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“fantastic” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Wildebeest Eco Camp

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Wildebeest Eco Camp
151 Mokoyeti Road West | Langata, Nairobi 00100, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 155 Nairobi B&B and Inns
Melbourne
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“fantastic”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2010

We stayed at the Wildebeest camp for a night in July. We stayed in a luxury tent, and we really enjoyed our stay! The tents were great, just like being in a room, but with a bit of novelty. The staff were very friendly, and the grounds beautiful. They also let us keep our packs there for the day while we went into town and waited for our flight. We even had dinner there again, as it was really good! The only thing was I wouldn't recommend getting your laundry done there; we had to track pieces of it before we left and we had to rewash it when we got home.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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239 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Wellington
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2010

Forget the streets of Nairobi, your wallet will be hollowed out from inside the walls of the Wildebeest compound. This place is the biggest mosquito on the continent; In fact, at every morning's breakfast table the only thing being discussed was travellers swapping stories about who had been ripped off the most by Wildebeest.

For example:
*Dinner costs 750 Shillings vs 250 - 500 Shillings at any comparable restaurant
*Taxi quotes were always twice what you could get yourself
*Wifi costs USD $6 a day per person vs they pay USD $30 a month to have the connection
*Laundry costs 600 Shillings vs 150 outside
*Beer costs 190 Shillings vs 70 Shillings at the supermarket.

High prices are one thing, but Wildebeest have a set of policies (see below) that force you to buy their stuff. These policies coupled with the fact that venturing outside after dark in Nairobi requires a measure of courage and good luck make Wildebeest an extortion racquet.

Wildebeest's primary policy (for Wildebeest's other policies see below) seems to be "bleed them dry," this mean spirited business model really killed the whole backpacking vibe.

Other Wildebeest Policies (from the Guest Information Book)
+"we ask guests not to consume their own privately-purchased alcoholic beverages"
+"we do not provide ice, glasses, refrigeration, plates, knives, serviettes, salt, pepper, bottle opener, etc - you need to buy these things."
+”to avoid unpleasant situations, we ask guests to not bring ‘casual acquaintances’ to stay at our camp.”
+”If you would like to shower after check out, we charge a nominal fee”
+”all bookings cancelled within 30 days of arrival [date], pay 100%”

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salina, Kansas
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2010

O.K....this is NOT the place for 5-star travelers, but if you're looking for safety, and a unique housing environment that won't bust your budget, this is it. Nairobi can be a scary city, and Wildebeest will pick you up from the airport (for a typical fee) so you will not be hassled. They have four different housing options, ranging from a dorm room ($13) to a safari tent w/bed & mattress ($47) and a deluxe tent with its own bathroom ($57). Meals are available all day, cooked by one of their Masai staff, and their dinner buffet is delightful.

They are GREAT at helping you plan your trip, answering questions, and generally being a great asset. I exchanged a dozen emails before the trip, and all were answered timely.

Breakfast is included in all rates, with four options for breakfast, made to order.

Clientele include many younger travelers, and the atmosphere encourages friendly and helpful spirits. This old timer felt perfectly accepted and welcomed.

I also booked a four-day Masai Mara safari through them, and was delighted when Joseph, their Masai cook, went on the safari to be our cook.

The key question: Would I stay here again on a return to Nairobi? Absolutely

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telford, Shropshire
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2010

Rooms: 8 superior tents which have en suite facilities. 6 Garden tents which have shared bathroom facilities. One dorm with 6 bunks, unisex and in the main house. Small kitchen off and indoor toilet – shared facilities. There are no safes in the rooms but lockers are available and these are inside the main house. Guests can also pitch their own tents in the spacious gardens or use one of the tents belonging to the lodge. All prices include breakfast. There are towels provided but not toiletries. The shared facilities were extremely clean and in very good working order.

Restaurant: there is no restaurant as such at the lodge. However, there is a large dining room and dinner is available every night at a very good price and a good variety (vegetarian included). Lunch is also available – sandwiches, salads etc. All available at a very reasonable price. Dinner is quite an experience as there is a very good opportunity to get to know fellow guests and travellers.

Entertainment: there is a television cabana set in the grounds and this is usually used for friendly get togethers with fellow guests.

The Lodge: the lodge itself seems to be a large house which has the dining room, office, shop and dorm. The guest tents are situated within a beautifully manicured and very large garden. Considering it is in the middle of Nairobi, the place is very peaceful, relaxing and friendly. The managers run trips out during the day (Nairobi National Park, Kazuri Beads etc) and these are advertised on a large board in the entrance. My opinion is that this place was originally marketed towards backpackers and students. However, I visited with my husband and we never felt as though we didn’t belong. We were made very welcome. It’s a great place for travellers of all type and age and one of the most trusted places I’ve ever stayed. Young backpackers who use the wifi facilities in the house and gardens were happy to leave their belongings around whilst they went to the shop etc. There are security staff there but they are very discreet and you will hardly see them. All in all, it’s such a friendly and welcoming place, the owners live at the house along with their two dogs who are very friendly indeed!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2010

I communicated 3 weeks before, booking a budget room with a friend. I booked 2 single rooms and ended up with a twin room...anyway. The room is a tiny cement block at the back of the hotel. It can easily be a storage room for gardening tools and has *nothing* to do with the picture of the budget room available on the site. This room was charged 34$ a night and can obviously be seen as a rip-off rather than a bargain. See the attached pictures.

The tents look nice and the garden is also pleasant. Shared showers and toilets are clean and well maintained.

I communicated beforehand as I was interested in a safari to go with my friend since he's never been to kenya and we had a limited 3-day stopover. We ended up going for a nairobi tour ($210 pp) and 2D/1N in Amboseli. ($495 pp). Staff was unhelpful on arrival to give advices on what was best, I made decisions quickly especially as via email it was suggested to sort it out on the spot ...but it was too late to book a 3D/2N when we arrived. Time wasted. Retrospectively a Masai Mara trip should have been pre-booked.

Big Day Out Nairobi, I can hardly recommend it, I do think it is terribly overpriced and definitely not worth it. As for Amboseli we were staying at Serena Lodge which was very nice, I suspect the margin for the company was high when we did it as it is 95$/pp for the night at that period (it is actually very very good value if you end up paying that price). So even factoring out the $60/pp/day for amboseli, that leaves quite a margin. Interestingly they charge the same price in any season whereas the lodge doubles of price.

Safari was ok, in a well maintained minibus with rooftop. Our drive/guide was extremely nice and was accommodating our photography needs. Too bad he didn't go to Amboseli in the last 3 years as we ended up taking a longer road than necessary as the Mombasa road through Sultan was reworked last year. We took it on the way back gaining 1h. Interestingly at the hotel we asked several members of the staff how long it took to drive to Amboseli and we had 3 different answers: 2h, 3h and 6h.... Clearly, they are not really on top of their game.

Buffet at the hotel is 500Ksh..which is somewhat expensive unless you're eating all plates by yourself. It does not cost that much money to get a decent meal, yet alone when it is buffet style.

There is a Uchumi supermarket about 5 mins by foot which is very well stocked, you will find 10 times more items than any supermarket in the Netherlands (not a reference but still, there is a lot of choice and it is cheap)

The bill at the end is a mess, it is a list of items scratched on every corner of a paper with nothing really itemized but numbers.. I had to go over it for 5 minutes to figure out what was what as I was finding the end result pretty high. (it was correct though, but much more expensive than what you would expect this place to cost based on quality and service)

On a side note...I realized at the airport I had left my gps tracker on the minibus.. the person doing the transfer proposed to get it back for me and bring it to the airport, which she did. I was very happy about it but severely disappointed when being handed it out and hearing "the office wants me to charge you for the transfer, it's 1700Ksh (~23$)". What a bummer ! We give Wildebeest $2,000 of business in 3 days and they cannot figure out some basic customer service... disappointing really.

A lot of links are broken on their website, I took the time to give them a list of links and 1 month later there is still nothing fixed... not sure if any attention is paid to anything despite milking the customer with overpriced services.

Wifi is charged 500Ksh for the day, which is utterly ridiculous given how much cost a broadband subscription in Kenya nowadays.

The review sounds a bit bitter, but it is my feeling after coming back from this stay. I was much more happy about my stays in Nairobi Backpackers 2003 when I was backpacking East and South Africa. The owner Ken even had the courtesy to email me thanking me for bringing him business as I heard I was directly and indirectly responsible for 60% of the booking occurring at his place during that troubled time (BA canceled flights to Kenya due to terrosrism threats) just by meeting people going to Nairobi on my way to South Africa.

Clearly wildebeest could do much better, it has the means to do so, but maybe there is a lack of willingness. The australian owner was away in Australia, so it may have been a factor.

I would likely come back again and gives this place another chance though. I would certainly avoid the budget rooms.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mlm2126
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2010

I booked a single at Wildebeest for one night before I flew to Lamu. My room turned out to be an airless cement block (but hey, at least it was secure). The owners and staff were friendly and offered helpful advice, and the resident dogs were a pleasure. The homecooked dinner of local cuisine was delicious and other guests were interesting and well traveled. I appreciated the fact that Wildebeest has wireless access.

Overall, Wildebeest was more than adequate, although my bill when I checked out seemed a little inflated (I did not, however, scrutinize it carefully). There is a shopping center within walking distance where one can get set up with a Kenya SIM card and obtain local currency.

Stayed December 2009, traveled solo
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Isle of Wight
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2010

We stayed three times during Feb/March with trips within Kenya in between.
We stayed in one of the deluxe safari type tents (en suite) which were super. Much better than staying in a hotel room. The gardens were beautiful and we slept well most of the time, although Nairobi is not a quiet city.
The food at set meals was plain and simple without a huge range of choice, but it was always very good. The service was friendly and welcoming and by the time we returned the third time we certainly felt like one of the family!
The tourist office in the hostel arranged safaris for us which were amazing. We had a wonderful time in Kenya and staying in Wildebeest was one of the things that made it so.
If we ever go back to Nairobi we would prefer to stay here.
Pauline and Geoff UK

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wildebeest Eco Camp

Address: 151 Mokoyeti Road West | Langata, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 155 B&Bs / Inns in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wildebeest Camp is the perfect place to relax during your African migration! The friendly 'home-like' atmosphere is a great place to meet other travelers, or to just relax and enjoy the amazing gardens. The well-established tropical gardens are home to hundreds of varieties of plants and birds - and we even have a vegetable garden, as well as a variety of fruit trees. There are many accommodation options to suit any budget. We pride ourselves on offering the best value accommodation in Nairobi. All rates include breakfast. We have our own vehicles running airport transfers, day tours and safaris. Accommodation is suitable for singles, couples, families and groups. The large deck overlooking the water feature and camp is a great place to meet other travellers. For those who are watching the pennies, but do not want a rock bottom experience - you will appreciate the attention to detail in the rooms and camp grounds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wildebeest Camp Hotel Nairobi

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