Kenya Trip Report Part 13 – Masai Mara and Tipilikwani Camp

Map of Masai Mara

I split the Masai Mara segments in two so I could give it full coverage. In this post, I will cover the ride to Masai Mara and the camp where we spent four nights, Tipilikwani. When we left Nakuru, we drove back to the south with good views as it was a clear morning.

We turned off in a generally southwestern direction toward Narok, which is a large town on the way to and from Masai Mara. We stopped in Narok so I could get some more Kenyan shillings from the ATM so that I would have enough for tips and the Masai village. The Samburu village souvenirs pretty much wiped me out.

We arrived at the camp around 1pm and were shown to our tents. This camp did not have mosquito nets over the beds like the previous ones.

We had lunch at the restaurant. This camp had about 20 tents but only four or five were occupied at any point during our stay including the two we were using. The employees said they were waiting for the Chinese tourists to return soon.

That night, after our game drive, we enjoyed some drinks at the bar. I found that I preferred Pilsner to Tusker and stuck to that for the rest of the trip. Beers were a real bargain at 200KES (about $1.60). Wi-Fi was available in the restaurant/bar area so if we needed to download something, we hung out there. It wasn’t always fast, but it was usually available. There was no Wi-Fi in the tents, but my Verizon service surprisingly picked up decent 4G connections at the camp and in most places across Masai Mara.

Cocktail from the bar

The next morning we had our balloon ride and tribal visit, and then enjoyed several great game drives over the four days we spent in Masai Mara.

The camp is in an excellent location just on the Talek River. Apparently, the river gets quite high during rainy season, but during our visit it was quite low. It was cool to see animals on the ridge across the river from our tent.

There was also a Masai warrior who worked overnight and patrolled the camp to protect guests from unwanted visitors like hyenas and lions. We did hear some hyena howls overnight.

The camp employees were all friendly and provided great service. The food was not quite as good or varied as Elephant Bedroom in Samburu, but I suppose we were getting a lot of the same dishes throughout the week at the three camps and with a small number of guests, they probably couldn’t order too much variety.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay. It was very relaxing and pleasant. The location was good as we did not have to drive too far into the park to see wildlife and there is an ability for vehicles to park across the river (there’s a footbridge) for even easier access to game drives.

Up Next: Back to Nairobi and Carnivore

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