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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sarova Mara Game Camp, Kenya: A Review

The Sarova Hotels group, one of the leading hotel chains in Kenya have properties in all of Kenya’s key tourist spots. Hence, it is not surprising at all that they have one of their larger properties at Kenya’s main tourist destination – Maasai Mara. The Sarova Hotel property located in the eastern side of Maasai Mara is called the Sarova Mara Game Camp. I stayed here for 2 nights and 3 days during my recent wildlife safari holiday to Kenya.

The Cheetah is very friendly with the humans...it is known to climb jeeps with humans in it to get a better view of its prey
Following points make up my review of this tented luxury camp based on my recent experience:

1) Like the Sarova property (Lion Hill Lodge) at Lake Nakuru, even the Sarova Mara Game Camp is notorious for its extremely small accommodation. Over 3 days and 2 nights, I would have banged my head in the tent or my shoulder would have brushed the sides against the tent (standard tent) at least a 100 times. I found this really irritating as I had to literally watch my every step, shoulder and head in the tent. Definitely a huge minus for me given that I am paying a premium for these tents. But, thankfully, this was the only minus in my experience here.

2) I absolutely loved the Sarova Mara property. The property is set in a mini forest in itself on the eastern part of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. The small streams, the lake and the dense vegetation ensures that you are always woken up to pristine nature’s sounds of bird calls and whistles.

The Maasai Giraffe is possibly the only animal that can be seen clearly from a long distance; such is its gigantic height
3) The property, which is quite massive offers a great opportunity for a relaxed walk. It’s well cobbled paths, lake, lawns and excellent tree cover ensure that your walk will be totally blissful.

4) The property also has a swimming pool if you wish to cool off during the day.

5) My favourite thing about the Sarova hotels is their food. Nothing can beat their elaborate spread and quality of starters, salads, main course and desserts. Their food is totally top class. I would always return to Sarova just for their food.

A large herd of Wildebeest and small herd of Zebra graze together
6) Sarova Mara, like other Sarova hotels maintains great service standards. People are real nice too.

7) Since the Sarova Mara is situated inside the game reserve, one doesn’t lose time in commute while on a game drive. This helps in good wildlife sightings in the early hours of the morning as that is when you get to see the more elusive animals.

8) The Sarova Mara also arranges some cultural events in the evenings during high season. This is interesting for families and kids. But, I prefer the fireplace in this hall and the best part is that it is close to the bar counter.

The African Lion at Maasai Mara Game Reserve
9) The Sarova Mara Game Camp stocks a great gift store, but they charge a premium for these versus other lodges.

Overall, I would definitely go back to Sarova Mara for its food and rich hospitality, but I would always prefer a larger and more spacious standard room, which would make it perfect value for money, if there is any such thing.



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