Basecamp Masai Mara is situated on a loop in the Talek River and is just a matter of minutes away from the National Reserve gate. Such proximity to the park provides exceptional game-viewing opportunities. The majority of Basecamp Masai Mara's tents have spectacular waterside locations with views of the Mara plains as well as the Talek River's resident crocodiles and hippos. Leopards have even been known to wander through the reception at night -it is for this reason that Masai askari (wardens) escort guests around the camp during hours of darkness. As Daniel, one of the guides, says: "Safety is the key".
Basecamp Masai Mara's cultural and social commitment and environmental work are given a high priority without compromising on the accommodation's comfort and design. The camp has 15 spacious tents with double or twin beds. The tents are tastefully built, incorporating thatched roofs, a veranda with a hammock and a sitting area. All materials used to build the camp were sourced locally. Such attention to detail gives the camp a private and peaceful feeling. All tents are en- suite including a highly distinctive outdoor shower with stunning views out over the river and plains and all entirely private.
Basecamp is first and foremost a place to relax and explore the Masai Mara, but it is also a place where you can develop a deeper understanding of the local culture as well as the surrounding wildlife. This is in part due to the close ties the camp fosters with their Maasai neighbours; the latest community open day was roaring success.
Evening meals are of a high standard and incorporate fresh baked bread, and African and international influences. Dining can be taken under the stars weather permitting or in the open, thatched-roof dining hall. The viewing tower offers spectacular views of the sun setting over the Burrungat plains. As sundowners are drunk, silhouettes of elephants and giraffes wander slowly into the sunset.
Basecamp is well set up for families, with a small number of tents set up slightly closer and with easier access to the camp grounds. In addition children's activities are provided including butterfly catching and footprint casting. In addition activities can involve the local school and the Maasai women''s' craft group which is operated under fair trade principles.
Camp operations are consciously thought out in order to help to minimise environmental impact, through ecological operation - such as the use of dry toilets, recycling of waste, solar generated power and hot water etc -as well as through substantial support for important community projects. Such issues are highlighted with a complimentary camp tour. Additionally the camp offer a wide variety of walking safaris including community trips, bird walks and bush camp hikes.
Fair Trade / Responsible Tourism:
Basecamp Masai Mara have developed a community crafts project aimed at empowering local Maasai women. Artefacts produced by the women are sold at the camp shop under the label -The Maasai Brand, with 75 percent of the price going to the person who made it. Additionally 95 percent of employees are Maasai with a view to local people occupying management positions. They support a local boarding school in Narok in addition to providing bursaries to loyal employee's family members. They are also exploring ways of combating deforestation within the park including the use of tree plantations.
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499