Stay: March 2008
I spent a little bit of time in Kenya in early 2008 and while there, I decided to do a weekend safari in the Maasai Mara. My travel agency booked me into the Sarova Mara Game Camp, a quite nice but very large complex which offers deluxe tented accommodations. "Tents" come in two categories. The cheaper ones are closer to real tents, but still sport real furniture, comfortable beds and bathrooms. The deluxe tents, to which we were upgraded, are incredibly beautiful and staying there is a real luxury.
My deluxe tent included a king-size bed (very comfortable), twin night tables, a comfy chair, and a desk. On the other side of a wall behind the bed there was a large dressing area, with a fridge, and a huge bathroom with double sinks and separate shower and toilet areas. While the walls of the structure are tented, its foundation is solid. The tent has a deck with deck chairs, from which you can watch the sunset. Tents are somewhat close together, but there is so much vegetation between them that you can feel you are alone. There is, however, very good cell phone reception. I also got to see a couple of miniature gazelles that had found their way into the camp site. While the resort is on the edge of the reserve, it's fenced so that big animals cannot get in.
The tents are cleaned daily, and the attendants come at night to close the windows for you. While the tents have doors, they only lock from the inside - there is a safe for your precious belongings.
The complex itself is quite nice and, as I said, very large. Going to the main building can be quite a hike. There is a swimming pool surrounded by deck chairs, a bar (drinks are quite expensive), a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a souvenir shop. Coffee and tea are served mid-afternoon in the lobby area.
I found everyone working in the hotel to be very nice, attentive and accommodating.
My vacation came inclusive of meals and tours (two a day). I found the food to be average, though definitely acceptable. Drinks were very expensive - and you definitely want to drink a lot with the heat. The tours were great and I got to see a lot of animals.
In all, it was a great place to stay when I was there (a couple of months after the post-electoral violence in Kenya all but destroyed tourism), as there were very few guests, but I would imagine it may get a little bit crazy during the regular tourist season. I'd definitely stay here again if it wasn't too crowded, however.
Sarova Mara Game Camp
Maasai Mara Game Reserve
254 050 22386/22194