What to expect
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Last 5 reviews
A New Level in Glamping
We stayed at Mara Bushtops for 2 nights of luxury and wished we could have stayed longer. The staff led by Laurence looked after our every need and the accommodation was absolutely stunning. Ps The guides Nicholas and Tony were amazing not only in the reserve but also during the night drive and walk in their private Conservancy..
Safari taken to a whole new level of luxury
My husband and I stayed for two nights as part of our honeymoon in November. Having come from another safari lodge for four nights we were worried that it wouldn’t be a new experience but we were wrong. Mara Bushtops takes luxury safari to a whole new level. Every little detail has been thought of - from pre stamped postcards provided in your room, to a telescope on your balcony. It was a truly magical experience made all the more special by a great team. In particular, our guide and spotter (Alex and Daniel) went the extra mile to make sure our safari adventure was maximised. They were both lovely to be around, great guides and very informative. Highly recommended!
Best. Holiday. Ever. ❤️ 🦁🐃🦏🦛🐘
We had an unforgettable experience at Mara Bushtops. The setting is stunning, food delicious and camp accommodation luxurious. This was our honeymoon and first safari and we were looked after brilliantly by all staff but, to name check in particular, our guides Jacob and Jackson were fantastic. They went above and beyond to ensure we had a magical time, including spotting a rhino on our drive to the airport to complete 'The Big 5'! Attentive, friendly and supremely capable at all times, we couldn't have been looked after better over the 5 days we were there. We will recommend Bushtops to anyone who'll listen to us and hope to return in the not too distant future.
Far Exceeded Expectations
The service and the sheer beauty at this place is enough to want to come back over and over. The food was the best we had on our three week Africa adventure. The rooms are mini estates and has everything you need to be very comfortable. My wife and I both highly recommend doing the spa testament as often as possible. The guides are knowledgeable and the addition of Stanley our spotter was really cool as he had better eyes than all of us combine. The private area is cool and actually has all you need to see, but the national park adds another dimension to the whole concept of safari experience. Fantastic!
It says Tops..... and it is!
We had planned a three week holiday starting in Kenya and moving on to Mauritius. We topped and tailed our visit here with a night in Nairobi, and flew up to here via the SafariLink plane service using 12 seat Cessna Caravans, which is an experience in itself as the landing strip for the Bushtops is just a sloping dry track. Our Masai warrior spotter on the return journey referred ( tongue firmly in cheek) to it as Siena International airport. Actually by the time you read this there will be a reception building where you can refresh yourself and have a drink, but for our visit it was not quite ready. We had 5 nights here in the camp, which is perhaps a little more than average as most people seemed to be content with 3, however we were determined to give ourselves the best chance of seeing the big cats and the game, and the extra days paid off for us as we pretty much had an experience of everything, and our "Big 5" was much more like a great big 25. We were met at the "international airport" by our driver Alex and our spotter Jackson, who we stayed with throughout. For two full days we were in a party of 4 ( the Land Cruiser can take 6 but we never got full) and for the last two full days we went out as a couple with just the driver and the spotter, and those two days were extra special, believe me. The journey in to the camp is about 45 minutes and goes through their private reserve. The viewing opportunity starts straight away as it was almost immediately we started to see zebra, elephant, giraffe, Thomson's gazelle and Warthog. This is just fantastic we thought, but little did we know what was yet to come. Once we arrived we had a very quick check in and we were shown to our tent which was Buffalo. Tent does not describe it, in fact not even close. We have stayed in 5 star hotels that would not measure up to here. Our king sized double bed was dressed with a Happy Anniversary message and there was a bottle of bubbly on ice awaiting our attention, which we got to very quickly as we admired the breathtaking panorama from our decked balcony. Was that a herd of elephant?-----yes it was. Is that a giraffe? yes it is. The view stretched out for miles, and perched as we were on the side of a hill we had an amazing vista. We can stay here we thought, no need to venture out we said. We were glad we did That afternoon all that was planned was a small game drive within the conservancy to get us used to the Land Cruiser and to Alex and Jackson. We were asked what we wanted to do and were offered choices of full day/part day/ evening game drives or stay in the camp complex to make use of the spa or gym. Alex said we could start a game drive after breakfast if we preferred but if we wanted to give ourselves the best chance of seeing game we would need to start off from the camp at 0545 so that we were in the Mara by 0630 and thus catch the "golden light" just after sunrise but also catch the animals before it became too hot and they disappeared back into the bush. We, and the other couple, opted for the early start, and indeed we followed that routine for 4 days and although it was tough rising at 0500 and setting off in the dark with hot water bottles to keep out the morning chill (really!) but it paid off, and then some. Now is a good chance to talk about Alex and Jackson. We never had anyone else, so we cannot benchmark this team versus the others, but they absolutely made this holiday what it was. Time and time again we were first vehicle in, often there some 10 minutes before others arrived, at which point we left in search of another spotting. Even when we arrived late, for example on the migration river crossing, we had 12 cars to our right and 3 to our left. Not much hope here thought I. Wrong. At the moment of action Alex and Jackson moved off, with cars ahead of us, but still finding us the right spot so we turned out to have the best uninterrupted view. They did it again when we came upon a Leopard in the bush. They had heard on the radio where it was and when we arrived there were more cars there than in Piccadilly Circus. My glass was half empty again but these two stopped short, assessed the situation, drove away from the cars and took up a position which initially meant we were on our own, apart that is from Mister Leopard who walked over towards us and gave us a perfect photo opportunity. The sight of some 20 cars scrabbling for a spot around us had us smiling and inwardly praising our team. In the 4 days lets just make a small list of what we experienced, in no particular order Pride of lions with young cubs shortly after taking down a Zebra Male lion with two lionesses moving a Wildebeest carcass into the bush Zebras by the thousand Wildebeest by the millions, mostly playing follow my leader in a straight line stretching for miles Hyena Jackal Wild dog Bandit Mongoose Elephant by the hundred, often with young Mara Giraffe Eland Water Buffalo Thomsons Gazelle Cheetah ( on one notable occasion 5 cheetah no less all sleeping under the shade of a tree) Leopard Hippopotamus Crocodile Black Rhino (particularly pleased here as our other couple most especially wanted to see one but didn't, and it was the first thing we saw on the day after they left--sods law-- and so lucky as was the only one we spotted) Warthog Baboon troupe Impala Tawny Eagle Agama Lizard Ostrich Hartebeest To do all of this justice we must praise Alex and Jackson even more. We didn't just "spot" these animals, we got up close and personal, and the boys gave us so much knowledge of the animal behaviours, the ecology of the Mara, and the beautiful landscape we were travelling in. We were immersed, almost as much as being alongside Sir David himself or being a part of "Big Cat Diary" . The best example I can give you is our last full morning in the Mara. I had come at this day with a thought that it would be more of the same, that it just couldn't get any better. It did. Oh boy it did! We had been driving around with not a lot of success and it was getting on for 0730 so a good hour after sunrise. As he did from time to time Alex stopped and took a look through his binoculars and scanned the horizon. Nothing. Then we all heard a sound that sent a chill through our bones. A roar. Alex and Jackson exchanged words in their local language, and off we went. We both thought we were headed in the wrong direction, but what did we know as very shortly Jackson pointed out a male lion, a magnificent animal, with fill thick black mane and absolutely huge, as big as a small horse, making for the bush. our chance had gone we thought, but Jackson told Alex to drive around and come back from the other side of the bush, and when we did Mister Lion was laying on a small mound , surveying all around him, and letting our roar after roar after roar. This was a roar that you didn't just hear, you felt it. It was primal. It vibrated through your very body and it was the most immense privilege to have witnessed. It was sill cool, so we saw the roar as breaths of water droplets rather like we do on a cool winter day and we are breathing hard. We approached to within two car lengths and it was magical. No other car, no other human at that point other than the four of us in our Land Cruiser. The real "money cannot buy this" moment. WOW bloody WOW bloody WOW. and then Mister Lion stands up and walks towards us. Alex moves us off to the right and sets up about 40 yards away. Mister Lion continues to walk, ate his own pace, towards us. I have him in my viewfinder. I see him in my Viewfinder looking at me. I think I need a change of trousers, he is getting very, very, very close. He peels off, walks across the front of the jeep, then turns left and comes up the side of the jeep where my wife is. No word of a lie, she could have reached out and stroked it as he walked ever so calmly by. She didn't! Afterwards, when we had got our breath back and our composure, we asked Alex why the animals were not threatened by us, and he told us they were used to the jeeps, but set foot outside of the car and the game changed, as now you were prey. This then is the essence of the Bushtops experience. We could talk about the excellent food, the award winning spa complex, the quite exceptional friendliness and professionalism of the staff, the brilliant local ethos of supporting the Masai tribespeople with gainful work and a slice of the profit, we could talk about all of that, and mean it, but you will probably be there to see the animals as we were, You will not be disappointed. This was our best experience EVER If any of this influences you to book too, I hope you get to enjoy this wonderful country and it's wonderful people as we did. Thank you Alex, Thank you Jackson, and Thank you to every single person who make this place what it is. An Oasis of Happiness
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