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“A thoroughly enjoyable stay!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mara Sopa Lodge

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Mara Sopa Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
192 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 318 helpful votes
“A thoroughly enjoyable stay!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2007

This was the first hotel we stayed at on our safari and also the first of the 3 Sopa lodges that we stayed at in Kenya. The rooms are not particularly modern, but were large and well looked after, if a little dark. The electricity and hot water are only on at certain times of the day but these times are given at reception and in the info pack in your room. The 'off' periods are generally while you are on safari so did not cause us any problems. The food was very good and I particularly liked the décor in the restaurant. The hyena feeding is worth seeing if you can manage to stay up until 10 - make sure you get there a few mins early to get a good spot - there are good views from the areas either side of the main viewing platform (elevated a good few feet above the feeding area). The shop near reception had some good postcards. The pool area is not very big but we didn't have any problems getting some sun beds. There is a 'Masai Village' in the hotel grounds, just below the swimming pool. This is blatantly not authentic but worth a look if you have 5 mins to waste and don't mind being dragged round their Masai market afterwards. The hotel itself is no more than 15 mins drive from the nearest gate and you pass by a village on the way so the journey is not boring. We stayed here for 2 nights but could have happily stayed for longer.

Stayed May 2007
9 Thank Corinne76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Wales UK
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2007

Stayed here for 2 nights at the end of our safari. Yes, it is a little more basic than the other sopa lodges we stayed in (esp Naivasha) but still exceeded any expectations I had before the holiday of a safari lodge.
Its also in the best location of all the lodges we stayed in, just inside the wonderful Massai Mara national park, we saw lions (lots and up close!) cheetah with cubs, elephants, giraffe, zebra, hippo and all manor of gazelle etc within a 20 minute drive of the lodge. The feeding of the hyena is something to behold as well!! We had a lovely fruit platter left in our room along with a fridge! I made the mistake of trying to eat my fruit on my veranda however and got into quite an argument with one of the monkeys over my banana - watch out for them, they are not shy!
The food was good and the staff here lovely. It was my 30th birthday whilst staying here and I was treated to a birthday cake and celebration dance from some Massai warriors - magical!
We did the balloon ride, and although it IS expensive, its a one off experience and definitely worth it.

  • Liked — The views, the staff and location
  • Disliked — The rooms were fine, but a little tired looking
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
8 Thank wendypeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
53 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2007

Please ignore any bad reviews about this hotel, really it is fine. Actually I would say it was very good. Alright it might no be as good as the other Sopa lodges you will stay in (at Amboseli) but it was still great.

My sister and I stayed at the Mara Sopa Lodge for 2 night as part of the “Kenya Classic Safari”. We thought it was brilliant.

On arrival we were met by very friendly and welcoming staff, providing us with a hot towel and a cold drink, which was great after we had traveled for such a long distance and felt all dusty (it was a brilliant adventure).

The hotel was nice, all the rooms are like little Masai huts. Our room was very clean and comfortable, the only problem we had was with the shower on our second night when the tap came off (my fault).

Hotel would not be suitable for disabled people (especially in a wheelchair) due to the uneven ground and access to the rooms and other areas.

As other reviews have said, the hotel electricity and hot water is provided by a generator and is switched off a certain times, a board at the reception does give you all the details. I didn’t effect us, and should not anyone else, as they seem to time them with the time that guests would be on their game drives (am and pm) or asleep. I’m sure that anyone going to a third world country on safari would have the forethought to pack a torch anyway (or maybe not!!!).

The hotel is located about 10 mins drive from the actual park, but we saw a number of animals on our way to the park each time, plus the masai so it was fine.

The views across the Mara from the hotel were breath taking, it was very beautiful.

The pool was fine, but did have a few bugs in it, but not much the staff can do about things like that in the middle of the Mara!!!

The food was excellent, something to eat for everyone and plenty of it. Breakfast was so good, full English breakfast is just the trick for when you are going on a bumpy game drive.

Drinks were not that expensive, I think we paid about £5 for two cocktails about 80p for a large bottle of water.

In the evening you can go and watch the Hyena feed on scraps, it was great. Unlike the previous review I have no fears regarding safety. Unless the hyena can jump 20 feet in the air, they will not be eating any humans, besides I’m sure they prefer the left over chicken!!!

We both felt safe at all times whilst at all the hotels in Kenya, the night watchmen ensure that you are taken to your room and stays their until you have entered your room.

For female travelers - We felt really safe, the men were all fine, no chatting us up. Just wanted to talk about you day.

The staff in the hotel were brilliant, especially the waiters very friendly and would do all they could to ensure you were happy.

The game drives in the Mara were by far the best in Kenya (not to say the others were not brilliant as well). We saw loads of game. Elephants, Lions, Cheetahs, Grant Gazelles, Thomson Gazelle, Wildebeest, Zebra, Jackals, Giraffe, Impala, Baboons, Bat ear Fox, Bushbuck, DikDik, Hartebeest, Monkeys, Ostrich, Reedbuck, Topi, Waterbuck, Mongoose, Bush Baby, and different birds.

By far the best moment of our holiday was the balloon safari over the Masai mara with Balloon Safari Kenya. We booked as part of out holiday but can be booked in the hotel. It cost us about £250 each but was worth every penny, and the early morning. We were taken to the launch sight by Steven who sold the tour at the hotel, he was great, I’m sure he has got night vision because he was able to spot all sort of animal in the dark. He also took us on a game drive after the Balloon trip. Again he was great, we were meant to get back about 10am but got back about 12, after Steven proudly showed off the Mara to us, it was fantastic.

On our second night we were treated to a Masai dance, it was good, if a little bit staged. I still enjoyed it even though the light went out in the middle of their performance..

All the time we were in Kenya we were only bitten by mosquito’s once each. They were around but didn’t bother us at all. Maybe the Boots Insect spray did the trick, I could hardly breath when applying it so the mozi’s had no chance!!!

As for spiders, snakes and other bugs. Well I saw one cockroach in the whole time we were their, so its fine.

All in all we enjoyed our time at the Mara Sopa Lodge and as long as you realise that you are in a third world country on Safari so will you. Would defiantly go back.

Stayed February 2007
28 Thank AngelaThompson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2007

During our week on Kenya safari we stayed at four places, and this Lodge was the worst. It may have subjectively suffered from our spending the previous night at a five-star hotel (4* quality, really), but the evaluation carries even with hindsight and in comparison with the subsequent Sopa on our trip (Amboseli).

This place shows wear&tear; electricity generated locally and supplied intermittently is an issue. If your camera, like mine, consumes a lot of power, you may find there is not enough time between outings to recharge the battery due to electricity being switched off. It is also cut off at night; should you not have a torch handy, there may be quite a struggle to light the bedside candle especially if you failed to check where the matches were, providing they were supplied at all. The missing hand towels for the bathroom never arrived, so I ignored the notices about how to save the environment and used another bath towel instead. There was no insecticide freely available; my afternoon request to have the room sprayed was also ignored: As soon as I entered at night, first thing I heard was a mosquito aiming straight for my head. This neglect might be explained by such jobs being totally unproductive as far as getting tips is concerned. You will never have the slightest trouble finding a porter who will happily exert himself and carry even your silk purse all the way to the reception.

Not that one should expect many silk purses here: We were lucky to travel in good company throughout, but the crowd of nouveaux riches from Poland and Russia we came across here (and elsewhere for that matter) did not please.
Which leads me to the hyenas: Feeding the hyenas at 9 or 10 pm is, it seems, the highlight of tropical evenings at Sopa (if I discount put-on Masai dancing in the hall). Ludicrous as it sounds, some people for some reason enjoy it and happily trot down to the terrace overlooking the battle ground. I missed the show by five minutes, so could only observe the brisk rummaging of a jackal who beat the hyenas for entertainment value paws down. I am told the following night the famous domestic cat made an appearance and stole the show (and meat).

So much for the light side; now to the other: Hyenas are known as unpredictable and dangerous animals, capable of attacking humans. There is no fence between the watchers and those being watched. The grounds with the huts are obviously permeable, which gives me concern. There is a night watchman come on duty at 9 pm, who is supposed to accompany guests to their rooms. To provide this service to everyone is technically impossible, since the rows of huts spread widely and over considerable distances the watchman needs to cover. Not to bang on a Stephen King scenario too much: Roundabout midnight a hyena started wailing as if on my doorstep. I did not go out to check how far it was from it but the following morning my companions told me they saw it at the door of my neighbour's. The beast did not stop its Stockhausen-like production until 1.15 am, when just as I was falling asleep with blind (deaf) determination, a mosquito landed buzzing on my ear. As soon as I disposed of it and re-sprayed myself with repellent, the hyena stopped too. Make your own conclusions.

  • Liked — Settings
  • Disliked — Overall quality
  • Stayed February 2007
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
4 Thank richteral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mara Sopa Lodge

Property: Mara Sopa Lodge
Address: C14, Keekorok, Oloolaimutia valley | Oloolaimutia Gate, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #39 of 139 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Mara Sopa Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 90
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Also Known As:
Mara Sopa Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Sopa Lodge Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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