Ashnil Mara Camp, is located in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve and on the banks of the Mara River. Ashnil Mara Camp was my choice of accommodation during my 3 day adventure safari hoping to spot the ‘Big-Five’.
Ashnil Mara Camp Review
After a long journey overland from Nairobi we reached camp around 2pm, and were greeted in the car park with bags and suitcases taken to the reception area, where I was welcomed with a cold towel and a refreshing fresh fruit juice.
At reception, before any check-in procedures I was asked if I had lunch yet, after saying I hadn’t I was taken straight to the dining area to have a quick bite to eat. It was great they had taken this into account, as I hadn’t eaten since breakfast at 6am that morning.
After the quick bite to eat, I went over to the reception desk to complete check-in. The usual procedure of checking of ID/Passport, was swift and I was informed that my bags were already in my room. This was followed by a quick tour of the site, before being led to my tent.
The camp is made up of 40 luxury tents, as you can see from the pictures below it was more glamping than camping. My room had twin beds, with a terrace overlooking the river, a big bathroom with all the facilities you’d expect from a luxury camp.
I’ll admit, I can be quite fussy when it comes to beds, pillow’s etc due to being notorious for my insomnia, but the bed and pillow at Ashnil Mara Camp were just what the Dr ordered. I slept well both nights which surprised me, and this was despite the loud hippo’s just yards away from my tent.
Hot water was available from 5am to 9am every morning, and 5pm to 9pm in the evenings. Electricity from 4am to Midnight every day, which is no major issue given that most people had an early night to get up for an early morning game drive.
The turn-down service; I had a note beside my bed reminding me to charge my camera for the following day (a great reminder to a relaxed Raj, which tends to be, a forgetful Raj), a hot water bottle and a bottle of water placed next to my bed.
Food and Beverage
There were set meal times available at camp; Breakfast from 6.30am to 9.30am, Lunch 12.30pm to 2:30pm, Afternoon Tea from 3.30pm to 4pm and dinner from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Tea, Coffee and Biscuits were available all day from 6am too. The timing was perfect ahead of an early morning game drive.
The restaurant served a buffet featuring traditional Kenyan cuisine, Indian cuisine and a wider international selection. Their specialty was of course the Kenyan and Indian cuisine. I tried a wide variety of the foods, and was pleasantly surprised by how good the Indian cuisine was. Mike, the waiter assigned to my table was brilliant throughout my stay, I even mentioned to him how I loved being in Kenya, as the Masala Chips were, to die for! He surprised me at lunch the next day, by bringing out a plate for me. Heaven!! Carbs don’t count on holiday, right?
There is also a bar in the main lobby area, serving a whole host of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Before dinner on both nights, I’d sit in the outdoor section of the bar and enjoy a Tusker light, by the fire whilst reading a book. The team at the bar were always checking in to see if my drink need topping up, there was enough light for me to read and if the fire was providing sufficient heat.
For those having a full-day game drive, the team at Ashnil are more than happy to organise a packed lunch for your day, if you let reception know before 8pm the day before they will happily arrange that for you. A nice touch, if you want to be out all day and head further afield.
Should you wish to you can also organise a breakfast by the hippo pool or a bush dinner too.
First of all, many of you will be interested in connectivity, as we live in a world where we can’t be disconnected from our friends on social media. Throughout the Ashnil Mara Camp, I had full 4G signal on my phone; I believe they have installed boosters at the camp to ensure that there is good connectivity. The Wifi connectivity, is sporadic in the rooms, but in the main reception, dining and bar areas is strong enough to upload your pictures from the game drives to Instagram and Facebook easily!
There is a spa where massages are available, plus a reasonably sized outdoor swimming pool where you can enjoy the afternoon sun between game drives.
In the evening there are several types of entertainment on throughout the week. Ranging from traditional dances, to fairy tales and cultural talks
I’ll admit, I didn’t know what to expect with Ashnil, the trip was organised and book for me by a family member, and I thought I’d keep the element of surprise by not researching the accommodation.
The accommodation, exceeded my expectations. I was surprised by the size of the tents and how comfortable everything was. when someone in the UK thinks of going to a camp, we think of a cold, wet, muddy field in the middle of the countryside. Ashnil now makes me think of it as a beautiful site, with luxurious accommodation in a stunning country. I’ll stick to the glamping side of things over camping, the luxury camp has made me rethink my Glastonbury trip, I don’t think I can slum it!
The team at Ashnil Mara Camp were all very friendly and welcoming at all times. Very happy to go the extra step to make you feel comfortable. I’d happily recommend it to all.
This hotel was part of a package booked with Mario Tours & Travel, who are able to provide full service tours throughout Kenya and Tanzania. Please let me know if you’d like an introduction to the team at Mario or feel free to visit their website: http://mariotours.com/
All Photo’s Unless Stated Are My Own.