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“Top notch”

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Governors' Il Moran Camp
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Top notch”
Reviewed 2 September 2009

This is a truly excellent camp, as good as tented camps get (just FYI, still nothing like the top luxury lodges in South Africa though).
Head and shoulders above its two sister camps (Main Governors' and Little Governors').

Tents are huge, charming and spotless. Electricity is available for the majority of the day. Bathrooms are en-suite with great facilities and hot water.

The camp is small (10 tents), intimate and has great views of the Mara river. Service is attentive and food is decent. The manager, Daryl, is hands on, helpful and a great guy.

Jeeps are among the best I've seen roaming in the park and the rangers are extremely knowledgeable and tend to speak very good English.

Great position within the National park, close to the airstrip and to the "famous" Marsh Pride of lions. In all this is a fantastic safari experience, not least because the Mara offers the best game viewing opportunities in Africa (and I'm a safari lover who's been to SA, Botswana, Namibia, Zim and Zambia).

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank eskew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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240 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
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English first
USA
Level Contributor
72 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2009

We spent two nights each at Governor's Il Moran, Mbalageti Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Manyara Tree Lodge and Tortilis Amboseli. Il Moran was the best of these highly rated tent camps. We had the best game viewing, the best food, and at least as good service. The game viewing began out the back of our luxury tent, with hippos in the river ten steps away. One morning, elephants crammed the road out of the camp, and we had to wait a half hour before we could get around them. Most of the time we viewed game, there was no other car around.

The food was some of the best we've had anywhere in the world--salads, soups, gourmet entrees, all were fantastic.

The highlight was a bottle of chardonnay kept chilled and two wine glasses pulled out one night in front of a hippo pool and the next night in front of a pride of lions sprawled out beside us.

We've been all over Africa, and this was our favorite place to stay.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sjw125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bromley
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 July 2009

From start to finish this was a total surprise. Our light aircraft met at the landing strip in the middle of nowhere by Juma in a Landrover who became our driver for our entire stay even taking us back to the airstrip and waving goodbye on our last day.
The camp is extraordinary with huge tents and seperate bathrooms with victorian tubs big enough for two but the tents still lending to that intrepid feel.
Escorted from our tent to the dining area every night and served very, very good food (the best we ate in Africa) on a candle lit table in the open air around a camp fire. Here the expression "nothing is too much trouble" really does ring true.
And the Safari was extraordinary,3 drives a day in an open sided and - if you wanted it - open topped Land Rover, 6:30 then breakfast, 10:30 then lunch and a final 16:30 to 19:00 drive as the sun sets over the savannah. Lions, Ostriches, Zebra, Giraffe, Cheetah, Leopard, Jackal, Hyena, Elephants, Vultures, Gazelle, Buffalo, Baboons and around a million Wilderbeest - incredible.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank marqueep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Twickenham
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2009

Everything about Governor's was perfect. It is the most luxurious of camps with tents having a wonderfully comfortable bed, hot shower, large bath and space to just relax in between game drives. All of the tents overlook the Mara River and that in itself is enough to pass the time away, watching the hippos wallow, spotting crocs or being amused by the baboons and warthogs on the opposite bank.

The staff are fantastic and each of them has the art of making every guest feel special. They could not do enough for you and the unexpected (and unasked for) little touches like the room attendant who cleaned our muddy shoes after we were caught in a downpour one afternoon and the guard who very politely inteupted my book reading to ask if we wanted to go off camp with him to see the family of hippos made the experience one we will never forget.

The food is amazing and would not be out of place in a top London restaurant, all the more exceptional when you consider where you are and that everything is flown in on a daily basis.

The game drives are spectacular and the knowledgeable drivers ensure that you see a huge range of animals and other wildlife. Again, nothing is too much trouble for them and the whole trip is designed to make a truly memorable experience. We did not do a balloon trip as I think you get a much better view and range of sights from a vehicle on the gound. Masai Mara is a place that touches your sole, one that I was incredibly sad to leave and hope to return to again (I've now been twice) more than anywhere I have ever been and would not contemplate staying anywhere other than Governors.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TwickenhamCats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2008

We stayed at Il Moran Camp for 3 nights as part of our honeymoon. I think its safe to say I will never experience anything as special as this in my life again. From the sheer luxury of the accomodation, the great food, the friendly atmosphere and the daily adventures of the game drives it was all just truly amazing. Of course not to forget the animals....after all thats why we were there. I didnt consider myself a wildlife fan before but i certainly am now. We were lucky enough to meet the presenters of the Big Cat Diaries who were there filming during our stay there. I know Its expensive but its so worth it and I would recommend this once in a lifetime experience to anyone

  • Liked — the beds
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank docgScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2008

You have to be looking for this type of luxury and the unexpected upgrade took us by surprise and left us a little bamboozled as to why you would need such luxury whilst on Safari! However one luch time spent in the roll top bath in our giant tent convinced me that you could definitely get used to it.

The food was excellent (although Veggies beware of the chicken stock based soups) and the waiting staff superb. Our only complaint was regard to the obvious focus on the tipping but I think this is to be expceted through out Kenya and could probably have been better handled by the management if the shared tip box had been pointed out during our welcome brief.

The safari was the best and Issacc ensured that we saw everything even arranging a bush breakfast so that we could stay out on our last day and hopefully see some of the Zebra and Wildebeast crossing the river. We were not disappointed and it was the icing on the cake after the two leopards we saw on previous drives.

We were disappointed with the setting as I wanted to be around a watering hole and this camp is set up above the river. However if you are in tents 1-5 you seem to see a lot more of the hippo action. If you want to see animlas from camp rather than be surrounded by them then this camp is great.

The camp is very luxurious and as such the atmosphere is some what sedate. Talking to people who had been to both this camp and Little Governors it would appear that Little Governors is a bit more social and the animals are rife in camp!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Efficiency of service was sometimes intrusive
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hipposaregreat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2008

We stayed here for three nights as part of our honeymoon and loved the place. We have stayed in hotels all over the world and have to say that the quality of food and service in Kenya, in general is some of the best we have received anywhere, Governors Il Moran was no different.

The camp is in amongst the trees on the bank of the river (For those that do not know, Governors camps are the only camps actually inside the Mara Reserve, this offers great advantages in terms of being close to the action) and we often heard or saw animals wondering through the camp.

The quality of the accomodation is excellent, the tents are amazing with a huge double bed and giant bathroom.

The service of every single member of staff is excellent, you have a seperate waiter for drinks and food, and only they personally serve you during your stay. They are polite and have an excellent serving manner. They take a personal interest to ensure that your stay is enjoyable, often knowing what you saw on the game drive during the day before you even told them! I cannot put into words how well this camp is run. It exceeds it's reputation.

You get 3 long game drives a day in open top landrovers with a maximum of 1 other couple - most the time we were the only ones on a drive. The game drivers are very knowledgable and very good at spotting what you want to see. They also know excellent spots to serve sundowners! Due to the knowledge of the game drivers (who also communicate regularly with each other whilst on the Mara) and the use of landrovers, Governors' level of quality of safari is second to none, it allows them to be able to show you a lot more than smaller camps may be able to. We saw all of the big 5 and many more and also 2 crossings of the river by the wilderbeest in the migration.

It really was a once in a lifetime experience that could not be faulted and was worth every single one of the many pennies it cost!

  • Liked — Quality and service
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rjnorthall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Governors' Il Moran Camp

Property: Governors' Il Moran Camp
Address: C14, Keekorok, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #43 of 137 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Governors' Il Moran Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Governors' IL Moran Camp is small and intimate. Located right in the heart of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, this small luxurious camp is hidden under ancient trees, deep in the forest on the banks of the Mara River. 10 spacious tents line the winding river banks of the Mara River. With the best game viewing right on your doorstep game drives and game walks are included in the rate. Governors has been pioneering immersive and transformational safaris in the Mara since 1972. We were the first operators to be permanently based inside the Mara, our site was chosen for its prime location and was the designated “getaway” for the Governors of Kenya. Unfenced and right in the heart of the action. Our camps are Located in some of the best and most precious Wildlife Locations in the world. We are a family with a colourful cast of characters that embodies the spirit of safari, while placing the care of the environment, community and conservation at the heart of everything we do. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Governors` Il Moran Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Governors' Il Moran Camp Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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