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“Totally Awesome”
Review of Offbeat Mara Camp

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Offbeat Mara Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Brainerd, Minnesota
1 review
“Totally Awesome”
Reviewed 10 March 2014

From the Polar Vortex of Minnesota to the green hills of Kenya. We spent 4 glorious days at Offbeat Mara as part of the “Totally Offbeat” safari package. Enjoyed the outstanding accommodations in Tent #3 which had amazing views & privacy, not to mention the thrill of hearing the lions roar in the evening or waking in the morning to see a leopard peering a mere 75 ft. through the brush. The game drives with our Maasai guide Joseph were spectacular, as were our morning walks in the Mara with him while he shared the stories & traditions of the Maasai. So many lifelong memories ….visiting the Rhino sanctuary, the experience of the local market, dancing with the Maasai at their village, and super catfishing. The jaw dropping sundowners and our discussions with our amazing hosts Katie & James topped off the day. Our experience at Mara was “Totally Awesome” and made an enduring impact on our lives.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank phs033
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OffbeatKenya, Owner at Offbeat Mara Camp, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Thank you very much for your lovely review and great to hear that you had a wonderful time at Offbeat Mara Camp. I will pass your comments on to Katie, James, Joseph and the rest of the team.
Great to hear that you enjoyed staying in the new tents so much and got to see a Leopard peering at you through the brush early in the morning. And wonderful that you enjoyed the local market, dancing with the Masai and catching some catfish. We hope to see you again soon.
Piers
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229 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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English first
Guernsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 February 2014

Wow, what an incredible trip! Faultless service from the Mangers Katie and James who are always eager to please and ensure that your belly is full and your glass is never empty, although without the extremely attentive service of Nico, Ken and Geoffrey, this impeccable service would not happen. There was always a relaxed and flexible attitude by the staff, which made you feel at home and no task was too arduous, and as a foodie, I found each meal to be beyond my expectations.

And then on to the reason why we were there, the game. The Guides, David and Josphat, were both fun and knowledgeable and never tired of our probing questions and left-field sense of humour. I think it's a frame of mind, they just seemed perpetually happy which was extremely infectious, and we were surrounded by smiles and laughter, especially with the very easy going and attentive spotters Kaapen and Kimani.

The flexibility meant that we could have a lie-in if we so chose, or alternatively, if we were keen to catch the worm, all staff would be on point at the crack of dawn with hampers filled to the brim with sumptuous breakfast provisions.

We were also spoiled with Massai dancing around the fire and football matches with the Massai, memories which will stay with me for a lifetime.

Thanks you to the whole team for a truly memorable and faultless trip to the Mara, it may cost a little more than some camps, but I highly recommend spending the extra to guarantee the high levels of service and an unforgettable trip.

I'm finding it tough to get so sleep without the roaring of lions and the hyenas laughter!

Room Tip: Try to get as close to the front of the camp as possible, as that's where all the action is and...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Matthew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OffbeatKenya, Owner at Offbeat Mara Camp, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Thank you for your great review here and lovely to hear that you had such a wonderful time at Offbeat Mara Camp. I will be sure to pass your comments on to Katie, James, Nico, Ken, Geoffrey, David, Josphat and the rest of the team.
Lovely to hear that you enjoyed the camps homely atmosphere and the impeccable food and service. And great that you enjoyed our new spacious tents and the brilliant view, masai dancing around the fire and local football.
We hope to see you back in the Mara again soon!

Piers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2014

I rarely write reviews but when I stay somewhere that I have loved every minute at I feel the need to share my experience. If you want a safari then Off Beat have got be on the shortlist every time!

I have wanted to go on safari for years and I am so glad I finally have, it was everything and more thanks to everyone at Off Beat Safaris! My girlfriend and I stayed in their new tents at the Mara camp in Feb 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It certainly was a trip to remember and one I will look back fondly on for years to come, it has also given me a taste to come back time and time again.

Katie and James greeted us on arrival and made us feel special from start to finish with the help of their fantastic team. Nothing was too much hassle especially organising the Masi Warriors to dance on my birthday and providing me with a cake and candles!

Starting the day with a wake up call, coffees and warm shower brought to our tent was always a nice way to wake up. We would start our drives to see the sun rise and what animals we could find with the expert guides of David and Josphat and their spotters Kaapen and Kimani. The guides would answer all questions put to them and had a wonderful sense of humour. We were incredibly lucky too see the following amount of lions in one day: a male Lion, a female lion getting ready to hunt near zebra, a lioness with two c3 month old cubs, and a pride of 22 lions including 3 cubs aged c6months. Added to that we saw two leopards, hippos (both in the water and out), wildebeests, hyena's giraffes, elephants, dik-dik's, bushbabys, eagles, and an almost endless list of all the animals you expect to see. I couldn't believe how close you get and how amazing it is seeing all the animals in their natural habitat and the scenery was to die for. There had been quite a bit of rain so I was shocked at how green everthing was.

The picnic breakfasts were always delicious with a wide variety of choice depending on your mood or dietary requirements. The is no better view when eating breakfast whilst on a game drive in the Mara, actually thinking about it the only thing to top it is sundowners on the game drives. Both lunch and dinner back at the camp was always delicious and a plentiful supply of food served by the Nico, Ken and Geoffrey. Having never been on safari I wondered if I would be apprehensive about being in a camp with no fences and a sleeping in a tent, I never once felt uneasy or unsafe and was thankful for the eskari's being on watch and walking you back to the tent at night.

It was also bliss leaving the phone off and forgetting about the rest of the world while exploring the Mara and all it's wildlife. If you are thinking about a safari I cannot recommend both the experience or and Off Beat and it's team any higher. I can't wait till I book to come back, thank you to everyone for such an incredible trip.

Room Tip: All rooms I think have good views, I stayed in room 3 which was fabulous.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Mark K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OffbeatKenya, Owner at Offbeat Mara Camp, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Thank you very much for your lovely review here and great to hear that you had a wonderful time at Offbeat Mara Camp. I will pass your comments on to Katie, James, David, Josphat, Kaapen, Kimani and the rest of the team.
Lovely to hear that you got to witness such a big pride of Lions! And got to enjoy the Masai warriors dance for you birthday.
Great that you enjoyed our new spacious tents and the brilliant view, we hope to see you back in the Mara again soon!

Piers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grimsby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2014

Thank you to James and all the staff at Off Beat Mara camp. Nothing was too much trouble, especially at meal times when often I had a special meal of my own if the rest of the guests were having spicy food, which made me feel really spoilt. A lovely well run camp, with lots of wildlife nearby. My driver Josh. and spotter Macenzie were great and we saw lots of leopards nearly every day, and pods of hippos at the river.
I have already booked to go back later in the year.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Maureen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OffbeatKenya, Owner at Offbeat Mara Camp, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Thank you very much for your great review here and lovely to hear that you had a wonderful time at Offbeat Mara Camp. I will pass your comments on to James, Josh, Makenzi and the rest of the team.
Great to hear that you had so many Leopard siting's, very exciting!
And great that you enjoyed our camp and the view of the nearby wildlife. Looking forward to having you back later this year!
Piers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 14 February 2014 via mobile

My girlfriend and I spent 5 wonderful nights with Offbeat Mara. An experience we shall never forget. The warm and friendly management staff of James and Katie who always made sure we were looked after.

Delicious food and to a high standard. You won't go hungry! Before supper canapés and drinks while sitting around the fire with one or two other surprises as just magical.

The tents were fantastic and were comfy, cosy and more than one would expect. Wake up calls with servings of hot drinks and biscuits. Hot showers whenever needed. Sleeping while hearing lions, hyenas, leopards around the tents was something special.

Many game drives which were never the same, with very knowledgable guides David and Josphat. Answering all questions put to them with a smile as well as some humour! The essential spotters Kaapen and Kimami. Then evening drives finished off with a sundowner; breathtaking sunsets around a fire with a cold G+T and nibbles.

There was just so much more; trips to the local Masai village, accompanied walks, fishing, breakfasts by the crocodile invested waters and even football matches against the staff with special mentions to running man Mukenya and hard tackling Kush. This all made for our holiday of a lifetime. If you want to forget about anything and everything in your daily lives this camp has it all to do so.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank BearMaclean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OffbeatKenya, Owner at Offbeat Mara Camp, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Thank you very much for your great review here and lovely to hear that you had such a wonderful time at Offbeat Mara Camp. I will be sure to pass your comments on to Katie, James, David, Josphat, Kapeen, Kimani and the rest of the team.
Lovely to hear that you enjoyed our new spacious tents as well as canapés and drinks by the fire. And great that you enjoyed the trips to the local masai village, walks, fishing and the football. We hope to see you back in the Mara again soon!

Piers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

Offbeat Mara is a 6 tent camp with a camping feel. The current management team of Katie and James are young and appear to be inexperienced and, consequently, can be too casual at times when dealing with the guests and their needs. They are both pleasant and friendly, but just lack "management maturity".

The tents themselves are very rustic but clean and comfortable enough, but the entire camp positioning might be improved to reduce the huge number of house flies. It is located close to the river and the flies during meals were unbelievable and nothing is being done to deter their numbers.

The tents have flush ensuite toilets and bucket showers. There is no running water so when requested, hot water is brought to your tent and your bucket shower is filled for use. Hot water is brought to your tent each morning for washing as well. As there is no on site clean water supply, water is trucked in in large drums from a spring for the showers, washing and laundry. It had a distinct odor to it that left hair and washed clothing feeling, and smelling, less than clean.

There is no electricity, however, the office area had the ability to recharge batteries etc. during the evening using a generator, but ensuring that it actually gets done can occasionally be a bit of a challenge! The camp office area itself is a complete disaster.

Meals were more than adequate in quantity, but less no in quality given the price per day. However, they were prepared without running water or electricity so perhaps one should not have too high of an expectation. Meals were generally taken together in the mess tent. However, we did enjoy a private dinner alone outside our own tent. The table was set and the meal was transported from the kitchen down to us. This was a pleasant surprise and a nice touch.

There are no barriers or fences between the open wilderness and your tent, so in the evenings, once it is dark, the Maasai Eskari escort you to and from your tent to dinner. They were also on watch all night to ensure our safety should elephants or whatever decide to wander into camp.

Front end staff, the Eskari and the guides/drivers were all guest focused, pleasant, and friendly.

Our guides, Joseph and Kerpin, were excellent spotters and guides for our safari outings. They were friendly and extremely knowledgeable about game animals, as well as plants, trees, Maasai culture, history and traditions. Our game drives always brought us a new and exciting experience no matter whether we were on the Mara North Conservancy or in the reserve park. We saw everything - zebra, giraffe, wildabeast, hyena, leapord, lion, hippo, ostrich, pumba, gazelle, owl, elephants, eagles, dik-dik, waterbuck - the list goes on and on, and it was up close and personal! And the terrain looked like a scene from The Lion King! Beautiful.

We thoroughly enjoyed the skilled company of Joseph and Kerpin, and listening to Kerpin's many stories. Thank you for making our safaris memorable.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank HardCurves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OffbeatKenya, Owner at Offbeat Mara Camp, responded to this review, 14 February 2014
Thank you for your comments here and I will pass these on to the team. I am glad that you enjoyed your game drives.
I am sorry that perhaps you were unaware that we are a traditional safari bush camp. We have no permanent buildings (all being tents) and we do not have running water. All our tents are brand new (opened December 2013), so am surprised you did not enjoy them. Each tent has a flushing toilet, a bucket shower (hot water is carried to your tent in buckets and loaded in an outside bucket which provided a 'normal' shower cubicle inside the tent).
Shower and toilet water is collected from a near-by spring and is then treated with alum and chlorine - perhaps you were unused to the slight smell these give off?
As for the flies - I heard that there were an unusually high number when you were in camp and I apologise for this. After heavy rain (nothing to do with proximity to the river - most Kenyan safari properties are near rivers) and if herds of Buffalo, Elephant and Zebra are near by flies can get annoying. Food is always kept as covered as possible.
As for the office - I heard that when you were down they had emptied the office out to give it a spring clean, hence it looked a mess, again I apologise for this. However guests do not normally come down to the office.
Thanks
Piers
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Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium
Level Contributor
67 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2014

Location, service, environment ... staying there was far really REALLY great ! This camp gives a very personal touch to the word "service": excellent food, excellent service. During the night, you can hear the lions and the elephants very colse tot the camp. Tha (Maasai) staff makes sure that no accidents can happen. Staying here is really getting connected with the African soil ...

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Guy-Hallaar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OffbeatKenya, Owner at Offbeat Mara Camp, responded to this review, 10 January 2014
Thank you very much for your lovely review here and superb to hear that you had such a wonderful time at Offbeat Mara Camp. I will pass your comments on to Katie and the rest of the team.
And great to hear that you were able to enjoy hearing the Lion and Elephants so close, it is a special place.
Hope to see you back in the Mara soon.
Piers
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Offbeat Mara Camp

Property: Offbeat Mara Camp
Address: Mara North Conservancy | Masai Mara, Kenya, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 138 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Offbeat Mara Camp is a six tented traditional camp situated in the Mara North Conservancy in an area rich in wildlife. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Offbeat Mara Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Offbeat Mara Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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