A review of Sarova Mara Game Camp in the Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya during the trip, The Great Eastern Summer.
- Amazing luxury for a self-sufficient property in the middle of the Mara.
- Extremely friendly and compassionate service team.
- Safari with a real Maasai tribe member in a decked out Land Cruiser.
- Multiple dining options embracing the atmosphere of the park.
The Masaai Mara is a wild place and a protected national reserve. There is a range of accommodation options from camping to lavish “tents” like in Sarova Mara Game Camp. As one of the best rated 5-star resorts, we chose to experience this locally managed luxury property.
Opened in 1984, the Sarova Mara Game Camp is one of the original resorts in the reserve. Though it has 75 rooms, it still feels very personalized.
To arrive at the park which is 260 km from Nairobi, we decided to go by air which should take an hour. A car would take over 5 hours.
Unfortunately our AirKenya flight took almost three times that estimate, as we made multiple stops to drop off or pick up passengers. But we had a beautiful view over the Mara and it was almost like an air safari. On arrival we found our guide and his beige Land Cruiser patiently waiting for us.
After a short drive from Keekorok Airstrip we arrived at the gates of the resort.
They opened in a grand Jurassic Park like fashion and we knew we were in for a special experience.
After a quick check-in we were escorted the restaurant for a late lunch. Walking through the property we found it to be very modern with a full swimming pool, restaurant, bar, and spa. Tents lined the gardens behind a safe electric fence. The resort not only had electricity, running hot and cold water, but even wifi!
We noticed there were plenty of activities available like shopping at the Maasai craft market in the garden, getting a massage at the spa, playing table tennis, or even fishing in the lake.
We stayed in a Club Tent which are the superior tent class. They also have Standard Tents and Family Tents.
Awe would be the best way to describe the feeling exploring this “tent”. Besides the tarp over the bed section, the room was in fact a stand alone luxury cabin. The king bed with a mosquito net faces the door with glass panels for a clear view into the reserve. A desk and seating area were in the corners.
Behind the bed is a closet area with a wardrobe, safe, and shelves.
The bathroom had two sinks with a large shower on the left and a toilet on the right.
Outside is a sizable terrace with seating to view the wildlife from the comfort of your room.
The room has all the expected amenities of a 5-star like TV, phones, minibar, tea and coffee, and even wifi.
After checking out the room, we rejoined our guide who took us on a wonderful sunset safari. We saw elephants, a cheetah, vultures, hyenas, a black rhino, and lions. The sunset disappeared behind the car as we sped back to the resort.
That evening there was a Maasai dance performance in the lobby which we enjoyed over a couple of cocktail specials from the Oloip Bar.
Then we went to dinner at the Isokon Restaurant which had a huge buffet selection as well as made to order stations. We were seated on the terrace and enjoyed our international and local cuisine. Then after dinner the staff brought out a welcome cake in a grand ceremony with song and dance. We were very surprised and appreciated the gesture. They even pulled us out of our chairs to dance as the musicians played live music around us.
The next morning, we had a champagne breakfast at the salt lick, an area where buffalo love to graze. The private set up had a chef preparing eggs and bacon while a server poured champagne. We definitely felt very well taken care of!
After breakfast we checked out and went out on the second day of safari. Our guide, a native Maasai, was an expert on finding the animals. Within a day and a half of safari, we saw the big five and many other species.
For lunch a picnic was set up under a tree right in the middle of the Masa. Dining in complete solitude of the reserve was a unique and special experience.
We saw the great migration and then caught our flight back to Nairobi.
Sarova Mara Game Camp was an incredible experience. Location couldn’t be better in the center of the reserve, service was very friendly and sincere, and the facilities were very extravagant especially given the isolation of the resort. The safari tours were informative and most importantly, fun! The Maasai Mara Reserve is an alluring region and Sarova Mara Game Camp is the ultimate way to absorb it.
I highly recommend the resort for families, friends, or couples visiting the Mara!
Sarova Mara Game Camp
Address: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Telephone: +254 20 276 7000