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“Rustic Retreat”

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Kigio Wildlife Camp
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We traveled with a tour group of 14, arriving at Kigio in time for lunch one day and leaving after breakfast the next day. Even though we were there just one night, the camp is one of the most memorable parts of our entire trip. The staff was welcoming, the food good, the rooms delightful. Our room was large, looking over the jungle onto the river. Monkeys played on the roof and deck. In the late afternoon we went on the Nature Hike around the camp. The guide pointed out animal footprints and types of scat. He told about the different types of trees and their traditional medicinal purposes. The Night Game Drive was very interesting and also worth doing. We went before dinner, saw giraffes and hyenas, and returned after about 1 1/2 hours to a delicious dinner. We slept well in the comfortable bed with wonderful hot water bottles to warm our feet. The room was chilly but the shower nice and hot. Breakfast the next morning was individually prepared with eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, cereal, coffee, tea and juice. The coffee was very good, unlike the Nescafé served in many places. Porters carried our bags to and from the rooms to our van. Whenever we had to walk along the path to our room in the dark, someone was there with a flashlight showing the way. My only regret about Kigio Camp is that we did not have longer to stay there. I could easily stay there for several days taking in the environment, enjoying the view and the hospitality.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Rambler4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 3, 2012

My Husband and I (with two other couples on our Tour) stayed one night at the Kigio Wildlife Camp Sept. 2012.

This was an Eco friendly accommodation that was a unique experience in itself. You are located smack dab in the middle of nature – off of the main roads and from the time we saw the sign that said Kigio, it was a dirt (sometimes rough) 5 km. to the Lodge - somewhat isolated/serene.

Property was located overlooking the Malewa River.

Our rooms was humongous with stone floors - part of room was wooden/stone or stucco structure........................one large wall was screened that in the evening you covered with canvas.

The Bathroom area was also very large with a great shower. No hairdryers, however if you need to dry your hair, up at the main Lodge, they have washrooms with an outdoor sink and hairdryer. For me, I brought several bandanas and when “the hair” was not looking it’s best, (most of Safari cause I did not want to bother with it) I just wore a bandana that day.

The washroom area windows were also screened /canvas

So in essence, this is what I would call a partially tented structure.

In your bed at night are hot water bottles to keep you warm. There were extra blankets if you needed them.

You had to walk on a narrow, small path (through woodland) to get to each cottage and you had to be escorted to your room each time. Some of the cottages are far from main lodge.

Dining area in Main Lodge was open air with canvas to cover one wall in the evenings. There was a little balcony overlooking the River (great view) and there was also a cozy fireplace to sit by.

Meals were a la carte and food was good.

You are offered a free early morning nature/bush walk where they explain about plants and animals, showing us footprints of animals (and their poop) that had been there overnight. During our walk, we also saw some wildlife like Zebras, warthogs, etc.

The Staff at the Lodge were very friendly and accommodating.

It you want unique lodging, this is definately a nature experience!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank CatchtheTradeWinds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

We stayed at the Kigio Wildlife Camp for two nights in October 2012 and it was a wonderful experience. We were lucky enough to see a leopard and a family of hyenas on our night game drive, and George happily escorted us on two nature walks where we learned about the plants and animals in Kigio. The staff went above and beyond to ensure we had a comfortable stay. All of our meals were excellent, our cabin was large and had a beautiful view of the river outside, and it was simply amazing to be greeted by monkeys and a giraffe right outside your door.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank abonjean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

There is little that can be written about the Kigio Wildlife Camp that others have not noted earlier. Located a good many miles from the main gate of Lake Nakuriu National Park, partially on a road that may well qualify as one of the world's very worst, the half-tented, half-cottage-like camp offers a pleasant night's rest far from "civilization" and the many distractions that the modern world has to offer. My wife and I spent two days and nights at Kigio and enjoyed our stay immensely.

As others have noted, however, the camp is clearly "rough" and anything but a luxury locale. Our tented cabin, though quite large, was somewhat "tired," with, among other things, a badly stained rug, chipped bathroom fixtures, and a front door that would not close securely. Our two twin beds, were comfortable enough but quite hard. And since electrical power and/or water is an "on again, off again" thing, one has to plan carefully to get ready both in the morning and in the night.

The camp's food, all served in a large open-to-the-air dining room, though hardly haute cuisine was always good and most welcome. We especially loved the homemade soups and the choice of different entrees each day. 

Best of all, however, were the young men who staff the camp. To a person, they were all extremely personable and simply a joy to be around. From the moment that we arrived, hot and weary from untold kilometers of bouncy, rutted dirt roads, we were greeted and made to feel welcome. Some of the tents/cabins are probably located too far from the center of the camp but all are situated in the heart of nature and, ultimately, that is why one comes to a place such as this in the first place.

Would we come back to Kigio Wildlife Camp again? Absolutely, though I suspect that, given our ages, we never will. But other, younger, folks, especially those who believe in the "green" philosophy which the directors of the camp appear to have adopted completely, ought not miss this intriguingly different locale.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank BigP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

My wife and I stayed at Kigio Wildlife camp during our wildlife safari trip to Kenya/Tanzania in July '12. The room's name was 'Kanga' and it was on the river bank. Two sides of the room were screened (didn't have solid walls) with canvas shades. When the shades were opened, we had an excellent view of the river flowing by.

We found it very interesting that before 7:00AM and after 7:00PM you are required to call camp staff to escort you to the dining hall. Although we didn't see any wildlife in the camp, I guess they insist on escort for protection from wondering wild animals. The room was a bit 'tired' but we had great time. The camp staff was very courteous and food was excellent. The camp arranged for a demonstration of Masai crafts and how Masai women make costume jewelry. We found it very interesting. The camp also offers a nature walk with experienced guide. Unfortunately we could not take the nature walk due to sudden heavy rains.

All in all this is a very good camp with very friendly staff.

Room Tip: Some of our fellow tourist had some problems with hot water and leaky roofs. It is recommended that...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Bhujwala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

Most impressive here are fantastic staff. Kudos to Nassir--great, interesting ,kind, helpful. Also, many thanks to George and Joseph, among others. The lodge's chef/cook prepares delicious meals. If you don't like what is on the menu (two choices) give the kitchen staff a bit of notice and they'll try to come up with an alternative.
The fish, the potatoes, the pumpkin soup were standouts--all soooo good!!!

One day i walked across a big field-- actually on the Eastern wall of the Rift for wifi. I got a little tour of Malewa.Malewa is a bit different from Kigio. Whereas Kigio is tents, Malewa is stucco. Both have welcoming lounge/fireplace areas, but the rooms at Malewa are newer, a bit nicer and more interesting. However, there is NO lighting on the path at Malewa between the dining area and the cottages. If you go there, don't miss the suspension bridge over the hippo-filled river.
Originally i was booked iinto Malewa, but as I was the only person there, management put me into Kigio, so I wouldnt feel isolated. I'm glad--being at Malewa alone could be a bit scary. If there are other guests, and if you have a choice--go with Malewa.
Also, there is wifi at Malewa, but not at Kigo. Neither has good (if any) mobile phone signals. So one of my favorite activites was having to walk up the hill about 5 minutes from Kigio and stand in a very specific place, "under the little acacia tree" to make a call. There is even a small rock which staff use to put a foot up and relax while making calls. I defintiely was not "in Kansas "any more!!

At Kigio, the tent/room was very large; the bed was comfortable enough to get a good night's sleep.The two sided deck was terific for watching the river and birds.

I was disappointed that, being a conservation area for Rotshschild giraffes, i saw NONE there (but did see at nearby Lake Nakuru) . Perhps they are more visible on night safris which are offered. However, I loved walking between Kigio and Malewa--about a 40 min stroll--and enjoying close prosimity of zebras and gazelles. A family of warthogs enjoyed "visiting" right behind my cottage on the river. Also, note the red cliffs of the river which you can see from the deck at the dining area, filled with swallows' nest holes.

One thing that made the place feel less "clean" was the brown-tinged water in the sink and shower. It's (supposedly) filtered, but apparently the stoves they use to heat it affect the color as well and sediment. On my second night, i didnt bother with a hot shower --felt too icky (perhaps i only imagined a muddy feel). There is a big bathrub on the deck of my tent, but even if wanted to take a hot bath, no way would it be appealing in a tub filled with brown water!

There was a large tour group while i was there,and all said they enjoyed Kigio. So if you want a place not far from Nakuru but seemingly a world away, with a somewhat rustic feel, delightful staff, and good food, try Kigio or Malewa!

Room Tip: At Kigio, soe of the cottages are quite a walk in the dark. Bring a tourch, and have someone accompa...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank calinurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2012

I stayed here with a tour group, and this was one of my favorite places that we stayed. The rooms are huge, very clean, and the staff was very friendly. It had the best food of any of the places that we stayed. I also love the idea of the camp, how they work in synergy with the local villagers. The nights were cold, but there were hot water bottles and plenty of blankets. It was fascinating being so close to nature, and it was unique, because they take you on a nature walk and you get very close to some of the animals, like zebras and antelopes. I would absolutely recommend this camp!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Becca0711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kigio Wildlife Camp

Address: overlooking the Malewa River, Gilgil, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Gilgil
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Gilgil
Hotel Class:3 star — Kigio Wildlife Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Kigio Wildlife Camp Hotel Gilgil
Kigio Wildlife Camp Kenya/Gilgil

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