Karen Blixen Camp is in a private conservancy to the north of the Masai Mara reserve, and is a beautiful eco-friendly tented camp. 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.
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 tents are roomy and very nicely furnished with a large comfortable bed, Persian rugs, a cosy armchair and a minibar with chilled drinks, giving you the ultimate in camping luxury.
The main area is on a raised wooden deck and has separate dining and lounge sections. The food here is excellent, influenced by the latest food trends and using locally sourced ingredients.
To relax in between game activities, you can enjoy the swimming pool or perhaps take a massage or other spa treatment in the seclusion of your tent. Of course you may wish to do no more than sit on the viewing deck, a chilled glass to hand, watching wildlife such as hippo and elephant by the river as you relax.
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 can be configured as doubles or twins and can take an extra bed for a child aged 12 or under if needed. All 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. Each has a large veranda. There are 2 adjoining tents with a common veranda that make great family accommodation.
Activities: Day and night game drives here are just amazing, with big cats being seen frequently plus diverse other species of wildlife and birds. You can also take game walks in the Mara North Conservancy or at Oloisuk, the camp's own concession, accompanied by an armed Maasai ranger. You can indulge is some bird watching in and around the camp. 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!). If you want to know more about the local Maasai culture you can visit a local community. The camp has its own tree nursery by the Mara River so you can also come and plant a tree or two if you fancy.
Facilities: The mess incorporates the bar, lounge and reception, and leads out to the campfire. There is a separate restaurant. The camp has a small, freeform swimming pool and deck with sunshades and loungers. Spa treatments can be enjoyed in the privacy of your tent.
Dining: Meals are served in the restaurant for each party or couple, though private dinners in other areas such as the garden can be arranged. Bush breakfasts, lunches and 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 Wi-Fi in the office and by reception.
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."