Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp is tucked away beneath a grove of elephant pepper trees, from which the camp derives its name. In the same location for over 20 years, Elephant Pepper Camp is one of the original very small and exclusive tented camps, offering its clients an authentic wildlife experience.
The 8 light and spacious canvas tents and the 2 honeymoon/family tents are comfortably furnished, featuring en-suite dressing rooms, bathrooms with flush toilets and fully plumbed showers. Each tent provides spectacular views across the plains, so, in migration season, you can watch as the annual wildebeest migration thunders past seeking new grazing in the lush savannahs of the greater Masai Mara ecosystem.
The camp is situated in the Mara North Conservancy, just outside the National Reserve, which ensures a flexible range of game viewing including night drives and guided bush walks. Bush breakfasts and sundowners are also offered as part of the safari experience.
The staff, 80% of whom are from local Maasai communities, are friendly and welcoming. The appetising food is prepared by chefs trained by the owner's family using traditional North Italian recipes mixed with international and local favourites. Meals are generally communal with guests sharing their adventures and experiences, though private dining can be accommodated.
Open: Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp is open from mid-June to the end of March, closing for the long rains. The annual migration usually passes through the Masai Mara between July and November.
Location: Elephant Pepper Camp is in the Koiyaki Community group ranch in the 70,000 acre Mara North Conservancy. The nearest airstrip is Mara Shikar, about 20 minutes drive from the camp.
Rooms: There are 8 tents, of which 4 are twins and 4 are doubles, plus 2 honeymoon or family tents. They are all en-suite, with hot and cold running water for the showers and twin basins, and flush toilets. Tents are spacious and can accommodate an extra bed for a child under 16, if needed. Windows are screened to keep out insects. The veranda has a table, 2 chairs and a hammock. The honeymoon / family tents have a sitting room which can be converted into a 2nd bedroom if needed, and are sited at either end of the camp for extra privacy.
Activities: From Elephant Pepper Camp you can take game drives in specially adapted open 4x4 vehicles with 3 rows of seats. Drives are shared with other guests, unless a vehicle has been booked for exclusive use. The migration passes through between July and November each year. Evening game drives are available, with red-light spotlights picking out nocturnal animals. You can also go for guided walks to gain a different perspective on your surroundings. You are led by an experienced walking guide and accompanied by local Maasai. You are welcome to visit local Maasai communities, many of which are homes to staff from the camp. The camp has very close links with these communities. Bush breakfasts and sundowners in specially chosen locations are both very much part of the safari experience at Elephant Pepper Camp.
Facilities: The camp has a mess tent filled with comfy sofas and chairs and coffee tables, with an honesty bar. This is the ideal place to rest, out of the heat of the sun, when not out exploring. There is croquet equipment and plenty of room for a game. There is a separate tented dining area usually used for candle-lit dinners, with many other meals being served in the open air. There is a private game viewing deck by a waterhole. The camp has a small shop selling clothing, kikoys and wildlife books.
Dining: The food is excellent North Italian-based cuisine and meals are eaten together with other guests, in the dining tent or out by the camp fire and in the bush. Private meals can be arranged. Guests staying at the honeymoon tent can have meals served on their own veranda, if they wish. The usual meal times are 06:30 to 10:30 for breakfast, 13:00-14:30 for lunch and dinner is between 20:00 and 21:30, preceded by drinks by the camp fire.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. They should be kept under supervision at all times, especially as this is not a fenced camp. It may therefore be unsuitable for very young children. Children's meals and babysitting can be arranged.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access.
Elephant Pepper is an original bush camp, which places emphasis on being eco-friendly and committed to finding a way of life that does not harm the wilderness. It leaves a minimal footprint and is completely removable, leaving a virgin site. It relies entirely on solar power and disposes of rubbish responsibly. Elephant Pepper Camp has been the driving force in creating the Mara North Conservancy, maintaining the land solely for wildlife conservation thus guaranteeing its 750 Masai landowners stable revenue and preserving the balance between wildlife and traditional pastoralism. Additionally revenue from the camp goes back to the local community to aid local projects while 80 percent of camp staff are from the local community.
"Look out from your smart, comfortable tent tucked discreetly into the edge of woodland, and watch the wildlife on the grassland plains of the Mara.This camp has a great position in the Mara North conservancy (even guides from other camps agree with this!), and the rooms and camp in general is very good. I didn't stay here, just visited, so I can't say from personal experience that the guiding and food is good, but all the guests I met on my inspection were very happy. "