Oldarpoi Mara Camp
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Oldarpoi - A true Massai Experience
"I have recently come back from a 7 night stay at Oldarpoi Camp. I visited Oldarpoi at the beginning of January and the weather was delightful! Just remember your sun cream, sun glasses and sun hat as the temperature can get very hot by midday. It was a great trip, where I was made to feel most welcome by the local Massai people and staff at the camp. The camp site is situated just outside the game reserve and has stunning views. The sunsets were truly remarkable. The camp is clean, tidy and has running hot water. The food I sampled was some of the nicest food I have ever tasted â well done Willy! The attentive staff were on hand 24 hours a day to make sure we were comfortable and safe. I would recommend this camp site for anyone wishing to do a safari, some volunteer work or just have a relaxing break. You will not get a better insight into Massai life than this. The profits from the camp are invested back into the local community so you really are making a lasting contribution to the future of this region.
It is also worth booking your safari through this safari camp as well, as you will have Masai warriors coming with you who will give you alot better insight into the animals and their behaviours than with other safari providers. Ensure you go early in the morning. The Masai is at its most beautiful and the animials are at their most active at this time of the day.
Ten out of Ten."
- Travel date: Thu 25th of February 2010
Fantastic safari experience, great food and comfortable accommodations.
"You can spend hundreds of dollars a day more for an authentic African safari, but it's very unlikely you could have a better experience than at the Oldarpoi Mara Community camp. This is a tented safari camp just outside the main gate of the Maasai Mara game preserve. We picked this camp after reading a very favorable review in the New York Times and arranged the details very quickly via email. The manager, Nelson Relyia, picked us up in Nairobi and within a few hours we had seen four of the "big five" African animals. Nelson led us on daily safaris into Maasai Mara where we were "up close and personal" with lions, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, giraffes, impalas, water buffalo, wildebeests, rhinos, hippos â the list of animals and scores of birds goes on and on. Back at camp we enjoyed solar hot water showers and terrific meals and cold drinks. The tents are large with very comfortable beds. Nelson, who grew up in the village of Sekenani, arranged visits to local Maasai villages where we gained a good understanding of the culture and could purchase local handicrafts. Another good reason to pick this camp is that the money stays with the locals instead of going to multi-national corporations. The Oldarpoi Mara Community camp rates among our âbest everâ travel experiences."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of December 2009
Unforgattable and authenthic experience
"Genuine hospitality of the Masai people who run this camp and their flexibility made our stay unforgettable and kind of priceless. Since we were the only guests at the camp at that time we received a lot more attention from the owner than we could ever expect. Much appreciated.
Hot showers, clean toilets, comfortable beds and good location. And on top of that excellent food prepared by Willy (modestly self-rated as a 3-star kitchen :). Although the camp appeared relatively small as compared to other options in the area it had all the comfort an average traveller would desire in such a place. Highly recommended for those looking for a unique experience, Masai style."
- Travel date: Wed 30th of September 2009
The best experience of our lives!
"My husband and I stayed at the Oldarpoi Camp, Kenya for 2 weeks at the end of August 2009. The camp is situated close to the Massai Mara National Park and has the most fantastic views. The tent we stayed in was spacious and clean and thoroughly met with our expectations. The main purpose of our trip was to volunteer at the camp site, girls rescue centre and local primary school. We also did a two day safari and spent some time visiting local villages in the Massai area. All the staff at the camp were extremely kind and thoughtful and they couldnât do enough to help us. The chef Willy, cooked us some fantastic food from all corners of the globe. Every effort was made to make us feel welcome and we were moved by how hospitable everyone was towards us. Most evenings we would share in conversation around the fire and listen to the sound of the wild animals! The sanitation was fine, we were lucky enough to have a hot shower every evening, which was gratefully received after a hot day. The team at the camp always made sure there was enough bottled water for us and tea and coffee was available around the clock. The guards at the camp were very experienced and knowledgeable and ensured we were safe while we slept.
We came away from our holiday with so many happy memories and a much deeper understanding of the Massai way of life. We would definitely recommend the Oldarpoi camp to volunteers or people wishing to do a safari âThis is a cheaper alternative to the safari lodges in the Reserve, but one where you will get a true cultural insight of Massai Life, where you will make great friends and you will be helping the local community at the same time - I am already planning my next trip!"
- Travel date: Mon 28th of September 2009
Couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect Safari experience
"If youâre looking to get closer to the true nature and culture of the Masai Mara, Oldarpoi is the place to do it! Highlights of our stay at Oldarpoi were:
The camp grounds -
The camp is situated right in the lush nature surrounding the Masai Mara Reserve and it has almost 360 degree views of the surrounding lands. Watching the sunrise there is beautiful, if youâre up early enough to catch it. My favorite part of the Oldarpoi grounds was the campfire in the middle of the main lawn, where everyone congregated at night to tell stories and share laughter that crosses cultures and languages. The tents are spacious and comfortable, with lovely solid wood beds and warm blankets for the cool Mara nights. There is plenty of shade during the day given by the thorn trees surrounding the camp. The dining area is a lovely place to share a wonderful meal and stories of the dayâs animal sightings and the next dayâs safari plans.
Our Guide and Oldarpoi's founder, NELSON!! -
I canât imagine having gone on safari with any guide as knowledgeable, kind, entertaining, and generally a pleasure to spend days with than Nelson. He accommodated every request to stop and marvel at the beautiful Big 5 animals, thorn trees and sunsets, and all the other park highlights he introduced to us to. Nelson grew up in Sekenani, the Masai village where Oldarpoi is situated, knows the whole Masai Mara Reserve intimately, knows how and where to find all of the Maraâs animals and what time of day to find them, always had a smile on his face no matter how many lions we wanted to keep searching for (SIMBA!!), and didnât mind stopping all the many times we wanted to take âjust one more pictureâ! Every day with Nelson was like being with a friend, not just a guide. And Nelsonâs close relationship with the people of Sekenani also meant that we were able to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences meeting them, and were even invited to have tea in their homes with them. An added bonus was that a sizeable portion of our stay at Oldarpoi contributed to Nelsonâs tireless education and fundraising for anti-FGM initiatives in the Masai community.
The incredible Oldarpoi Camp staff -
Willy and his delicious meals always kept it interesting, kept us full, and gave us much-needed energy for our long safari days and nights. Ben and Kennedy, our Masai Warrior guards, not only made us feel completely safe, but taught us how to throw spears, dressed us in Masai gear, took us on incredible nature hikes, learned how to do the limbo with us, and even lent us their Shukas! The camp meals and campfire nights with the boys were always entertaining â we miss everyoneâs great sense of humor and warm hospitality!
All in all, there is no better time or money spent in the Masai Mara than with Nelson at Oldarpoi Camp!"
- Travel date: Sat 5th of September 2009
Unique, incredible experience with a great organization
"If you are looking for an opportunity to experience the incredible maasai mara through the eyes of the maasai people this is your chance. Not only are you able to see the storied animals, you are able to visit a maasai village and you know that your money is going towards a great cause (building and supporting a girls school). This is a very unique experience and very worthwhile."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of August 2009
"Every great vacation I have had has had one thing in common: the staff enjoy their work and care that their guests have a good time. The staff at the Oldarpoi clearly love their work. They do everything they can to ensure you have a good time.
The safari drives were less like a business relationship, but more like a road trip with some friends who happen to know a lot about wildlife. They really cared that we saw everything the park had to offer. In fact, my wife and I got tired way before they did.
We also visited a nearby Maasai village, and the local bar. It was just a great experience, really warm and authentic.
The big surprise of our stay was how good the food was. They have an excellent cook who really enjoys his job. I expected cold cereal and tea for breakfast, but we were pleasantly surprised by coffee crepes and sausage.
Now the stuff everyone wants to know, but are afraid to ask: there are flush toilets, and hot showers (really hot). The one small problem was that there was no place in the camp to charge cameras, but they would charge them for you and bring them back in the morning. I understand that they have plans to add solar panels to charge all the tech gear.
We came back and immediately started talking about when we would take our next trip."
- Travel date: Fri 7th of August 2009
Great experience for a great cause
"The Oldarpoi Camp was an incredible experience. The location has wonderful views of the Masai valley, and the tented camp accommodations were great. The staff there were incredibly helpful and friendly people. The mission of the camp involves giving back to the Masai community by investing the profits in programs that will educate women and provide a village for them to escape FGM. Nelson, the manager and owner of the camp, gives you a truly authentic experience by showing you Masai villages and even drinking some local brew with his family in their hut. The other staff were delightful: the chef, Willie, fixed us wonderful food each day featuring freshly slaughtered goat (mbuzi) stew, and other dishes. Maggie, the charming camp manager, made sure that our stay went smoothly.
The game drives in Masai Mara Reserve were incredible. We were able to see the "Big 5" within our first few hours. But it was the total of our experiences, including the dance by the local Masai welcoming us to the camp, the scenic hike up a mountain and down to the local village, and the individual attention that each of us received that made this the experience of a lifetime. You can go with other places to stay or hire other guides, but very few have the community-based tourism that Nelson's group offers. They were the highlight of our 3-week Africa trip."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of March 2009
A great experience in the wilderness...
"...for everyone who wants to explore the Maasai Mara National Parc off the beaten track.
The camp offers several tents with comfortable beds, warm showers, great food and a fantastic location. Thanks to the nice staff we felt at home from the first to the last moment. Living together with the Maasais in the middle of the nature (incl. several good game rides through the park) was a gain of experience that I don't want to miss any more. And knowing that the revenues of the camp serve a good purpose made the stay there even better..."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of March 2009
Loved the small camp itself, Unfortunately its run by crooks.
"This was a nightmare...Saw the article in the SundayTravel Edition of the New York Times and called the parties mentioned in the atricle upon arrival in Naroibi
Well, I was given a price, and I verified the price three times with the one of the people mentioned in the article. Upon stoping in the middle of nowhere for lunch (Narok) I was informed that the trip would cost an additional $140.00 and than sat through a classic bait and switch routine. ( OBTW: I'm an ex-NY Cop)
When I refused to pay additional, I was threated, to be left in the middle of nowhere, " Either you pay us all ,or we can leave you here" , "you know we can take it all", and other threating statements.
After much discussion, and envoking the fear of the US Govt, I went to Camp for one day and back to Naroibi, where I returned back to US.
People mentioned in article are simply common crooks..
Too bad for the Masi and the area..They deserve better..
More to follow."
- Travel date: Sun 14th of December 2008