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Reviewed 23 July 2019

Wow. Just wow. Encounter Mara was our first stop on a 3 leg, 10 day tour of Africa, and it truly spoiled us for the rest of our trip! Everything about our stay was beyond perfect. This is a tented experience that exceeds some of the nicest resorts I've stayed in around the world. From the staff (with special thanks to manager Ezina and our guide, Sem), to the setting and facilities, to the food, and the spectacular wildlife viewing, Encounter Mara delivered excellence and luxury beyond compare. You will not regret choosing them for your Mara experience!

A few notes:
+Our guide was Sem, and he was incredibly knowledgable, kind, and great with our teens. At one point, he picked up on a herd of gazelles acting strangely and was able to quickly find the source: nearby lions who were approaching them. We feel so lucky that we were paired with him.
+The wildlife viewing was the best for our entire trip. We went to the Serengeti next, but had to drive 3-5 hours to see anything comparable to what was on the grounds at Encounter Mara and the neighboring reserve we drove to. This was also the only place where we heard animals at night, which really added to the experience.
+We had a family tent, which was spectacular (and huge!); it was two tents joined by a living area with a sofa in the middle. It was a great way to have family shared space, with a little independence and separation for older kids.
+The morning coffee/tea/cookies were a spectacular way to wake up (especially for those early 5:15 am wakeup calls!)
+Speaking of food- everything was wonderful and exquisitely presented. There was no chance of going hungry- wakeup call with coffee and biscuits, breakfast on the road (with the best homemade granola/muesli I've ever had! And, they kindly gave me the recipe, so I hope I can replicate it...), lunches, tea with homemade cakes, dinner and my new favorite tradition- the sundowner (a cocktail and light snacks on on the late afternoon drive).
+Encounter truly thinks of everything- after dinner, on chilly nights (and yes, it was a little chilly in late June), you return to your bed with a warm water bottle in it! I don't know how, but that bottle stayed warm all night. They also had them in the trucks for the early morning drives, which was awesome.
+There is wifi in the wifi tent, but not in the rooms themselves, which we liked (gets teens off of devices).
+They have a little giftshop with local artisan crafts that were lovely.
+A member of the team always sat with us at meals; it was fun and a great way to learn more about Kenya.
+It is so great that they employ locals. We enjoyed learning more about the Masai culture. Highly recommend doing the visit to the Masai village if you are interested in local culture. It is not expensive (and money goes to help the local villages) and is an incredibly grounding learning experience.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that we felt totally spoiled by Encounter Mara? :) Either way, our experience there really made the trip truly memorable. We would love to come back again someday!

Date of stay: June 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Careyjok
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AsiliaAfrica, Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2019

Dear Carey

What a pleasure reading your review! Thank you so much for this great review and sharing your Encounter Mara experience. We are thrilled that you had such a wonderful time with us all around and that we were able to offer you the safari experience you have hoped for.

We appreciate your kind recommendation and compliments to our team, it was our pleasure hosting you and making your stay a memorable one.

We look forward to that return visit, the animal serenade, delicious food and our friendly team will be waiting!

Warmest regards from Africa,
The Encounter Mara Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2019

My daughter and I had a fabulous safari with Encounter Mara. From the pick up from the airstrip to the transfer to our next camp - everything was spot on! Our guide Nabaala was fantastic. He was very knowledgable and so in tune with his surroundings and also our needs. The quality and the quantity of the game that we saw was truly outstanding and we left with many "once in a lifetime" sightings!! The camp was also very well managed by Sammy and all of the staff. They really went out of their way to make our stay a memorable one. We hope to be back!

Date of stay: July 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Ingrid F
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AsiliaAfrica, Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this reviewResponded 19 July 2019

Dear Ingrid

Thank you for this wonderful review, we are thrilled that we were able to offer you the stay and safari experience you have hoped for and more!

We appreciate your compliments to our team with such pride and it was our pleasure hosting you and being a part of this once in a lifetime experience.

We look forward to that return visit, our friendly team will be waiting!

Warmest regards from Africa,
The Encounter Mara Camp Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2019 via mobile

We stayed there three nights, had a great welcome by the management and the staff, very informed guide with amazing game drives and all the things you can wish for an excellent stay!
We enjoyed the Lunch buffet, every time shared with one of the management asking us, what we have seen at our game drives and having a really nice conversation about nearly everything! SO TASTY!!!
And of course the family style dinner, talking to each other from all over the world! In the conservancy there are less cars than in the Rest of Masai Mara, so it was often the feeling, we were alone with nature! Great! Thanks!

Date of stay: July 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank 417martinal
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AsiliaAfrica, Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2019

Hello,

We are thrilled that you had such a wonderful stay and truly appreciate you taking the time to post this review. We do hope the special memories are lingering and recalled regularly.

It would be a pleasure to welcome you back to us again for another stay. Come back soon!

Warmest regards from Kenya,
The Encounter Mara Team

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Reviewed 12 July 2019

This tented camp was outstanding, far exceeding the other tented camps that we stayed in. The tent was spacious, extremely comfortable, and had a sitting area. We had a great bathroom set up, which made the bucket showers seem much more comfortable. The grounds/paths throughout the camp were extremely nice and the service from the staff was outstanding. The food was very good, and our guide during our stay was truly outstanding!

Date of stay: July 2019
Trip type: Travelled with family
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AsiliaAfrica, Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2019

Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to post this review and sharing your Encounter Mara experience.

We are thrilled that you had such a wonderful time with us and that we were able to exceed your expectations, what a compliment to our team!

We do hope to welcome you back in the not too distant future.

Warmest regards from Africa,
The Encounter Mara Team

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Reviewed 11 July 2019

Our stay at Encounter Mara was wonderful. Everything from the accommodations to the food and especially the staff! I would highly recommend this lodge! There wasn’t a day that we didn’t feel extremely pampered and very welcome by all the staff.

Date of stay: June 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank alanakw
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
AsiliaAfrica, Manager at Encounter Mara, Asilia Africa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2019

Hello,

Thank you for sharing your Encounter Mara Experience.

We are pleased that we were able to offer you the safari experience you have hoped for and appreciate your kind recommendation and compliments to the team with such pride.

Do come back soon for another pampering stay!

Warmest regards from Africa,
The Encounter Mara Team

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