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“Pretty close to perfect” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Elephant Pepper Camp

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Elephant Pepper Camp
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Mara North Conservancy | Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Pretty close to perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

I went to the Masai Mara with two friends over Easter. We wanted to be spoiled, faux camping 'glamping' with some good game drives in between. Elephant Pepper Camp was beautiful, tucked away behind trees. Peter, Patrick, Daniel and others were a great team, everyone seemed to be totally into what they were doing, funny, relaxed whilst being attentive. The camp is totally open so animals wonder around at night. The 'tent' was lovely, beautiful wood, fresh linen, beautiful service and good food. Saw some cool animals too -- including mating elephants and a lazy leopard! The Mara is beautiful at this time of year, incredible skies, if not a little wet!

Room Tip: Two friends stayed in a twin room -- enough space and privacy for us both. Didn't see the other...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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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111 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Elephant Pepper was one of three lodges my family and I visited on our 9-day safari with Cheli and Peacock Safaris. I have been on many safaris, having lived in Kenya for a period in the late 1980s. Stefano Cheli and Liz Peacock first introduced us to high-end safaris during that time. They both grew up in Kenya, and know it well. Many years later, when planning a return trip to Kenya with extended family who had never been, naturally we chose their company once again. To travel with C&P is not inexpensive. But - truly it is worth it. We stayed at 3 different camps in different regions during our trip. They flew us from one area to the other. We had three magical days and nights in each. My family loves Elsa's Kopje and Joy's Camp the best, but I love Elephant Pepper. Why? Because I know how overcrowded and overdone the Masaai Mara can be. Little Governor's Camp and Mara Serena Lodge can be good and more affordable, but EP is truly the way you should go. There are only 12 (I believe?) tents. All have private baths, comfortable beds, private areas, and tea service ever morning before the morning drive. There is a communal table for meals and central camp fire at night. There is an outdoor lounge area where you can meet the camp managers and other guests and help yourself to sodas and beers. This is how safari should be - back to the old-time ways, but in PLENTY of luxury. Did I mention that Stefano's Italian mother (and Stefano himself is an accomplished cook) taught the staff all of the lovely Italian cuisine that you will enjoy while you are there? Be prepared to gain weight - there is no place to go for a run. The wildlife is just on the outskirts of the small manicured lawn. See the zebra and wildebeest munching on grass, practically within arm's reach? There are tales of lions coming straight through the camp with their kill, and buffalos (rarely) hiding behind trees silently (they can trample you easily, so you must be careful.) Keep your eyes open, and if you go for a run (from tent one to tent 12 and back,) keep you eyes and ears open. An iPad is not recommended! And the resident monkeys have been known to steal tissues of kleenex from the lounge, just for fun.
When you want a hot shower, be sure to request it in advance, and it will be waiting for you hanging from the canvas shower bag in your private shower when you need it. Don't travel the paths without a torch after dark.
Of course, every day and every safari drive with the local guides were amazing. Samuel Too is so knowledgeable. He spends his days off driving by himself and learning about the animals and their patterns. There is not enough space here to describe to you all of the sights and experiences you will enjoy in the Mara. Just go enjoy it!
Finally, I must mention the final day's safari and sundowner - walking through the bush with the camp manager and head guide (who carry a a rifle and spear, respectively), you end the day at a camp fire set up just for you, under the African sky, with a bar set up on a posh camp table. There is no one else around for miles and miles, just the giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests. Then they drive you back to the camp for dinner and a campfire. What a way to end a magical visit. Thank you Stefano, Liz, Samuel, David, Sophie and Cullum!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We spent 3 nights here on our honeymoon (definitely get the honeymoon tent - it is worth it!). Having been to one (v good) camp already we were even more amazed at this camp. Going in early Dec ensured we saw baby everything as well as grown ups! From 3week old lion cups to a baby impala that was less than 10minutes old!! All due to our amazing guide! Great staff, great camp, great holiday! (We were there Dec 2011 but no longer an option to tick that as we left it so long to review!)

Room Tip: If you can - get the honeymoon tent
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  • Stayed December 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Going to Kenya had been on our bucket list for as long as I can remember! Our travel agent recommended Elephant Pepper Camp as the second part of an 8-day safari and I am so glad she did!

We stayed at Elephant Pepper Camp during mid-November 2012. It was the day after Thanksgiving and we really lucked out with the weather as not one single raindrop during out stay and little crowds from the other camps. This also meant that the roads were fine; we didn't have any problems with not being able to pass or getting stuck.

Since it was me, my huband, and our 16-year old son, we got the honeymoon tent - huge, comfortable, and opened up to the very best viewing of the trees and plains in my opinion. My husband commented that the tent made him feel like a British colonel. The furniture, layout, hot water every morning, and hot water bottles at night, it was just awesome.

During our first night, there was a very large crowd of travel agents visiting for just the one day as well as 2 other couples. While in the dining tent, there were bats flying around and a praying mantis helped himself to my bread pudding. It was fantastic! It certainly added to the charm of the evening. The food was great, even for our picky teenager, and the crowd gathering around the fire afterwards was a lot of fun.

The managers, Patrick and Sophie, was gracious hosts and we were spoiled silly! The second day only one other couple remained and after a long game drive we were welcomed to a sundowner outside of camp so that we could see the sunset. They had set up a grill for the hot wings and had a portable bar. We drank and ate while watching the sunset and some great conversation. Probably one of my top experiences in Africa, which is saying something because we saw some incredible game viewing!

Our driver, James, was tenacious as we hunted a leopard for two days. We got really lucky and came upon a lion just as she was about to hunt a warthog. We captured the entire thing as she caught it and was joined by two other lions and four cubs. Wow!

Our last night, a family of elephants were grazing right outside our tent. By morning they had moved about 100 yards out so we watched them as we ate breakfast. When are you ever going to be woken up at 2 am by a family of elephants right outside your window?

Having come from Lewa during the first part of our trip, Masai Mara is definitely more "in your face" when it comes to the game and what you will see. It's hard to describe all the fascinating things we saw and did and Elephant Pepper is definitely a MUST STAY. We loved it so much that my husband and I are planning a return trip to stay an entire week.

  • Stayed November 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We stayed at Elephant Pepper Camp in September 2012 for the first part of our honeymoon. I'm probably going to echo what everyone else has said, as this camp was amazing. We stayed in the honeymoon tent, which our agent got as a free upgrade and it was fab. Huge tent, comfortable bed, a veranda opening onto the plains, just you and nature. We had elephants wondering a mere few metres away from us, baboons and impala. No fences, really makes you feel like you are on a safari. As everyone says the showers are fine and plenty of water even to wash long hair and ready for when you get back from a long drive. Food - fresh and delicious everyday, a new feast was bought out. Eating meals on one big table was lovely, meeting new and interesting people and talking about our day in the Masai Mara was such good fun. Jenna the interim manager and her team looked after us and nothing was too much trouble, and made us feel so at home. We were even given a surprise bottle of champagne to say congratulations. The game drives were great so many animals from giraffes, elephants to leopards and the elusive cheetah. A couple of times there were quite a lot of cars around the animals, which we didn't like but the majority of the time it was just you and the wildlife. Our guide Stanley was really good and very knowledgable - thank you. Overall a great 'out of Africa' safari, and start to our honeymoon, we would love to come back one day.

Room Tip: The honeymoon suite - huge tent, big veranda and grass area all on your own in the corner to watch t...
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  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

This was by far and away the best part of our African holiday, and I can thoroughly recommend anyone going to Kenya and wanting to see the Masai Mara that Elephant Pepper is a superb way to do it.

We were completely spoiled, in part as we managed to get to camp when there was only 1 or 2 other couples in, although it filled up during our 3 night stay. Even with a full camp this place really is great. Sophie and Callum manage are amazing hosts, erally taking the time to genuinely engage with everyone and making sure that your stay is top notch. The camp itself is really well located and extremely comfortable - if only all tent camping could be like this!

The food was also good, and the safari drives exceptional - we saw lions, leopard, cheetah, hyena, elephants and lots of other game animals. Another highlight was seeing the masses of Wildebeast in migration.

Truly a must stay!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

You are in the wild. Elephants outside our tent! Monkeys on the roof of the tent. Game drives into the heart of the Mara with wildlife at every turn. Hippos, cheetah, leopards, elephants, giraffe just never stopped. Our boys (4 & 7) loved every moment as did we. Brilliant. Don't hesitate just book it! Patrick and Sophie made it all so easy and welcoming. Thank you and George our awesome guide.

  • Stayed November 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elephant Pepper Camp

Address: Mara North Conservancy | Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elephant Pepper Camp is situated within the Mara North Conservancy. Small and exclusive, the camp is located in the heart of the African Bush. Our spacious canvas tents are comfortably furnished, featuring en suite bathrooms with flush toilets and traditional safari showers. Nothing rivals sitting around the campfire enjoying the sounds of the African night. Elephant Pepper Camp brings people back to nature – no traffic, no permanent structures, just the sights and sounds of the African bush. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Elephant Pepper Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Elephant Pepper Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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