This tour company put together a trip of a lifetime for our group of six to the Mara. The trip planners were great to work with and they matched us up with the best tour guide that made our entire trip incredible! They were very responsive to our needs and make great recommendations.
Duma Camp in the Lemek Conservancy is hidden in a grove of ebony & olive trees. This is a traditional safaricamp under canvas with delicious food & Maasai Guides. What more could you ask for in the Maasai Mara ?
At the Lemek marathon we met the managers of Duna camp who invited us to visit their camp. Just a short distance from the marathonsite, but a whole different world: deep into the Mara. Duna is a well-kept small campsite -quiet and remote- with a couple of nice tents. Surrounded by nature: you do know they are there... Good service and great atmosphere. Carefull staff of real hospitable and caring Maasai.
The 5 days we spent at Duma Camp this September were among the most memorable we have ever experienced in Africa – and over the years we have spent more than 8 months on safari in 6 different countries. The camp is lovely – with only 6 tents, it is quite relaxed and friendly. Our family had the camp to ourselves for 3 nights, which was wonderful. It is an ideal base for an extended family gathering, or for a group of friends. One morning a large herd of wildebeest stampeded past, only ~100 yards from camp. And the Mara River is just a short walk from the tents. Being in the Lemek Conservancy, rather than within Maasai Mara National Park, meant we could take guided walks. It also meant we saw very few other vehicles. This experience contrasts markedly with viewing wildlife within the park, where vehicles commonly encircle sights of interest. Koriata was our guide for most walks and drives. He is well educated, impressively knowledgeable about the local natural history, including plants, mammals, and birds, knows the area intimately, has great intuition about spotting wildlife, and is wonderfully personable. Jennifer Ratcliff, the British woman who owns the camp, knows the area well, as she has lived here for about 15 years. She has lots of stories, and accompanied us on many of our wildlife drives. Her staff members are all local Maasai, and several spoke quite good English, which offered us an opportunity to learn more about traditional life in the area. The cook packed picnic breakfasts whenever we wanted to stay out all morning exploring, and prepared gluten free meals for our daughter. Scenery in the Lemek Conservancy is spectacular, and wildlife diverse and plentiful. We were incredibly fortunate to get to know a recently arrived male cheetah, and to anticipate his schedule well enough to be able to watch it take down a young wildebeest, 3 evenings in a row. We also spent quite a bit of time with a pride of lions and their 4 playful cubs – and I understand two new litters were born recently. We paid an additional $100 each to spend a day in Maasai Mara National Park, where we were fortunate to watch a magnificent leopardess, who seemed to be posing for us in an Acacia tree (“Am I more photogenic like this? Oh, perhaps better like this?”) We also watched Zebra and hundreds of Wildebeest cross the Mara River en masse, with giant crocodiles feasting on an unfortunate few, until suddenly, believe it or not (actually, we could hardly believe it ourselves), a hippo burst above the water’s surface, and came crashing down on a huge crocodile, just as the croc was about to grab a young wildebeest that had lost its mom. This saved the little guy, who made it safely to shore! We then watched this hippo save 4 or 5 more young wildebeest! It was remarkable, but not without a likely explanation – crocodiles are the archenemy of hippos, because they will kill and eat hippo babies. Apparently this hippo had no tolerance for crocs killing any babies – even those of another species. We were incredibly grateful, and somewhat overwhelmed by the wealth of our experiences while at Duma. All our previous trips to Africa had been several weeks long, so we had been hesitant to come for such a short time. We needn’t have worried! And we certainly wouldn’t hesitate to return. …
This camp was recommended to us and we weren't disappointed. Jennifer, who runs the business, arranged everything for us from arriving in Nairobi, including the flights to the camp, and looked after us really well. Her Maasai staff were very good as well. The camp is small, which is good, and very peaceful. We went on several game drives and a walk, and saw lots of animals in their natural habitat. We also enjoyed meals and wine at the camp and were very reluctant to leave!