We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“5 star safari experience”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Royal Mara Safari Lodge
Reviewed 15 August 2009

The Royal Mara Lodge accommodation was fabulous, wooden buildings on stilts with Teflon tents securing our home for the next 3 nights. A 4-poster bed decorated with wooden animal carvings and furniture to match certainly ensured we were going to be well looked after by day and by night. Food was served by the Mara River where we could peacefully watch the hippos lounging in the mudded water. 4 course lunch and dinner ensured you were never hungry and certainly did nothing for those wanting a healthy eating holiday! There was 24 hour escorted guard ensuring although we were in the middle of the Mara we were always protected for there are no fences separating you from the animals. It is difficult to put into words how it feels when you are woken in the night by the roaring of an angry lion protecting its prey, or a hippo quietly grazing on the grass outside your lodge but rest assured it was the most comfortable of beds and I have to say some of the best nights sleep I have had in ages! Even though it is pretty chilly at 6am getting up for the morning safari was not a problem. A quiet knock on the door from our butler Chris bringing us an early morning coffee, tea or hot choc with biscuits hit the spot! The staff were fabulous, whether they were the waiting staff, the security or the hotel management they all spoke perfect English and always had a smile on their face! The lodge is run by the Sphikas family who we only met on the night we arrived, however as we booked direct with them rather than a travel company we were certainly given a personal service before we had even left England. We explained we were coming for our honeymoon and they were able to give us a deal and also arrange later flights on departure day so we got another day's safari!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank dougnjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (420)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

352 - 358 of 420 reviews

Reviewed 26 July 2009

What a great spot. The 'tents' are superbly luxurious with plumbed in bathrooms and magnificent hand carved furniture.

Meals by the river and by the campfire have a magnificent ambiance and the standard of food is really really good. In fact it was probably better than our hotel and we thought that was good.

The staff are great and make sure you have a good stay. There are no fences so there is a lot of wildlife in the camp. We had hippos in every night and lions and hyenas on one occasion. You get armed guards if you want to walk anywhere. They are excellent and great fun. Regan is the head of security and can take you on a walking safari which is just fantastic.

One thing to watch for when booking a safari is the vehicles/drivers. We didn't know this in advance but we lucked out because Royal Mara have good solid Land Cruisers and great off road drivers. That enabled us to get across the park much easier, faster and also got us closer to the animals. We were really keen to see a leopard and we'd never have managed to spot one without the skillful driver we had. Avoid any safari camp that uses the Nissan vans - they are rubbish.

Apparently they are putting in a pool before December 2009 which means if (when) we go back we'll probably book a longer safari and skip some game drives to chill out in camp. We went to Malindi (dream of africa) for a few nights then flew to the safari, then flew back to dream of africa for a week. That was a wonderfully relaxing way to do it but if we wanted to save a few pounds i'd go from Nairobi straight to the Royal Mara and skip the Dream of Africa.

Book it - it is epic.

PS book through Tunda Tours. Abdul is the cheapest and most trustworthy guy around. He also knows all the places and can troubleshoot if you have any difficulties ( we didn't but he still called the camp staff every day to make sure we were happy and to try and get us free stuff)

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ramone161
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2009

Our stay for 4 days was filled with awesome drives in the Mara. The lodge far exceeded our expectations, everything was first class with all the hand carved furniture adorned with animals. The tents are right on the banks of the Mara river loaded with hundreds of hippos seranding at all hours. The lodges are very spacious and comfortable with a really huge king sized bed.
All the staff was fantastic and went out of their way for you. The food was amazing and plentiful. Who would have though you would be served Osso Buco and Fettuccini Alfredo in the wilds of Kenya. The game drives were really good with John our driver spotting the animals with an eagle eye. We got to see 4 out of the big 5 the on;y one we didn't see was a leopard but that didn't stop John from trying really hard to find them. We did see and lots of other animals including three prides lions, giraffes, elephants, etc, etc, etc. We took a long drive to see the protected Rhinos which was extraordinary. We visited a local Masai village which was interesting to see their way of life and how they live in harmony with the animals. Somewhere in the Mara there was a Masai "Duty Free Shop" great marketing idea. We did a bush walk with Regan out onto the mara and got close to some giraffes. Regan, with his rifle, or another security guy was always there to escort us to and from our lodge as we were living in the animals habitat without fences. They will also do your laundry.
Prepare to get up early for the first ride of the day starts at 6:30am and you will be served coffee or tea at 6am in you lodge. You will return at around 9am for breakfast of fruits, cereals. Lunch is a feast around 1pm sometimes in the bush with the babboons (Elvis and family) following along. Another ride at around 3:30pm coming back at sunset for dinnner. There are some Elands (Sooswah is her name) that have been rescued by George who you can hand feed. Our thanks to the Georges (Sr. & Jr.) for creating such a wonderful oasis, and all the other staff we met - Regan, Simon, Charles, John, Sammy and Daniel and all those who we didn't. After this experience I will never be able to visit a zoo again.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank yssaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2009

We stayed for 2 nights/3 days but really wish we could have stayed longer, this place is like no where we've stayed before it is totally unique with the hand carved wooden furniture with all different animals carved into everything. The tented lodges which are in a wooden shell on stilts are right on the banks of the mara river which has hundreds of hippos in it-it was great to sit by the river at meal times watching all the hippos. The lodges are very spacious and comfortable with a really big comfy bed.
Everything was 5 star and way more than what we ever expected, every member of staff was fantastic and went out of their way for you-nothing was any trouble whatsoever, the food was amazing and lots of it lunch and dinner always minimum of 3 courses and the food was always that good you didnt want to turn any of it down incase you were missing out on something(which you probably would have).
Our game drives were really good with Simon(SAFARI SAFARI) our driver spotting the animals from sooo far away-I had no chance til we were lots closer, we saw 4 out of the big 5 the 1 we didnt see was leopard but Simon did try hard to find them and took us to places he knows they usually are-unfortunately they must have been hiding when we were there, we did see cheetah instead though and lots and lots of other animals including a pride of 6 lions trying to take down a buffalo, they didnt manage it but was good to see them try. We did go to see the protected Rhinos which was really good and the locals are doing a very good thing here by taking care of them-well worth a visit.
We also visited a local masai village which was really interesting to see their way of life and just how close they live to all those animals.
We also went on the bush walk with Regan who took us out onto the mara plains which was quite amusing to think this is where we had been driving usually as could see tyre marks in the mud. Regan usually escorted us to and from our lodge as it has no fences and animals can roam freely,if he wasnt around someone would always be waiting outside the lodge at the end of the pathway to ensure your safety.
The lodge offers a complimentary laundry service and also any water drunk is complimentary too we only drank soft drinks other than water which were very reasonably priced so no big bill when you check out either-all staff so welcoming,thanks to J, Simon, Tom, Simon, Regan and Charles and everyone else behind the scenes, we would definitely stay here again and would recommend to anyone, it really is a gem of a place.

Terri and Mally

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank tezza_gy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2009

The Royal Mara Safari Lodge is a beautiful setting with amazing staff that are are so kind and caring and attentive. The food was sensational and plenty of it. The accommodation itself was stunning situated right on the Mara River, very spacious and more than comfortable, excellent facilities, good safari drivers - all round it was a very relaxing and fullfilling experience for me. I had been volunteering in Nairobi prior to my visit to the Royal Mara and was traveling alone. Amazing experience and I had an amazing time.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank noonantm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Luvtoholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank monkeyNorthampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Masai Mara National Reserve hotels
29.5 mi away
Basecamp Masai Mara
Basecamp Masai Mara
#10 of 146 in Masai Mara National Reserve
347 reviews
22.6 mi away
Ashnil Mara Camp
Ashnil Mara Camp
#27 of 146 in Masai Mara National Reserve
696 reviews
21.3 mi away
Ngerende Island Lodge
Ngerende Island Lodge
#74 of 146 in Masai Mara National Reserve
155 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
18.8 mi away
Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Camp
Mara Intrepids Luxury Tented Cam...
#16 of 146 in Masai Mara National Reserve
879 reviews
3 mi away
Mara River Lodge
Mara River Lodge
#96 of 146 in Masai Mara National Reserve
128 reviews
18.6 mi away
Mara Serena Safari Lodge
Mara Serena Safari Lodge
#22 of 146 in Masai Mara National Reserve
986 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Royal Mara Safari Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 #49 of 146 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: £186 - £507 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Royal Mara Safari Lodge 4.5*
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com and Jovago.com so you can book your Royal Mara Safari Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Royal Mara Safari Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Royal Mara Safari Lodge Kenya/Masai Mara National Reserve

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing