We spent one night at Nairobi Tented Camp having spent 3 nights in the Maasai Mara and on our way to Tsavo West before reaching Mombasa.
The Camp is situated in some woodland on a hillside in Nairobi National Park. We had a frustrating time reaching the camp as we were there on boxing day, a national holiday, so there were big queues to get in and we spent an hour waiting in the car park. That wasn't really the tented camp's fault although I do think they could make it a bit easier seeing as we had already booked and paid.
The tents are very nice, but basic compared to what we had in the Maasai Mara - not in itself an issue, but our bed was also on a slight slope which made for a bit of an uncomfortable night as me rolling into my husband was unavoidable. Also I freaked out because we had a couple of spiders in the tent (pathetic I know - what is someone like me doing staying in tented camps anyway!) where as I had been pleasantly suprised when our tent at Royal Mara stayed completely bug free throughout our stay.
So I know I have been very negative so far and it would seem a bit of a mystery as to why I have given this place 4 stars, but there is a lot of good stuff to say as well. I notice I am the only reviewer to not give this place a perfect 5 so far so I almost feel a bit guilty for tarnishing their record, but I can't give 5 stars after an uncomfortable sleep - if we had been there for more than 1 night I might have asked them to do something about it. My final grumble would be that it's not a camp you come to for the view as you are very much in undergrowth so can't see down the hill into the national park.
Anyway, on to the good stuff! The service in the camp is wonderful - it feels very high end, but is also very convivial and friendly. Drink is included in your stay (all soft drinks, wine and beer) as well as all your food. The common areas are very comfortable and welcoming and there is always someone ready to put another drink in your hand.
The food was superb - as with most of these tented camps, it is a set menu so be sure to give them any dietary requirements or dislikes in advance. Our dinner really felt like we were in a fine dining restaurant and it was nicely different from anything else we were served in Kenya - I would say that it was modern mediterranean / middle eastern cooking. The breakfast in the morning was also the nicest breakfast we had all holiday - really lovely English style sausages and I always judge a breakfast on the quality of its sausages!
After dinner we joined other guests and one of the staff members around a fire with some more drinks and it was a really lovely atmosphere.
The bucket showers in the tents are surprisingly pleasant although it is a little disconcerting when you realise that someone is standing outside listening to you shower to see if you need any more hot water! :-) Great service though! The water was a lovely temperature and it smells of wood burning stoves, which is obviously how it is heated, but I have never known water to take on a smell like that.
Nairobi national park in itself was nice, but the safar is no where near as good as the Maasai Mara where we had just come from. However, you are much more likely to see rhinos in Nairobi and we managed to see a group of 5 in the distance which we were very happy about. The undergrowth in the park is quite thick and you have to stay on the roads at all times so it is sometimes quite hard to find the animals, but that can also make safari all the more rewarding when you do find them. We had a nice time with some giraffes who are much tamer in Nairobi than other national parks in Kenya.
So overall the goods outweighed the bads and I think we just got unlucky with our bed so I would definitely recommend this place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A luxury tented camp situated in a beautiful forested valley in the heart of Nairobi National Park. This 16 bed personal camp is surrounded by wilderness and a park containing a huge variety of wildlife, (lion, rhino, giraffe, etc) only a few kilometres from Nairobi city centre. The most unique spot to stay if you're in Nairobi for a stopover, tourism, conference or on business. ... more less