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Joy's Camp
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Reviewed October 6, 2013

My sister & I spent 2 nights at Joy's Camp in Shaba. The tented accommodation was very nice, each tent with a view out towards a swamp/wet land area that attracts animals during the late afternoon and throughout the night.
We enjoyed game drives that also provided the history related to Joy's work with Penny the leopard, we saw Penny's rock, Penny's ridge, the site were Joy was killed, the site where her old camp was (by tent #7 I believe).
The staff was friendly and welcoming, the food and service was very good.
I would recommend a stay at Joy's Camp !

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Brenda1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2013

An amazing tented camp, with beautiful tents and decor, the seating areas are magical giving you the experience that you are in bird heaven. Spent 5 days there and was really impressed with the place. The guides were outstanding so polite, well spoken, and extremely knowledgable. The management were fantastic always there when you need them, polite, happy and full of smiles, the hosting was incredible polite, attentive, amazingly friendly - i really had one of the best bush experiences i have for a long long time. The food was exquisite, silver service superb!! What more can i say a birds paradise, managed extrodinaire!! Well done joys camp and thank you for an incredible experience!!

Room Tip: Room ten tucked away in the corner , super quite, exclusive and superb color combination in the tent
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank noxnox2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

Joys's camp has to be every bird-loving,star-gazing and luxury camper's must-see place in Northern Kenya.When night falls, the sky rolls out what feels like a magical blanket of stars over Shaba, enough to inspire romance and adventure! When some colleagues and I had visited earlier this year, we were greeted with these awsomely refreshing cold fruit cocktails that had fresh mint in them. After a hot long drive, we were more than grateful for the getsure.

The camp itself has this charming northern African feel to it - think Somali, Moroccan and Swahili culture...bright beading, white and bright fabrics, beautiful and ornate lamps and furniture. Visually, the decor and tent settings are highly appealing and very relaxing. The tents are spaciaously set up and you find the normal hotel room-type amenities and won't feel completely cut off from civilisation. The place does have a great bush feel and you definitely experience a closeness to nature. Shaba is hot and dry so the pathways at Joy's Camp between the tents and the main area are somewhat beach-like and have lizards of different kinds hopping about or dashing madly accross to avoid you. If you're queamish about them, do watch out! I quite liked the use of stone in different places and loved my hot showers!

Dining was great here! The chefs had a nice assortment of veggies alongside different roasts and the ususal starches. I'm one for a well done steak so I made a special request for the chefs to turn it over a bit more. Sure enough they obliged me and served me a perfectly done steak in good time - tender but definitely cooked the way I like it. The table arrangemets were quite ineteresting allowing for large groups and smaller ones while the whole area overlooked the large bush/garden space, partly open air and partly under a roof.

Since we only stayed a night, we didn't do too much but we definitely went on exciting game drives and a walk. The drives were scenic - kopjes standing regally in unxpected places, the rushing River Ewaso Nyiro in its chocolate glory lined by fresh green Doum Palms, surrounding mountain ranges in the distance, and of course...birds, birds, birds! Little ones, large ones, bright ones, dull ones, noisy ones and quiet ones, birds in flight, birds that seem to be taking a stroll - Shaba is truly a birder's paradise! The area is not particularly game rich but you will get to see some wild animals - mostly herbivores that can survive in these dry parts. We were pleased to be surprised with a sundowner on a little hill overlooking the river after an evening game drive and even got back to camp a little late. The uncommon night drive back was spectacular! The whole bush seemed to come alive with little creatures scuttling from bush to bush, night birds calling, crickets and all sorts of insects abuzz with life, and the beautiful night sky and cool winds breaking the through the heat and stillness of the hot day. I loved it! Our driver guide was perfect for the job too because he knew a lot and was more than happy to stop at places that fascinated us a great deal before moving on.

In the morning we went on the walk that turned out to be the hike of my lifetime so far! A colleague of mine also had a little trouble climbing over rock but the guide and ranger were available to help us once they actually understood we were somewhat terrified. What was terrifying? You climb up and down rough rock, smooth rock, jagged rock and pass thorns and hop onto little temporary islands on the river. The views are amazing but do remember to carry a good pair shoes with great grip so you can enjoy them on steady feet! Fortunately, I had those but I did slide on my bottom a lot to avoid falling. There were places where we stood on jutting out peices of rock and could see way down the river. In the near distance on a separate mini island, we spotted the odd crocodile sunning itself in the early morning sun, and caught sight of a hippo blowing bubbles at cave-like corner on the opposite side of the river. Interestingly, this was quite near where Survivor was filmed some years ago! We were lucky to see all this and I was glad I put my fear behind me. At the end of the walk, we stepped right into a ready set bush breakfast with sandwiches, tea, coffee, fruit, sausages and bacon...it was a sumptuous breakfast and hard-earned too! We devoured it with gusto and afterward drove back to camp and headed for a quick dip in the pool before leaving - absolutely relaxing.

Now, I will tell you straight away - don't expect the entire Big 5 if you visit Shaba, it's not very game rich but in certain seasons you will catch some great wildife. Generally, you'll see bucks, birds, perhaps giraffe at the right time, little turtles in puddles, bush rats and other nocturnal creatures in the same family. It's better to visit when you're winding down your safari experience or you'd like to start slow before you go to game rich places like the Maasai Mara or Lewa. A visit to the river is great for if you'd like to see hippos and crocodiles.

Overall service at the camp was good and the manager was friendly. I'd recommend the place for couples and friends, families if mature. If you do have young ones, it may not be as exciting for them but you're sure to have a merry old time if everyone can generally take care of themselves!

Room Tip: The tents are a fair distance from the main dining area making them nice and private, if you don't like the distances or have someone's health to consider, request for a closer located tent.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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5  Thank Tyzar I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2013

Joy's Camp is a beautifully laid out tented camp near to one of the many springs. The tented accommodation is excellent, spacious with 2 separate seating areas front and back. Lots of space, very comfortable and well appointed. We were the only guests for 2 days as it is the quiet season. Pieter and Danielle (relief managers) looked after us well. Food was very good and staff are attentive. Our guide, Peter, was excellent. This is a bird watchers park. Wildlife is not plentiful but they do have animals like Gerenuk, Gravy's Zebra, Striped Hyena and Reticulated Giraffe. Superb scenery and Sundowners on a hill on the last of our 4 days gives you a great appreciation of the park landscape. Well recommended but don't expect to see BIG 5. Just enjoy the area for what it is.

Room Tip: All rooms have similar outlook.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MikeGrahamHermanus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Joy's Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 3, 2013

So glad you enjoyed your stay. We're very lucky to have so many rare species around us!

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Reviewed May 31, 2013

I was here for just one night with some friends and I cannot speak highly enough of this place. The location is stunning - tents scattered under beautiful tall acacia's, dining and bar area with a pool looking out over a marsh and onto the hills behind. Food was perfect: they know this as I think we cleaned out their kitchens! And our hosts Peter and Daniella went above and beyond to make sure we had a great time. Thank you to Cheli and Peacock and the great wild Shaba park for this fabulous weekend!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank katwebbz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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