Mara explorer

May 14th, 2007, 04:08 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Mara explorer

Dear Fodorites,

How would you rate Mara explorer camp, compaired to other lodges like little governors,this in terms of luxury and gameviewing.
What are for you the top ten accomodations in the Mara.
The_thiel is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 06:23 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 290
Mara Explorer is much smaller than Governors Camp. It is more intimate. The tents are larger, more private, with bath tubs on the decks. Also the food in my opinion is better. They are in the process of up-grading their fleet.

My top camps would be:

Mara Explorer
Little Governors
Il Moran
Bataleur Camp
Mara Safari Club (after renovations 3rd 1/4 2007).
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 11:04 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
There are lots of new camps in the lux category, besides the usual Bateleur and Il Moran (I don't consider Little Governor's lux, though is small; or Mara Safari Club too large, to be lux)

Bateleur
Explorer
Il Moran
Cottar's
Olonana
Serian
Saruni
Richard
Naibor
Ol Seki
sandi is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 03:22 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 10
Hi
what about Mara Intrepids? No one has listed it. I am staying there in July and was quoted $1300 for 2 nights. I was quoted $1100 for Govenerors so I assumed Intrepids was the better camp as it was more expensive.
cathiewhite is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 03:44 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Those listed below are in the lux category and small... less than 10/tents with more personal attention and generally higher quality amenities and personal attention to guests.

Mara Intrepid's is about a 15/min drive from Explorer. It's a lovely camp, but 30-tents. When visited last week, they had completed upgrades/reburbishment of all but about 10/tents which should be completed by 1st June 07.

Those that have been upgrades are in new canvas tents, light colored, a bit larger than the old tents, with twin or queen-size beds, lovely bathrooms with separate prety tiled room for loos and another for shower, 2 modern designed wash basins. An outside deck, 24/7 electric.

In each group of 10/tents that have a family/friends tent consisting of 2/separate sleeping tents/baths with a joined screen enclosed walkway which kind of serves as a sitting, games, cocktail area. The honeymoon tents (in each group of 10/tents), have their deck on the side (rather than front) of tent to provide a bit more privacy.

Most tents are now on concrete base, though these are still a few on platforms. As I recall, these located farthest from the public area.

There is a pool, an ample dining area/bar, large shop for souvenirs or other items one may need. Clean public loos.

The manager of the camp is a very very very good looking man... took my breath away

As replies above, Explorer is a smaller camp with 10/tents, private outside bathtub, all with river views, great food service, and plenty of personal service. They do have plans to upgrade the tents to larger size. Prices here, of course, reflect the difference compared to Intrepid's.

It's rather difficult to compare prices offered by one camp and another to determine which is better.
sandi is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 04:49 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,064
What about the new Kuoni Mara Bushtops on the old Cottar's place, www.privatesafaris.co.ke/kuonimbt/kuonimbt.asp?
nyama is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 05:20 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Haven't seen the refurbished Bushtops, but word has that it's lovely.

As to Singita, have an email to a friend to ascertain further details, truth or rumour.
sandi is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 06:55 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 617
Safe to say you'll be going back to Mara Intrepids then Sandi?
Calo is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 07:33 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
What about the most important thing - GAME DRIVES. How do the camps compare for types of vehicles and maximum guests per vehicle and quality of guides?
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 12:29 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 221
I've been to a number of Mara camps including some that are more expensive and rate Mara Explorer the highest. It has a superb central location as well as first class dining, service and accomodation. Intrepids is also very good and game drives similar although you don't get a dedicated vehicle. Managers at both places superb especially the guy at Intrepids who upgraded us after 3 days to Explorer !

Phil
philw is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 10:05 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 290
Just got back from a long weekend at Mara Explorer last night. The camp is in superb condition. I would recommend Tent Number 4.

There have been heavy rains, so game drives are only around the Fig Tree area, as the rivers are too swollen to cross. Still we saw Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Elephant and lost of plains game.
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 02:02 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16
Sandy,
I intent spend 6 nights in masai Mara next december,as y recently visit some camps,would appreciated y comments /propositions.What about Olonana I've visit before.Is the road repaired to Oloololo gate.
thanks
albatros is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 02:27 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Do recent visitors of the mara explorer camp have any news or pictures on their new honeymoon tent?
Many thanks
The_thiel is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 03:50 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
I spent 2/days at Explorer and 2/days at Olonana and very pleased with both; yet both different. The road from Olonana to the gate is still chopped up, but not having seen it previously... to me it was much like many other roads. However, it only took about 20/min to the gate (in both daylight and after dark). Hey it's Kenya... lousy roads are to be expected most places.

As to the honeymoon tent at Explorer... I didn't get to see this, as it was occupied... there was a honeymoon couple in residence. But the manager indicated that tents #4 & #7, in her estimation were the nicest. Probably because these were the most private, farthest from the public area. Otherwise, all tents were private and certainly, if time allowed, do try to use the outdoor tubs at each tent.

I was in tent #9, which along with #10 are the closest to public space which was fine for me; still had privacy.
sandi is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 04:43 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16
Sandy,
In what are they different?
thanks
albatros is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 05:07 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
albatros -

Differences -

Olonana 12 tents vs Explorer 10
Olonana's tents are larger w/ 2 queen beds, hairblowers, full length mirror; plenty of fluffy towels and washcloths; shampoo, conditioner and lotion provided; comfy beds, hot water bottled to warm your feet. Run with few rough edges. It's an A&K property, with a very professional management staff, excellent guides. Swimming pool. Breakfasts are buffet, though hot items as eggs individually prepared and served... large selection. Olonana is partially fenced on the river side, as with plenty of hippos in the river below, they do leave the water at night to graze, so offer this protection as many client's have previously freaked-out when they found hippos outside their tents early mornings. You know there is a big corporation behind them. But this doesn't take away from knowing you're still very much in Africa.

The Olonana pluses, in no way take away from Explorer, which is an African based-operation, under the Heritage Hotels umbrella and top of their line of properties. No pool, but guests can use the one at Intrepid's (a 10-15/min ride away). Hairblowers available on request; plenty of fluffy towels, washcloths, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Comfy beds, hot water bottles to warm your feet. All meals served, even breakfast, where you can have anything you wish. Only buffet was their bush dinner which had plenty of offerings, plus Masai dancers for entertainment... quite a show when they pull in guests to join. Heritage does plan to enlarge their tents, as all other camps are going in this direction. Plenty of personal attention from management, staff and guides.

Disappointed though that neither had high-end vodka... no Absolut or Finlandia, only Stoly or Seagrams, ugh! Excellent selection of wines and, beer, of course. Maybe the truck couldn't get through the roads......

Of course, price maybe different between the two, though both are high in the lux category.

As I said, "different"... can't specifically say one is better than the other.
sandi is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 01:21 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 10
Hi Sandi,
when you were in the Mara Intrepids last week, did you take any photos, my kids would love to see them. Also do you have an email address for Mara Intrepids I have booked through Mics Safaris and thought if I emailed Intrepids direct maybe I could book the familt tents with the adjoining area - in other words the kids could have one tent and my husband and I the other and if need be the kids could come in the middle of the night without going outside.
Thanks
cathiewhite is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 02:10 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
cathie -

I haven't even uploaded my pics. I did take pics here and may have one of the Intrepid's family tent. Simply it's two standard tents with a screened breezeway between the two. This area contains a few chairs and maybe even some board games... the one I was viewing was occupied so couldn't get inside.

This would also be good for two couples traveling together.

If this tent config would be of interest, tell your safari outfitter to request this. That's what they're for "families."
sandi is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 04:37 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 290
Sandie - The Family Tents have one double bedded, and one twin bedded, so I sure there would be a fight If anyone wants the direct email for the Heritage Hotels Manager in charge of the Mara properties, let me know, and then you can make direct requests with the "boss"
roadwarriorafrica is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 05:01 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
roadwarrior -

For the family tent with a double and twin bedded tents would be ideal for a family with 2/children.

If two couples, it's not unusual for camps to accommodate in this type of set-up by pushing the twin beds together and placing a double, queen or king mattress on top.

Contact your safari outfitter or Heritage direct for details and place this request if interested.
sandi is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:08 PM.