1) Name of property and country: Mara Bush Houses, Mara North, Kenya
2) Website address if known:
3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). Green season, April, 2015
4) Length of stay: 6 nights
5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? Troy from True Africa recommended this property and after checking reviews I was hooked.
6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Through Troy at True Africa.
7) How many times have you been on Safari? 4 times
8) To which countries? South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia.
9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? None
10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No, but not necessary
11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 2 separate houses with room up to 6 people in available beds and more if necessary.
12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? We had Mara Bush House with a fabulous view over the private waterhole.
13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The house was stunning and very comfortable, king size or twin beds, sitting area with fire, indoor and outdoor private dining and dining around the pool, bathrooms with everything necessary. Everywhere was super clean and luxurious.
14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. The food was fantastic and there was great variety.
15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Yes there were different things on offer.
16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Hosted by our guide for lunch but dinners were alone.
17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Yes, packed breakfasts and lunches were fresh, filling and delicious.
18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. We had an enclosed 4WD which was ideal due to the weather.
19) How many guests per row? 2 rows with 2 seats in each row.
20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Game drives were varied and depended on where we wanted to visit and what we wanted to see.
21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? We stayed out 6 hours in the morning and about 3 hours in the afternoon. We travelled longer distances in the morning and stayed local in the afternoon (walks, village visits).
22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? I think I saw 4 cars during my whole stay.
23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity?
24) Are you able to off-road? Yes
25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. No
26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Sightings were a little slow in this conservancy and it was necessary to drive about an hour over the mountain to get into the main area of the conservancy to find game.
27) How was the standard of guiding? A good guide. Roads were very bad during certain parts due to the weather.
28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A
29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: N/A
30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? The staff were helpful and happy during our stay. The staff were awesome. They looked after my parents when I was on safari and they were in the house which is most of the time. Plus they provided a lovely celebration at the end of our stay with breakfast on top of the mountain.
31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes, through Asilia Africa.
32) Safaritalk trip report link:
33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add:
Mara Bush House is a stunning property in the Mara North Conservancy that allows guests to enjoy the splendour of the Mara in their own private house. The property has 2 houses on it so a larger group can enjoy their time all together. Mara House where I stayed had 3 ensuite bedrooms, a large lounge with a fireplace, dining area, small kitchenette for preparing food and a huge outdoor seating/dining area. The pool and bbq area offer a chance for guests in each house to alternate eating down by the pool and near the pond whilst watching the animals come down for their daily drink.
The house provides its own car for the group so safari drives are taken when the guests want, walks can be organised and picnic breakfasts/lunches/sundowners are offered. Visits to local villages and the weekly markets are a fantastic opportunity to meet with the locals and to understand the culture. There is also a chance to visit a school during the school term as well.
The service at Mara House was beyond brilliant. The amazing Jackson who looked after us in the house was one of the best Asilia staff members I met during my 18 days on safari. The food was excellent and always fresh and of course way too much. My parents and I left having put on a number of kilos.
Sightings at Mara House in April were a little hard to come by. I enjoyed time with some lion prides, elephants, giraffes and other plains game. The scenery around the Mara North Conservancy is stunning and the rains made the plains beautiful and green. It allowed for beautiful photos of the animals contrasting against such lush grassland.
Troy from True Africa helped me prepared my 18 days in Tanzania/Kenya and provided great support, guidance and suggestions with my itinerary. The Asilia properties I stayed at were all fantastic and I have already booked my next trip down in November to discover more.
34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.