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The Jewel In Maasai Mara’s Crown – I stayed at Amani Mara for 3 weeks solo with the intention of healing and finding peace in nature and it was truly transformative. As I was there for a… read more significant amount of time, I wanted to provide a thorough review for other travelers and to recommend at least a 3 night stay as a lot of the other guests I socialized with were really bummed they had such a short stay planned after seeing the place!
Amani Mara feels very exclusive and is not near other camps- wonderful as you’re not seeing the lights from other camps and hearing them making for an organic bush experience that doesn’t feel “commercial.” They are only 15 minutes from Maasai Mara park, and I could never tell the difference as the drive there was a safari with as much wildlife as the park! When I first arrived to Amani Mara, they have an unmarked yet beautiful entrance, and I was greeted by the manager and other staff who welcomed me with a cold towel (that smelled of lovely essential oils), a welcome drink, and then taken into the perched main area with a jaw dropping view of the savannah and a river directly below with resident hippos, crocodiles, you name it. I hadn’t realized that I would be able to spot wildlife from my dining table (and the entire property)!
Their infinity pool is really gorgeous and on the hillside overlooking the river with wildlife. I appreciated their comfy loungers and attentive pool service serving drinks, etc.
Speaking of dining, this was one of the reasons that I initially chose Amani Mara as they offer a hot breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily at the property (with picnic options for game drives, of course). Most of the other camps I explored only offered hot dinner options. I was shocked at how amazing and artisan the food was- they have even hired a new pastry chef and the desserts are divine! They accommodated all of my food sensitivities with substitutions and made me feel very comfortable doing so as their wait staff is very kind and professional. TIP: Do not miss their “Dinner Under The Stars” and Bush dinner options- they are so gorgeous with the same great food.
Overall loved how all of Amani Mara blended into nature and was very private. The way it was built, no one else will pass by your “villa” as there is a pathway that veers off onto each room. Also, all of the villas are facing the river with views and I could not see any other villas from my viewing deck outside. Rooms have a natural feel giving a “ safari experience” but luxury touches that make them very comfortable.
A big differentiator between Amani Mara and other options I considered is that it is unfenced and the experience feels very natural. One of my favorite memories is of the zebras who stopped by my room daily to “say hello”. You are completely safe on your viewing deck to watch wildlife, and you are escorted to your room in the evenings by a true Maasai security guard. I always felt safe.
GAME DRIVES TIP:
I learned to use the drivers that Amani Mara recommended as they have been doing this for YEARS and really had the inside scoop for the best experience. For ex, the driver received a call from other Maasai friends who shared a leopard sighting and we ended up being the only other vehicle there to witness it.
As someone who loves luxury hotels,their service was BEYOND 5 star hotel Ben by United States standards. Silly, but I remember thinking “this must be how celebrities are treated at hotels” HA!
I was so impressed when another guest shared that the staff had prepared an earlier dinner for her kids by the pool where they were swimming, and then watched the children in their guest room while the parents had a romantic dinner in the dining room— at no additional charge! I found the staff very open to accommodating to guests as opposed to being rigid about things.
There were several evenings when lions or a leopard were found not far from the camp, and upon getting word from their security, the owners came into the main area to invite everyone to hop on their safari vehicle to go and see them. This was not counted as a “game drive” or anything of that sort- this is just how passionate they are about guest experiences and how “above and beyond” they do things.
As it’s family owned and managed, the brothers, Sam and Sully, have somehow mastered socializing with guests and making them feel comfortable without ever imposing on anyone. The entire staff wowed me with anticipating needs -remembering my favorite beverages, bringing me my favorite snack when they saw me in the dining, etc.
Amani Mara and Kenya have my heart forever and I CANNOT wait to return someday. Thank you for all of your hospitality and the memories I’ll have forever.
March 1, 2023
A once in a lifetime experience! – All we can say is wow! This place is a must stay! My husband and I really loved all of the staff here. The camp is located right on a… read more river and you immediately can spot hippos, zebras, and many other kinds of wildlife as soon as you walk in. Sully and Sam are brothers who operate Amani and are incredibly knowledgeable, fun and hospitable. The nature walk with sully is a must! We heard wildlife all around the camp at night and in the morning, it was exciting! The food was delicious! The fireplace is lit at night and there is a beautiful pool overlooking the river. They have guards that roam the property all day and night to make it feel safe. I would definitely stay here again!
November 29, 2022
An absolute must stay for anyone traveling to Maasai Mara!! – We were fortunate enough spend several days at Amani Mara as part of our honeymoon safari trip. From the moment we arrived, Sam, Sully, Ledama and the whole Amani Mara… read more team made us feel like we were a part of their family.
While staying at the Amani Mara, you are surrounded by nature and can spot all kinds of animals from the main lodge including hippos, crocodiles, lions, leopards, giraffe, and elephants. While the camp has a very remote feel, it still maintains an elegant, upscale feel with every amenity you could need, from gorgeous private cottages, large bathrooms with a fantastic shower, pool with exceptional views, and main lodge with a beautiful fireplace! The food was a huge hit. Everything we ate exceeded our expectations.
Don’t miss the opportunity to go on a nature walk. We spent time with Sully and had the most indescribable experience seeing all kinds of animals, including giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, and elephants. We also saw the resident leopard, Natito which was surreal as seeing leopards in the Mara is not always a certainty!
We stayed at quite a few lodges during our trip to Kenya, and no one made us feel more special and welcome than the team at Amani Mara. It was truly a once in a lifetime, unforgettable experience, and we can’t wait to go back!
December 21, 2022
We loved Amani Mara, the hosts were lovely and welcoming.
We were lucky to be able to take a walk with Sully and explore the area around the camp,… read more whilst feeling safe from harm, we learned all about the culture the nature and traditions whilst we walked through the area to the hippos. We were then able to sit and watch the hippos from a ledge above the water that they were in. One of the best things we have done this whole trip.
The Camp made us feel really welcome, all the people we met were lovely, Daniel and Andrew, Ashif and everyone else.
We were staying when another couple were celebrating their honey moon and the Chefs and the team all came out singing a lovely song and presented the newly weds with a cake, then the came back in with one for us as we were celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary. It was lovely,
We planted a tree and named it so feel like we are now forever connected to this beautiful place.
The Facilities are great – rooms good with all the facilities that you require… the food was lovely and the lounge facilities great
Really loved our stay here.
January 24, 2023
We had a great time during our time at Amani Mara. We were lucky enough to be the only guests at the time of our stay, which made the experience… read more very intimate, quiet, and enjoyable. Sam, Sully and the entire team made sure to make our stay memorable and unforgettable. The walking safari, followed by a sundowner was brilliant. We highly recommend Amani Mara, and we will always have great memories of the place.
March 13, 2023
Great lodge – Nice lodge on a very nice location. All staff are very friendly and helpful. Also food was excellent.
I was sleeping in a family lodge with 3 double beds. Nice… read more bathroom with view on the river we’re you can see the hypo’s . We were on the end of the migration season but still we have seen many animals.
November 4, 2022
Most precious experience of multi country safari was Amani Mara, Kenya – Amani Mara – ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I will never be eloquent enough to describe it properly. This land is a magical space for all animals. This oasis has been… read more nurtured with love and pure intention by the owners, Sully and Sam.
The stone huts are fabulous and cozy chic actually. The food amazing with top drawer drink options while watching resident hippo and baboon behaviours right in front of you! (After coming back from safari – this slice of heaven is integrated within the eco system and amongst the wildlife – safely). Wood burning fireplace in the open air main hall, random gorgeous pool side lunches.I can’t describe this incredible intro to Africa other than..if you don’t start here, you can’t know what you’re missing or what you should be looking for.
The magic was absolutely enveloping. Hearing the history and animal behaviours from the brothers who grew up tracking and observing but also other guests around the wood burning fireplace. Um WOW every day!
Pros and highlights: gorgeous accommodations of stone hut with Solar power, incredibly gracious hosts, idyllic and dreamy atmosphere and vibe beyond imagination, educational, as much privacy or interaction you need, exceptional food, a refreshing dip in the pool way above the grunting hippos, learning about the animals from the owners who are from here, incredible food, cold crisp Tanq & tonics, zippered door to porch instead of glass sliders so that you could hear the animals around your hut at night!, family hospitality, walking through a herd of zebras one day on way back to room, informative nature walk with Maasai, a baboon drinking from the pool, the sincere care for animals and environment, the beautiful lay outs and buildings, thoughtfulness to all water, vegetation and carbon footprint, hot water bottles in our beds, gorgeous environmental products in our bathroom, I want to copy the structure of the hut for a cottage in Ontario! There is just SO MUCH GOOD happening here. IT’S SPECIAL AND BLESSED IN EVERY WAY.
You’ll be hard pressed to meet someone like Sully that truly knows every animal in Mara park as well as all of the various behaviours he has been passionate about all of these years. This was a surreal experience for us and although we went on to other countries and parks to safariit would not have been as great if we hadn’t started at Amani Mara. I actually cried when we left because I knew in my core that we had just been a part of something subtly extraordinary.
Traveller’s – contact them directly for anything including safari. You don’t need a 3rd party because if they have the time, no one we met in Africa knows the animals more intimately.
I have already recommended you several times to friends and can’t wait to return! You blew away my inner 4 year old bucket list of needing to go to Kenya. Although amazing experiences as we continued our journey, none touched my heart the way you guys did. I know that we’ll be visiting you now and then until we’re all into our 70’s. Much love, Johnny and Shelley xo
we booked through sprit of Kenya
March 1, 2023
Lo-ve-ly!! ❤️ 🦒 🐘 🦁 🦛 – We had the good fortune of staying here for 3 days, including New Year’s Eve. We were welcomed by the whole team with a delicious beverage and the pampering… read more never stopped. The rooms are beautiful, with a stunning view & spacious. The food is delicious, there is attention to detail, the team is helpful. They organized a “ sundowner” which was incredible (new concept for us, but love it!) , every meal was delicious, including our packed lunches for an all day outing. Our New Year’s dinner was outstanding & it included a Maasai dance. The Host family was friendly , engaging , and helpful. They shared great stories. It all culminated with a tree planting ceremony, before we left. We had an unforgettable stay, and we’re grateful to the whole team.
January 10, 2023
Exceed our expectations – Our recent stay with “the Amani family” was one of the most humbling experiences we have had.
This camp has been created with the utmost respect for the Mara… read more and the environment whilst providing a luxurious base to take in the sounds and scenery after a long game drive.
The family is amazing, Sam and Sully are very knowledgeable and have a great welcoming friendly team.
The lodges have been creatively designed and furnished beautifully.
We are so glad we stayed here and can’t wait to return again, hopefully for longer next time!
The planting of a tree is a great touch, I left the camp with a very emotional connection to nature.
March 7, 2023