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“Perfect, especially for honeymooners!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ngerende Island Lodge

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Ngerende Island Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Perfect, especially for honeymooners!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2012

We spent one night in Ngerende in the Wild and one night in Ngerende Island Lodge, and they are both perfect in every sense!

The CAMP/LODGE:
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:
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:
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!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Candice C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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151 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Framlingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2012

I can only add to the praise already given. This was about as good as it gets.Our rooms were lovely. Taking a bath whilst looking at the Mara has to be an experience to remember! Our personal assistant, Walter, lit us a log fires in the evenings and put hotties in our beds.His service and attention to detail was exemplary. Steven our driver, was very knowledgeable and made sure we saw the big five and much more. Daniel was most informative on the Masai people and their history as well as taking bush walks explaining the flora and fauna. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised as you never know where the next excellent meal might be taken!

Room Tip: There really is nothing to choose between the rooms. the only noise is from the hippos or monkeys.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Piscataway, New Jersey, United States
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 September 2012

My friend, his mom, and I went to Kenya for two weeks. We spent one week volunteering in the Slums of Nairobi and the other week on a safari. We were fortunate enough to stay at the Ngrende Island Lodge which was amazing to say the least. The quality of the staff was beyond fantastic. Our personal assistant and great friend Rafael was the nicest person ever ( I still keep in touch with him). Everyone else on the staff was also extremely congenial. Even the chef would come up to you after each meal and ask you how everything was, and trust me the food was the best food I've had anywhere in my life. Not to mention you are located right on the river with hippos and other animals within a couple yards away from you. I have not one bad thing to say about here except that I wish i stayed longer. If you are looking for a place to stay for a Safari this is the place

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Glen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2012

We stayed for three nights in Ngerende for our honeymoon. The Masai warrior dance welcome at the entrance is quite special and welcoming, they allowed us to join in the dance while Daniel took our photos. as we came into the reception area, we were offered a sweet refereeing cocktail after our long drive from Nairobi to the lodge.

Ours was suite 7 just looking over a hairpin of the Mara river. Although, we couldn't see them, we knew the hippos was close by. The room was amazing with an open terrace, jacuzzi and a small dipping pool filled with flower petals. They even had a honeymoon welcome on the bed. They have rolled up heavy netted walls so that small bugs don't come in at night with bed mosquito nets.

Butler service is included and we were served by Walter who made our stay Vera comfortable, we kind of became friends at the end of the stay. He is quite sweet and puts on a fire in the fireplace after the afternoon drives so you come in to a warm room. He also likes to put in a warm water bag in the bed so your bed is warm when you get in. He also is our waiter for our stay and does a very good job at it. You can call him through a walkie-talkie system to get whatever you want from drinks to food or whatever. He'll also arrange with you your itenerary for your stay do you don't have to worry. Great!!

The food is excellent and our chef is James. He does great western and Asian foods and allows you to choose what you want to eat as long as he can get it close by or have it in stock at the time. We requested to try his Korean cuisine snd he actually did it!! Plus it's tasty too!! He'll come out from time to time to make sure your good and will adjust to your likings if needed.

Daniel who is the Masai expert there took us for bush walks and also gave us a great introduction to the Masai culture before going to the village. He was open for discussion on various topics and questions concerning the Masai. Plus he is very very knowledgablel about his animal wildlife and plants. It's great when you can both enjoy and learn something when you go on a trip.

We did try the spa and Rosemary was our massage therapist and she does a wonderful snd professionsl job in relaxing you.

All in all, this is a great place to be for couples and you'll have a trip of a life time with them.

Kevin from Hong Kong

Room Tip: Rooms 1, 2, 7 are closer to the reception centre and easier to access. Other rooms are a bit far awa...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kevirgwong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2012

We were blown away by the experience. We have been to places such as Amankilla in Bali, and the Grand Hyatt in Bankok, etc...and this was THE BEST service we have ever received at any hotel/resort. The staff was absolutely amazing. The safari experience was unreal, we saw all the big 5 within the first day, saw the migration, etc...The rooms were excellent, and the food was specially made for us. Isaak, our cook...was unbelievable. Other individuals who were unreal were Daniel, David, and Rapheal. Stephen, our driver/guide...was excellent...he was very knowledgable, and unbelievably nice. The spa was excellent as well, and although we didn't utilize the pool, the views were amazing. We can't say enough about the staff....also, it was 5 mins away from the airstrip, and right over the Mara River! Overall...we can't recommend a better place, this place really blew us all away. Despite our group size (8), they treated us all like family! Expectations were high...and Ngerende blew them out of the water!!! One of the best places we have ever stayed period!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Fire14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
149 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2012

We have stayed at several lodges in the Masai Mara, and we found Ngerende to be the best one. We saw all of the Big Five. Our guide, Stephen, was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, as were all of the staff. They really went the extra mile to make us feel welcome and well cared for. The food was exceptional. We are planning on returning next summer.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Brian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2012

I could write a very long review of Ngerende, but I'll try to give the pros and cons based on our experiences at many safari lodges and camps. This was the third stop on our 9 night safari to the Maasai Mara and the most expensive so I hoped that we had saved the best for last but sadly, that wasn't the case.

Pros-
1. The Maasai warrior greeting and welcome are wonderful and special.
2. The grounds and layout of the camp are beautiful.
3. Each suite/tent is furnished beautifully and has a lovely deck overlooking the Mara river.
4. The service from the staff is very professional, warm and personal. Our butler for our room and meal service was Walter. He went above and beyond to make our stay at Ngerende as comfortable and unique as possible! He is a wonderful asset to their team.
5. The spa was very relaxing with it's location on the river. Listening to the sounds of the rapids as you relax during a massage or facial is wonderful! Their staff are very well trained.
6. Daniel, the resident Maasai expert and naturalist is very knowledgable and very excited about sharing all of it with their guests on bush walks or talks at the lodge.

Now for the cons and I wished that I had known these before I booked at Ngerende.

1. Their open sided safari vehicles have something going on with their suspension or wrong air pressure in the tires as these were the worst vehicles that we have ever experienced on safari and we have been in many or the last four years! After trying two different vehicles and cutting the second drive short, we decided to forego our game drives and just relax at the lodge. I had paid over $400 extra per day for a private vehicle and it was so uncomfortable making it impossible to enjoy. We were not offered a refund for the fee but instead offered a free massage and facial.

2. We were given suite #5 and our daughter and son in law #6. We immediately discovered that the way the tents are positioned, we could clearly see each other from the balconies! So much for privacy! I was extremely disappointed in this since it was the most expensive camp. Mara Explorer had much better layout providing privacy to each tent.

3. Not only did we not have privacy from tent #6, we soon discovered that a Maasai boma/village was directly across the Mara river from our tents complete with herds of cows, goats and sheep with bells around their necks. Several times a day they were herded down to the water or past the tents for feeding. Along with the animals came the people herding them who had clear view of us on the deck as well as inside the tent since the "walls" are rolled up for the day (including your open air tub and shower)! They would stop and stare or the children would start waving to us. Again, loss of privacy and didn't give you a great feeling of being in the bush! This would have been a deal breaker for us if I had known.

3. Saturday afternoon for 1 1/2 hours, a church in the Maasai village just across the river had church service with loud speakers. I asked someone at the camp if this was normal and they said yes, normally on Saturday and Sunday. Once again, not what I go on safari to encounter.

5. Food is always subjective, but the food at Ngerende wasn't nearly as good as it was at Entim or Mara Explorer and they offered fewer choices.

6. Ngerende is a fenced camp with only small monkeys in the camp.

7. It was a 3 hour drive from Mara Explorer on very dusty roads. We were in an open safari vehicle and were completely covered in dirt by the time we arrived.

All in all, Ngerende is a beautiful camp that has wonderful service and suites. If you don't mind the things I've listed above as our negatives, you'll love Ngerende. However, for the price we wouldn't send any of our friends to Ngerende as we know there are better options in the Mara. All four of us wished that we had stayed back at Entim and Mara Explorer and not moved to Ngerende, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Thank you to Walter, Daniel and the rest of the staff at Ngerende for trying to make our stay enjoyable!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank marcianluanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ngerende Island Lodge

Property: Ngerende Island Lodge
Address: PO Box 1274 | Karen Connection Complex, Masai Mara National Reserve 00502, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #63 of 140 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Ngerende Island Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 7
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

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