Anyone stay at Mara Safari Club

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Jul 24th, 2003, 05:49 AM
  #1
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Anyone stay at Mara Safari Club

Has anyone stayed at the Mara Safari Club? I booked my trip before I found this site and am now worried from reading posts that I've made a mistake. Will I be able to see the migration from here? Is it a good place to stay? The other thing I'm concerned with is it is almost half the price of Governor's after they reduced the price this week. That makes me worry that it isn't NEARLY as good.
Any help is appreciated.

Andy
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Jul 24th, 2003, 07:39 AM
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LizFrazier
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Andy-
Where did you see that Governors Camp reduced their rates this week? Their site doesn't reflect it. Thanks. Liz
 
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Jul 24th, 2003, 08:02 AM
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LizFrazier
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Andy-
I did a quick search on Google, and saw that it wasn't Governors Camp but the Mara Safari Club who reduced rates.
What a deal! Incredible! I can't imagine why.
I found this site with a recent update and you may find it interesting. A report from the Mara about the migration. Gets me sooo excited.

http://www.wildlifetravel.net/africa...i%20update.htm

You know, from looking at the map on www.go2africa.com, where they have an interactive camp on Kenya (as well as all African countries), it doesn't look like Mara Safari Club is very far from the Mara Serena Camp, which is close to Rekero tented camp. Since Rekero tented camp is a seasonal camp it isn't reflected on any maps of the Mara. I really think 1.5 million Wildebeests will crowd all of the Mara. Since your camp is on a river, I don't think you'll miss any of the excitement. It looks like a real lovely camp and sort of off by itself. You'll surely hear the lions and hyenas at night from your tent and as you sit around the fire at night. That is one of the best experiences. There will be loads and loads of animals. Please don't worry. Game drives go out for 3 hours and you will see plenty.
Plus you saved a LOT. That is wonderful, but I can see it makes you also wonder why they did that. Just my opinion. Liz
 
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Jul 24th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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Liz,
You're right, it is the Mara Safari Club that has reduced the rates. It's basically half the rate as Governor's which got me worried about why some are dropping their rates and others aren't. Oh well, I think you're right in that with that many animals, how can I not see them? I am very excited about going as I can tell you are as well. Thanks.

Andy
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Jul 24th, 2003, 11:53 AM
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My guess would be that, given the sad drop in tourism to East Africa at the moment, that many camps are having to drop their prices to attract visitors.

The camps that are least likely to have to resort to this will be the ones that most people have heard of such as Governer's and so on. These will no doubt be quieter than usual too but will benefit from bookings from regulars as well as bookings from those who feel more comfortable booking into recognised names.

I would guess too that smaller camps with only a few tents will have less reason to drop rates than the big places with 20+ tents.

I don't know any of the camps mentioned particularly but I do know that I've heard before of Governers but not of Mara Safari Club.

Anyway, I do hope you have a good trip and come and post here all about additional planning as well as how the trip went, once you're back.

All the best
Kavey
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Jul 24th, 2003, 11:57 AM
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Re: reduced rates
Perhaps people are still worried about traveling to Africa...When I was there in June, many of the lodges had very very few people staying there.
RE: Mara Safari Club. I haven't stayed there. But on my trip I met a couple of Americans who lived in Nairobi and worked for the UN. They very highly recommended it!

Also from what the game drivers told me - when the migration begins - the Mara is completely filled with animals.
Have a great trip - enjoy the "bargain prices."

Sharon
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Jul 25th, 2003, 03:49 AM
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This month (August 2003) Travel and Leisure Magazine has the Mara Safari Club listed as #6 in the Top 15 Hotels in Africa and the Middle East, and I know that Tauck World Discovery uses them on their safari tours, so it must be very good. I would not worry in the least.

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Jul 25th, 2003, 04:05 AM
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LizFrazier
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Are any of the others listed in the top 15 in Africa? Liz
 
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Jul 25th, 2003, 07:08 AM
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We had a baloon safari booked through the travel agent for our trip but we were told that if the weather is bad and we don't go on the baloon safari, the hotel will not refund us our money. This doesn't sound right to us. The agent said we could book it when we get there but we are only at the resort 3 days and I'm concerned it will book up quickly in August. What are all of your thoughts?
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Jul 25th, 2003, 08:57 AM
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Liz -
Governor's Camp and Rekero are not on the list, but the Mara Serena Safari Lodge (is that the same as the Mara Serena Camp?) is listed at #10.

The only others in Kenya are the Norfolk at #14 and Mount Kenya Safari Club at #3, and in Tanzania are the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge at #2 and the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge at #9.
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Jul 25th, 2003, 11:48 AM
  #11
LizFrazier
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Dutchie-
What about the rest of Africa? Lots of folks here like Botswana, Namibia, SA, etc. Any of those on the list?
I am surprised the Mara Serena made it and not Governors Il Moran. Il Moran is totally luxury. Serena has only the one camp in the Mara, its okay but I don't consider it luxury. It is nice though.
 
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Jul 25th, 2003, 11:52 AM
  #12
LizFrazier
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Andy-
Tough call. Before I booked the hot air balloon, I made sure that we could get our money back if it didn't go. Governors Camp runs the one we will be using and we are staying there. There are at lease two other balloon outfits on the Mara and they are independent of any lodge. I'm rather surprised they would still charge, but you only know what your TA tells you. I don't always trust them anymore. I can deal better going right to the source about those kinds of things.
I think I'd take the chance. It is so thrilling, but it is a lot of money to lose too. I think I've always paid ahead and so far never lost out on a hot air balloon. Others will probably give you better adivce here as I've only gone on two rides in the Mara and it was always at Governors Camp.
 
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Jul 25th, 2003, 11:59 AM
  #13
 
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Liz-
Well, I don't want to violate copyrights by writing up the list word for word, but since it is all broken up, I guess I can tell you that the rest of the list consists of Londolozi in South Africa at #1, the Cape Grace in Cape Town at #4, MalaMala in South Africa at #5, the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town at #7, La Mamounia in Marrakesh at #8, the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town at #11, the Palace of the Lost City in Sun City, South Africa, at #12, the Victoria Falls Hotel at #13, and The Grace in Rosebank, Johannesburg, at #15.

The Travel and Leisure World's Best Awards are based on reader polls, and they used nearly 200,000 evaluations from travelers.
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Jul 25th, 2003, 02:23 PM
  #14
LizFrazier
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Thanks dutchie-
Most everyone here likes to see what is rated tops and by whom. I don't think some of them even belong on the list, due to age and condition of the ones I have stayed at or visited, but thats how their survey came out and it is interesting.
I went to www.balloonsafarisdirect.com/kenya.htm
and they say that there are 4 balloon safaris in Kenya and that isn't counting Governors Camp. Just the ones that this guy gives you a cut on the price for. Your camp isn't listed, so I guess there are more. There really isn't much useful on the site unless you are booking on your own and stay at one of those places he mentioned. You really have to go with what your agent says. Then hope for the best.
I looked through my Mara file for this trip and I can't find the email that says we get our money back if the balloon doesn't go up, so I suspect we won't. I can't remember those details and I copied all emails just for that reason. So maybe I overlooked that part.
You are doing just what I went through and I surely know how you feel. You will just have to go with your gut feelings on a lot of it and hope for the best. Traveling in Africa just isn't like traveling anywhere else. They have your money before you depart and you could have a GREAT time if you picked the right travel company, or you could have a bad trip. Its a toss up I think sometimes. I just hope for the best and the next time I always do things different to try to avoid previous mistakes. The thing is this. If its your first trip, you don't know any better. If its past your first trip you see there are so many options and possibilities that I'm not sure it ever gets better than the first trip. It easily gets more expensive, but not knowing any better definately has its advantages. I think a lot of the ground providers count on that. What you don't know, etc. Not always helpful am I? Liz
 
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