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“All You Could Want in Masai Mara”
Review of Fig Tree Camp

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Fig Tree Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 May 2017

I know there but are many camps in the fabulous Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, including many that would be far more luxurious (and expensive) than Fig Tree Camp, but for the money and experience I think it rates as well as any. Here's why with photos to accompany the comments.

Fig Tree Camp is operated by Mada Hotels, which specializes in game camps in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It sits on a bend in the Talek River with the vehicles parked on one side and the camp itself on the other side of a pedestrian bridge.
We were here in the dry season so that was not a lot of water below. However, there was enough to keep the largest crocodilian I have ever seen, dwarfing even the largest American alligators, happy. He was there faithfully each day sunning himself on the shoreline, perhaps dreaming of the return of the wildebeests.

He was famous too. When we returned to the Serena Hotel in Nairobi and the desk clerk asked where we'd journeyed from and we told him, he immediately asked if we'd seen the camp's famous crocodile.

The chalets and tents are, thankfully, high up on the banks of the river, well away from smiley. We had tent #2 which was spacious, had a fridge and nice bathroom. The best thing about it was the outdoor patio where we could sit and enjoy a glass of wine.

Across the river was a tree that had a colony of weaver birds. The males of the species put on an endlessly entertaining display as they clung upside down to the nests they had created and fluttered their wings, hoping to attract one of the drab females to move in. The females were very fussy and while they did inspect the nests as the male waited outside in trepidation they almost invariably declared them unsuitable and flew off. I know it's personification, but you could actually see the look of dejection that came over the males when this happened.

For wifi you needed to go to the bar, but hey that's not the end of the world, having a cool Tusker or White Top while checking emails. Or you could do it by the pool - a lot safer than a dip in the river.

The meals at Fig Tree Camp are buffet style, like all the places we stayed in Kenya, and by buffet standards, very good with a wide selection of dishes to cater to the many different nationalities that visit these game camps. I probably ate more Indian dishes while in Kenya than other other type cuisine. Unlike Egypt, nobody in our group had any stomach or intestinal problems from the food, although we did drink only bottled water.

The Masai people are, of course, native to the Masai Mara area and some them wandered about the grounds of Fig Tree Camp dressed in their traditional garb. Costumes would not be the right word because this is how most of the Masai men dress every day. They do expect to be tipped for posing for a photo, but how often do you get the opportunity to get a shot with a Masai with the Talek River in the background?

Not long after the sun goes down the camp puts out food scraps for genets that make a ritual of coming to the bridge railing for their nightly snack.

Of course the real measure of a game camp is how much game did you see and how many species. In three game drives we saw all of the big five including the elusive leopard. We also came across several cheetahs including one that had just killed a young wildebeest. There was also a fresh Cape buffalo kill by a pride of lions. We got face to face with many lions. We saw infant suckling elephants, a spotted hyena pup and a very young masai giraffe. In terms of birds we saw a number of the top draws for birders on the Masai Mara including a secretary bird, saddle-billed stork, hammerkops and a rare wooly-necked stork as well as the national bird of Kenya, the lilac-breasted roller.

Finally, Fig Tree Camp is home base the ballooning company Adventures Aloft. We had a fantastic early morning balloon ride of the savannah followed by a champagne breakfast.

All told, I really don't think we could have asked for more, both in terms of what we experienced and the price we paid.

Room Tip: Ask for a room from which you can watch the weaver birds
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  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank maritimeexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 - 23 of 374 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2017 via mobile

Great place to stay to do safari. Accommodation is tented but better experience than we could imagine. Ok the power goes off at certain times, but no problem. You can hear the animals at night which is great. Food is excellent. And a must do is breakfast in Mara. Bed is really comfortable and you do have a torch if you need the bathroom at night. Guides were good. We saw 4 of the big 5. We only missed out on seeing rhino. It is cold on the morning game drives but they do supply blankets, and it does warm up quick and then gets very hot. The guides did respect the animals and did not harass them. We would go back to Fig tree.

Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Julie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2017

Fig Tree Camp is the perfect example of glamping on safari. The tents are clean and comfortable. Our tents were on the river with the most incredible view over to the Mara. The food is just to die for with something for everybody and the staff are warm and welcoming. Hot water, wifi and electricity are at certain times but what would you expect on Safari...if you want wifi and hotwater and power at all times forget Safari and go go and stay in town BUT you will be missing out. The hot air balloon ride is a must, save your pennies !! Incredible !

Room Tip: overlooking the Talek river
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  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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2  Thank Notalls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2017

I absolutely loved this place! The location is wonderful: the camp is well inside the maasai mara reserve. We had to drive almost an hour inside the reserve before we reached the camp. A gigantic fig tree welcomes you into the eponymous camp. At the edge of the camp flows the Talek river, which flows in a deep, muddy trench. The tents directly oversee the river and this is the best thing if you are an enthusiastic birder! Late in the evening we were walking to the dining area, when a couple of housekeeping staff asked us if we wanted to see a leopard! Of course we did! They pointed to a spot on the rock in the middle of the river right across where we were, and sure! There was a pair of bright eyes that gleamed back at us! We spent about half an hour photographing the cat who seemed to be resting on the rock. The most exciting sighting of the entire trip because it was so completely unexpected.
The dining experience was enhanced manyfold by the amazing folk song and dance performances. The restaurant staff took special care when we mentioned we were vegetarians and went out of the way to make rotis and dal for us because we were Indian. The vegetarian menu was quite good in itself and we enjoyed the buffet spread greatly.
The tents themselves are compact and modest, but comfortable. If you love the wildlife camping experience, this place delivers on every count!

  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank gowris5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2017 via mobile

We had a Fantastic stay at Fig Tree. We were very lucky with the weather and were amongst some of the only guests at the camp. The staff and service were exceptional, with hippos and crocodiles in the river just outside our tent. The tent was beautiful and really well equipped with private bathroom and hot water and wifi early in the morning and night time. You could choose to take an early morning game drive and have a packed breakfast / lunch or enjoy the three course meals that were served each lunch and dinner. The staff could not have more accommodating and nothing was too much trouble. It was safe and professional and we loved our time there. 2 nights were perfect to explore the Maasai and see so many incredible animals in their natural environment. Our driver and guide, Nixon and Hiram, made our tours personalised to what we wanted and went above and beyond and gave such an insight into the wildlife and the Maasai culture. Thank you so much!

Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank AnnaLees6765
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fig Tree Camp

Address: C14, Keekorok | Talek river area, Masai Mara National Reserve 00100, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Masai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 146 Speciality Lodging in Masai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: €134 - €467 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Fig Tree Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fig Tree Camp, located in the prestigious Masai Mara National Reserve, is a luxurious lodge with top-class amenities and service. You have a reason to adventure, we give you the hospitality to go with it. This 72 roomed property is ideal for game drives and nature walks. Our rooms comprise of the superior Ngaboli tents, executive standard tents and lodge rooms, all fitted with facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The Talek River also snakes its way around the camp, to give you that serene and tranquil feel from the hustle and bustle of the city. We do hope you enjoy your stay with us. Welcome to Fig Tree Camp. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fig Tree Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Fig Tree Camp Kenya, Africa

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