well positioned (sister camp of Ilkiliani).

On the Mara North Conservancy consider Royal Mara, Karen Blixen, Offbeat or Kicheche Mara Camps.

On Olare Orok Conservancy is Porini Lion All of these in the mid-priced range

Though Explorer Camp mentioned above is lovely, it is also rather expensive.

Nairobi, Kenya
5 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Accommodation Questions

If you are a crowd person, Mara Serena and Keekorok will do, Keekorok has a private airstrip, just in case you are flying in and is located on one of the migration routes. However, if you wanted some exclusiveness, Explorers Camp, Governor's Camp, Elephant Pepper or Kichwa Tembo will do.

London
Level Contributor
112 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Accommodation Questions

It really depends on what you are looking for .

I have stayed at a number of places in the Maasai Mara National Reserve (Serena, Keekorak. Intrepids, Kichwa Tembo etc). Mos tof the well known camps and lodges are fine as you will see from reviews on TA. Personally I have now become addicted to the conservancies that abut the Maasai Mara

The conservancy concept and the wildlife viewing experience is wonderful . The conservancy concept is explained at http://www.porinisaf...ble-tourism.htm

In essence,vast tracts of land are leased from the Maasai. The local communities are closely involved with the camps and gain additional revenue from working there as guides, camp support etc.

Some of the key benefits are:

1. excellent wildlife viewing with the ability to get close to the game - real off roading in 4x4's and not mini busses and amazing wildlife. On my last trip year we saw huge herds of elephants (>100) and other herbivores, many lions, cheetahs and leopards

2. no mini bus circus with lots of vehicles crowding the animals - the area is exclusive to the camps in the conservancy and number are managed closely.

3. flexible game drives - no set schedules - in the main National Reserve you could be watching something really interesting but have to return to your camp by sundown. In the conservancies you can stay out for as long as you like. You can take your breakfast with you or come back for it. The wildlfe is all around you.

4. options to have night drives, game walks and all day drives. This allows a special experience that is just not possible in the main reserv

I invariably stay at the Porini camps. See http://www.porini.com/ for more information. Porini is the only camp in the Ol kinyei conservancy and no other vehicles are allowed to drive there. They have a main camp which I have stayed at many times, a seasonal bush camp and an adventure camp - the latter is in small tents.

All the conservancies follow a model where there is only one visitor tent per 700 acres. This is really important in the peak season as the main Maasai Mara National Reserve can be really overcrowded in the high season

Porini Lion is in another conservancy that abuts the Main National Reserve and from Porini lion or Porini Mara you can also go into the main national reserve for all day game drives and trips to the river. You should check out the reviews on TA.

This is not a lodge type experience - you will stay in very comfortable safari tents (flushed loos, hot bucket showers on demand etc). The camps are unfenced and the bush experience is spectacular.

If you want swimming pools, tv and good internet then some of the larger lodges in the National Reserve would be better. I am sure you will enjoy this as I did when I went on my first safari but if you want a spectacular wildlife experience then do explore the option of staying in a conservancy.

9. Re: Accommodation Questions

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 May 2015, 05:15