There is no question that the camp facilities were very nice, fancy and comfortable, but that was pretty much the nicest thing I can say about this camp experience until the very last day of our three night stay. We got stuck with a HORRIBLE guide (named Edwin) and I felt cheated and disappointed that we spent so much time and money for this camp since it was exactly the over-crowded, animal-harassing experience I thought I had paid enough money to avoid. I really wish I could have my time and money back from this portion of our trip. I felt like the guide resented us and his poor treatment of the animals and his use of his cellphone, texting while driving, and chatting up the other camp employee/visitor who was added to our party, really made me feel unhappy, stressed, and unsafe. He made no effort to explain what we were seeing beyond proudly exclaiming the name of an animal every once in a while and was always seemingly impatient, racing off to something "better". We seemed to spend an extraordinary amount driving aimlessly with no explanation of where we were going or what we were trying to do/see. I spent so many miserable hours sitting there wishing I had not come to the over-crowded Masai Mara to disturb the animals. Finally, after a most unpleasant experience of chasing down a lion (this was after previously chasing an injured hippo, chasing a baby gazelle and separating it from its mother, chasing some giraffes and many near misses with wildebeests among other unpleasant animal encounters) I decided to speak up and ask the camp manager Kim about switching guides. I'm so glad I finally worked up the nerve because that last afternoon after some negotiations we were taken out by a guide from the other Mara Plains camp named Jackson and he was extraordinary! It was like a breath of fresh air, keeping respectful distances from the animals and he actually took the time to teach us about what we were seeing and why the animals were doing what they were doing. The contrast to our experience with Edwin was shocking and the next morning after forcefully declining the offer to go out with Edwin, again expressing my dissatisfaction, we had another nice but brief outing with Richard, the manager of the Mara Plains camp in which he brought Edwin along and seemed to be trying to teach him how to be a guide. I find it hard to believe the person we had distractedly driving us around is the same one spoken of in the rest of these reviews and to get such small and disproportionate glimpses of what our experience could have been like was nice, but was also very discouraging and frustrating.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just a few kilometres downstream from Mara Plains, in the world famous Masai Mara Reserve, lies Mara Expedition Camp. Only open from June - October annually, the camp is tucked away in a small bend in the Ntiakitiak River, where thick forest meets savannah and offers a perfect blend of comfort, adventure and intimacy making this a gem in the otherwise confounding matrix of camps in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Mara Expedition Camp positions itself squarely in the heart of magnificent predator country, and the camp's traversing rights of both Mara North Conservancy and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve give guests the flexibility to explore far and wide in search of arguably the finest wildlife sightings on earth. This site was handpicked by National Geographic Explorers-In-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert. After searching tirelessly for hours in search of the 'perfect spot' for this magical camp,they ended up for a sundowner on the very spot where Mara Expedition is located today. They looked around and realised 'this is the place'. The camp itself consists of four custom-designed tents of light-colored flowing canvas open on the horizontal side with canopied ceilings. Set at ground level, and shaded by the riverine forest, this camp is designed for those who want the particulars of a Great Plains Conservation property inside the Masai Mara Reserve. En-suite facilities including flush loos, bucket showers and tapped hot/cold water ensure utter comfort along with 24-Hour electricity, fine dining and exceptional hospitality. Each of the tents is decorated with a nod to the style of early exploration and discovery - an eclectic yet coordinated assembly of what early travelers may have carried - items such as brass chandeliers, old Indian chests, local natural materials - hand-picked by us at markets throughout Africa. The camp's aura is refreshing - of romance and exploration. Mara Expedition Camp is, despite its romantic appeal, a place for the ardent safari-goer. One does not beget the other and in fact we believe they both make for a spectacular experience. Spend your days out - all day - exploring deep within the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve. You'll not have to look far for wildlife - the glade of trees surrounding the camp is prime leopard territory, and the camp is a superior location to witness the great wildebeest and zebra migration from your tent. The new open-sided vehicles are custom designed by Dereck & Beverly Joubert (National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, acclaimed filmmakers and Great Plains Conservation co-founders) allowing for the very best equipment for photographic opportunities. Mara Expedition Camp offers among the widest range of activities anywhere in the greater Maasai Mara - extensive game drives, balloon safaris (at extra cost), local village visits (authentic) and unrivaled access to superior wildlife habitat as well as visits to local schools and Great Plains Conservation community projects in the surrounding area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Great Plains Conservation Mara Expedition Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve