Karen Blixen Camp is in a private conservancy to the north of the Masai Mara reserve, and is a beautiful eco-friendly tented camp.
There are 22 luxury tents in the camp, so it's not one of the smallest camps you'll find in the Mara. However it feels like a small camp, and the attention to detail, great personal service from all the staff, and really wonderful food all combines to make this one of Tribes' favourite camps in the Masai Mara.
The setting by the Mara River is just lovely, and it's entertaining listening to and watching the resident pod of hippos! The area is famed for its high density of lions and cheetahs, so with the big cats plus all the other incredible wildlife to be found here, you can expect the camp's guides to give you a really amazing wildlife experience.
The tents are roomy and very nicely furnished with a large comfortable bed, Persian rugs, a cozy armchair and a minibar with chilled drinks, giving you the ultimate in camping luxury.
The main area is on a raised wooden deck and is separated into a dining and lounge area. The food here is excellent, and in fact they run a cookery school to train local chefs from here!
To relax in between game activities, you can enjoy the swimming pool or perhaps take a massage and treatments. The therapists are highly trained in old African Kukanda (massage) tradition.
On top of all of this, Karen Blixen Camp is one of our top-rated eco-properties!
Open: Open all year.
Location: A lovely setting on the Mara River in the Mara North Conservancy which is one of the private conservancies north of the Masai Mara National Reserve. It has a really high density of lions and cheetahs, a resident pod of about 40 hippos live in the river by the camp, and the wildlife in this area is superb.
Rooms: There are 22 tented rooms which are on wooden platforms on short stilts and covered by a thatch roof. They have flush loos, a great outside shower (attached to the room), and 24 hour electricity and hot water provided by solar power. The decor is simple yet elegant.
Activities: Day and night game drives here are just amazing, with big cats being seen frequently plus diverse other species of wildlife and birds. Hot air ballooning is an option from here, and if you're really looking for something special, they can also arrange helicopter safaris (be warned though, they cost an arm and a leg!). You can take bush walks accompanied by at least 2 Maasai guides (armed with traditional clubs and spears) too. If you want to know more about the local Maasai culture, you can also visit a local community, and Maasai dancers are often invited to entertain on an evening. The camp has its own tree nursery so you could also come and plant a tree or two if you fancy! Uniquely this camp also runs a cooking school to teach local people cookery skills with a view to gaining employment. So if you have a recipe or two under your hat, why not come and take a 'Ready, Steady, Cook' class and teach the eager students one of your home recipes!
Facilities: There is a bar, lounge and dining area, a small swimming pool and deck with fire pit.
Dining: Meals are served in the dining room for each party or couple, though private dinners in other areas can be arranged, and bush dinners are also possible.
Children: The camp accepts children of all ages. As the camp is unfenced, children need to be supervised at all times. As the rooms are large it is possible to fit up to 2 small children with two adults in one tent, but this would not be quite so good for older children. However they do also have a family tent where two tents are connected by one balcony. They are very good with children here, and will do special things for them such as take them 'hunting' with bows and arrows, and looking for animal tracks and so on.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is decent mobile reception and you can get WIFI in the office and by reception. It's not exactly fast though!
Karen Blixen Camp is committed to limit their impact on the environment, and ensure the camp is run in a way to benefit the people who work at the camp and the local communities in the area. This is done by the use of green technologies, solar panels that provide all power used at camp, gas burners heats up water for the outdoor showers and a sewage system that handles all waste water produced.
The camp has also built a school specialising in professional hospitality education for the local Maasai youth, increased IT literacy, and they grow indigenous trees for the restoration of natural wildlife areas in the Masai Mara. They really care for the Masai Mara, its people and wildlife, and you will definitely see this when staying with them.
"Superb guide. Delicious food. Excellent setting by the river and ,loved hearing the hippos talking to each other. Comfortable tented accommodation. Cosy log fire for chilly evening."
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499