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“Great, well-situated safari camp”
Review of Kicheche Mara Camp

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Kicheche Mara Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 October 2013

Spent 2 nights at Kicheche Mara in early Oct 2013. It was our first safari experience in the Maasai Mara and we couldn't believe how many animals we saw in just 48 hours (many just on our journey to the camp from the airstrip!) and this was all thanks to our excellent safari guide - George. All the camp staff were very welcoming and the tents were surprisingly luxurious - we got quite used to our daily bush showers, although not so used to some of our night-time wildlife visitors (all part of the safari experience!) The food was very good and the evening meal always came with a thought of the day from Michael. Camp managers - Colin and Sammy - were very good hosts and made evenings round the camp fire and dinner table entertaining.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jo_Rich2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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127 - 133 of 340 reviews

Reviewed 5 October 2013

Spent 3 nights at Kicheche Mara in late July 2103, probably the best camp we have ever stayed at in Kenya (out of 6). Maybe we were lucky as the camp was only half full but Colin and Sammy, the managers were excellent hosts, cheerful, helpful, knowledgeable, caring and involved. The camp staff were so good, knew our names immediately and gave first class friendly service at all times. The accommodation - tents - was fine, the bucket bush showers worked well, the food was first class, and nice that Sammy and Colin ate with us all the time. We had 2 grandchildren, aged 13 and 11, with us, and they were so well looked after

Our guide, Jimmy was also first class; we nicknamed him 'Jimmy Two Kill' because on one day he led us to watch 2 cheetahs kill a wildebeest and then a lioness play with and kill a gazelle, as well as a fascinating 30 mins watching the Acacia Lion pride. He is very knowledgeable, always seemed to find the best place to park to watch the game, being also sensitive to make sure other vehicles (if there were any, because he was usually first on the scene) had a good view and weren't in our sights

So much quieter to be based in a conservancy than the crowded Mara National Park, but game still very good. Found nothing to fault in our stay.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank 735Roger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2013

We went for our honeymoon and had the most incredible time. The camp is beautiful, we were taken care of from start to finish and the attention to detail was amazing. The views are incredible, the tents luxurious and the food is great (we bought their cookbook) but the main reason to go is the game viewing. In a week we saw all the big 5, including rhinos in a nearby sanctuary where you get within 6 foot of them (on foot). The guides are brilliant, knowledgeable and share information well. We have amazing memories and I would recommend to everyone!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank David_W_S475
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

Kicheche Mara is a wonderful place to stay. Sammy and Colin met us as we arrived and were always on hand to help and give advice when needed. The staff were so nice, they were really friendly and very kind. The food was excellent. I cannot say a single bad word about Kicheche because it was a truly great place.

Room Tip: Tents are great.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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Thank jacqui2502
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2013

Kicheche Mara Camp

From being picked up from the Mara North Airstrip our adventure properly began. Right from the off we were greeted by numerous zebra, wildebeest and gazelle, and somewhere in the region of 20/30 hippos! We were so distracted with the wildlife that we forgot that we were in fact just on our way to the camp. Sammy and Colin greeted us and Sammy gave all the new arrivals a briefing of how the camp worked (the amazing bucket showers, torch / night-time escorted system etc.). We were put straight at ease and quickly got into the flow of things.

The ‘tents’ were incredible and well distanced from each other (ours was called ‘Kiboko’ which means Hippo), and during the nights we had elephants, buffalo and other animals wandering freely between the tents and I really enjoyed the wild noises at night! A good night’s sleep was fairly important as the days were quite long, sometimes stopping briefly for a tasty breakfast or lunch whilst out on safari. It is quite a strange feeling nibbling on a bit of toast with half an eye out for lions, hyenas, vultures etc. (we had our breakfast pretty close to a cheetah and her grown cubs who were also tucking into their ‘fresh’ breakfast aswell)!

Our guide during the drives was an amazing Maasai chap called Jimmy Tinka who knew everything about everything. His knowledge of the animals, plants, ecosystems, terrain and seasons was second to none. He knew how to approach animals so that they were not disturbed from doing what they would normally do, and he always managed to get the vehicle into the perfect position for photographs (this also included consideration for other vehicles so that our vehicle wasn’t in their photographs). Jimmy is a very patient man and clearly adores his work and his country. His love of nature is an inspiration and he has very strong environmental and conservational beliefs which are strengths that should give hope to Kenya and her future.

We decided to visit the Maasai village and were very happy that we did. They’re a tad cheeky with their prices, however I am notoriously difficult to extract money from however I did dip into my pocket! If you decided to go be prepared to get a little involved! Great people, and thank-you to David for telling and showing us how his tribe survive (and good-luck with your education too!). We also visited the Rhino sanctuary and got extremely close up to these beautiful animals. How can someone murder one of these animals just to cure a cold or ache? Idiots, have a lemsip instead or lop-off your own body parts and grind them up. A rhino horn is made of hair so why can’t they just gulp down a wig? Anyway…

We also decided to do the guided walk with an armed guard which was very interesting. Once again Jimmy excelled with his knowledge, this time with tracks, trees and shrubs etc. The animals were a little quiet and we were beginning to get a bit suspicious as it usually clears of animals when the lions are in town! We bumped into a couple of Elands and Hyenas and some very big and busy ants though and it was all very interesting. I kept lagging behind to take photos which probably wasn’t the best idea…

The food was amazing and every night was different. We would all gather by the fire-pit in the dark and have a drink and a chat about the day’s adventures, then sit down at the big table. It seemed people came from all corners of the globe which is always nice as well. It was also nice that Sammy and Colin; the camp managers, joined us throughout the evening.

We were very sad to leave and the whole experience was incredible. If you want an environmentally considerate first class safari experience look no further than Kicheche Mara Camp.

Alex & Aleks

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alex A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2013

Having already stayed at the Kicheche camp in Laikipia, we knew roughly what to expect when we came here, and once again the Kicheche experience doesn't disappoint. The camp is spread along a hillside overlooking a river valley, and unlike Laikipia, this camp is open to any passing animals. Consequently, even in day time we were in the midst of the wildebeest, zebra and gazelles of the migration, and also saw giraffes, hyenas, buffalo and a host of other ungulates. The tents are very comfortable indeed, the food is very high quality and plentiful, and the hosts Sammy and Colin do a great job of running the place, backed up by an exceptional team.

We stayed for three nights, and in the four days we were there saw all of the Big 5, thanks to the outstanding skills of our Maasai guide Benja. His expertise and ability to spot the tiniest hint of an animal at great distances meant that we saw everything we set out to see. What seems to set the Kicheche guides apart is their qualification levels (guides have to take exams, and there are medal tiers of certification) and their understanding that you don't want to just follow the radio calls and sit with dozens of other vehicles around big cats all day long. We were able to discover the animals for ourselves resulting in a much better experience.

I recommend the walking safari trip, and if you're in the Mara, it is worth doing the balloon safari too. Make sure you see "Leopard Canyon" where the Big Cat Diaries were filmed.

Room Tip: All the tents are well separated. The "honeymoon suite" is like the others, but set at on...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank JimClose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2013

We spent 3 nights in the camp and were extremely satisfied. Great service, great place, great staff!
Sammy and Collin, the managers of the camp, have thought about everything:the tents were cosy and beautifully furnished; the staff was friendly and always available; the food was delicious and the guides very knowledgeable. As we were on our honeymoon, we were surprised with a romantic dinner under the stars in front of the tent.
Thank yOu for the great memories!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank drabo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kicheche Mara Camp

Address: Acacia valley, Mara North Conservancy, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Phone Number:
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 146 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Class:4 star — Kicheche Mara Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our bush hideaway welcomes you to a different world, centered at the heart of the African wilderness. Experiencing a traditional luxury camp is a must on safari and, with Kicheche, one that is intimate, secluded and in an area surrounded by prolific wildlife. Staying in a bush camp doesn't mean compromising on comfort, the food and service are first class, as are the warmth and experience of Kicheche's staff making your safari an unforgettable experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kicheche Mara Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Kicheche Mara Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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