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“The Top of the Mara.”
Review of Mara Siria Camp

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Mara Siria Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 September 2012

First, we booked our trip through Alex at Lonsai Adventure(info@lonsaiadventure.com). Interestingly, by doing this, we saved money and we received more bang for our buck. I know. It doesn't make sense that you should save money by not booking with Phoenix Safari direct, but we did.

Second, we requested an open 4x4 vehicle and it is totally worth it. Not only do you get better photos(no glass) but you also have better access to the animals. Many times, we would not have been able to see one of the big five animals if we were in a mini-van. Spend the extra money and book an open 4x4 vehicle.

This is our second time at the Mara Siria. We did not have a perfect experience on our first visit, but we also don't sweat the small stuff. When you are in the bush, we expect minor flaws. This isn't Fifth Avenue. Do you really need on demand hot water? Can you get by with an umbrella when it is raining?

We realized that what makes a safari camp great is not the luxuries in the tent, it is the staff. The staff at Mara Siria warmly welcomed us. In fact, some of the staff welcomed us back by name. Roll the Cheers music. Incredibly, Vitalis(who had not seen us since last year) remembered our names and even where we were from. The guy deserves a gold star for going above and beyond the call of duty. The staff made our children feel special and allowed them to roam freely around the property.

What makes Mara Siria special other than the staff? First, it affords an unparalleled view of the Mara. Wake up early and catch the early rays of the morning sun. Next, because of its smaller size(14 tents), you have the opportunity to interact with other guests at dinner. On the Friday night that we were there, we sat in the new(since our last visit) Nyama Choma stone house with guests from the United States. Great to hear their stories and hear a new perspective on Kenya. Finally, after an all-day safari, we did enjoy some family time in the plunge pool. This is probably best suited for a couple on honeymoon, however we kept a careful eye on the children and they had a blast.

What are some things for the Mara Siria to consider if they want to take it up a notch? Food could be improved. You don't necessarily want to eat the same kind of food that you would eat at home. There could also be some changes made to the packed lunches. We asked for customized lunches(ham and mustard in a crepe for example) and Vitalis gladly accommodated our requests. However, this could be something that is offered automatically. Also, if this is truly an eco-friendly camp, they should think through ways to become even more eco-friendly. You could pack the lunches in tupperware instead of paper boxes.

Room Tip: Choose Tent #5 as it provides a good view of the Mara from inside the tent.
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jonathan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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91 - 97 of 196 reviews

Reviewed 22 August 2012

I was skeptical of staying in a tent - I'm not a camping enthusiast or curious person. This is the closest I'd get to camping and, trust me, it's not close at all. We had an amazing experience - our view was insane, the food was great and the staff was the incredible. We loved those guys! They're all very friendly, nice, helpful and just simply joyous. The Mara is already a paradise and these guys just made it better. I'm sad I left and if I could, would go back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: Ask for room 5!
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Elle V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2012

We booked the Mara Siria through Phoenix Safaris five months in advance. Looking forward to our luxury weekend and having paid extra to book the two 'Deluxe Tents', we set off from Nairobi. Things started to go wrong with an old map Phoenix Safaris had provided us adding a good 30-45 minutes to the already tough road journey. On arrival we were taken to our tents, which at the back of the camp and being very basic, bore no resemblance to the 'Deluxe Tents' we had been shown pictures of and had booked. The staff initially assured us these were the deluxe tents. The manager finally did acknowledge that we had been put in the basic tents for the three nights, rather than the two we had booked and paid extra for. Eventually we were told that since booking five months earlier, the prices had increased and the guests staying in the deluxe tents had paid more than us (?!?!?!). Two days into our stay, we went to go for our hot air balloon ride, also booked through Phoenix Safaris. Unfortunately, the weather was too rough and the ride was cancelled – clearly no-one’s fault. We were informed we may be able to try again the next day and the balloon company, ‘Sky Ship’, would confirm later in the day. We were told by the Mara Siria later in the day that ‘Sky Ship’ had cancelled all flights for the next three days due to anticipated bad weather. So you can imagine our surprise and disappointment on seeing the next morning during our game drive three Sky Ship hot air balloons in the air. We were clearly misled again. Our long anticipated holiday was spoilt by these experiences and whilst we were eventually reimbursed the difference for the deluxe tents (after the initial refusal), money unfortunately does not make up for this kind of experience – or lack thereof. The Mara Siria has some very pleasant and friendly staff, but I don’t think putting ‘luxury’ in their name is accurate. The tents are very basic, the food ranges from average to bad and based on our experience, I would certainly advise anyone to stay away from both Phoenix Safaris and the Mara Siria!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank Charlotte D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

We stayed in Mara Siria and enoyed it very much. Wonderful place and great tents. The food was good and the sharing of stories and experiences over dinner with other guests was very nice. Staff was very friendly and helpful and the location is perfect close to the entrance gate of the Masai Mara park.

Room Tip: We had a "regular" tent (which was great), only we had an extra bed in it, which made the...
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Rene_van_Gelderen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2012

Great safari, amazing staff. Great accommodations and tents, private bathroom in the tent with plenty of clean water. Staff made the safari great and we had an amazing time. I highly recommend. We saw a little of everything on the safari and the open car made a huge difference.

Room Tip: You don't spend much time in tent, so doesn't matter much.
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank cdkh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

The camp is not fenced, so animals wander into the camp at will. Over the weekend of 07/06-08/2012 I witnessed zebras and gazelles inside the camp grounds. And giraffes, Thompson's Gazelles, baboons within few hundred yards of the gate along the track/road leading to the camp.

But the most remarkable sight was on the night of the 7th. After a full day on the Mara we were enjoying dessert with the rest of the guests after dinner when the Maasai guides and guards unexpectedly rousted us from our seats, loaded us into the open-sided safari trucks, and drove us to a spot about 300 yards from were we had been enjoying our desserts and drinks.

There, next to a scrub acacia tree in the glare of our head-lights, fourteen lions were eating a freshly killed zebra, probably one of the ones that had earlier been browsing about the camp. We were probably not more than 25-35 feet from the big cats as they feed on the unfortunate beast.

It was, I have no doubt, an experience none of the 25 or so guests will ever forget.

The camp itself is professionally run, with a courteous and efficient, yet friendly staff. They are all Maasai and are an infinite fount of information on the flora and fauna of the Masai Mara and the Siria Escarpment for which the camp is named.

A food, drink, and accommodations are all excellent. Make sure to have a sunrise breakfast from the camp's al fresco dining area. The sight of the sun rising over the Masai Mara from your perch atop the Siria Escarpment, cup of coffee in hand, is one that you will surely savor.

Room Tip: The track up the escarpment is bit rough, but so is every other road within 25 miles. So be prepared...
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Kerry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2012

A stunning view awaits you on your arrival which was a welcome surprise after a long and tiring journey from Nairobi.

The tents are beautiful and very comfortable and the staff add nice touches which make the stay very enjoyable. The food is very good and enjoying a drink on the terrace or by the drop pool after a day's safari is recommended. If you are lucky you will even share the camp with the odd zebra or giraffe grazing outside your tent.

Overall a great place to stay!

Room Tip: Tents 11 & 12 have lovely balconies to enjoy the view over the escarpment.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank CoachYAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mara Siria Camp

Address: C14 Kerekorok - Siria Escarpment Masai Mara Reserve-, Masai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: £270 - £365 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mara Siria Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mara Siria is a specially designed luxury tented bush camp for those travellers who want to experience a true wildlife safari off the beaten track. Mara Siria Camp reverts to the original spirit and to the true meaning of “Safari” by offering individual services and private atmosphere.The camp's location on top of the Siria Escarpment offers an unique and stunning view into the plains of the Maasai Mara Triangle and at the Mara River. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mara Siria Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mara Siria Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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