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Advice on Camp Location

Surrey
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Advice on Camp Location

Hi All,

Apologies if I'm asking questions that are asked all the time on here but I think I have read too much information and have now got myself confused!

I am looking to book 3 nights in or around the Masai Mara at the very beginning of March 2015 as part of my honeymoon. Feeling lots of pressure as I really want it to be lovely :)

Our priority is to see as much game and have the best viewings as possible. Having a nice camp is a bonus but the main thing we want is to enjoy as much of the amazing wildlife as possible.

I have narrowed it down to two choices and would really appreciate your thoughts on which is best to see the most game at that time of year.

Option 1: Enkewa Mara Camp (2 nights) & Enkewa Bush Camp (1 night). I had pretty much decided on this option until I read that the game was better in other areas, the North Conservancy for example.

Option 2: Elephant Pepper Camp, North Conservancy (3 nights)

Any thoughts or ideas from you guys would be great. Thank you in advance.

Rachel

nyc
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1. Re: Advice on Camp Location

Definitely Elephant Pepper. It's lovely - small/intimate. Ask about the Honeymoon tent that is quite private. Hosts are outstanding and you can't beat the food. Game abounds everywhere near the camp. In fact right outside the honeymoon tent is an area elephants come to drink/play every morning/afternoon.

Located on the Mara North conservancy it's a short drive into the Reserve if you wish, but being on private land can do bush walks and enjoy night game drives.

Nairobi, Kenya
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for Kenya
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2. Re: Advice on Camp Location

I would also second Elephant Pepper Camp. In the Mara you do not want to split 3 nights between 2 camps. Stick to one.

3. Re: Advice on Camp Location

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Nairobi, Kenya
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4. Re: Advice on Camp Location

Elephant Pepper is so intimate....

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5. Re: Advice on Camp Location

i have a different view of this for your honey moon dear customer

as for me i would give an option to choose for your honey moon

olare Mara by kempiski group of hotels would offer the best of the best

and number two i have the ilkelliani a hub for honey mooners its a world class tented camp in the Mara and offers the best of what to expect on your honeymoon

and cant also fail to talk of the fair-mount under Mara safari club it gives the waooo experience so upon your review sit and go thru the stated and compare to what you initially choose Rach_C_D by the time you are thru i am sure you will have a pick on one of the three depending on your budget

i am in Kenya for any queries you can always ask me or post here and i will be able to see it

nyc
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6. Re: Advice on Camp Location

Illkiliani is far from luxurious, located in a very busy area outside the Talek gate.

The Fairmont Safari Club is quite a distance from the Reserve and rather large, with manicured lawns... ugh!

I'd stick with EPC for sure.

London
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7. Re: Advice on Camp Location

I think you should stick with the Conservancies - readers of my posts will know that I am fan of them as they have excellent flexibility

After 25 + safaris I now tend to always go to the conservancies if .I am in the Mara. Oflate I have been a regular at Porini Mara and Porini Lion www.porini.com

Porini lion is the best place for big cats that I know - even the elusive leopard sightings have become regular - with some that frequent the camp vicinity and are very chilled out.

The Conservancies provide a different experience with real exclusivity - opportunity to go off road do game walks etc

Surrey
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14 posts
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8. Re: Advice on Camp Location

Hi All,

Thank you all so much for taking time to reply.

Unfortunately after enquiring about both Elephant Pepper Camp and Porini Lion they are outside of our budget.

Do you guys happen to know of any other camps near to these which would suit a smaller budget?

Many thanks

nyc
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14,780 posts
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9. Re: Advice on Camp Location

As you're not visiting during the 'migration' period, being in or close to the Reserve itself isn't of most importance. While the Conservancies have the advantage of being able to do bush walks and/or night game drive, your decision might have to be based on budget.

While I can't advise prices, you can consider/ask about:

- Kicheche Mara - Mara North Conservancy MMNC

- Royal Mara - MMNC

- Karen Blixen Camp - MMNC

- Mara Bush or Little Mara Bush - Reserve

- Kichwa Tembo - outside Reserve to West of Triangle (well positioned)

I'm sure others will also have some ideas. Good luck!

London
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10. Re: Advice on Camp Location

Rachel

I have been back to your post and see that game viewing is the priority for you, If you don't want a more luxurious tented camp

There is a much cheaper option that is available in the OlKinyei conservancy - it is the Porini Adventure Camp . See www.porini.com/special-offers.html… You are in the same exclusive conservancy, use the same vehicles and share the same guides as the more high end Porini Camps. Only Porini vehicles can game drive in OLKinyei but Porini vehicles can also game drive in Naibosho so you have a massive wilderness area without hordes of other vehicles.

I visited the Adventure Camp when I was there in March this year . In essence there are a few tents in a secure boma - the tents which are 6 feet high have mattresses and you can either take your own sleeping bag or hire one . Each tent has the use of its own flushing toilet and shower room (camp showers - buckets of hot water are loaded into the shower and available on demand). There is a great mess tent and areas to relax around the camp fire. It is a really intimate camp with a truly bush feel. You can see the reviews on TA tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g294209-d3473

I was quite surprised at the amount of game that was in OlKinyei in March - with the degradation of habitat further north many wildebeest that are normally resident in the Loita plains are in Olkinyei through the year. In March they will be calving and there are many big cats and other predators hunting. In the few days that we were there we saw loads of lion and three leopards plus cheetah hunting, hyenas, plenty of elephants and other plains game

The key differences between the adventure camp and the main tented camp is the tents - the main camps have large tents with beds and plenty of space to sprawl around. Soft drinks, wine and alcohol for sundowners are part of the package at the main camps but you pay for these at the tented camps or you can bring your own. The food is cooked at the camp and is great.

I suggest you contact Gamewatchers http://www.porini.com/ - They own the Porini Camps and were the pioneers of the Conservancies in the Greater Mara. Gamewatchers are one of the largest travel operators in Kenya and can also book you into other places - I and friends have done this through them in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania and they get better rates than booking directly. If you can spare the time it may be cheaper to drive in.

The conservancies really do beat the Main national park - you can drive off road if you see something interesting, you can do game walks, night drives and bush picnics - importantly there is great flexibility so you can stay out late if you are watching something good and there are no rules about getting back to your camp. Also, a real plus for me is that you know that you are supporting the local community.

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