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El Karama Eco-Lodge
El Karama Eco-Lodge
El Karama Eco-Lodge
El Karama Eco-Lodge
El Karama Eco-Lodge

Reviews of El Karama Eco-Lodge

Wildlife sightings and reviews

14 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited El Karama Eco-Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa

Wildlife sightings by our travellers
Starting in Jan-2019, 2 of our travellers have recorded their wildlife sightings at El Karama Eco-Lodge.
Lion

50% success

Leopard

0% success

Cheetah

50% success

Wild dog

0% success

Buffalo

100% success

Eland

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Hippo

50% success

Spotted Hyena

50% success

Aardvark

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Striped Hyena

0% success

Showing 1-10 of 14
Duration
Arrival date
Mr RT
Sutton

"Fabulous stay at El Karama"

4 nights Arrived 18 Jan 2020
"Four great nights at El Karama, a fabulous way to start our holiday in Kenya. The wildlife was good (though obviously not as prolific as we saw later at Masai Mara); we were fortunate to see the local lions and cheetah and a huge herd of buffalo charging across our path at night. Lovely to see Grevy's zebra and also several gerenuk, which I hadn't come across before. Our guide, Robinson, was excellent; quietly spoken, but knowledgeable and informative.

But a trip to El Karama is so much more than just the wildlife! Everything about the place has been put together thoughtfully. We stayed in a river cottage, which was certainly one of the most memorable hotel rooms that I have stayed in. The food was exceptional, not least the lunchtime salads which were so perfectly dressed with mint and dill. My dietary requirements were perfectly catered for.

The owner, Sophie, came round a few times to tell us about the place. A big highlight was the fly camping in a bell tent with a lovely bush dinner and drinks at the camp fire; Robinson ensured that we didn't run out of wine! The quality of service was exceptional throughout the stay." See all these reviews: 16n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

7 sightings

Cheetah

1 sighting

Eland

5 sightings

Elephant

1 sighting

Giraffe

10 sightings

Lion

2 sightings

Spotted Hyena

3 sightings

Zebra

10 sightings

E & D
New Mexico

"Best "surprise" of the trip"

3 nights Arrived 20 Jan 2019
"El Karama (meaning "Answer to a Prayer") was the best surprise of the trip for me because I had the mistaken impression that it would be the roughest of our lodges. If this was true once upon a time it certainly is not the case now. From being greeted with cold washcloths and tasty juice, strolling into the lounge by the sparkling pool, with its walled garden, bird feeders and fab landscape paintings by matriarch Lavinia Grant, to being taken to our banda alongside the Ewaso Nyiro river, all was designed to welcome us home.

Lovii, the manager, would not take no for an answer when we protested he was doing too much for us, and Andrew, our guide, was just the sweetest young man. Being young took nothing away from his expertise, however, and the highlight was his finding an aardwolf.

As is so often the case, the best birding could be done within the perimeter of camp. On my way up to the car to leave, I saw a Cardinal Quelea, a rare bird for this location." See all these reviews: 18n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Sightings Report

Buffalo

1 sighting

Eland

1 sighting

Elephant

Multiple sightings

Giraffe

Multiple sightings

Hippo

Multiple sightings

Zebra

Multiple sightings

Mr Dario
Richmond

"El-Karama, top marks"

4 nights Arrived 10 Aug 2017
"Our first taste of Africa: amazing place, staff were lovely (all the 'junior' people were there as owners and main guide were on leave), the location is great and well looked after. We were nearly the only ones there for 4 nights and made friends with the staff in no time, everyone was terribly kind & friendly. Our 'banda' was beautiful and we like the eco touch to it, recycled timber, no plastic bottles, all solar powered, etc.

Food was great even more so considering we had 2 vegetarians out of 5 - and Kenyan love their meat: always had options for us.

Our driver/guide Andrew was superb and possibly had super-powers (driving at night, pointing the spot light, seeing invisible things, giving us insights: all at the same time!).

There wasn't a thing we did not like, could not have been better." See all these reviews: 17n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr G
Cape Town

"El Karama"

4 nights Arrived 6 Aug 2017
"We loved El Karama. The lodge is beautiful, the staff friendly and fantastic.

Even though the owners were away while we were there, the service and hospitality were perfect. Birdlife was abundant, and it was interesting to encounter some different animals that you don't see further south (like gerenuk, Grevy's zebra and vulterine guinea fowl).

We even managed to get in our daily run, using the 1km track around the main farmhouse - not something you expect while on safari! This is a place we would love to go back to..." See all these reviews: 7n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr C
West Sussex

"El Karama ......better than excellent"

4 nights Arrived 28 Jul 2017
"We had studied the El Karama website and were prepared to be wowed but the reality greatly exceeded our expectations.....mega wow! The lodge location is simply stunning.

Murray, Sophie and the team have done an amazing job designing and building the lodge which thoroughly deserves its Silver ECO rating. This is topped by a professional, attentive and very kind staff team led well by Lovi.

On arrival Andrew met our taxi near the ranch boundary and made us very welcome. We met our first giraffe about 50 yards after we set off and then enjoyed a near full set of wildlife driving to the lodge......a superb start to a great 3 days / 4 nights at El Karama.

We were thoroughly briefed by Lovi and while we fully understand the need for a thorough safety briefing, perhaps mention of Buffalo incursions inside the wire might be minimized for young ears who may not understand the wider context.

Jason and I particularly appreciated the way the staff interacted with and encouraged Jack, particularly Andrew, Wanjala, Esther. and Robinson. Sophie had wisely suggested we managed Jack's expectations re his 'Save the Bushbuck' project. In the event Lovi kindly integrated the project in our programme without any prompting and Jack had a great time even though the original seedlings had not survived the drought.

The scene was set just before breakfast on Day 1 when the resident orphaned Bushbuck was seen browsing by our Rondeval.....and named 'Bushey' Then after lunch Wanjala took Jack to find and transplant some 5 natural bush seedlings close to the wire fence by the river. We then had a game drive and Andrew took us to the impressive new stone 'hide' by the dam, designed to protect trees from elephants. Andrew explained the need to replace the magnificent mature fever trees that were being 'drowned' in the dam. Jack then helped transplant a strong fever tree seedling to start the replacement process. While Esther has mentioned sending photos as the seedling matures, Jack has made several mentions of coming back to see progress for himself!

Joseph led our bush walk but this did not live up to expectations. It was a bit of a route march and most of the stops followed one of us asking Joseph a question. Perhaps I have been spoilt by the Porini guides who closely involve their guests in the natural world.

While I have no knowledge of what is involved in certifying guides, I wonder if there is merit in considering developing Andrew and perhaps Robinson, with a view to them becoming Bronze rated guides?

Finally, may I suggest that it would be helpful if there was a photo for each of the staff detailed on the website. We also noted that Esther is not currently listed and also Sophie is missing as Host? However, if space is limited, then perhaps at least a photo of Lovi could be added?" See all these reviews: 6n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr Jim
Medford, OR

"El Karama Eco-Lodge"

3 nights Arrived 11 Sep 2016
"Truly, a delightful place to begin our Kenya safari.The camp staff was incredibly friendly and helpful which was facilitated by the fact we were the only guests there at the time.

Animal drives were pleasant outings with a skilled and friendly guide who helped introduce us to Kenya and its varied wildlife. We also visited the cattle ranch headquarters and were very impressed with the integration of the cattle operations and the safari activities.

Getting there by vehicle is a real challenge! The bumpy, dusty roads show rural Kenya as it is. However, arrriving at the camp makes it all worthwhile." See all these reviews: 10n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr K & Mrs A
Kent

"We loved El Karama"

4 nights Arrived 18 Mar 2015
"If you like luxuriously appointed 'designer' lodges, El Karama probably won't be for you but we loved it.

The buildings, overlooking a river, are largely constructed from materials sourced on the ranch itself and blend into the landscape perfectly. We enjoyed a mixture of game walks and drives led by our excellent guide, Joseph, and eagle-eyed driver, Andrew, and were lucky enough, over a period of four days, to get perfect views of the sequence of animals feasting on a buffalo carcass - lions, jackals, vultures, tawny eagles etc. - among many wonderful wildlife sightings.

Every mealtime was a mini-safari with a variety of colourful birds waiting for the leftovers and a visiting genet ready to take advantage of any lapse in the waiter's security regime. This a refreshingly unpretentious place that offers an authentic, back to basics safari experience but with all the comfort and convenience you need." See all these reviews: 17n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr H
Johannesburg

"El Karama Eco-Lodge review"

4 nights Arrived 2 Aug 2014
"A fantastic lodge, with a very 'different' feel from the Mara. A much more laidback place with barely any vehicles and much fewer people.

The property itself was lovely and the addition of the pool is a great idea as it creates a natural place to relax other than your room. The style of the property is pretty unique and Murray was a very good host. The pool area is finished to a high standard and there are some nice shady areas under tree's. It's a bit cold in winter time like now but I am sure it will be nice and warm in summer.

Food and staff were excellent. Game drives were good in terms of animals but not comparable with the Mara. I saw a single cheetah when I was at the property over the four days, no lions. I think opening up other tracks within the property which I know Murray is working on may help in this regard. I would say that this place is more about the lovely people and sweeping views with some nice concentration of elephants and other animals rather than lots of cats or the Big five. If you are coming to Africa for safari though I would suggest it needs to be balanced with the Mara which is much more touristy but you see more animals. When you do see a cat at El Karama its a lot more special I would suggest as it feels more 'private.'

Overall a really fantastic stay and would definitely recommend. The mara trip and El Karama work really well together.." See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
The B family
Leics.

"El Karama Eco-Lodge review"

3 nights Arrived 9 Feb 2014
"Staff we're very friendly and helpful.

The pool and rest areas around the pool were excellent.

Guides were very knowledgeable and we loved our early evening bush walk." See all these reviews: 13n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Good
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Ms S, Mr J &family
UK

"We loved El Karama!"

3 nights Arrived 3 Feb 2014
"There is amazing warmth and personal care at El Karama. We arrived to juice and a wonderful lunch, served from fresh, organic veggies grown on their adjoining ranch and a swim in their new pool. The bandas, like all of their buildings, are works of art. The accommodations are comfortable, roomy and have thoughtful touches like filtered water and torches/nightlights.

The game drives were fantastic. We saw a wide array of animals: lionesses and cubs, hippos, elephants, giraffes, wild dogs, hyenas, jackals, all sorts of impalas and gazelles, both kind of zebras, birds galore - I felt like we saw a wide array of African wildlife. We had a bush breakfast one morning with giraffes that was spectacular, and our guide, Joseph, and our driver, David, were both friendly and helpful.

We took our 5 and newly 8 year old to El Karama. Kids are warmly welcomed there and both have already asked to go back. Sophie, her family and the team welcomed the kids like family, and made all sorts of activities available, from casting tracks with plaster on a game drive to painting daily in the gallery to a passport with activities. Lovii, the host, made sure the kids ate well and took my son fishing, and the chef cooked up his fresh catch! At all times we felt very safe, as did the kids, and they loved every minute. The morning and twilight game drives were short enough to (mostly) keep their attention. The river was also a huge attraction, and we spent time there every day.

El Karama is a beautiful place with beautiful people, and we enjoyed our time there and wouldn't hesitate to return." See all these reviews: 3n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Showing 1-10 of 14
99%
14 reviews of El Karama Eco-Lodge by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
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