Cottar's v. Il Moran

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Mar 29th, 2006, 06:39 PM
  #1
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Cottar's v. Il Moran

I'm looking at Cottar's and Il Moran for a honeymoon trip in Masai Mara. Both have their fans on the board, yet the style of each camp appears to be different, and I can't get a feel for which I'd prefer. Can anyone comment on which is a better overall experience based on tents, food, game viewing and ambience?
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Mar 29th, 2006, 07:24 PM
  #2
santharamhari
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Hi! Congratulations on the wedding......

When is the trip? I would think, game viewing wise Il Moran gets the nod.....it is one of the best areas for game in the Mara.

Other options to consider Mara Explorer and Serian. All equally luxurious.
 
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Mar 29th, 2006, 10:21 PM
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More congratulations,

i have used both (not for honeymoons though). Cottars is more personal and Il Moran better run and far better for game. Though I would urge you look at Serian as an alternative, it has the personal feel and service lacking in your two current choices and is located in the environs of Il Moran and has great viewing closeby. In one week we never had to go any further than 4kms to see Lion Leopard Elephant and Buffalo! Fabulous waling and romantic outdoor baths!

If committed to your two choices il moran is the better game viewing and Cottars more flexible with their daily regime.
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Mar 30th, 2006, 04:26 AM
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Thanks! You have been most helpful! I think Serian sounds fantastic but unfortunately have not heard anything positive back from them on availability. Another camp we're looking at is Richard's - it's hard to tell from the website and from the limited postings here what that camp is like - have you had any experience there?

Many thanks
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Mar 30th, 2006, 04:41 AM
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Until now my personal experience with Serian has not been good. I understand that it is great camp and such but they don't respond to emails. I have been trying to arrange a stay for a while now and not a single response to any of my queries.

If anyone had better luck please let me know how you established contact with them!

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Mar 30th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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katesy,
I visited Richard's camp in November and posted some photos here - http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=...&x=0&y=-cbpxy0

Since we didn't stay there (we stayed at Kicheche nearby), it's difficult for me to make too many comments. I will say that location wise it's much farther north than Il Moran or Serian. Based on my limited experience, I think the game viewing is better inside or closer to the Mara triangle, but I think you'll get a very personalized experience at Richard's. As for the luxury factor, their tents aren't quite as luxurious as the other camps you're considering.
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Mar 30th, 2006, 09:18 AM
  #7
santharamhari
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HI Katesey and climbhighsleeplow,

There are a couple of ppl on this board who go to Serian all the time. Trying to do a search for their responses and see if you can come up with an email id for them and ask them about their experiences. Honestly, looking at their website, they look awesome.........
 
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Mar 31st, 2006, 12:03 AM
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i find it strange as Alex from Serian has always been very good in replying back on my emails and always helping me in trying to accomodate to my wishes. For reasons explained in another post, we couldn't book there, but if ever the opportunity we will. did you try this address[email protected]
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Apr 1st, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Thanks everyone! We have decided to go with Il Moran (late August) over Cottar's - it looks just wonderful!

We're planning to match Il Moran up with 2 nights elsewhere in the Mara, either Richard's, Bateleur, or Naibor. From Patty's pictures, Richard's looks and sounds like a nice contrast to Il Moran (personalized service, different location), but perhaps since we're on our honeymoon we should go all out lux with Bateleur? Does anyone have a perspective on Naibor? I love the style of the camp (from the photos on their website), but I understand it's a bit far from the action.
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Apr 1st, 2006, 01:10 PM
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Do all of these camps still have availability in late August? If so, that would be great to hear and gives late bookers some hope.
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Apr 1st, 2006, 01:17 PM
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Pockets here and there, so it is like a puzzle putting it all together. I'm so relieved that we have been able to find such nice places to stay!
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 04:03 AM
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Katesy

Also surprised that you have had no reply from Alex he is normally very good indeed. Have you tried [email protected] as an alternative. I would recomend you really try to stay in one place for the four nights though as moving around detracts from your time on safari and holiday. have fun whichever.
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for all the advise and help! Good news - Serian has confirmed just availability on my dates! Do you think that 6 nights in the Mara split between 2 camps (Serian & Il Moran) is a good plan (enough variety) or would we be better doing 3-4 nights in the Mara at one camp and 1-2 nights elsewhere in Kenya? After the Mara we are hitting the Crater and Zanzibar, a total of 12 nights on the trip. Thanks!!
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Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:25 PM
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With Serian and Il Moran being relatively close to one another, and both will likely provide similar opportunities. I feel you can stay 4-days at one of these. And for something extra special consider Shompole which is very very very special and quite romantic. Check to see if they have any space available.

 
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Apr 4th, 2006, 02:23 AM
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Katesy

Sandi's suggestion is a good one! Alternatively take advantage of Serian's mobile camp on the other side of the Mara river, in the Mara Triangle & right amongst the crossings. Il Moran and Serian are a little to close. You would be doing some similar gamedrives, though much more opportunity to walk at Serian. Shompole or perhaps something at the coast instead! have fun.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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You all have been incredibly helpful - thank you for all of your suggestions and insights! I have just confirmed what I think will be an amazing trip, based on recommendations from this board(August 22 - September 3, 2006):

4 nights Serian
3 nights Shompole
5 nights Matemwe Bungalows

I can't believe that I was able to find availability at this late date - it all fit together perfectly like a puzzle. We'll have to hit the Crater and other spots in Kenya and Tanzania next time around.
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Apr 4th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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Congrats, katesy! Please post a report when you return.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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hi katesy, you lucky girl, you'll be doing two of my dream lodges but atleast I'll get to do one of them this trip (shompole), but next time i really would like to do serian... i agree with patty, please do post a report with lots of pictures... if you don't mind, could you tell me what rate you'll be paying for when ? and who did you book with ?
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Apr 6th, 2006, 05:31 AM
  #19
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katesy:
Sounds like a fabulous honeymoon. Congrats.
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