Mara Bush Camp - has anyone stayed there?

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Mar 12th, 2009, 03:34 AM
  #1
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Mara Bush Camp - has anyone stayed there?

I am looking at options for a 2010 trip to the Mara and Mara Bush Camp is amongst the camps I am considering. Would be interested in comments from anyone who has stayed there, nothing came up in a search. If no one has stayed in the camp, maybe some comments about the general area from someone who has stayed in a camp nearby.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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Thank you
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Mar 12th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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A friend of ours stayed at the camp two years ago when it was still a small 5 tented camp. They had their own driver/car as they did a Sunworld circuit.

At that time the fly-in guests do game drives from 0600 to 0900hrs and then from 1600to18.30hrs.
But what do guests do between 0900am and 0400pm? Fly-in guests were very limited in their activities. When they wanted to do full day drives they had to rent their own vehicle for a fortune.
I must say this is shocking as especially for the migration one has to be at the crossing points between 1000 and 1500hrs as wildebeest mostly cross at the heat of the day.

I would rather consider one of the Governors camps which do at least 3 game drives a day and offer also full day drives.

Or I would ask Mr. Nowak for a confirmation that he is willing to let guests stay out at the crossing points.

Be also aware: They charge you for sundowner drinks almost 40US$!

Mara Bush Camp is also a perfect example for greed having taken over common sense.

SV
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Mar 12th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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That is interesting information to keep in mind. Many thanks. We would have our own car and driver so staying out isn't a problem. Just trying to find a smaller tented camp inside the reserve. Not sure whether to camp or not, seems like quite an effort.
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Mar 13th, 2009, 06:56 AM
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Governor's (Main) is much, much larger than Mara Bush. An alternative might be Little Governor's or Il Moran. However, these are booked on a "fly-in" basis. So unless you pay for exclusive use of one of their vehicles/guides or arrange your own driver to meet you... might not be good idea.

There are a number of small camps in the Mara, but these too are "fly-in" options, using the camps vehicle/guides for game drives.

Serian Camp (gets great reviews), a short drive outside the Triangle is small and though offered on a "fly-in" basis offers private vehicles per tent/group. Check them out.

Mara Bush - $40 for sundowners... ugh!
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Mar 13th, 2009, 06:28 PM
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Serian is far more personal and offers the ultimate flexibility to your safari - do what you want, when you want!!!

Governor's is in a good location, though.......
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Mar 13th, 2009, 10:14 PM
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Thanks Sandi and Hari. I shall keep digging.
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Mar 15th, 2009, 05:29 AM
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Another one: ENIM. Somehow connected to ilkeliani: www.ilkeliani.com (or co.ke) extremely favourable. only 5 tents direct at the river within the reserve and half of governorns rate. But I have not experienced it. Tripadvisor has a couple of good feedbacks.

Happy planing!

SV
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Mar 15th, 2009, 05:38 AM
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SV - You mean ENTIM Camp (not ENIM) at: http://www.entim-mara.com/ is sister camp (higher cost) of Ilkeliani, and well sited. View at bend of river is outstanding.
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Mar 15th, 2009, 10:06 AM
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http://www.mountainrockkenya.com/maraspringscamp.html

The above is a link to Mara Spring Camp. It seemed to be a lower cost option than some. In fact, compared to Mara Serena, which is not one of the most expensive spots, a week's stay was about $900 less, and that would include a chef joining me, along with the driver/guide. It is a self catering accommodation. If you did your own meals, the savings would be even greater.

I think I'd consider it in the future but only with a chef and a driver/guide. Not just me, alone. When I get to the Mara (no time soon unfortunately), I'd like to have a look around it.
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Mar 15th, 2009, 11:12 AM
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sandi
Thank you - you are right. Typo on my side. SORRY!
I also think it's a great location! It also makes sense to me to make it a combo of Ilkeliani (close to Talek Gate) plus stay Entim at the river.

SV
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Mar 16th, 2009, 02:32 AM
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Some more interesting suggestions. Not sure about staying near Talek Gate though, seems a bit crowded. Which gate is the main gate as specified in the Mara Spring Camp site?

The more you travel to a place and research it, the more you realise that you know very little, it seems.
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Mar 16th, 2009, 07:09 AM
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Mara Springs is near Sekenani gate. Yes, there's a sizeable "town" in the Talek area but it's also a convenient location to access the reserve for those who can't afford the camps inside the reserve.
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Mar 16th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Or you mean crowded with other tourists? Not sure it would be much busier than the other northern gate areas, more and more camps keep popping up everywhere!
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Mar 16th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Patty
Talek gate is the most convenient to get to Bella's place!
The "sizeable" town is Talek village and very convenient to those who might need to buy "airtime"
Regarding camps outside: There is Cottar's 1920, Elephant Pepper, Royal Mara, Bushtops - not particular money savers ;-)

SV
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Mar 24th, 2009, 05:20 AM
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Having stayed at Little Governors last week I would suggest flying whenever possible from camp to camp. The roads are terrible. Governors has the advantage of being right at the airstrip. When we stayed at Kicheche Laikipia at Mt. Kenya the 45/50 minuite drive to the strip was not a plus. Cut short our morning gamedrive to fit the air shedule. Kicheche Laikipia is lovely, well run and very small tented camp.
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Mar 30th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Hi Spassvogel,

I stayed at Mara Bush Camp last August and can recommend the acmp for people having their own car.
We were the only guests not using Sunworld-Safari as an operator, all other guests were traveling with them. The other guests said that the guides from sunworld are very good and their cars looked very well maintained.

The camp is very well situated but you must know that its kind of a simple camp. We stayed there for three nights and then had another three nights at Mara Explorer (just 10 minutes away) wich is much more luxurious. The tents at Bush camp are very functional, to get a shower takes around 20 minutes, but we dont care about this. Meals are ok but not exceptional. We took some housewine fot dinner, prices are high, but the rate for the camp is, compared to other camps in the area very reasonable.

I think Entim should be comparable, much more expensive but there drinks are included. At Mara Bush, you will have to pay extra.

I will finally place my trip report where you can find more about Mara Bush Camp.
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Feb 22nd, 2011, 11:10 PM
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I just cam back from The Bush Camp. These reviews scared me off some but I am glad I went. IT was nothing like what I read in a few reviews here (TripAdvisor reviews were more accurate). THe game park drives start (if you want) as 6:30 and we would get back about 12:30 or one. I chose to have breakfast on the drive but if you want to come back at 9 and have breakfast you can. Then after a lovely lunch under the trees by the river, I would read or take a nap and it was barely enough down time before our next drive which we stayed out until sunset.

The food was excellent, the accoumodations were beautiful - not at all simple as I read here. I am not sure what people expect. It is a safari and I wanted to feel connected to the Mara - not surrounded by walls.

I slept beautifully every night - listening to the hippos and hyenas in the evening and AM. Every AM my steward brought me coffee and the Masai guard would walk me to the early morning drive. My guide would have a nice warm blanket for me and off we would go to watch the sunrise, the cheetahs hunting (or lions or leopards). After a few hours we would stop under a tree, where we would have a beautiful vista of the Mara, and have breakfast. Then off for more viewing of the wildlife until we got hungry for lunch. It could not have been more perfect.

The staff were excellent. THe guide knowledgeable and friendly. I could not recommend the Bush camp more highly.

If you want more accurate reviews, in my opinion, check out the reviews on TripAdvisor.

One other thing, I was alone for the trip, I was in Kenya for business and decided all of a sudden to go to the Mara, and I felt completely comfortable being solo there. The Camp Manager, Aliya could not have made me feel more comfortable and welcome.
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Feb 23rd, 2011, 01:26 PM
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Hi Twaffle, While waiting for one of the crossings, we met several people (who seemed to be experienced travelers with good taste) who were staying at Mara Bush camp. They all raved about the experience.
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Feb 23rd, 2011, 11:39 PM
  #20
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Wow, I'd forgotten all about this thread. I've been to the Mara twice since this enquiry … who would have thought?!
Good to hear that Mara Bush camp is well thought of. I used a Sunworld vehicle for part of my recent trip in January although not for the Mara portion. The guide, Ken Naikuni, is someone I've used before and he is great, the vehicle are excellent. In the Mara I stayed at Serian again, having used them in 2010. My trip report is on its' way.
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