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“Excellent safari camp”

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Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
berks
Level Contributor
50 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Excellent safari camp”
Reviewed 19 December 2013

We go on safari a lot...and I do mean a lot!! This camp is one of the best we have stayed in, the accommodation, beds and food all excellent...it is a bit of a trek from the airstrip about and hour which we understand is going to change, when permission is granted to build an airstrip closer to the camp. The camp it self is very close to Masi villages hence there was quite a bit of debris and plastic bags around in the conservancy, which I found off putting. Even razor wire!!!!!
The journey down into the conservancy was a bit arduous as there were apparently three routes from the camp all of which had to go through very rough terrain lots of volcanic boulders which were very shake rattle and roll, and we ended up having two punctures in one day, something we have never had in all the time were have been going to Kenya.
Big cats were very hard to see we were very lucky to have come across a leopard in a tree with a kill but we kept going back to see her so it got a bit Samey ...the very large pride was just too far away to get to in the time allotted, and also very shy, the only way to see them was as it was getting dusk and they were too far away from camp.
I do recommend you take the option of the day trip into the Mara these were our best sightings of big cats the marsh pride in particular just inside near the Musiara airstrip, also 3 cheetahs making a kill, we were lucky as there was a second migration in the Mara this year so there were a lot of prey species hence the big cats.
The trip to the market I would also recommend very interesting, it's only on once a week
Nice touches were the hot water bottles, and blankets for the morning game drives you certainly do need them as it gets very cold.

Room Tip: Tent 6 has the best outlook
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank jap5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Nairobi
Level Contributor
38 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2013

Location Location Location!
Mahali Mzuri meaning 'nice place' and it certainly is.

This new camp site's tents are unique, designed by Yan from Nairobi. They are cosy and very well equipped. You can Safari in your bath with bubbles drinking champagne bubbles with a constant moving picture outside!
Don't forget your swimmers as the infinity pool is a must - views spectacular..
The spa also has a unique setting.

Being within the North Conservancy of the Masai Mara vehicles are limited and therefore the area unspoilt..if you wish to travel into Mara National Park you can. The wildlife within the conservancy was abundant, many young infants running around. The camp is actively supporting the local Masai community and involved in other conservation activities.

Dixon our guide was tremendous and varied our safari's according to what we liked to see and we did. He was very happy to turn the engine off and just watch as we like to do..We were rewarded by a special sighting of a female Leopard, we sat with her for hours, we had all the photo's you could ever ask for "strike a pose" - so lucky….Thanks so much for the early morning water bottles.

The managers were changing over with their vacations so a little confusing who's who, name tags would have been useful. The food improved considerably after two days and became very good, we found that the chef had been away.

An offering of bush breakfast or safari sandwiches would be a recommendation for the future operations, for those guests who like to stay out longer on the early morning drives.
Publishing the days menu at the beginning of the day by some means, would be useful in assisting guests to manage their dietary requirements.

The service of the local staff with the was excellent and the management staff very relaxed, this laid back approach may be suitable to some guests but not others.

Overall a wonderful and unforgettable long weekend in the Mahali Mzuri.
A great location for safari addicts and casual tourists alike.
We'd definitely return…..
Thank you

Room Tip: They've all got magnificent views!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Nichola618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 11 December 2013

What a fantastic trip. bookingg in and registration under the shade of a tree with a glass, or two, of champagne. Knowledgable staff, from the drivers/guides to the hosts and managers.
Super luxury "tents" with small touches such as hot water bottles tucked into the bed and joy also tuked into the fleecy blankets in the safari cars in the early morning drive.
Superb choices of fine dining and wines, and changes to the menu were done without any problem
Excellent pamparing spa for the midday hours between safari drives.
best safari in 25 years of safaris across 3 counries.

Room Tip: We were in tent 9...and i am sure all the tents are greta
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank nikki b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wollongong, Australia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2013

Love, love, love!!! Will change your life :) previously staying at Ulusaba (Richard Branson's camp in South Africa) we thought a safari couldn't get any better - but it can! Mahali Mzuri prides itself on being sustainable and helping the local Masi communities and wildlife. Protecting this truly magical area is so important. The service impeccable, the guides knowledgeable (thank you Betty and Levy) and there is not one thing too big of an ask at mahali mzuri. Don't miss any of the game drives, every time is different and something you may not experience again. The wildlife is spectacular, you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: We stayed to the right of the main reception - great wildlife viewing from your tent.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Rayna1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
It is great to hear that your stay at Mahali Mzuri exceeded expectations and was a “life changing” experience! We pride ourselves on being sustainable and contributing to the local communities and really appreciate recognition for these efforts. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and we look forward to welcoming you again to another of our Virgin Limited Edition properties!
Best wishes
Tarn Breedveld
General Manager of Mahali Mzuri
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2013

When we lifted off the grass runway in our Cessna 310 and saw Betty, our Masai guide frantically waiving goodbye after six nights at Mahali Mzuri, our eyes filled with tears of joy.

It had been an emotional departure from the moment the staff came out to bid us farewell as our Land Cruiser pulled away from the camp. Never in a lifetime of travel have we experienced such emotion at leaving a holiday destination.

Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari camp is a wonder to behold. It is all that a safari traveller could ever want in terms of game drives, style, comfort and impeccable attention to detail. For example hot water bottles tucked inside your bed during chilly nights, a pair of binoculars by the window, a mini-bar filled with soft drinks, beer, wine and champagne (all included in the price), a campfire, camp I-pads connected to excellent wi-fi, a chess board, a telescope for clear nights galaxy gazing, fresh bottles of bedside water. The list can go on and on. The staff are amazing from the Masai guards who escort you at night to your private tent with spear in hand to your hosts, spa therapists, chefs, restaurant staff and house or tent keepers!

We were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary and we could not have chosen a better and more memorable place on the planet. Our game drives were filled with excitement and pleasure. Some of the beasts from the earlier Great Migration had either returned or not left the Mara for Tanzania where grass was reported to be poor this year. So we had game galore with lion and leopard kills as well as the Big Five!

The animal noise around our tent at night was so lively and diverse that it really felt as if we were part of their animal world. So close. So exciting.

We took a trip to Governor's Camp (90 minutes drive) to fly in a hot air balloon which was arranged by Mihali Mzuri. It was another flawless expedition filled with wonder and further excitement.

We could dine on our own by day or by night on the ample decking of our tent or we could join others who came and went during our time in the camp. The food and wines were excellent.

And the staff amazing...Danie, Leanne,Johnny, Kim, Josh, Wincent, our guides Betty and Levi...all of them made this trip unforgettable.

So now perhaps you can imagine why were so emotional at leaving Mahali Mzuri which in Swahili means 'A Good Place.'

Very many congratulations to Sir Richard Branson and the Breedveld brothers, Tarn and Liam for all that you are doing in Mahali Mzuri, especially with your unfolding plans to build on conservancy in the Mara.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lela A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VLELondon, General Manager at Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp, responded to this review, 17 January 2014
I’m thrilled to hear that your stay with us was truly magical! We’re delighted you chose to celebrate your 10th anniversary with us and that our team contributed to such a special occasion. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Mahali Mzuri family.
Best wishes
Tarn Breedveld
General Manager of Mahali Mzuri
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

This was our first safari. We had a great time and packed so much into our three full days that even the staff were impressed. We were met at Mara North with cold champagne under a tree by our guide, Jackson, and trainee Francis. They were our guides for all of our expeditions and for our return trip to the airport. It was such an exciting and social experience that we were carried through on a tide of adrenaline.. Our "tent" was one of the nearer ones to the central area, which we saw as a bonus. Everything was included, so the only costs were gratuities and purchases. We crammed in two trips a day for the three days, except for the 4:30 am pick-up on our second day for the drive to Mara for a balloon trip. We got back in time to freshen up and visit a local village for market day before the late afternoon safari. So, we totalled five safaris plus the balloon ride and saw everything we wanted to, with the exception of rhino, which are not common in the area. Lions, cheetahs with cubs, giraffe, elephants, hyena, buffalo, bush babies, dik-diks, a leopard, plus massive swathes of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles, etc. We even witnesses a "Meerkat Manor" like mongoose fight right under the vista of our tent. For the last three safaris we were joined by new arrivals Dave and Sally, who have a great deal of experience of safaris. They had much better abilities than ours to spot distant predators and we nicknamed Dave "The Lion KIng." The evening social scene was really great, since our group contained some real extroverts to add to Tan, Kim, Leanne and Jonny from the staff. On what happened to be our last night we were treated to a surprise alfresco experience, which we followed by a session in the bar until after midnight, assisted by my slightly heavy-handed approach to creating authentic rum punches. My only caveat is to mention that, in common with other camps located higher above the plains, this location requires the guides to drive over short rocky patches to reach the plains lower down. It was not even close to an issue for us, but for anyone who suffers from extreme motion sickness this might be a problem.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CeriLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2013

We had an amazing time and were very sad to leave. 4 nights was definitely not enough! The staff made us feel really welcome, the food was amazing and the game drives were fantastic. In 15 years of visiting parks in East Africa, we have never seen so much game: lion, leopard and cheetah all on kills, a newborn elephant (hours old) and more Wildebeest than you can shake a stick at.

The kids were taken off by the staff to make bows and arrows, which they loved, and our bush walk was great, the surprise bush dinner was amazing! Betty our guide and Levi our driver made a great team; very knowledgeable, charming, great with the kids and a wonderful sense of humour: great company! We didn't miss one of our 8 game drives, no wonder we saw so much!! Ben W.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ben W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp

Property: Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp
Address: Motogori Conservancy, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 138 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mahali Mzuri is located in the Motorogi Conservancy and there are 13,500 hectares of bush to explore along with the neighbouring Olare Orok Conservancy. Against the backdrop of a valley and sprawling plains as far as the eye can see, visitors to Mahali Mzuri can expect exciting game drives with experienced Guides, delicious meals, a cosy and relaxing atmosphere at our camp and in a uniquely designed, spacious and luxurious tent. ... more   less 
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Mahali Mzuri - Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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