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“Simply perfect!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kicheche Bush Camp

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Kicheche Bush Camp
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Olare Orok Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00502, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Miami, Florida
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Simply perfect!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

My wife and I travelled to the Masai Mara on August 2012 and we were fortunate enough to stay at Kicheche Bush Camp. We can safely say it was the best trip we ever had, mainly because everything worked so well. It was sincerely like being in a dream.

The camp managers, Emma and Darren, treated us like we were old friends. The same can be said about the rest of the camp staff. Our guide, James, was simply wonderful, extremely experienced and he had an uncanny ability for positioning us in the middle of the action every time. We had daily demonstrations that these people go out of their way to make you comfortable and to assure their guests have the most perfect stay possible. You hardly remember you are camped in the middle of the savanna, such are the amenities at your disposal. I could go on and on about how great Kicheche Bush is, but that is pretty evident for a place reviewed as excellent 138 times out of 141 (at the moment of my writing).

Here is a brief "technical" evaluation of the premises to help undecided tourists make up their minds regarding accommodation and services.

1- The tent is extremely spacious and very comfortable. The floors are covered in tarp (or whatever the material was that made up the tent), so you don't have to tread on the soil. We had a queen (or was it king?) size bed with plenty of pillows and very smooth linen. Everything was very, very clean. There is plenty of storage room for luggage and to hang some of your clothes. The tent had a front "porch" with two lounging chairs where you could admire the Mara during the slow early afternoon hours (better not to have a game drive when the sun is hottest, as the animals will mostly be lethargic and hiding away from the heat).

2- The "bathroom" facilities are divided between a sink with running cold water, a toilet connected to a septic tank (flushes just like your toilet at home, absolutely NO smell came from the tank) and a "shower room", where you can have a bucket shower. This is the only point that could frustrate the pickiest of travelers, as hot water for the shower has to be brought by a staff member and poured in a bucket over your tent. The showering experience is exactly like the one you would have at home, but there is only water for about five minutes or less. More water can and will be brought on request, but keep in mind there is an actual human being doing the heating and heaving for your comfort. It did not, in my opinion, harm in any way my positive experience in Kicheche Bush. We were camping after all...

3- The food is excellent. The camp serves a buffet for lunch and you get French dinner service ta night. Lunch and dinner are served at the communal or main tent, where you get to interact with the other guests and with the camp managers. This is actually one of the best experiences of the trip, and you get to hear people's exciting stories about what animals they saw that day. (As there are only six tents in the camp, usually holding two people each, it never gets crowded.) Breakfast is usually served afield, with the animals like gazelles and wildebeests roaming the background. If have to pinch yourself once or twice to make sure everything is real. The camp is very accommodating of your nutritional needs. My wife and I are vegetarian and we could have been in London, such is the quality and variety of the food we were offered.

4- It is the services, though, that make Kicheche Camp a unreal experience. You don't have to worry about anything, because Kicheche staff will wake you up in the morning, cater delicious meals during the day, prepare your bed before you sleep (they even place hot water pouches to make your bed warm at night - it gets really cold at the Mara during winter), guide you through wonderful game drives, where you will see things you will never forget. The variety of wildlife is breathtaking. (We even got to see a lioness hunting.) We were definitely pampered.

This review is already too long and it is time it ended, but please allow me to once again recommend Kicheche Bush very, very highly. You will not regret the choice and will most definitely have memories to last you a lifetime. Please, if you are considering a trip to the Mara, do yourself a favor and stay at Kicheche Bush.

PS: We also stayed at Kicheche Valley Camp during this same trip and have posted a review about it.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

We stayed at 3 different Kicheche camps and Bush camp was our favourite. Darren and Emma were really lovely and seemed to genuinely enjoy their job and were happy to do whatever they could to make our stay better. As in all the camps, the accommodation and food was great, but it was the staff and our guide James that really made the difference. We really had a ball and couldn't believe how much wildlife we saw, we saw multiple groups of cats on each game drive, James was great at spotting them and we just had some unforgettable experiences.

The tents were slightly less luxurious than Valley or Laikipia but in terms of overall experience Bush camp certainly delivered! The only thing that was a bit strange was the showers were just a bucket up high so you had to tell them when you wanted to have a shower and the poor guy had to carry buckets of hot water and tip it in so we had short showers so he only had to do 1 trip!

Just amazing, can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

This was our second visit to Kicheche Bush Camp. We loved it so much the first time that we decided to get married here! We had no idea what was required or how the event would play out, but it was clear from day one that we had chosen the best place for this special occasion. The team in Nairobi, Martin & Moses, took wonderful care of us.
Darren and Emma, the most wonderful camp managers, along with the amazing camp staff, provided us with a wedding day that we will never forget. From their obvious care, impeccable planning, seamless logistics, and attention to details (beautiful cake, wedding bouquet, decorated vehicles, champagne, fresh roses, etc.), they did it all, as well as act as witnesses, photographers, grass cutters, and wedding dress fitter! We were also touched by the Masai men from camp who kindly accepted to participate in the ceremony.
We are finally grateful to Charles, our most trusted guide and friend, for his support and making our wedding photo-shoot in the bush a safe one!
But beyond all the above, Kicheche Bush Camp simply delivers the best safari experience in the Masai Mara. I will not repeat the great comments from other posts but I can confirm that they are all accurate. This place exceeds all expectations. The whole team makes each and every individual feel special. We are thrilled that we now have an excuse to come back to celebrate our wedding anniversaries!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

From the moment we landed and were picked up by our guide Patrick to the time he dropped us back at the Mara runway four days later, my family and I were spoilt rotten. Bush Camp was everything I expected and more. Darren and Emma, the camp managers met us on arrival at the camp and it was like meeting up with old friends! So welcoming. Our "tents" were beautifully appointed and had everything we could possibly have needed during our stay. The tent attendant looked after us impeccably.

Food throughout the stay was beautifully cooked and served, the freshly made bread a special treat! From full breakfast's served out in the bush, gorgeous and fresh lunches served al fresco back at camp, sundowners with snacks out in the Mara or the conservancy and three course dinners after cocktails and hors d'ouvres round the camp fire were enough to satisfy the pickiest eater.

Initially when we arrived at Masai Mara, we noticed how high the grass was and we were very concerned with being able to spot any animals at all. We need not have worried, as our guide Patrick managed (with ease) to get us up close and personal with all the animals that we had requested to see whilst being very careful to honour the space and safety of the animals at all times (unlike several guides and jeeps from other "luxury" camps).

I cannot praise Darren, Emma and their team enough - suffice to say, it may have been our first visit but it most certainly won't be our last.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altrincham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

This was my second trip to Bush Camp and my fifth trip to a Kicheche camp. Emma, Darren and all the staff do a great job running the camp - its very relaxed, but nothing is too much trouble and their standards are very high. The service and food are excellent - Kennedy has a way of turning up with a refreshing drink and a broad smile even before you ask. Nelson and James were superb as guides - they both know the conservancy and the reserve really well and expertly found the wildlife without disturbing them. Both were great at helping position for great photographs and waiting for those special moments which make the best shots.
Thanks guys for a great trip - I will be back!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 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 Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

There is a reason this camp is so highly rated. You are made to feel welcome the minute you step off the plane, no matter who you are or where you come from. The camp is small, only 6 tents, so you are given lots of attention by the staff. Darren and Emma were there managers while I was there, and they took care of every detail. I was even surprised that all the staff members knew me by my first name (and my name is not a common one easily remembered and pronounced). The food was great and the tents were amazing (with even a nicer bathroom sink fixture than the one I have here at home). As for the safaris, a huge part of your experience is whether your guide is knowledgeable and knows what he is doing, and ours was top notch. At the beginning of each drive, Nelson would ask what we wanted to see...and somehow he always managed to fulfill our requests, even with all the tall grass around! I have already recommended this camp to friends looking to go on safari. A fantastic experience.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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Leuven, Belgium
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012 via mobile

What a wonderful safari experience this was at Kicheche Bush Camp! I had planned this stay in the Mara for our honeymoon based on the excellent reviews on Tripadvisor as well as a clear recommendation from our travel agency Safari Exclusive. We have not been disappointed in any way and we could not have wished for a better tented camp in the private conservancy where Kicheche is located.
Emma and Darren make you feel welcome and at home from the very first minute you arrive. We had an excellent time meeting with the other guests staying at Kicheche around lunch and dinner and we can't say enough thanks for the unforgettable tribal dance from the Masai guides around the fire celebrating an anniversary from a guest as well as our honeymoon. Thank you Emma and Darren as well for the lovely private dinner you organized in our tent for our last evening at Kicheche. James has been an excellent guide and well-trained game spotter. We had lots of fun, great food and drinks, an exclusive safari experience and took lots of memories back to Belgium. We recommend this place highly to other travellers looking for an authentic and exclusive safari experience !

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Additional Information about Kicheche Bush Camp

Address: Olare Orok Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00502, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An intimate luxury camp of only 6 tents located in the exclusive Olare Orok Conservancy of the Masai Mara. The camps top quality guides and hosts will ensure you a superb safari experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kicheche Bush Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Kicheche Bush Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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