Rating: Deluxe Price from: £390-£450 pp full board
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 two honeymoon/family tents are comfortably furnished, featuring en-suite dressing rooms, bathrooms with eco-friendly flush toilets and traditional safari showers filled with hot water on request. 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.
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. They are all en-suite, with safari (bucket) showers and twin basins for which hot water is supplied on request, 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 2 honeymoon/family tents, also en-suite, are larger, each with 2 bedrooms, and offer greater seclusion.
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. Evening game drives are also 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’ll be led by an experienced walking guide and accompanied by local Maasai. You will be 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. It’s 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 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 06:30–10:30 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.
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499