Now that you hopefully know everything about preparing a safari in Kenya with kids
, let’s see how the actual safari holiday at Kempinski Olare Mara
looks like. So after a 45 flight with Air Kenya in a tiny plane, we landed safely on the grass strip at Olare Orok. Luckily, no animals were blocking the runway 🙂 As soon as we got off the plane, we were greeted by Alex, who was our guide for the entire stay.
Kempinski Olare Mara is located 30 minutes from the airstrip, and OMG that ride was something! Driving through the bush, we saw giraffes, zebras, buffalos, and a family of elephants. We could almost fly back home already!
Arriving at the Kempinski Olare Mara, we were greeted with a Masai dance, the kids loved it. We were offered a drink on the patio, met the camp manager and finished paperwork, before we were escorted to our tent.
The typical Masai welcome
The tent at Kempinski Olare Mara
The tent at Kempinski Olare Mara is very spacious and romantic, offering a sitting area, a very large bed with mosquito net where the four of us could have slept and a desk. The bathroom had a big tub, indoor and outdoor shower and a double basin with the usual amenities. Finally, a large deck offering a view on the savannah. The most amazing was the milky way over our tent as there is no light pollution at all. In general, it was very comfortable and privacy was ensured, but it was pretty windy during our stay, which resulted in a constant whistling noise from our tent.
Milky way above our tent
The surroundings at Kempinski Olare Mara
The surroundings are well maintained. Our tent was a three minutes walk from the main facilities. Animals are running freely around and therefore, at night, you need to be escorted. But that service was quite efficient and we never had to wait more than five minutes when we requested it from the room.
The hotel offers the option to plant a tree (10$) in the surroundings and there’s a pool, but we were too busy to really use it.
Tree planting in Masai Mara
The Kempinski Olare Mara Restaurant
The Restaurant is located on the patio. As the formula is all inclusive, guests can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. As the hotel can only accommodate 24 guests (there are only 12 tents), the restaurant is small and cosy. Depending on days, the meals served are either a buffet or à la Carte. The chef takes great importance on the meals he prepares. Some of the vegetables come from the chef’s organic garden, and your are more than welcome to pay it a visit. The food was always delicious and we enjoyed our dinners a lot. Drinks are included and range from water to soft drinks, not forgetting beer and wine. Our favorite was the Chardonnay from Australia. Last but not least, every evening before the dinner, a pre dinner cocktail is served on the terrace.
Pre- dinner cocktails
Visiting the chef’s organic garden
A typical day at Kempinski Olare Mara
The typical day on safari starts quite early: meeting at the lobby at 6:15 am. After a quick coffee or tea and a few biscuits, you jump into the car for the morning game drive. The car can fit up to six persons, but we were very lucky as on every game drive, except one, we were alone with our driver Alex. Mornings are crisp so it was important to wear adequate clothes. The game drive lasts about three hours and Alex was expert in finding the animals. Observing the wildlife was an incredible experience for all of us and we made lots of memories. The morning drive was followed by a well deserved breakfast. After that we always went to the tent to rest a bit.
After lunch we still had time to relax before meeting again around 4pm for tea and cookies and going out for the afternoon game drive. Again, we drove with Alex into the wild and enjoyed the wildlife in its centre. Every game drive was different, in terms of landscapes, animals we saw and their actions. We witnessed a hunt where a baboon killed a dik-dik, before being forced to abandon it after a terrible pursuit with two foxes. The fox, during a minute of distraction, got it stolen by a huge eagle… Another unforgettable scene was the birth of a zebra.
We were coming back at dusk, had time for a quick shower before going for dinner. Before that, we always took time for a first glass of wine. At night, the staff was lighting a huge campfire that kept Alexandre and Chloé busy while we could enjoy the end of our dinner.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
Extra visits at Kempinski Olare Mara
The Masai Village rip off
The camp organises excursions (at extra cost), from visiting a Masai village to a hot air ballon ride. We decided to go for the Masai village. After 40 minutes of dirt road, we were greeted by a group of Masai. Basically for 30$ per person, they show you were they live. We always like to discover other cultures, and while in Kenya we wanted to see the Masai lifestyle. They were friendly and showed us a hut. According to their explanations, there is no water and no electricity. But when we entered the bedroom, we could see a smartphone charging on the bed, and that’s where personally, they lost all their credibility. And it wasn’t over yet…
At the end of the visit, they bring you to their small market were you can buy artefacts. We took tree little bracelets. They asked 86$ (yes, you read that right, eighty six dollars) for it (market value of 6$) and said it was for a good cause. As we couldn’t agree on a reasonable price, we felt annoyed and left without a keepsake. Being treated like milk cows as a visitor really dampened our experience. The Masai Cultural Village is all a but an authentic experience. It’s a set up for tourists, where everything is carefully timed and planned. If you keep this in mind and you still want to see how the Masai used to live, then you should visit, otherwise save the money and donate elsewhere.
Masai Village tourist trap
Mara Valley school
Meeting the local population while driving in the Masai country was one of the highlights. We stopped at a school, visited the classrooms and saw how the kids are learning English. On the way back to the camp, we bought some candies in a tiny shop and distributed them to the kids. The smiles and happiness on the kids faces were authentic, a priceless experience.
From the moment we touched down on the grass strip in Masai Mara, we had an incredible time. The choice of the Kempinski Olare Mara with the private conservancy for the game drives was the right one!
If you have more questions about the Kempinski Olare Mara, please leave a comment below or contact us. For travel inspiration with Kids Like Letzflyaway on Facebook and subscribe to new posts.