Kicheche Mara

Reviews of Kicheche Mara

Excellent(99%) From 30 travellers
Excellent
28
Good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 30 of our travellers who have visited Kicheche Mara, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs F from Derbyshire
Arrived on: 19-Jan-2019 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kicheche Mara review

This camp is in a most lovely setting. It has a great atmosphere and the staff are very well-integrated, friendly and most welcoming. The relief manager, Peter Cadot, was really excellent. He was extremely knowledgeable, about birds in particular, and came with us on one game drive.

The food - picnic breakfasts on game drives, very varied salad-type lunches and 3 course dinners - was delicious, beautifully presented and always interesting.

Our game drives with Richard were fantastic. We were lucky to have him to ourselves for the whole time. He was very patient, had a great sense of humour, and we learnt a lot from him. Every day we had exciting and varied wildlife sightings.

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Mr N & Ms S from Zambia
Arrived on: 24-Dec-2018 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mara minus the Madding Crowd (2)

I make no apology for recycling a title we used for our previous trip to a private concession outside the Masai Mara NP, as part of the purpose of opting for the North Mara Conservancy was to enjoy the area's superb wildlife without encountering the sort of numbers who are generally to be found inside the NP's boundaries. We were certainly not disappointed on either count, ie the wildlife or the relative absence of other parties.

For some years now, 'safari' for us has generally meant out-of-the-way places and 'non-mainstream' wildlife (especially, but far from exclusively, the birds), in particular now that we are based in Zambia. But the past quarter saw something of a shift back to 'the old days', culminating with arguably the most conventional safari destination of all, ie the Mara! And largely not about birds as we shared most of our time with friends from Europe for whom this was a first safari experience.

For us, this was a fantastic reminder of some of the things - megafauna, rolling savannah etc - which make this continent very special indeed.

In this we were greatly aided by our excellent guide, Saruni, whose skills include an outstanding knack of anticipating an animal and pre-placing his vehicle in absolutely the best photography spot (though whether this is cause or effect of the work he has done with celebrity wildlife photographer Jonathan Scott was not clear to us). He also proved himself to be a good walking guide when we quit the truck on a couple of occasions. Thanks to his efforts we ID-ed 32 mammal species in all and over 130 bird.

As for the camp itself, it is comfortable and well-run. We actually changed tents during our time there in order to help out other guests who wanted an easier walk to the communal areas. Our first accommodation, Punda, was spacious as well as well-appointed; but we preferred the slightly smaller Twiga, which we moved to, for its location in a wooded area well-populated by birds.

We were pleased to see lots of fruit with breakfast, whether in the camp or out in the bush; and plentiful salads with lunch. Dinners were better than decent too and the staff reacted quickly and appropriately to any special requests as far as we could see.

All the staff we had dealings with were friendly and helpful; we would single out particularly co-manager Tony and also make special mention of the team in housekeeping, not least for quickly sorting out a minor problem for us at 2200 one evening.

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Extra comments about our guide at Kicheche Mara:

By any standards, Saruni is a very good guide indeed. Personable, enthusiastic and knowledgeable with a real knack for pre-positioning his vehicle perfectly for photography or just enjoying the best possible view of a star attraction.

We took a private guide for our final day so we could walk, rather than truck, and devote our attention primarily to birds. It was money very well spent.

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alessandra from Frankfurt
Arrived on: 24-Dec-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kicheche Mara review

Kicheche is top place for families, staff is very friendly and always trying to accommodate your desires.
They can improve a bit on the cleaning side in the tents and in the common part. There were not so much effort ...

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Mrs C. from Beaconsfield
Arrived on: 15-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kicheche Mara review

Our first safari experience exceeded all expectations on every level. The camp was delightful, tents were very private and we had a great view from our tent entrance. The communal areas were well maintained and we felt welcome to use these at any time.

Camp organisation was excellent. We were warmly welcomed on arrival. Staff were always ready when we set off and one of the managers (Ray and Thorburn) were always waiting to meet you on your return and hear about your experiences - a very nice touch.

The kitchen and front of house team (Wellington, Charles and Michael) were brilliant. Food was consistently good and my dietary requirements taken care of. There was always someone ‘there’ when you needed anything. Meals were communal, outside for lunch and under cover in the evening. With an ever changing group of visitors, Ray and Thorburn were brilliant at making sure everyone was comfortable and included. Early morning drinks (and biscuits!) arrived on time. Breakfasts and lunch out on our drives were really good too and we were always provided with nibbles to go with our sundowners.

The security team were always on hand to escort us to/from our tent and the communal areas.

We were fortunate to have our guide, Saruni, to ourselves. His skills and knowledge were outstanding and we were very comfortable in his company. We saw so much more wildlife than we had expected and were so incredibly close to the animals. The conservancy scheme certainly seems to work well. We were often the only vehicle watching and were very rarely with more than 2 or 3 other vehicles. We had one long days drive to the Masai Mara national park where we saw a much higher number of vehicles.

Animal sighting highlights - many but include a cheetah- lioness ‘face off’, witnessing a kill (crocodiles getting a zebra that couldn’t get up the river bank), being close enough to see very young elephants suckling, seeing tiny lion cubs play and watching a satiated lion drinking from a water hole, so close that we could hear him.

All in all a most amazing experience that we will never forget.

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Mr & Mrs H from Cheshire
Arrived on: 1-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kicheche Mara review

This camp is just a bit on the big side for us. We did not welcome a family tent.

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Ms N from London
Arrived on: 27-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kicheche Mara review

Kicheche Mara feels the most like a bush camp of the Kicheche camps in its somewhat simpler tents and decor and and there are always animals close by or passing through in the night (including the occasional elephant preventing you getting to your tent after dinner). It is set in beautiful green country and is part of a huge conservancy with the whole range of landscape and thus animals.

The staff are exceptionally friendly, welcoming and attentive. I stayed there briefly 3 years ago with my grandson and every staff member who was there then remembered us and our time with them and asked about him. The relief manager was excellent and went out of her way to be inclusive and helpful and the permanent manager was terrific in celebrating the honeymoon of two of the guests. The food was delicious.

Our guide was excellent in his knowledgeable tracking and positioning - several times amazing us with where he drove off to only to find the animals heading straight in our direction. He felt very committed to giving us the best animal viewing and at the same time to the welfare of the animals. There was a great variety of animals and we saw many lions and cheetahs (though we missed the leopards).

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Miss G. from Newark
Arrived on: 27-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kicheche Mara review

Our tent here wasn't particularly large but was well furnished and clean. The bathroom was better than expect as they have recently gotten rid of the bucket showers and replaced them with real running water. All the staff were really friendly and helpful and tried to make you feel at home.

We loved how the emphasis here is on game drives and  everything else is secondary, well it was in our jeep anyway (I'm sure you can chose to be out for less time if you want to?). Most days we left at 6am and didn't return until just before lunch, taking breakfast with us. In the afternoon we went out from 4pm until just before dinner, enjoying a sundowner every night wherever the viewing was at its best. The first night we spend it next to a pride of 20 lions.

Our guide George was brilliant, he made sure we saw everything we wanted. He was an expert at predicting where the animals would go next so whilst everyone else were chasing the animals getting pictures of their backside, George had us positioned perfectly to watch the animal come to us. This happened on numerous occasions and it meant we got great pics.  Not only was he a great guide but a very nice person who was a pleasure to spend so much time around and very knowledgeable.

We spend one full day in the reserve and surprisingly actually saw less animals than we had in the conservancy. It was also very very busy with Jeeps. We did manage after waiting patiently for 3 hrs to see a river crossing which was fab although a bit brutal. After visiting the reserve we were glad that we had chosen to stay in the conservancy and do most of our game drives there.

We enjoyed sitting around the camp fire for a pre dinner drink before enjoyable evening meals. The only small issue was no pre warning on what you were going to have for dinner so if you didn't like it tough luck. We had an enjoyable but slightly cringe worthy experience at dinner on our last night where all the staff came out singing and dancing to celebrate our recent nuptials. We all then enjoyed a glass of bubbly which was great.

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Mrs S from Leatherhead
Arrived on: 19-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

AMAZING! We didn't want to leave!

We only have positive things to say about Kicheche Mara!

The setting, the animals, the accommodation, the food, but most importantly, the staff, made it the most memorable family holiday.

Even after 4 days of early mornings and off roading, we could have taken more! Just fantastic.

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Mrs from Weybridge
Arrived on: 9-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

In the wild

Tents in the wild make you feel so good.

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Ms S from Ste Marthe
Arrived on: 9-Mar-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kicheche Mara review

This location afforded the best viewing of animals ...so many animals including leopard (a first for me) and so much more. I again had the pleasure of our two incredible guides, Jimmy and Francis. I spent most of the time there with Francis, again because of a shared passion for the bird life.

We saw many families of animals, including mongoose, hyena, lion etc., etc. Even say a lioness transferring her very young cubs to a new location. These last days on safari were truly magical.

I would also like to mention the 2 wondeful managers, especially Tony, who took the time to introduce me to the local expert in medicinal plants (a long standing interest of mine, which has taken me to other parts of Africa to study traditional medicine). Tony did an excellent job of simultaneous interpretation and it was a fascinating time.

The only negative with respect to Mara North was its size (many more people than we were used to) and this led to a loss of familiarity. Meals were served at a very long table which made conversation difficult and it was noisy. Having said that, I do understand that business is business!

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