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“Unexpected luxury!”

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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Bear, Delaware
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Unexpected luxury!”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

In October of 2011 a group of us ventured into the unknown by going to Africa. I had heard many things and had many preconceived ideas about how it would be ..... totally wrong! To start, everyone was pleasant and helpful. Next, the "tents" were beautiful!! Completely comfortable and huge. Just make sure you zip your tent carefully or the monkeys will swing by to steal whatever they find. Off the porch of our tent was the river where the hippos grunted and swam. At night they come up from the river to graze on the grass around the tents, because of the wild animal possibilities we were told to never leave the tents without an armed guard. After learning that it was the hippos making that small sound at night, the next night when we heard it again we quietly unzipped our tent and peeked off the elevated porch to see a hippo mere feet from us. Awesome! Meals were always outside and one night we heard a lion roaring then suddenly a zebra dashed around the corner and ran past us. A particularly wonderful experience was the picnic lunch ... to our surprise our meal was served out in the open! A full course meal with wine, and real tableware was presented .... imagine our joy eating their delicious food while we admired the wildlife grazing around us! Giraffes, wildebeest, antelopes, warthogs, zebras .... what a delight. I can not say enough about how wonderful our experience was at Royal Mara. Would go back in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: They are all the same and great.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Barbilovestotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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403 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Telford
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Just returned from my second visit to the Royal Mara and whilst it did not think it was possible it surpassed my previous stay in 2011. I have stayed at 6 different safari camps/ lodges throughout Kenya and this is by far the best one. The location is brilliant on a bend of the Mara river and you constantly have Hippos for company 24/7 which surprisingly considering the noise they make is very relaxing. The staff are second to none , so warm and welcoming and nothing is too much trouble . It was great to meet up with old friends and make some new ones during our stay. Special thanks to James the camp manager who daily went out of his way to ask if everything was to our satisfaction and explain the plan for the following day , Mark and Tom looked after our room and our meals , Reagan and Moses for chaperoning us on some wonderful walking safaris and last but not least Julius our driver guide for the 5 days we were there. I booked the trip through Glorious Safaris ( see seperate review) whose service and support was second to none as always. As for the game drives themselves they were simply amazing thanks to Julius and his eagle eyes . We were able to see some sights I have only ever seen in wildlife films and on TV and never thought I would witness with my own eyes. We managed to find all the big cats including a fantastic sighting of a big male leopard who put on quite a show for us during the 20mins or so we were watching him , lions galore including a pride feasting on a fresh wildebeest kill , a crocodile who had taken a baby hippo out of the river and dragged it onto the river bank and a pair of Jackals take a newborn Thomson gazelle whilst the helpless mother tried in vain to save her baby , it was heart wrenching to see but also a once in a lifetime sighting. Spent a day in the National Reserve and witnessed a big crossing of the migrating herds and also James arranged a night drive which was fascinating and very different. All in all it really was a safari to remember and the staff , the location , the rooms , the food and the wildlife made this a stunning trip and certainly ensured I will at some point in the not to distant future be making my third visit to Royal Mara

Room Tip: All the lodges are great but if you have no 5 or 6 you have a good chance of seeing a Genet cat at d...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
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Thank Dawesy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Telford, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 August 2014

If you are considering a safari trip then this is the place to come. From start to finish there was nothing I could fault. The accommodation was incredible and the housekeeping was immaculate , with special touches like a hot water bottle place in you bed, clothes washed and ironed and I could not fault the cleanliness of the tent. The food was superb quality at every meal it felt like I was dining in a five star hotel but with views that could not be matched as breakfast and lunch was served at tables overlooking the river with hippos to entertain us, whilst the evening meal is served at tables by a fire pit. The service again was second to none I have never been anywhere where the staff were so friendly and it is because of them that my stay there was amazing. The game drives were out of this world and our driver Julius was outstanding finding us a Leopard, cheetah brothers,lions, a large migration crossing to name but a few. Special thanks to James the manager for making us so welcome, Julius our driver for finding sighting till never forget, Reagan and Moses for our wonderful walking safri's, Tom and Mark for looking after us so well. All in all I can't thank everyone enough for making this trip just amazing and creating memories I will treasure for ever .

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Toputd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

The semi-tented accomodation is stunningly attractive, gloriously located & serviced by a hugely attentive & friendly team. Eland browse outside your tent by day, and at night the solid timber walls & balcony of your accomodation provide reassurance that nocturnal browsers cannot enter. Huge populations of wildlife within minutes of the hotel & the best Mara river migration crossing point can be reached within two hours. The walking safaris are well worth doing to give a real feel of Africa.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Rohug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Private, luxurious in a great location. Tremendous staff that was very responsive to every need. Great food, great service and we were able to see the big 5 up-close and personal! We would definitely go back!

Room Tip: All rooms have great views of the river and the hippos!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AngelidisM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014 via mobile

We love travelling all around the world and have been in quite a few of the top destinations... but nothing compared to spending one week at Maasai Mara. Surrounded by thousands of amazing animals, this place offers a different and outstanding surprise every single day.

The location is a dream and the staff is simply superb. We loved the game drives with Julius, the walking safaris with Steve and Samuel, the dinners with Sammy and, of course, Moses, our housekeeper. All of them perfectly managed by James and his neverending smile. Thank you all.

In summary, you will not forget every single minute spent here. This will certainly be one of your best experiences ever.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Ricardo N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Summerville, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

This was my 2nd trip to the Maasai Mara. My first trip was during the Great Migration in 2011 (see previous reviews of that trip). This time I wanted to go in the green season and avoid the crowds. I decided to stay in the North Conservancy with hope to the the Loita Hills migration. aka the mini migration. When I arrived I saw hundreds of animals on the short drive from the landing strip to the camp. This was just the start to seeing thousands of animals over my stay.

The camp is small but the tents are huge - bigger than most luxury hotel suites. Each tent is on an elevated platform with a deck that overlooks the Mara river filled with hippos. The hand carved furniture enhanced the Africa experience.

The food was excellent. The variety of food was very good. My favorites were the red snapper, lamp chops, watermelon feta salad, and the cream of mushroom soup.

Best of all was the staff. Everyone was very friendly. I was traveling solo but I enjoyed many conversations with the staff during my stay.

The game drives were incredible. Often I did not see another safari vehicle the entire day. I got to enjoy photographing many lions kills with no one else around. Right outside the camp (and sometimes in the camp) were giraffes, elephants, hippos, Thompson gazelles, wildebeest, buffalo, topi, dik-dik, warthogs, reedbucks, impala, zebra, hyenas, waterbucks, baboons and monkeys. Best of all there were lot of babies from just a couple of days old to a couple of weeks.

I enjoyed several walks thru the bush. Walking down to the river and getting eye level with hippos is an experience to remember. The walking safaris were free other camps charge $100 plus per walk.

This was a great trip and I will visit again.

Room Tip: All the tents were right on the river. I think they are all equally excellent.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Don R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Mara Safari Lodge

Property: Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Address: Masai Mara North Conservancy | P.O Box 260, Masai Mara National Reserve 00621, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #53 of 140 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Royal Mara is a luxury safari and game viewing lodge located in Kenya's world famous Masai Mara, home to the annual Great Migration of the Wildebeest. We are situated directly on the Mara River with six riverfront guest suites. All suites are raised upon wooden decks with full mahogany flooring and original hand carved furniture. See the same wildlife-rich areas as broadcast on the BBC Big Cat Diary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Mara Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Royal Mara Safari Lodge Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

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