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Mara Toto
Mara Toto

Reviews of Mara Toto

Wildlife sightings and reviews

1 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Mara Toto and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa

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Hong Kong

"Excellent bush camp in a superb location"

8 nights Arrived 29 Sep 2015
"Excellent camp, my kind of perfect bush camp. I am very impressed with how it was so well hidden in the tree line ( surely the best laid out camp in OMC along with Mara Plains given you can see all others from far off. It meant the tents were closer than what we normally see but I would definitely prefer it this way if it means it hides the camp better from the outside. The quality of everything used in the camp is very high and very tastefully furnished with nothing over the top or ostantatious ( no cheap plastics/ no cheap low cost stuff here -its really a great product evoking safaris from decades ago with every comfort one can expect).The rooms are very old world safari decor but also the most practical in terms of having thought of every need-from well concealed shelves, to adequate boxes/tables for all equipment, charging, tea, coffee, cookies, coffee table books, hanger. The manager Stella was excellent -very level headed, and a pleasure to spend meal times with. Outside of private mobile camps, this would easily be the best bush camp I have stayed in my 11 safaris. Food was excellent to very good - there might be 2-3 places I have had better on safari (including Juma's meals in Mara Plains 3 years back)but by large it was top notch.

However even apart from all this, for me the one person thats always made Mara Toto and Mara Plains stand out has been Ping -their head guide who for me is easily the best guide in Greater Mara. We were extremely fortunate to have been the last guests Ping guides from here as he goes frelance now and very thankful to GPC for arranging that we could have him guide us.

Even with Ping gone, barring one bad guiding incident with a guide they brought in from Ol Donyo, all guides at Mara Plains and Toto are excellent- Somale, Dan 2, Tirian, Duncan, Kevin- they will all get you the experiences and sightings and are all top notch guides. On my last drive, I was given this substitute guide from Ol Donyo lodge ( who had been here for a month) as Ping had to leave early. This guide , seriously not only did he have no clue about how to look for anything, he pretended he knew everything and then spent 20-25 minutes on the radio in the middle of nowhere ( open plains, not a animal in sight) wasting what was the perfect light of our entire trip, talking on the radio to figure out where another vehicle was with lions. Even though I had requested we go look for a leopard we had been seeing in a riverine. It took him forever to find the other vehicle which was just across a lugga and then he brought me to those lions when the light had totally gone behind the clouds - And through this whole 20-30 minutes not once did he ask me if thats what I wanted. Inretrospect I think it was a bit of a wrong call to give this guide to a group of very experienced safari goers even for just one drive - I was quite surprised at the quality of this guide. I actually had to ask him to position "further" away from the leopard as he kept driving too close. However everything else was so 120% and they (Ping, Stella, Tirian, all the staff, GPC team and even the other guides we would meet from Mara Plains/Toto) did everything to make our stay top notch that I cant really complain about this one drive except that for someone who lives and breathes safaris and waits for those two weeks in Africa for a year, every game drive is super important.

Saving the best for the last - Ping and his superb guiding skills ( apart from a great guide, he is also a very kind person who really anticipates his guests needs very well) gave us breathtaking moments with lions, leopards, cheetahs- and cubs of all 3 big cats, 3 hunts, many failed stalking and hunts, a big crossing and few small ones and some intense inter-species interaction. He is a photographer's dream guide anticipating light, subject, animal behaviour. He even positioned me perfectly through a small gap in the riverine forest , where a leopard and cub had briefly rested, so I could lie on the vehicle floor and take photos from that one small gap- all the while anticipating my point of view from the vehicle even though he was in the driver's row. An Incredible guide." See all these reviews: 11n in Kenya
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
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1 reviews of Mara Toto by travellers since August 2007
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