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We stayed at the Ashnil Mara Camp from 14th – 17th September as two couples in their 50’s 60’s from England enjoying their first African safari. Accordingly this review does not attempt to compare the Ashnil with other safari lodges. We stayed at the Voyager Hotel in Mombasa before and after our safari at the Voyager Hotel which is the subject of a separate review. We travelled to Ashnil Mara by air in a 12 seat single engine Cessna aircraft, from Mombasa using Air Safari Mombasa. The flight took about 2 ½ hours including a stop at Amboseli to pick up additional passengers. We were lucky enough to have a good view of Mount Kilimanjaro and of Amboseli elephants from the air during the flight. The flight was full but there appeared to be plenty of luggage space available. The camp is situated on the Mara River within easy drive of the Olkiombo Airstrip. We were allocated rooms (tents?) numbered 21 & 23 which were close to the swimming pool, overlooked the river and were about 100 metres from the main complex. The rooms are a good size with a nice bathroom with modern shower and toilet and an external terrace with furniture. At the times we wanted hot water it was in plentiful supply. The room has a safe for valuables and there is a cooling fan and sockets for charging phones and cameras. At night a hot water bottle was provided, which although not really necessary was a nice touch. Others have commented on the considerable distance that the farthest rooms are situated from the main building and having walked there I agree that this could be a difficulty for those with any mobility issues. Swimming Pool The swimming pool was in a very good clean condition and well maintained, with towels provided for guest use at the pool. Around the pool are a number of sun loungers with parasols. At the time of our visit the pool was not at all busy. Bars & Drinks There is a well-stocked bar serving drinks at reasonable prices which are charged to your room or can be paid for as you go. The house wine was perfectly drinkable at KS450 a glass, with bottles of wine starting at KS 2250 for Mara white and KS 3350 for a Pinotage or Shiraz. A coke was KS200 and beer about KS 400 from memory. Buffet restaurant The buffet restaurant provides breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was a good selection of breakfast choices, fruit juices, bacon, sausages, freshly cooked eggs, pastries, fruits, cereals and so on. Coffee and English breakfast tea (an essential!) are brought to the table. The buffet area is quite small, but a reasonable number of nicely presented and good quality dishes were made available for lunch & dinner. There are a number of Indian style dishes served daily. The restaurant size and staffing were suitable for the number of guests and we were allocated a waiter for the duration of our stay, who was very attentive. Some tables are available during lunch which overlook the river. Drinks are ordered at the table and were provided promptly. If the buffet choice is not to your liking, some a la carte meals are available at a reasonable price. First thing in the morning coffee, tea and biscuits are provided. For an early game drive, when we would not be returning for breakfast, we were provided with breakfast boxes that were excellent. Water is also provided in the vehicle. Having purchased malaria tablets and anti-mosquito clothing it was a relief not to see a single mosquito throughout our stay at the Ashnil and the only insect bites suffered were midge bites to the ankles when I went for a walk off the path in the Ashnil grounds. Entertainment A fire pit is lit next to the bar of an evening and there were educational talks given on things like Maasai culture. A number of guests had birthdays during their stay and the staff made a real thing of providing a birthday cake with very enthusiastic celebratory singing and impromptu music and dance. Given the early start for game drives, lively late night entertainment was not what we were looking for and the quiet peaceful atmosphere was just right. Gift Shop There is a well-stocked shop selling a diverse range of souvenirs, jewellery, clothing, camera SD cards, books and maps etc. at what we thought were very reasonable prices. Game Drives We were allocated a six passenger land cruiser with our driver/guide Musa Senteu for the duration of our visit. We were met by Musa at the airstrip where we waited a short while for two other passengers to arrive. We then set off on a short game drive to the Ashnil camp. We saw so many animals in that first drive, it was amazing. The vehicle was open on both sides and so we were glad that we had arrived dressed suitably. Musa is a very knowledgeable and entertaining guide and we thoroughly enjoyed his company. I believe that Musa is going to retire at the end of October and so we wish him the very best of luck for the future. Having checked in we had lunch before the afternoon game drive. We enjoyed a total of 7 game drives and were lucky enough to see lions, cheetahs, a leopard, hyenas, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, ostriches, secretary birds, vultures, eagles, warthogs, antelopes, zebras, wildebeest and other wildlife. We did not manage to see rhinoceros or a migrating wildebeest herd crossing the Mara River; but we did see a herd of elephants make a river crossing which was truly magical. We also got to see the most fabulous sunrises and sunsets that I have ever experienced. One option on offer was to visit a traditional Maasai Village which was interesting, if a little contrived; be prepared to pay a fee of about $20 per person, which we were told was to help fund the school, so it is for a very worthwhile cause. Something to bear in mind is that the terrain in the Mara can be very rough in places and being in the vehicle for 5 hours or so in a day may not always be too comfortable, some people could find this a bit of an ordeal. The weather conditions during our visit were very pleasant, with a slight chill early in the mornings (a fleece/sweater make things comfortable) and getting warmer but not uncomfortably hot in the afternoons. We were fortunate that we experienced only one short rain shower, otherwise the canvas sides of the vehicle would have to be dropped which I think would be very restrictive. There are a number of different styles of vehicles that we saw in the game reserve, that ranged from small mini vans to large 4x4’s with some having lifting roofs that allowed for standing up for viewing. We saw a number of vehicles which had suitable bars or mounts for attaching long lens cameras. Our particular vehicle had a fixed canvas roof, windscreen, rear screen and open sides. Accordingly even though we had some clamps and monopods, all of our photographs were taken by hand holding the camera. If you are a keen photographer you may wish to research the types of vehicles that are on offer. As far as I am aware Ashnil only use the open sided land cruisers and they do not provide camera mounts or bean bag supports. However the wildlife in general seems to be completely at ease with safari vehicles and we were able to get close to the animals, consequently a 300mm lens was all that was required to get some reasonable (for novice amateurs) hand held shots. Ashnil Wildlife The Ashnil has a terrace that overlooks the River Mara and there was a large group of hippos in close proximity to keep us entertained. There were also crocodiles in the river and lots of birds, some mongoose and antelope in the grounds to be photographed. At night the sounds of hippos and on one night lions and hyenas, could be heard which only served to intensify the safari experience. Conclusion The Ashnil Mara is a well-managed establishment that lived up to its publicity and delivered everything that we expected of it. The staff were efficient and friendly and we really enjoyed our stay. The game drives with Musa as our guide were truly spectacular.
The camp is beautiful. It's location is perfectly placed inside the park. I loved having meals & tea looking over the river watching all the hippos (we counted 39 one morning). The staff at Ashnil Mara Camp make the place - knowledgeable, friendly! Everyone has time tp help & chat. We were really looked after incredibly well. The food was great. We stayed 4 nights & loved all the special touches including the bed turn down & the hot water bottles every night. Our guide, Edward, was amazing & we were able to see the big 5, & more. So incredible Thankyou so much to everyone there, especially the manager, Joan, Regina & Edward
We have just spent 3 nights and 4 days at this beautiful camp. The accommodation is so luxurious and with all the extra touches of the bed being turned down and hot water bottles, you could have been in any 5 star hotel. The manager and the staff we met were so friendly and always had time to chat about anything and always with a friendly smile. The most amazing part for myself and my husband was the safari’s. These were made extra special by our guide Kerore. He amazed us every day with the animals he found, we will not forget him. He is a very valuable asset to the business, look after him. Moses was our waiter who looked after us very well each day. A holiday we will never forget and hope to return again.
Brilliant camp for safaris, stayed 3 nights and 5 game drives with Francis who looked after us so well and very knowledgable. All the staff were friendly, helpful and polite and all spoke to us every time time we saw them.lovely food in great restaurant brilliant choices, we felt very special here. Room was lovely and special, brilliant view from our balcony and kept clean and tidy, did not want for anything, al the time we were here. Love to go back soon.
Having arrived from Ashnil Samburu we were not expecting it to be as good. How wrong were we. Without exception, everyone was so friendly and nobody walked passed us without saying Jambo. Thank you so much to all the staff particularly Joan who gave us the best room on site and Alfred who was always on hand to help us. Thank you all very much
Listening to the hippos at night we knew we were in Africa! The accommodations were clean and comfortable and our personal "housekeeper" Japheth Rotich was so attentive. The airy dining room and attentions of the staff, especially our server Moses, were quite enjoyable. The buffet food was very good, although they need to find a way to keep the flies away from the desserts. The gift shop was extensive, filled with Kenyan items, and priced reasonably.
My wife, 2 teenage daughter's and I have just returned from a 3 night, 4 day safari at this stunning camp. The location on the Mara river gives you great views of the hippos during lunch and early evening in the bar and restaurant area. On arrival we were greeted by the manager Daniel with a huge friendly smile and after a brief introduction and information about the camp we were taken to our tent. The tents are incredible, if you remember you are in the middle of the Mara and not a big posh hotel in a busy holiday resort, the level of luxury, cleanliness and comfort is outstanding. Yes the power is turned off between 12 midnight and 4am but this is not an issue as you should be asleep and the hot water is turned off when you are out of camp on a game drive but it was always available when you need it. We knew all about this before we arrive but it really was not a problem. The food on camp was always delicious and even my 13 year old daughter with her fussy eating always found something to eat. It was her 13th birthday whilst in camp and the staff made such a fuss, we never asked, planned or mentioned this to anyone but all the staff knew and everyone of them made her feel very special. Little touches like this make all the difference and it wasn't the only one. All the staff greet you by your first name so it seems so much more personal. Our waiter Amos was great, very informative about the animals, the area, his family and tribe. Every morning when you return from your game drive your tent has been opened up to keep it cool, cleaned, beds made and mosquito nets put away. When you return from your evening game drive the your tent is all closed up to keep in the warmth, mosquito nets put up and at 7 PM on the dot hot water bottles are delivered. BRILLIANT!! All the staff were first class. The swimming pool is, shall we say fresh as its not heated, but it's very welcome as the temperatures in the afternoon can be very warm The best thing and the reason you are there are the game drives. A very special mention to our guide KERORE, from his enthusiastic greeting at the landing strip on arrival to the very tearful goodbye from all of us including Kerore at the end. He tailored every drive to our needs, if you mentioned an animal you would like to see he found it, he organised a separate trip to a Massi village and looked after my family as if it was his own while I was on a balloon safari. Overall my whole family found our stay and experience here first class. We have travelled quite a lot, to many different countries and different types of accommodation but Ashnil Mare camp is definitely one of the best we've been to. Wish we could have stayed longer. *
Stayed in the well equipped tented lodges whilst on the Masai Mara safari. On the river you can see hippos, elephants and wilder beast. All the staff here were very friendly and attentive. Just a few names I remember are Simi, Vincent, Joseph and Winnie. The food in the restaurant was delicious with fresh chapatis every day cooked by very friendly Simi. Also, we had a very informative wildlife talk in the evening. On the safari we saw lions, Mara giraffes, wilder beast crossing the river (after a 7hour wait, well worth it) leopard, cheetah, elephants, elans, buffaloes and plenty more.
We are so lucky we found property in Masai Mara & stayed in it our last night we had simply stopped there for Dinner as was suggested by our driver Alex where we were having a very bad experience @ Ilkieliani camp ,which our tour company Go Kenya booked us the day before happened to be my daughters birthday & because we had switched camp from a bad one to a worst the day before we didn't get to celebrate it we where tired & sad I went to front desk @ Ashnil & asked if we can arrange for a cake & the lovely lady @ front desk was more than happy to organize she said the chef prepared a cake & they will bring it out over dinner @ the same time I asked her If they have a room available & I told her of our bad experience while we were having dinner both she & The manager Edwin Nyamanga came to me they said they have a room available , I was more than happy to pay for it although we had been charged by go Kenya to stay in another property & our luggage was @ the other property still we switched & stayed here & sent our driver to get our luggage from the other property @ last we managed to have a nice dinner & relax in a very beautiful room & shower & didn't have to worry about electricity blackout as the other properties our terrible tour company Go Kenya booked us at Thank you Edwin & beautiful lady @ front desk (whom I am sorry I cannot recall the name but remember your beautiful smile ) for accommodating our 1 night reservation last minute also thank you to the chef & kitchen staff for bringing out a beautiful cake & making our night The property was beautiful , The food was amazing , staff was lovely ,the room was clean & beautifully furnished It had a beautiful swimming pool & a spa which we didn't try because of our short stay The bar was lovely Staying @ Ashnil was Beautiful & Ashnil was a savior after having had a really bad experience in 2 properties in the Masai mara
Most remarkable were the game drives with our guide Ezekiel. He is a very personable, knowledgeable and polite guide. We had a great time. We saw and learnt a lot. Best exclusive sightings were a leopard with cub, a cheetah with three cubs, lions with cubs and lion couple in need of cigarettes. :-) We smiled and the animals came to us. That was our bush motto. The visit to the Maasai village was very insightful as well. The tents and wooden paths would need some minor maintenance here and there. Thank you for an enriching experience.
Ashnil Mara Camp places you adjacent to Maasai Mara National Reserve. This 56-room, 4-star tentalow has free breakfast along with conveniences like an outdoor pool and free in-room WiFi.
Free buffet breakfast is included with your stay and awaits you each morning from 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM. Order from room service to satisfy your hunger without leaving your room, or enjoy a bite to eat at the onsite restaurant.
Guests can expect to find free WiFi. Pillowtop beds sport premium bedding and the bathroom offers a hair dryer and free toiletries. Other standard amenities include a balcony or patio, free bottled water, and a ceiling fan.
At Ashnil Mara Camp, guests enjoy an outdoor pool, a children's pool, and free WiFi in public areas. There's free parking, and an airport shuttle (available 24 hours) for USD 55 per person one way. The front desk is staffed 24/7 to help with luggage storage, tours or tickets, and securing valuables. Other amenities at this family-friendly tentalow include a meeting room, a 24-hour business center, and express check-out.