We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The staff are the main asset” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Swara Plains Acacia Camp

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Nairobi
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Swara Plains Acacia Camp
P.O. Box 47272 | Athi River, Nairobi, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 91 Specialty lodging in Nairobi
Southampton, UK
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“The staff are the main asset”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2011

We were looking to stay outside Nairobi but within easy reach of the airport for the final few days of our Kenya trip. We found this camp on the internet and despite the fact that none of our friends in Nairobi had heard of it,we decided to give it a go.
Once we got off the main road between Nairobi and Mombasa, we passed a huge cement work on our way to the Swara main gate. This was not the best of starts. However, when we arrived in the camp we were greeted by Patrick with a warm welcome. We were directed to the largest of the 13 little cottages right at the end of the row. As it turned out we were the only guests and had therefore been given the family cottage. Large windows looked out into the bush. The cottage was spacious and had everything you need. It was all very basic but clean and quiet. For lunch we were served three courses where the first one would have been enough. The chef, Anton, cooked us delicious food meal after meal. My boyfriend is vegetarian and Anton delivered a different, tasty option for him every time. After only one lunch and one dinner, we realised we would be leaving weighing twice as much as we did on arrival. Excellent food!
It is possible to go on game drives here as well but because we had done this for the previous two weeks, we were happy to just read, sleep, eat and go for walks. This is something you do not normally get to do in safari camps. However, Swara is on a cattle ranch and since they do not have large carnivores, we were allowed to walk around by ourselves. This way we got to see things you don't normally stop for on a game drive. Amazing insects, little birds, burrows of porcupines, warthogs and others. We found skulls and whole skeletons, but also a tree with 15 vultures. We did manage to get within 20 metres of a group of giraffe.
Back at the camp the two lovely dogs of the manageress kept us company most of the time. A water hole at the end of the garden attracts wildlife in and is a great place to view. Unfortunately, the two dogs very often took great pleasure in running up to the wildlife and barking loudly. This was amusing but also slightly annoying. During the first night the dogs decided to lie outside our cottage (as their owner was away, the dogs staied in the camp overnight). We first became aware of this when they sarted barking at some creatures they could hear or see in the woods. This carried on all night and we were woken again and again, every time close to a heart attack as the dogs were literally metres away from our bed.

The whole place could do with a bit ot TLC and a lot more attention to detail. For us it did exactly what we needed it to do, but the place has potential to be a lot better. The staff are fantastic. They are knowledgeable, helpful, fun and always happy to do anything you ask for. Thank you Patric and Anton in particular.
On our last evening we were picked up at 20.30 , arrived at the airport 30 minutes later and went on our late night flight home. Even if you are just looking for a first or last night hotel this is much better than any airport hotel could be.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Write a Review

24 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    13
    7
    3
    1
    0
See reviews for
2
11
6
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2011 via mobile

The staff are excellent. Rooms though basic are nice, clean and rustic. Great value.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Ljubljana
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2011

If you are looking for somewhere to stay near Nairobi and want to avoid a characterless hotel, then Swara Plains Acacia Camp is well worth it. Raine, who manages the place, is very helpful and the staff are extremely friendly. My late night pickup from the airport (a bit expensive at 40$, but it's hard for taxis to find this place) went without a hitch. The small thatched houses are basic but comfortable and the only noise that may keep you awake are the bushbabies calling in the trees. Meals are served on a covered terrace wih a lovely view of the gardens. Food is excellent. I am vegetarian and they were happy to cook specially for me. The two dogs are happy to keep you company while you eat and only leave your side to chase off the monkeys that tease them from the roof. The main attraction is the wildlife and the fact that you can experience it on foot (unlike in most national parks). A short walk from the camp I saw giraffes grazing, a little further on zebra, wildebeest, gazelles, eland, impala, ostrich and warthog. Well worth a visit.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2010

We arrived from Europe on an overnight flight and went straight to Acacia Camp. After a welcoming drink we went to our banda and caught up with some much needed sleep.
Acacia camp is a wonderful introduction to Africa - a good place to await one's spirit to catch up with the body. The staff are attentive, friendly but not overbearing. The garden is a delight with so many birds to watch as well as the occasion troop of monkeys. The food was good and the beers cold! The ranch is full of game and more birds. The bandas are rustic but all have the essentials: comfortable bed, good net, an evening generator and a night lamp, a good shower with hot water.
We enjoyed a walk through the ranch with a very knowledgeable guide - Nation.
Start or end your time in Kenya by staying here you will not regret it.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2010

In the past, we had traveled quite a few hours between parks and always seemed rushed to get back to Nairobi in time for flights. We decided on Acacia Camp due to its proximity to the Wilson Airport as we were going to be traveling onwards to the Masai Mara. Although a bit hard to find the end turn off, our driver eventually located the sign and we were soon at Acacia's door step. The staff welcomed us with refreshing drinks and warm smiles. The cabins were quaint, very basic but clean and comfortable. For those of you wanting a safety deposit box, bottled water, shampoo & conditioner, this would probably not be the best place for you.... but the budget friendly price reflected this. We enjoyed the seclusion, the grounds and the daily walks. There was ample wildlife to view including cheetah, but in the end, we enjoyed the birding most. The food was ample, varied and delicious. Raine even bent over backwards to satisfy all my dietary needs, including catering to my husband who was ill for a day. We thoroughly enjoyed our time relaxing by the campfire and star gazing every night.

This camp is not well know but should be considering its proximity to Nairobi. If you don't mind "roughing it" for a few days, the attentive staff, food, and nature walks, as well as the affordable price are well worth it. This is definitely a place for backpackers looking to save a few dollars or those wanting to get off the beaten track.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Kent
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2010

My daughters and I were stranded in Nairobi as a result of the volcanic ash. We spent a desperate day searching for somewhere to stay but most of the hotels were either full or were charging ridiculous rates. Fortunately for us a friend contacted us and said that she could arrange for us to stay at her friend’s game lodge. A couple of phone calls and an hour later somebody from the camp collected us at Nairobi airport and 40 minutes later we arrived at Acacia Camp.

As we walked into the camp our luggage was whisked off and we were taken to our cabin. The room although basic and rustic was welcoming, cosy and clean, it had mosquito nets over the beds and an en suite bathroom. We freshened up and then decided to explore our surroundings. The camp is set out in a horse shoe shape and is dominated by an open fronted dining area in the centre. The gardens are beautiful and well-tended with tables and sun loungersare dotted around the grounds. In the centre of the garden is a canopied seating area. We relaxed with a welcome drink in the sunshine watching the numerous monkeys cavorting around us, and felt like we were in heaven.

The staff at Acacia are the loveliest people you could ever wish to meet. Our situation was, like so many others, dreadful. Raine, who was in charge couldn’t have done more for us, she is a fantastic character who cracks the whip but is still respected by her staff. David, the owner, is a charismatic charming gentleman. We are deeply indebted to him for managing (I don’t know how) to get us onto a flight back home. He made a couple of phone calls and within the hour we were in a car on our way to the airport. My daughters are I are all a little in love with him. Other members of the team, Philip, Tim, Sandy and Sandy also need a mention, they showed compassion and kindness which was so humbling. Philip is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable; he is such a delightful person and his jeep Lucy is such a character too.

The lodge is located on the Kapati plains opposite rugged Lukenya Hill. Game drives are available from the camp but you can also cycle or walk around the reserve. There is no shortage of game so you won’t be disappointed. There is a resident population of over 3000 game animals and over 270 identified bird species. You will see big herds of oryx, elands, wildebeests, giraffes, monkeys, hartebeests, zebras, impalas, Grant's and Thompson's gazelles, warthogs and the occasional gerenuk. We never got to see any but there are cheetahs here too. Night drives will enable you to see nocturnal creatures such as aardvarks, spring hares, bush babies, genet and cerval cats.

There is a generator that services the camp which is on from 12.30pm to 2.30pm and then again at 6.30pm until 11.30pm. There is free wireless internet available too. There is a well-stocked library and beautiful wildlife photos in the TV room. Every evening the camp fire is lit for you to sit round and enjoy an aperitif. The food at Acacia is amazing and plentiful, breakfast lunch and dinner are 3 courses and tea and coffee are available all day too. There is a well-stocked bar and Michael is always happy to serve you late into the night as you sit around the camp fire sharing your safari experiences.

Sometimes during the night I was woken to the chuckling of the bush babies and in the morning we had monkeys playing and jumping over the roofs of the cabins but to me that is the essence of Africa. I personally love the sounds of the bush and of being at one with nature.

The camp is a hidden gem. Although I am reluctant to share it with you I do feel that I shouldn’t be selfish and let others know about this little piece of heaven. During our 4 day stay we were on an emotional roller coaster with regards to the volcanic ash and the uncertainty of getting home. However the staff at Acacia still managed to make our stay an unforgettable one, they were sympathetic to our situation and couldn’t have been more helpful. We will definitely be going back again but next time we will be relaxed and able to enjoy the splendour of it all. We have left with the memories of Acacia Camp firmly lodged in our hearts

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Swara Plains Acacia Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Swara Plains Acacia Camp

Address: P.O. Box 47272 | Athi River, Nairobi, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 91 Specialty lodging in Nairobi
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Acacia Camp - Swara Plains is situated on a 20,000 acre ranch, teaming with plains game - only 35 kms from Nairobi city centre, with very easy access to Jomo Kenyatta International airport. It'is a rustic camp, consisting of 13 wooden banda's and delicious food! Ideal for game walks/drives, bird watching, biking, fishing. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Swara Plains Acacia Camp Hotel Nairobi

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Swara Plains Acacia Camp, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Bookmark for later
Save Saved
You added Swara Plains Acacia Camp to your Saves list