The Big Six: Kenyan safari camps
Daily game walks, hungry hippos, luxury camps, tented suites, sundowners, and river-facing decks
Saturday 30 November 2013
Mahali Mzuri, Olare Motorogi
Sir Richard Branson's second safari camp opened in the Motorogi Conservancy earlier this year (the Virgin founder launched the Ulusaba game lodge in South Africa in 2004). With space for only 24 guests at the camp, you'll head out for daily game walks and drives in small groups, free from the squadrons of 4x4s that often plague the Maasai Mara National Reserve. After long days spent searching for wildlife, head back to relax beside the camp's infinity pool and crash out in one of 12 luxurious tents, with the sound of the bush ringing in your ears.
Mahali Mzuri, Motorogi (0800 716 919; mahalimzuri.virgin.com). Doubles start at US$1,180 (£787), all inclusive with game drives.
Kiboko Camp, Lake Naivasha
Kiboko opened last year on the shores of Lake Naivasha, at the highest point in Kenya's portion of the Great Rift Valley. Pink flamingos can been seen feeding in the lake, along with 400 other bird species and a sizeable bloat of hungry hippos snorting at the water's edge. There are eight tents to choose from, each with four-poster beds, writing desks, woven rugs and outdoor decks for sinking sundowners.
Kiboko Camp, Lake Naivasha (00 254 703 048 000; sunafricahotels.com). Doubles start at US$600 (£400), all inclusive with one walking safari.
Kempinksi, Olare Orok
Kempinski's luxury camp launched this year in the Olare Orok Conservancy, bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The area is known for its big cats, including Acacia the Cheetah and Narasha the Leopard, who are frequently seen around the camp. Happily, you can glimpse them from the safety of your private lodge-like tent, which comes with a vast double bed and en-suite bathroom. Elsewhere, there's a bar, pool and restaurant.
Kempinski Camp, Olare Orok (00 254 703 049 000; kempinski.com). Doubles start at US$1,470 (£980), full board with game drives.
Eagle View, Naboisho
Set on a spectacular escarpment in the Naboisho Conservancy, Eagle View offers nine tented suites with stunning views of the savannah. The on-site waterhole allows guests to come within touching distance of incredible wildlife, as predators and their prey come in to feed, while Maasai guides help locate rarer sightings on game drives and walking safaris. Additional excursions include bird walks and the chance to dine beneath the Southern Hemisphere sky.
Eagle View, Naboisho (00 254 733 333 909; basecampkenya.com). Doubles start at US$760 (£507), full board with game drives.
Tortilis Camp, Amboseli
If elephants are your thing, consider Amboseli National Park, which is renowned for its strong population. In the south-western corner, you'll find Tortilis, comprising beautiful thatched tents with striking views of Kilimanjaro, the world's highest free-standing mountain. To top-off waking up to such an awe-inspiring view, the camp also includes game drives, walks, sundowners and bush meals as part of the price, plus delicious Italian meals, inspired by the owner's European roots.
Tortilis Camp, Amboseli (00 254 20 600 3090; tortilis.com). Doubles start at US$760 (£507), all inclusive with games drives.
Galdessa Camp, Tsavo East
Galdessa sits in the depths of the Tsavo East National Park, with views of the golden Yatta Plateau and the southern bank of the Galana River. Its riverside location means that you'll spot wildlife right on the doorstep, but Galdessa also offers walking safaris and game drives through the rugged landscape. The laid-back lounge and dining room wears its African decor well, while the breezy suites come with elegant muslin-draped beds and river-facing decks.
Galdessa, Tsavo East (00 254 40 3202217; galdessa.com). Doubles start at US$400 (£267), full board with one walking safari.
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