Exploreans Mara Rianta Camp
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes a welcome drink; breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with soft drinks, Kenyan beer and selected wine; laundry; round-trip airport transfers to/from Mara North airstrip and morning and afternoon game drives each day
- The sounds of grunting hippos in the river at night
- Amazing stargazing in the vast Kenya sky
- The rangers know their stuff; expect to see most if not all of the Big Five
What To Know
- A Masa North Conservation (MNC) fee of $80 per adult, per night and $40 per child (up to 12), per night, will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- International flights arrive in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi but you'll need to transfer to Wilson Airport (WIL) (around 45 minutes away) for flights to the Mara North airstrip
- July to September is high season (migration season); March to May is rainy season, making it more difficult to spot animals
- Free WiFi
Who knew tents could be so chic? This intimate 20-room retreat on the banks of the Mara River, centers around a series of breezy public spaces (lobby and lounge, sublime spa and restaurant) set under thick canvas with walls that roll up to showcase the great outdoors. Rest on deep cream sofas with a chilled drink in hand as you gaze out at the river, watching giraffes nibble on treetops and families of hippos wading in the water. Wildlife images dot the walls, deep red and brown rugs add warmth to the dark hardwood floors, floor lamps offer ambience at nightfall, and with river views from nearly every part of the camp, it’s hard to not have your own Out of Africa moment.
Bed and Bath
Tented rooms continue the African-chic vibe with dark wood furniture, carvings by local artisans, and netted windows (which can be closed at night). Every corner has a touch of local culture, from the handcrafted stone soap dish by the sink to the traditional plaid Maasai fabric to the tiny banana leaf gazelle figurines that rest on the pillow of your four-poster bed as part of the turn-down service. As an added bonus, a universal power adapter is available in each room (note: the power is turned off from 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.). The bath area is just as large as the bedroom. Lather up in the open-air rain shower (you can unzip the tent wall to put on a show for the hippos and baboons across the river), and five of the 20 tents come with large clawfoot bathtubs (perfect for a post–game drive soak using the Basic Earth Botanicals toiletries provided).
Before dinner settle in next to the firepit by the river for a Dawa cocktail or a Kenyan Tusker beer and share tales from the day’s game drives with your fellow guests. Head to the open-air Acacia restaurant to dine à la carte on pastas, grilled meats, fresh veggies and local fish (breakfast and lunch are typically served buffet-style). Don’t skip the eggplant, beet and carrot, and mango chutney spreads that go with the crusty bread and rolls. The Mvua Spa is small (three massage tables, hot and cold plunge pools and a quiet relaxation area), but the African Foot Massage (a 30-minute treatment focusing on your feet and legs and mixing in some reflexology), with the calming sounds of the Mara River soothing you to sleep, can’t be missed. Also on the spa menu: hot stone massages to relieve stress, hydrating facials and manis and pedis.
In the Area
Between game drives arrange for a Maasai village tour to see how the local tribe lives, and shop their small outdoor market, where you can pick up beaded jewelry and knickknacks — all made by the village’s women. Or take an entire day to explore the land with a daylong game drive that includes a picnic bush lunch. Two things to note: Exploreans is located on the privately owned portion of land known as the North Conservation Maasai Mara Reserve; right next to it is the government-owned Maasai Mara National Reserve. The difference between the two is that in the conservancy you can go off-roading in search of lions, cheetahs, elephants and more, while on the reserve you have to stay on the roads. And each comes with its own park fees ($60 daily per person for the conservancy, $80 daily per person for the reserve).
How to Get There
We had amazing stay at Neptune) we stayed 4 nights. Service is very personalized. If you like to watch hippos, you will be served breakfast, lunch and dinner with river view. Staff remember your food preferences. We felt they are all big family. Only one BUT, internet is crazy! Bad:( for ppl who need internet on holidays is struggle. We had amazing safari driver - Justice! He is very knowledgeable and professional. We enjoyed safari and stories about life in Masai Mara.
We had a wonderful stay at Mara Rianta and could not have been more impressed with the location, set-up, service and attention to the most minute detail!
We drove to the Mara in our own vehicle and given the wet and muddy conditions at the time, our car looked a complete muddy mess by the time we arrived! The manager, however, arranged to have the car perfectly cleaned (including our gum boots!), both inside and out which was much appreciated!
The camp is built on stilts on a beautiful wooden deck overlooking the river and swimming pool in a perfectly manicured garden. There are several very comfortable lounge areas, a bar, dining area, spa area and curio shop.
The accommodation in luxury tents is extremely spacious and very well appointed with tasteful furniture, private outdoor deck with a view to the river and the interesting pod of resident hippo! You can literally wake up, stay in bed (with a warm cup of tea and biscuits brought in by your butler for your pre-arranged wake-up call) and just spend time observing the hippos.
The attention to detail in the tent is exemplary including a basket to place your shoes should you wish to have them cleaned, laundry service, hair dryer, bath robes, plenty of drinking water, a silent bell to call for your butler if needed and most importantly a charging station with enough sockets to plug in each family members devices (phones, cameras, ipads etc). In the evening, you will find a hot water bottle in your bed and a selection of chocolates on your bedside table…
The food at the restaurant is extremely good – meticulously prepared and carefully presented. The manager even offered for us to speak with the chef in case we required or felt like having something special to eat.
While the rest of the family enjoyed the garden pool, I took the opportunity to relax with a one hour long deep tissue massage at the spa – absolute bliss!
The afternoon game drive in the conservancy was a huge success as the knowledgeable safari guide knew just where to go and aside from being able to spot a multitude of wildlife we witnessed a lion kill (3 female lions with 3 teenage cubs) which was the highlight of our safari!
Finally, the birdlife in the camp is amazing and just while having lunch we managed to spot a variety of different species in the garden.
Thank you to the Neptune Mara Rianta team for looking after us so well! We will definitely be back again!
We stayed at Neptune Mara Rianta Camp and had an INCREDIBLE experience there. It is on the River Mara so you will see animals coming to drink from the river and it’s filled with hippos. It was all-inclusive with three meals a day and when we asked for vegan options they printed us up our own personal vegan menu with various options and the chef met with us to ask us more about the things we liked. Also included in the all-inclusive there was beer, wine and well cocktails which is amazing as few lodges offer that. We had our own personal butler (seriously) who woke us with tea for the early morning game drives. The rooms are luxury "tents" with full beds and shower and you can request for the tent to be open or closed based on the time of day and weather. I showered while watching hippos on the river and that was pretty fantastic. If you’re doing game drives in the North Conservancy you’ll have one from 6:30-9:00 am and another from 4:30-7:00 pm.During the day we used the spa and the pool and really enjoyed the grounds. If you go into the Mara Reserve for the day, you’ll be there all day, from 8:30 - 4:30, and they will bring a packed lunch for you to eat on the plains.
When looking into places to stay, I noticed steep extra fees of $80 pp per day for lodges that were inside of the Mara Reserve itself (Neptune is not, it's in the North Conservancy) which would bump our trip costs up by $640 for 4 days, even though we weren’t doing full days and the start and end of the trip. That’s because if you’re inside the park you’re mandated to pay the extra park fees, and they’re not included in the price of the lodging.
If you stay in the North Mara Conservancy there are no extra park costs, and the landscape is very different-- hilly and fertile, and you can drive off-road, wherever you want to. We had an abundance of wildlife there-- more giraffes than we could count, elephants, cheetahs and lions. The animals are basically leaping over each other there because it’s so dense with animals.
We opted to pay to go into the main Masai Mara reserve for one day and it was enough, you could do two, it’s nice to see for the change of scenery-- flat, open plains versus the denser forest of the North Conservancy. Saw lots of wildlife there too but it’s such a huge plains area and you have to stay on the main road that it’s a different experience. Worth it to see though.
Notes on the rainy season: We went during the rainy season out of obligation because I was already in Nairobi for work so we didn’t have a choice. Now I think the rainy season (March - May) is the best time to go for the following reasons:
- Least amount of tourists. During the wildebeest migration season (our summer, Kenya’s winter), apparently the lodges in the area are PACKED and you’ll encounter a decent number of other vehicles while out on game drives. We had our lodge to ourselves and private game drives. It was amazing.
- Great weather. When it is cold in Kenya (our summer) it’s the most packed, and when it’s warm in Kenya (our winter is their summer) it can apparently be stifling hot and dusty. We had cool nights and warm days. We had the heavier rains in the evening and rain here and there during the day. When it rained it would rain for 10 minutes and go away. And rainy seasons are variable-- this year was considered rainy and last year they had very little rain at all.
- Cheaper prices!
I couldn't recommend Neptune Mara Rianta more highly!!
Excellent safaris luxury tented camp,locate on beautiful mara river and scenic.Game provide by camp in north contingency was remarkable . Camp staff where very friendly hats off guys ? Your doing good job? Food was highly recommended and the chef did fantastic job?
The camp has superb view of the mara river and hippos .Neptune Mara rianta luxury camp is highly recommended place to visit Maasai Mara.
Wonderful place, highly recommended. Rooms are clean, very large and with all possible amenities besides TV (but who wants TV in a place like that?) Staff people very nice and kind. Food... it looks like we are in Italy! Wonderful dishes very well decorated. If you plan a visir to Masai Mara, this is the place to stay.