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“World class luxury accommodation surrounded by wildlife”

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Naboisho Camp, Asilia Africa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 December 2012

Naboisho Camp is situated in the heart of Naboisho Conservancy and is currently surrounded by a 17 strong group of lions. The camp has superb luxury tents with beautiful outside showers (and inside). The food is always fresh and delicious and you are served amazing coffee as well. The cherry on the cake is the most welcoming hospitality from the staff, especially the managing couple. A very different experience than any of the lodges inside the Masai Mara National Reserve.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Niels246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 December 2012

Having visited the Maasai Mara frequently over the last 12 years it is delightful to see the development of conservancies bordering the reserve. The experience of staying in one of these conservancies is a far cry from the 40+ cars you often see around animals inside the reserve. Having stayed in several of the camps in these conservancies, Naboisho Camp is #1 in my opinion. The tents are luxurious and spacious, the food is always fresh and delicious and the staff are excellent. One of the managers, Roelof, also leads optional walking safaris from the camp. I had never done one of these before and it was amazing how different it is to travelling around in a vehicle, you see a whole other perspective to the savannah, especially in the presence of such a knowledgeable guide. This is a truely amazing camp in a breath-taking area - any visitors will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Crystal C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2012

I stayed at Naboisho Camp in December 2012 and had the most fantastic time. The camp is in the newly formed Naboisho Conservancy bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Judging by the earlier reviews all of which are excellent I had high expectations and was also interested by the most recent review which was the only average rating. Having stayed at the camp I am happy to also confirm the experience here as excellent. I agree you simply cannot compare this camp to the Serena Hotel Chain, which is exactly that a big hotel chain lacking ambience and character and providing an experience that you could get anywhere in the world be it big city or beach resort. Naboisho Camp is a small private tented camp offering a bush experience with all the luxuries and comfort you could possibly ask for. The previous reviewers comment regarding a pool and running water are rather ridiculous considering the camp is in a conservancy whose main aim is to preserve the wildlife and the area, NOT drain the ecosystem of its precious water supply.

The tents are beautiful! With stunning furnishings and first class amenities including luxury toiletries (all made from natural oils etc - once again a testament to the camps concern for its surroundings), and beautiful views. They are also huge with beautiful outdoor showers where you can enjoy your lovely hot shower under the most magnificent starry sky! The showers are bucket showers but in my opinion this is all part of the safari experience and is not a drawback at all. The food is first class all made with fresh ingredients, not your typical large hotel buffet, but carefully prepared delicious selections with a good emphasis on salads and fresh veggies, perfectly alternated red and white meat options with delicious vegetarian choices. In fact we had to try and fill up on the fabulous healthy options to try and avoid the temptation of the delicious cakes at tea time and gorgeous deserts!
The game drives are in the four wheel landcruisers with rooftop hatches affording you great game viewing but also warmth and comfort in the early mornings and late evenings when it can get quite chilly. Our guide was absolutely fantastic - a graduate of the now legendary Koyaki guiding school - his knowledge of the local area, its wildlife and the maasai people was so indepth and really enhanced our overall experience. The managers Helen and Roelof and fantastic hosts and they together with their team of amazing staff made us feel like we were staying with friends. We were also impressed by how many of the staff were employed locally and wore their traditional maasai dress, another thumbs up to the camps social responsibility.
All in all this is a first class and very luxurious camp. I have stayed in many five star hotels around the world and you simply cannot compare the experience. If you cannot do without amenities such as a swimming pool or your hair straighteners then this is probably not the experience for you, however, if you want to experience the african wild in all is glory, to hear lions roaring meters from your tent, watch the elephants wander past the table at breakfast, have a piping hot shower under the stars or simply spend the afternoon lying on your daybed watching the impala and zebra wander past your tent then come to Naboisho Camp. It is the height of luxury whilst leaving as little imprint as possible on the natural environment.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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Thank DedB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2012

The game drives in the Naiboisho Conservancy are of good quaiity. You see lions, zebra, elephants, etc. A full assortment of wildlife. The staff at the camp are pleasant and try to provide good service. The guides are very friend;y. The food is adequate comnsidering you are in the middle of no where. We did two safaris in August. The other one at Serena next to the river. Then tried this on the other side of the Mara. After Serena and all its comforts of pool, spectacular views, hot showers, pleasant rooms, etc. we r\really cant compare this as a five star facility but more like three. It is more on the roughing it type. Bucket showers. Tents. Etc. Good for those who like bush location but dont expect luxury.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank alex f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2012

Naboisho is a very special place - lead and managed by two very special people - helen and roelof shutte .

the camp is intimate and superbly situated in a tangibly wild area : the accommodation is spacious and comfortable with friendly and attentive staff : the food is wholesome and very good.

the camp s location is in the heart of the local lion pride s territory and on our recent visit they could be heard roaring at the edge of camp every night - no better sound of the bush to fall asleep to.

the conservancy is large and has a huge variety of terrain to explore and this makes for varied and interesting walks and drives.This diversity supports a huge variety of game - and in high densities.

our stay coincided with the loita migration and the game densities were truly stunning .The camp has excellent guides who have lived on this land all their lives and will show you all it has to offer.

if you like bush walking ( or would like to try ) this is the place in the mara - roelof s passion is bush walking and is probably one of the most accomplished walking guides in aftrica - on our morning walk we encountered three cheetah brothers hunting and female lions with young cubs - v.exciting but always safe and respectful with roelof

first timers or old african bush hands - naboisho will deliver for you

the conservancy is relatively new but its feel is very established already and naboisho combines superbly with its sister camp rekero - located in the reserve itself - which is equally well run by connie and conway and its superb satff and guides

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank ian g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2012

We had a superb time at Naibosho the excellent team managed by Roelof and Helen were friendly, efficient and ensured we were really well looked after and had both a first class wildlife and safari experience.
The special highlights were the opportunity to talk to and hear about the lion research programme and the positive steps being taken to prevent lion/ human conflict. The cost was £25 per person which included a presentation by Niels, the Danish researcher and then joining him on a game drive. The £25 goes in totality to his research project and was worth every penny.
Spending one night fly camping - walking in and out of the camp allowed you to get a very different view of the conservancy - this was led by Roleof and the standard of equipment at the campsite and the food was excellent. The bell tents have thick comfortable mattresses and they have thought of everything including head torches and a light in the top of the tent you switch off with a remote control so you don't have to leave the comfort of your bed and the hot water bottle they put in while you are at dinner. not to be missed is a morning bucket shower which gives you a very new window on the world - mine was elephants browsing on bushes several hundred metres away.
We were amazed given that the conservancy has only been going for 18 months at the volume of game in the area - the northern herd of wildebeest were still there - before going to the Lolita plains but even when they leave there will be large herds of antelopes, zebra,giraffe and elephant. We heard lion every night and saw them everyday - we even saw a lioness stalking topi on our walk to the fly camp.
We also got two very rare sightings - aardwolf and caracal- on our night drives - something you cannot do if you in the national park.
We have done many safaris but this was one of our best all round experiences - this was a birthday present for my husband and he could not stop smiling from the moment we arrived until we left - a recommendation indeed.
Many thanks to all the staff at Naibosho and if you get a chance you should go to.
We left Naibosho to go to the sister camp, Sayari, in the Serengeti flying to Magori being met by Coastal air staff who transferred us across the land border and then flew us to Kogatende - in total it took 3 hours - it was very slick and beat having the arduous trek via Nairobi......we would definitely recommend 3 nights at each camp; we really enjoyed mixing the Mara and Serengeti experience.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank jspence964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2012

Naboisho camp is certainly a special place. We were a family with two kids (our girl 9 years and our boy 12 years) and we stayed three nights in a family tent. This was my 7th Safari, my wife's 4th and the first for our kids.The lodge and tents are charming and of course it's an open camp which gives an extra degree of excitement. It's small with 8 large tents spaced out away from each other so lot's of privacy. This is a place for intimacy and individual experiences and probably suited to the more 'mature' or experienced safari seeker. The Mara it most certainly is not. Dryer and rockier with low trees and bushes. We were a bit unfortunate as we didn't get to see much game activity near or around the camp in the day time nor on the bush walk we did in the morning. We did hear lion and some small game around the camp on one of the nights. The only other open camp we have stayed at was at Swala Camp in Tanzania which has a water hole and salt lick so there were lots and lots of game, elephants and many lions near and around the camp which was an unbelievable experience. Don't expect the same at Naboisho - it's a bit hit-and-miss. Also we were the only ones staying at the camp for the first night and we were joined only by a father and son couple for the other nights which was a bit strange for us and the kids (I think we like a bit more happening normally - it was a bit quiet but relaxing). The staff are all very attentive without being intrusive and if you want something you just have to ask. The food was average really and the picnic for our drive to Mara was very poor (we really should have asked for what we would have liked as I'm sure they would have prepared it). We took a balloon flight from the Mara but be prepared for a 4 am wake-up and crazy drive to get to the balloon before sunrise. Our kids loved the balloon ride although we didn't realise that we had to share with 8 other people - a bit crowded really. Very expensive but once in a life time experience I suppose. The bush breakfast after the flight was very very poor. Don't forget to bring your dollars for the photos and tips for everyone. Our guide in Naboisho and Mara was very good and he made a special effort for us to see a leopard - which we did. The Mara is like a big open zoo with safari 4 wheel drives dashing about all over the place so be ready for lots of close encounters with sleeping lions and other tourists. Back at the camp in Naboisho was a relief after the crazy madness of the Mara. The people working at the camp are all very kind and it is a special place if you are lucky to see the game. The company that organised our trip was Planet Africa Safaris and Sophie was excellent. Highly recommended, although a bit difficult to make bank transfers to them to pay for some unknown reason.

Some tips (for what they are worth):
1) Be prepared for a +1 hour wait on arrival to get a tourist visa at the airport. Don't forget your USD50 per person in cash for the visa.
2) The traffic in Nairobi can be quiet frightening with huge traffic jams so if you have a flight to the bush from Wilson Airport make sure you have enough time.
3) If you have plenty of time take the +5 hour road trip to the Mara or Naboisho - it's fun. Don't forget to bring some crayons, pens, books, paper etc for the kids who will beg from you. Don't give them money. We always bring the clothes that our kids have grown out of.
4) Stay one night at the Norfolk Hotel before you leave for the bush - it's not a great as it was but it's still special.
5) If you have young kids stay in a closed tented camp with some activities for them. They'll love the game drives but also they like to have some other things. Be careful of the Mara in the high season (the Wildebeest and Zebra Migration). If it rains a little you will be covered in flies as the flies feed off the pooh and they can drive you crazy!
6) If you stay in an open camp take one with a water hole or salt lick for guaranteed game sighting from the camp.
7) Take the morning bush walks they are wonderful even if you don't see much game
8) At Naboisho camp take time to ask for the food you would like - especaily for any picnics and the kids
9) Also check how many other people are staying at the same time (kids are very welcome there)
9) Be sure to bring dollars cash for the tips (it's expected in the high end camps) - think $5 per person per day for each different type of personnel - Guides, Drivers, Camp personnel, balloon people etc etc. We spent over $300 on tips in the end. They have to live too.

Room Tip: All the tents are wonderful.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank DPandMunchkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Naboisho Camp, Asilia Africa

Address: Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 141 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: £750 - £1,535 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Naboisho Camp, Asilia Africa 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the 210 km² private Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Naboisho Camp offers spectacular game viewing, from the herds of antelope that dot the plains of this wilderness corridor throughout the year to the high concentrations of predators, including lion and cheetah. But the real magic of Naboisho is its sheer exclusivity - you'll experience a level of safari solitude and serenity simply unheard of in the busy Serengeti and Maasai Mara reserves. With just nine spacious tented suites, Naboisho is an intimate and elegant safari camp that balances your wilderness experience with discreet creature comforts. Even better, it is one of just two Asilia camps where you have the option of fly camping. If you have a truly adventurous spirit, don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in the magic of the African bush. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Naboisho Camp, Asilia Africa Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Naboisho Camp, Asilia Africa Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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