We spent one night in Ngerende in the Wild and one night in Ngerende Island Lodge, and they are both perfect in every sense!
Ngerende in the Wild ("the Wild"/"the camp") is a temporary camp situated within the Masai Mara National Park. Although it is called a "temporary camp", it indeed has no difference from any normal hotel rooms (just minus the concrete). It has everything you need but do not expect ultimate luxurious, after all it is situated in the middle of a national park but I really cannot ask for more. The camp is very well protected against insects, we have not experienced even one insect bite.
It is situated in the perfect location to explore the wildlife, especially the migration. On our way from the airstrip to the camp, we have already come across a herd of elephants, buffalos, several different species of antelopes and even a lioness walking right in front of our vehicle within the first 15 minutes of our ride. There were also hundreds of zebras and wildebeest really close to the camp area. During our really short stay, we have been overwhelmed by the wildlife - giraffes, lions & their cubs, a black rhino, waterbuck, Thomson's gazelle, hippos, crocodiles, ostrich and most importantly the actual migration!!
We highly recommend at least a night stay in the Wild, especially during the wildebeest migration period!
After lunch on the second day, we were transferred to the Ngerende Island Lodge ("the Lodge") by road, which takes around 2 hours. The road is a bit bumpy but it is a game drive en route so it is fine.
The Lodge itself is really nice and well managed. We were greated by a Masai dance upon our arrival which is quite special and welcoming. The honeymoon suite is luxurious and romantic, with a fireplace, a nice bathroom with Jacuzzi, a small pool and a very nice balcony looking over the Mara river. Again, the suite is very well protected against any insects. The Lodge also has facilities including a spa and a swimming pool. The setting of the spa is very cozy. The swimming pool is really nice as well with a perfect view of the Mara river. Thought unfortunately given the limited time we have, we did not have a chance to utilize it.
The service we received has been excellent from the beginning till the end. They have been very quick and patient in replying our enquires all the way through, a special thanks to Eunice and Catherine.
Our flight from our hometown to Nairobi has been delayed for a ridiculously long period (operated by Kenya Airways FYI), so we were in Nairobi 30 hours later than scheduled. Skipping the details here but in short, our connecting flight to the Mara needed to be changed twice. A big big thank you to Catherine who has helped us do all the alterations and arrangements with regards to this!!! I could not imagine if I have to do this all by myself! Also very thoughtful of them to store our excess baggage for us!
Our butler, Raphael, has been excellent as well! Hot water bottles were prepared every night and for morning game drives; fireplace was set up to warm the room before we got in; hot bubble bath with petals was prepared for us to relax after an afternoon game drive; sweet messages on the bed for us since we were on our honeymoon etc. Cannot have asked for more perfect and personalized service than this!
Our driver and guide, Leng, has also been perfect! He is very knowledgeable and thanks to him we were able to witness the wildebeest migration! He is very good in controlling the time, we sincerely feels that we have made the best use of our time to explore as much as time allows. A very nice, helpful and funny guy!
Daniel the Masai expert has also been very nice and enthusiastic in explaining the Masai culture to us. He really is the Masai expert so if you have any questions just ask him! From the reviews it seems like the bush walk lead by Daniel would be quite fun too, too bad that we do not have time for that!
A small interlude at the end of our stay, where we have missed our flight back to Nairobi (very unfortunate with the flights during this trip) due to a miscommunication between the Lodge and the airline. From our understanding, when Evelyn, the receptionist of the Lodge (who is very nice and polite), called to confirm the departure time with the airline, she was being told the departure time was 11:15 instead of the original 10:15. So we arrive at the airstrip at 11:00 only to find out that the plane has already departed. All the staff were very apologetic about the situation, and have been very helpful in fixing the problem for us. Within an hour they were managed to hook us up with a flight departing at 1ish. We were offered lunch at the Lodge during our wait which we really appreciated the thoughtfulness.
The food has been excellent! The chef was James at the Wild and Issac at the Lodge, and they were both really good and nice chef! They will come up to you before the meals about the planned menus and dietary requirements, and after the meals for your opinion. James is really good in cooking international cuisines with a twist of Asian taste (e.g. by adding ginger, tofu), and Issac is really good in international cuisines (love the mushroom soup we had!! My husband had two bowls!). At least 3 courses for every meal, we have surely gained weight after this!
It is nice that the meals can be served in different locations. In the Wild, our dinner was served outdoor with a campfire, our breakfast in our tent and lunch under the tree. In the Lodge our dinner was served in the balcony of our suite, breakfast and lunch at the restaurant of the lodge. You can also have it served next to the swimming pool as well!
Overall, a really nice experience in the Ngerende! As said, we hope to revisit again very soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ngerende Island Lodge has only 7 luxury en-suite canvas and wood suites all with raised platforms giving panoramic views of the Mara River and the woods on the opposite bank. Each suite has polished Mahogany floors (including the terrace) and is very spacious providing open plan sleeping and living area complete with wood fire, a separate bathroom providing both Villeroy & Boch massage shower, open air bath (if desired) hand wash basins and flushing toilet. Comfortable seating is provided both in the living area and on the terrace so that the true tranquility of the lodge can be best appreciated. The distance between each suite has been maximised to reduce any risk of disturbance that may be caused by other guests. There is one honeymoon suite isolated from the main lodge, has a private plunge pool and Jacuzzi and has stunning views of the Mara river. Lovely touches as flowers on the bed, fire in the suites, bubble bath with essential oil prepared by your personal butler, hot-water bottle set Ngerende Island Lodge apart from the rest providing a memorable experience. The lodge has been designed to complement the safari experience so as to give comfort, luxury and service naturally. There is an abundance of wildlife both on the Conservation Ranch and of course within the Masai Mara Game Reserve to include Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Hippos and many others. A feature of the Conservation Ranch is an exclusive project to rear the White Rhino so that they can take their place back in the Mara society to which they belong in greater numbers. Over 180 varieties of birds have been spotted within the lodge itself and there are 3 Hippo Pods strategically located around the lodge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ngerende Island Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Ngerende Island Lodge Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve