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“Absolutely brilliant”

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Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Reviewed 24 March 2009

We can highly recommend the Royal Mara Safari Lodge. We booked through Abdul of Tunda Tours, who I contacted intially through Trip Advisor. When we arrived in Malindi he contacted us and we met to discuss tours. Abdul gave us several choices of lodges/tents in the Masai Mara, Abdul recommended the Royal Mara and we were not disappointed. We stayed for two nights and three days. Everything was perfectly arranged and so much attention to detail. The days activites ran like clockwork, and the food was perfect. Each lodge had an outdoor dining area, veranda and inside there was a lounge area and bedroom (two large single beds) which then led into the bathroom and roilet area. The lodge was tented, but within a wooden shell up on stilts. There were carvings of animals on the bed heads. The lodge is situated on the banks of the River Mara with 500 resident hippos!! You could hear them at night munching on the grass outside your lodge!! Brilliant!! We were up for 6am with hot drinks and then off on the early morning safari. We would return for breakfast, after which we had the choice to relax or go on a walk with an armed (!!) guide. Then back for lunch, and off for an afternoon safari until dark when we returned to the lodge - freshen up - and then dinner. Lights went out at 10.30pm!! All the guides and staff were very friendly. We saw four of the BIG five - so we were pleased. We would definitely return to the Royal Mara again, but would stay for longer next time. The lodge have plans for a restaurant extention overlooking the river, and a swimming pool.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Luvtoholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 March 2009

I stayed at this lodge for three days in Feb 09 with my husband and 11 year old daughter and it is a beautiful place to stay, the tents lived upto our expectations, they are exactly like advertised in the brochure with no attention to detail spared and everything hand carved showing off different animals. Each tent is perched on the edge of the Mara River with amazing views out to the Hippos. The lodge isn't fenced but the guards are great and are always waiting on the walkway behind your tent to escort you to your meals or if you fancy having a stroll.
We had four game drives on our two night stay, the morning game drive was aprox three hours and the evening drive aprox four hours.
We were very lucky on our first game drive getting very close to a Leopard which was well found by our driver, there were plenty of Giraffe, elephants and the smaller animals with the cats being alot harder to find which is to expected, we did find the Lions on our second day which was great.
We found our game drives followed the same routes each day which was a shame as we feel we missed out a little especially as another couple we met had a different driver and where we have asked our driver on our first day if we could go and visit the protected Rhinos (we did this two years ago when we stayed at David Livingstone, we were told it was too far away - fair enough!) but then chatting to the other couple about our last game drive on the last day they were telling us of their fantastic trip to visit the Rhinos !!! We thought this was very unfair that some guests were taken and we specifically asked and were told, no. The management are great here so if you do want to visit the Rhinos i would definately make them aware and they will tell your driver.
Our last visit to the Mara two years ago we stayed at the David Livingstone and you actually land on the airstrip outside this lodge and then drive aprox 20 mins to the Royal Mara.
We flew from Malindi airport with fly540 and i really wouldn't recommend this, the route was Malindi-Nairobi-Mara and on the return the route goes Mara-Nairobi-Mombasa-Malindi in that order, i would have much prefered to pay the £100 more to fly with Mombasa air safari which are smaller planes and fly deirect from Malindi.
I decided to book this trip direct with the lodge, i went on their website and emailed the dates we wanted to stay, the service we recieved was second to none, the owner of the lodge George sent us so much information and nothing was too much trouble for him, he booked our flights and everything ran smooth. I was hesitant when it came to paying for the trip as you have to visit your bank and get them to do a swift transfer to the Royal Mara Account in Nairobi and i have never done this before but i can honestly say we experienced no problems what so ever and i would definatley recommend anyone to book and pay this way.
Overall a great place to stay, i don't think you will find more beautiful rooms in the Mara, just a shame about the drives which i feel could have been better and not being able to visit the Rhinos left a sour taste in our mouths.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank monkeyNorthampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2009

We recently stayed here for 3 days, the camp is small, with only 8 lodges, so you really are well looked after by J and all the staff. The lodges all overlook the Mara river where up to 500 resident hippos reside - be prepared to be kept awake at night! The lodges are absolutely amazing, so much thought has gone into them, they are furnished with traditional carved furniture, you have your own fridge, walk in shower room and are even provided with bathrobes and slippers. We have stayed in other camps in the Masai Mara but this far exceeds those. There are plan to build a swimming pool and new dining area which will only add to this camp's exclusivity. The camp also provides hot air balloon trips, which we did, but be prepared to be woken at 3.30am to travel the hour's ride to the balloon site. Walking safaris are also available at no extra cost, unlike other camps who charge for this experience. The food was also amazing, the coconut tart and chocolate mousse were the best we've eaten anywhere. Possibly the only downside is that the camp is set in the reserve ( as are most of the camps) as opposed to the actual Masai Mara park, but you will still see plenty of wildlife, and get the opportunity to see the local Masai people. We were staying at Watamu and booked with Abdul of Tunda Tours, who we would thoroughly recommend, he goes out of his way to make sure your trip is perfect.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank helenyazor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2008

We stayed at the Royal Mara in October of this year and had a fantastic time! I have been on 3 other safaris in Namibia and South Africa and have stayed in tented camps that were fenced in and not very personable, none of them even slightly compared. At the Royal Mara you feel more connected to the "Bush" with the animals roaming freely through the camp yet still safe. We sat on our deck and watched the hippos and elephants in and near the river and drank tea. The staff are also wonderful. The Masai who guarded our tent nightly has to be the most fearless person I have ever met! (Thanks Johnson!) We also enjoyed the food and hospitality. We decided to stay an extra night and Simon, the manager, was very accomodating and flexible. The game drivers also never gave up on finding the big five and making the drives excellent experiences. We saw 4 of the big five! My boyfriend and I would definitely recommend this to anyone traveling to Kenya.

Stayed: October 2008
Thank EliMB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2008

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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Thank gilescsk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2008

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rodg69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2008

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled with family
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Thank dubaiotes
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

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 #54 of 146 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: £517 - £528 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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