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Fairmont Mara Safari Club | Kenya

Fairmont Mara Safari Club

“Your safari begins the moment you step off the plane at the Fairmont Mara airport”

Getting to the Fairmont Mara Safari Club is an adventure in itself. For most people, you will start in Nairobi (like we did) and jump on a light aircraft from the Wilson Airport to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. It only takes roughly 45mins to 1 hour to get there as our plane had two stops on the way. It was kind of like jumping on and off a flying bus.

As we were coming from the Fairmont Norfolk, the hotel had organised all the details getting to the airport so all we had to do was be ready at the foyer when they told us (simple – the way I like to travel!)

Fairmont Mara's 4wd
A 4wd landcruiser from the Fairmont Mara Safari Club (click here) picks you up metres from the dirt airstrip (which was an experience in itself). With refreshments onboard you are whisked away to the Mara River where the base camp is located.

Check’n In

Literally within moments from the airstrip we saw an array of different wildlife including Giraffes, Mongooses, Hippos & Warthogs (also known as Pumbas from the ever so popular film the Lion King).

From the moment you step off the plane, the Fairmont Mara has allocated your party to one of the very experienced Safari Club Guides for your entire stay. Our guide, Samuel had been working with the Fairmont Mara Safari Club for the best part of 10 years. Over the course of our stay we spent a lot of time with Samuel and the amount of knowledge the man possesses puts National Geographic to shame. Samuel can tell every specific animal on the planes from a distance, their age, gender, eating patterns, and where they will be at most times of the day. This was crucial if you want to have the chance to see all of the Big 5 in one stay.

Samuel & I

The Room

Me Standing At Tent 47

The Fairmont Mara has 51 tents across the Mara River. Every room looks out onto the river where hippos and crocodiles are in abundance. We stayed in tent number 47 which during the daytime the hippos literally sleep on the banks outside the tent. Within 15 metres from our balcony a School/pod of hippos could be found on the lower banks cuddled up to on another where they stayed pretty much all day. (Please correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think there is another place on earth where this is the norm).

My Partner It All In On Our Balcony

Staying at the Fairmont Mara is best described as ‘glamping (glamorous-camping)’. Our fixed tent consisted of a large bedroom, seperate bathroom/storage and indoor & outdoor shower. It was completely tiled, stocked a full mini bar, had several powerpoints and USB charges as the whole camp is run off the power grid. Which also means there is 24/7 hot water (as safaris run both during the day and at night, so theres no dramas of having a cold shower at night).

Each afternoon and night there was a turndown service after either a full day of safari excursions or just dinner at the main building.

We opted for an early wake up service, where our room attendant Samuel (another Samuel!) would bring fresh coffee or tea if you choose to do the early morning safari.

Tip: For the light sleepers bring ear plugs as you may have an interrupted sleep from the hippos during the night. The make a lot of funny, loud noises.

Food & Beverage

The food and bev situation was better than expected. The Fairmont Mara has a very large organic garden which was full with so many different vegetables, fruits and herbs. So most of what you ate was really paddock to plate cuisine.

The meals alternate from buffets to a la carte and there is a variety of different things you get. Lots of options for vegetarians and gluten free choices.

Playing In The Garden

The food and bev situation was better than expected. The Fairmont Mara has a very large organic garden which was full with so many different vegetables, fruits and herbs. So most of what you ate was really paddock to plate cuisine.

The meals alternate from buffets to a la carte and there is a variety of different things you get. Lots of options for vegetarians and gluten free choices.

The Bomba Grill

There is also the option of the bomba grill for big groups, which is grilled meats and cooked on the massive grill pit and wood oven.

Our Bush Breakfast On The Mara River

Another highlight (and a surprise to us) was the intimate bush breakfast outside the grounds. Dennis and the Fairmont team had spent the morning setting up a breakfast station right on the walls of the Mara River about 15 minutes outside of camp. From our table we could see a family of at least 20 hippos & 2 crocodiles, while an armed ranger stood by.

The Fairmont Mara Safari Club in pictures

With endless rolling planes of wild game, The Fairmont Mara has the unfair advantage of having one of the biggest and one the best wildlife attractions on Earth.

On our two day trip we got to see up close all of the big 5 which included; A Pride of Lions, A Leopard, 2 White Rhinos (which is a huge feat considered they are amongst the most critically endangered species), Herds of Elephants & Herds of Buffalos.

We were also grateful to see so many Schools of Hippos, Families of Giraffes, Jackals, Hyenas, Crocodiles, Mongooses and more Wildebeest, Impalas, Warthogs, Gazelles than you could imagine. The Masai Mara is also home to several different types of birds, baboons & monkeys.

The only thing we personally did not get to see was a cheetah although another group in our camp saw 4. Really it’s just an excuse to come back 🙂

Also the Fairmont provides cultural trips (see here) and other activities like hot air ballooning.

Pool & Gym

There is a pool but with all of our days being completely full with one of the worlds’ best safari at our doorstep we didn’t even bother to relax by the pool.
The Pool At The Fairmont Mara


  • Everything (as above) was incredible
  • The staff were some of the friendliest people I have met


  • No money to exchange while we were there – please make sure you do all your exchanging to USD or Kenyan Shilling before you arrive just in case
  • As expected wifi is tempremental & only in the main building (some could think of this as a pro as its great to be able to disconnect for a while)


With so many places to see and places to stay I can safely say that The Fairmont Mara Safari Club is a place I will continue to come back to time and time again. Do yourself a favour and book for at least 3-4 nights so you can get as much out of the experience as humanly possible.

Fairmont Mara Safari Club
58581, Aitong,
+254 20 226 5000

If you liked this hotel review you might want to see more about Kenya (here).
Disclaimer: My stay at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club was provided complimentary for a review on the Krumbled website. All experiences & opinions are my own.
Have you stayed at the Fairmont Mara before? How was your safari? Leave any questions or comments below.

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  1. how cute are those hippos!!!

    1. Omg they are so cute! but they’re suppose to be the most dangerous for people in Africa.

  2. You should sell those photos of the giraffes & hippopotamus’!!
    Just stumbled across your website from google – epic content!
    Can’t believe I have never seen any of your stuff.

    1. Hey Dean!!

      Really? Where could you sell them? Iv’e never even thought about it.

      Thanks! we’re trying haha

  3. This looks like a dream come true!!!!

    1. Hi Bernadette,

      It was a bucket list moment for sure 🙂

  4. LOVE the giraffe photos 🙂 agree they are very beautiful photos! Adding this to my bucket list <3

  5. Hi Krummie!!
    My hubby and I are wanting to go on an african safari!!!
    We never went on our honeymoon last year – and have been wanting to do it for a while.
    When is the best time of year to go?
    What lens did you travel with? Those photos are so nice and clear!!
    Can we request that room, hippos are my fav animals – I nearly died when I saw how close they were on one of your snaps!!
    Sorry so many questions!! I AM JUST SO EXCITED!!!!!

    1. Hey Anita!

      Oh my gosh I am so excited for you!! I would highly recommend to try and go when the Great Migration is on!
      Around end of July/Augsut I believe in Kenya near the Masai would be amazing.
      Yes I believe you can request the room!! I would recommend for you to do a few nights at the Masai Mara Fairmont, then try and do one of the roaming tented camps so you can be right in the heart of the migration (if you are intending to stay in Kenya the whole time)
      K x

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