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“Saved the best for last” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Elephant Pepper Camp

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Elephant Pepper Camp
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4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Mara North Conservancy | Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Vancouver
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Saved the best for last”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

We saved a visit to the Masai Mara for last on our safari (Amboseli - Meru - Masai Mara) and I am really happy with the order of stops. Each wonderful in their own right but had we started in this location, we may have been disappointed since the amount of animals you see in MM is far more dense than elsewhere.

On arrival, we were greeted by Francis who would be our guide for our entire stay. We were pretty tired after flying into Nairobi from Meru, having to wait 3 hours before our afternoon flight and then a bumpy ride to MM but definitely felt refreshed once we arrived at the camp. If you are looking to stay in a bush camp but still want some comforts, this is the place for you. Patrick and Sophie and little Alexi are wonderful hosts with a wealth of information and you can tell they truly love what they do. The camp itself is hidden away amongst the elephant pepper trees and is not fenced. This was really great! Masai warriors escort you to and from your tent when it is dark so it is completely safe. Elephants, baboons and monkeys were our neighbours during our stay.

We were in tent 3 and it was closest to the dining tent although still very private. The tents are great! No running water, but they have a good system of providing you with cold and hot water that you can mix into your sink to wash up. They do a bucket shower so at the end of your game drive your guide will ask you if you would like your shower before dinner, they radio it in and by the time you reach camp and are back in your tent your shower is ready! I would advise running the water, shutting it off while you lather up and then turning it back on to rinse off or you may run out (my mistake the first night!). It's the perfect temperature. You will also find a hot water bottle when you turn in for the night - what a nice comfort and special touch!

For meals, this was the only camp where they did communal dining at the long table. Really liked this option as it was nice to get to know the others at camp. Before and after dinner you gather around the camp fire, share stories and enjoy drinks. Great way to end a full day out! Be sure to put on insect repellent, it could've just been me but I did get quite a few bites one night.

For drinks, there's a great stock in the lounge bar and fridge that you can help yourself to or often a staff member will come out to help you. All drinks (except the really high end stuff) are included and it's a casual environment.

For charging, camera batteries can be given to Patrick or the other staff and they will charge it for you in the office overnight. There are also charging ports in the game drive vehicles but since we have North American plugs, we found them a bit more loose in the sockets, others who had the right plugs didn't have this problem. There is also a USB charging station in the lounge which you can use.

Internet was surprisingly quite a good signal. They turn it off just before dinner until the next morning and while we were there they were upgrading their internet so the signal might be even stronger going forward.

Food wise, everything was excellent and just as good as we enjoyed at the other Cheli & Peacock camps we visited. Lunch is a buffet and dinner is plated. My favourite meal of the trip was our last night's dinner of osso bucco... amazing!

Game drives - excellent! Our guide Frances was really knowledgeable and diligent at finding all the animals for us to see. We hadn't seen a cheetah yet and although we were okay with this, he was determined and on our very last night we finally found one! This camp is located in the North Conservancy which is great because there are less game drive vehicles around so it feels less 'busy'. There is one day where they took us on a whole day game drive so we could drive out to the MM (takes about 1.5hrs to get there) so it's a long day 6:30am-6:30pm but it's well worth it.

We would've liked to also do a bush walk as we heard from Lucy at Elsa's Kopje that the one they do is excellent but unfortunately Patrick had to go to Nairobi and he is the one who does them. If you have a chance, do it!

I could say a lot more about Elephant Pepper Camp but I should probably stop here. If this is one of your options for your stay in the Masai Mara, don't hesitate!

Room Tip: If the notion of being in an unfenced camp worries you, request tents 3 or 4 as they are the closest...
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elephant Pepper Camp, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a wonderfully detailed review. The whole team here is so happy you enjoyed your stay with us. Hopefully we'll see you again one day!
With warmest wishes
Patrick & Sophie
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122 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 (29)
Date | Rating
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English first
Miami, Florida
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

Elephant Pepper Camp was the second stop on our honeymoon and such an amazing experience. Masai Mara had so many animals on our tours that make the trip all the way to Africa so unbelievably worth it! Not only were there animals on our game drives but staying at elephant pepper, we had them right outside our tent windows! There's nothing like waking up from an afternoon nap to see elephants right outside. It's only a little scary at times (we were in the honeymoon tent) but luckily there are Masai guards that guide you around so I just made sure to stay extra great. The managers Patrick and Sofi were so welcoming and we enjoying dining with them so much. Everything felt like we were back in the old days on safari. There are so many places to stay in Masai that it was overwhelming when making the choice but seeing all the other places while we were there, we made the most perfect choice. If (or when) I come back, I would do it all over again!

  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elephant Pepper Camp, responded to this review, March 1, 2014
Thank you so much for your lovely review. We're truly delighted you enjoyed your stay so much & hope you can make it back here one day.
With warmest wishes
Patrick & Sophie
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

Rose at The Luxury Safari Company set up our trip over Christmas - myself, parents and brother stayed at two camps (Elsa's, review already written) before going to the beach. They went together perfectly, Elephant Pepper looks out over the plains which was fantastic - it is set in its own private area so you don't see lots of other vehicles and the camp was so relaxed, we were made to feel instantly at home. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, and Rose had organised for the local Masai to come in and dance one evening which was great fun. The Masai Mara was amazing to see, but we preferred the location of Elsa's Kopje in Meru.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elephant Pepper Camp, responded to this review, February 7, 2014
Thank you for your lovely review. We're glad you enjoyed your stay with us and glad you enjoyed Rose's special surprise - she's wonderful for extra little bits & pieces!
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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

This was to my romantic mind an experience that harkens back to another era. As part of our stay we had a full day game drive/safari - getting up early to have both breakfast and lunch out of camp. We travelled to see the hippos and crocodiles in the Mara River, an abandoned Maasi village and the natural beauty of the Mara. This camp was well managed by our hosts Patrick and Sophia, and our driver/guide George was amazing in locating and pointing out wonderful photographic opportunities - lion/elephant and leopard/baboon interactions. The camp is as wonderful as the other reviewers describe.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elephant Pepper Camp, responded to this review, February 7, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We're delighted you enjoyed your stay so much & that you had such amazing photo opportunities! With best wishes, Sophie & Patrick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

This is hands down the best safari camp i have had the pleasure of staying in. In fact, i would go so far as to say this is the best establishment i have ever stayed in. Elephant Pepper Camp is not just a safari camp however. It is an experience. An experience that will carve itself into your memory forever.

From the stunning furniture to the fantastic people, this place is sheer authentic, old school, luxury at its best. It sounds ridiculous... but i actually felt proud to be sat in a 4x4 with Elephant Pepper written on the side. Patrick and Sophie - bloody good job.

Room Tip: This is not like a hotel. Every tent is fantastic.
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elephant Pepper Camp, responded to this review, February 7, 2014
Thank you for your wonderful words. We've shared your review with all the team here & we're thrilled - it's the reason we're here! With best wishes, Sophie & Patrick
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barraba, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

We visited two other camps first and wondered what we could possibly need to see that we hadn't already. This camp was a great experience, clean, well set up , all services ( although at times wifi is a bit variable - but thats not why we were there!) excellent. The meals and the housekeeping services were great - with the breakfasts out in the Mara a great way to really see the animals at a time they were out and about. We saw so many animals, and our guide Patrick, was fantastic - the knowledge of the guides is what makes the whole safari experience special. we were lucky ( in early Dec) so see a mini "crossing" and that gave us a real taste of what it would be like. OUr four nights in camp was just right - to give us experience on the plains, around our tents ( a gold mine alone) and meeting people. Definitely on the revisit list.

Room Tip: WE were closer to the Dining area - so easy to access all services - especially in the rain.
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  • Stayed December 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elephant Pepper Camp, responded to this review, February 7, 2014
We're so glad you enjoyed your stay with us so much. Yes, our breakfasts out in the bush are very popular - it's great to savour bacon & eggs surrounded by wilderness! Best wishes, Patrick & Sophie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

Seems an unbelievable amount of money to stay in a tent-until you get there! From the moment you arrive you quickly realise why it so expensive. This is our 3rd tented safari camp we have stayed in, and although the other two were also at the high end of the market, this place caps the lot. Patrick, the manager, is superb, as are the rest of the staff. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there, and agree with the other very positive reviews. We only stayed for 2 nights, whereas I was told most people stay for 3. Although fine for when we went (January), a guide told me that if visiting in the migration season you really need 3 nights, so on one day you go on an all day safari to migration crossings, which are a considerable distance from the camp.
The food is OK rather than brilliant-this was the one area where I have been to better tented camps. Also be warned that if you like splashing lots of hot water around when getting up in the morning you will be disappointed-as it is delivered in a brass jug as there is no piped water to the tent (this is an observation-not a criticism).

Elephants tramping around 5 feet from your tent at 0230 will disturb your sleep in what is otherwise a very comfortable tent-but that is a memorable experience not to be missed!
All in all-highly recommended.

Room Tip: Tents 2, 3 and 4 are closest to the mess tents (an advantage if pouring with rain) and have good vie...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elephant Pepper Camp, responded to this review, January 24, 2014
Dear Neil

Thank you very much for taking the time to write your review. We're so happy you enjoyed your stay with us. I have shared your review with the team here and they're delighted. We have noted your comments on the food & will work on this to bring us up to the level of the other camps you visited!

With warmest wishes
Patrick & Sophie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #16 of 127 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Elephant Pepper Camp 4.5*
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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