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
- 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