Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions
Emboo River's team is looking forward to hosting you during this unique safari experience! Are you ready for your stay? Here are our answers to frequently asked questions by guests.
Kindly note that we are doing our best to answer your questions. With a rapidly changing environment, especially in light of COVID-19, some regulations might change last minute and therefore the FAQ below is just an advice and not legally binding. We kindly request guests to also do their own research, especially in light of travel requirements, location forms and PCR tests.
Do you have further questions? Click on the below to ...
Emboo River is located in the centre of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The Maasai Mara National Reserve has a size of 1,510 square kilometers or 580 square miles is surrounded by privately owned conservancies. Thanks to Emboo River's central location there is wildlife all around the lodge and game drives start as soon as you jump into the electric safari vehicles.
Entry fees to the Maasai Mara National Reserve apply. Guests pay these park fees to support the rangers who protect and restore this unique ecosystem including its animals. During your booking process, the Emboo River team will check if you want park fees to be included in your invoice. If it is included in your invoice, Emboo River will arrange your park fees prior to your arrival to smoothen your entry into the Maasai Mara. If park fees are not included in your invoice, you can pay your park fees upon arrival into the Maasai Mara via credit card.
At the time of writing (13 July 2022) park fees for the Maasai Mara National Reserve are USD 70 / adult / night, USD 40 / child (4-17 years old) / night or USD 0 / infant (0-3 years old) / night. If there is a change in prices, Emboo River will inform travellers and share an invoice with them.
Seasons & Weather
All year around you can see your favourite animals in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is known for its abundance of wildlife and high density of animals.
The below seasons give an indication of what to expect during certain travel months. Heads up, weather is always unpredictable and climate change is affecting the usual seasons.
In January and February a dry period kicks in and you can see many newborn animals.
The months of March until May bring more unpredictable rain, and thanks to that there are fewer tourists around so guests can experience nature to the fullest.
During the months of July till October you have the chance of witnessing the Great Migration that brings millions of wildebeest, zebra and antelope into Emboo River's area.
The short downpours in November and December make the landscapes even more lush and green. Wrap up the year in the savanna surrounded by lots of wildlife.
Emboo River lies close to the equator at an elevation of around 1200 meters or 4000 feet.
It is usually warm during the days and chilly during the morning and evenings. Temperatures vary between a maximum of 25°C / 77°F and a minimum of 12°C/54°F.
We recommend guests to pack comfortable clothes and shoes. Temperatures change quickly as soon as the sun sets, so it might be chilly during your morning game drive and warm by lunch time. You are therefore advised to bring clothes that are easy to layer such as T-shirts, sweaters, jacket, long and short trousers, sneakers or hiking shoes, scarf and a sun hat or beanie. Do not forget your swimwear and sunglasses to enjoy a dip in Emboo River's pool.
You can pack a flashlight and binoculars, though Emboo River also provides these.
To travel in Kenya you need a tourist visa prior to arrival. Kenya does not provide visas on arrival. Apply for the visa online via this official website http://evisa.go.ke
COVID-19 Regulations while travelling to Kenya
To travel to Kenya during this time, you are asked to take a few simple steps:
All travellers above the age of 12 years arriving into the country through any point of entry will be required to show proof of either COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test conducted not more than 72 hours before departure. For exemptions, check this website.
Register your proof of vaccination or PCR test if unvaccinated on the Global Haven website prior to travel: click here or here
Check with your airline and transit countries if they have measures in place. For example, some airlines will ask you to bring facemasks and handsanitizer so you can travel comfortably.
Because this is a rapidly evolving situation, please check with your airline, transit countries and final destination on the most updated travel requirements. You are also urged to check for the most up to date info Kenya's Civil Aviation Authority: click here.
The information shared here is correct on the date of 5 January 2023.
COVID-19 Regulations while travelling from Kenya
To travel from Kenya back home during this time, you must check the COVID-19 regulations of your destination country, transit countries and airline.
If you need to take a COVID-19 PCR test or rapid antigen test prior to your return travel, Emboo River is happy to help you with this. Please reach out to Emboo River to schedule this.
The information shared here is correct on the date of 5 January 2023.
COVID-19 measures in Kenya and at Emboo River
The Emboo River team has implemented many measures in light of COVID-19, so you can travel without worries (or "hakuna matata" in Kiswahili). These measures are part of the C.L.E.A.N. Label. If you want to read more about our health and hygiene measures, click here.
While travelling through Kenya, please respect social distancing measures and wear a face mask while in a flight, road transport, or at other places where you are unable to keep social distance.
Transport to Emboo River
Emboo River is reachable via road and air. Sit back and relax, because we are happy to arrange transport for you. Click here to find out more on transport options.
Are you travelling with an internal flight in Kenya? As you will see on your flight tickets, your luggage (including cargo and hand luggage) may weigh 15 kilograms per person. For more details about luggage and other travel requirements use the following links:
Emboo River is located in a remote area, so doctors and hospitals are located at a few hours distance. We advise guests to get medical insurance and to sign up for the Flying Doctor service for immediate evacuation to Nairobi for treatment in case of medical emergencies : click here
There is a small prevalence of malaria in the Maasai Mara. Consult your doctor for malaria medication. Bring mosquito spray.
If you are travelling to Kenya from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission, Kenya requires that you show a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. Check with your doctor to see if your general vaccinations are still up to date
Emboo River's Chefs use local and fresh ingredients from our own garden to create delicious meals. Emboo River’s menu is based on a ‘flexitarian’ diet. This means that the menu is mainly focused on vegetable dishes and limits the number of meat dishes. Limiting the consumption of meat has a big and positive impact on the environment.
Inform us in advance of any dietary requests or allergies.
Bottled drinking water is available. Tap water is not potable.
To restore the unique ecosystem of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, requires team work between our guests, Emboo River staff, rangers and community.
We request guests to be respectful of nature and to not litter. Plastic bags are illegal in Kenya.
Single use plastic is prohibited in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, beaches, forests, and other protected areas in Kenya. This includes cigarettes with plastic butts, wet wipes, single use diapers, plastic ear swabs, ... Do you need tips on how to travel plastic free? Click here.
Wildlife encounters within Emboo River
Emboo River is located in the Maasai Mara National Reserve and is not fenced.
During the day, the presences of animals in the camp is rare, though you might spot mongoose, monkeys and small antelopes. Once everyone goes to sleep and the camp goes quiet, common visitors include hippos, elephants, hyenas, leopards, lions, buffalos. Snakes are rarely seen, but are present in the camp.
Emboo River's security team operates day and night and ensures that there are no unexpected encounters between our guests and wild animals. For your safety, guests are required to sign a waiver and to follow safety instructions from the Emboo River team. One safety instruction is that the security team escorts you to your tents and the main areas. Another safety instruction is that children must never be left unattended. More safety instructions are shared in your waiver and during your stay.
Emboo River has three different room styles being: 6 River Rooms, 1 River Suite Bella's Tree, 1 River Suite Firefly. The River Rooms have a beautiful luxurious set up with all conveniences. The River Suites are more spacious and have a slightly different design.
All guest rooms overlook the river.
Every guest room has an en suite bathroom that includes a sink, a toilet and a rain shower. There is running and hot water 24/7 thanks to solar heaters.
Solar panels provide Emboo River with electricity at any time of the day and night. International plugs are available in the main areas and guest rooms.
Wi-Fi and Telephone
Emboo River lies in a remote area in the centre of nature. It is the perfect spot to disconnect from your phone. However, there is mobile network and Wi-Fi service available at the camp.
Are you an international traveller and want to get a Kenyan simcard? That is possible. You can buy a simcard upon arrival in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or in shopping centra around Nairobi. To create a simcard you need to show your passport. A simcard costs around KES 200 or USD 2 and can be topped up with airtime, which you can use to make calls or send text messages or to buy data bundles. Kenya has many telcom providers and the one with the most reliable network in Maasai Mara is Safaricom.
Emboo River advises you to keep valuables with you at all times or to store them in the management's safe.
Payments and tipping
Payments at the lodge can be made via most credit cards (transaction fee to be added), in cash through USD and KES currencies or via Mpesa.
Tipping of Emboo River's staff is entirely up to you, though it is customary in Kenya.
Emboo River's team consists of 40 people who work hard behind the scenes to make your stay fantastic and would be most grateful for tips. We operate a communal tipping system that is equally shared among the general staff. Guides are tipped separately. Tipping can be done in cash, via credit card or Mpesa.
As guidance, a usual tip for general staff is USD 10 - 15 per guest per night and for guides USD 10 - 20 per guest per night.