We were looking to stay outside Nairobi but within easy reach of the airport for the final few days of our Kenya trip. We found this camp on the internet and despite the fact that none of our friends in Nairobi had heard of it,we decided to give it a go.
Once we got off the main road between Nairobi and Mombasa, we passed a huge cement work on our way to the Swara main gate. This was not the best of starts. However, when we arrived in the camp we were greeted by Patrick with a warm welcome. We were directed to the largest of the 13 little cottages right at the end of the row. As it turned out we were the only guests and had therefore been given the family cottage. Large windows looked out into the bush. The cottage was spacious and had everything you need. It was all very basic but clean and quiet. For lunch we were served three courses where the first one would have been enough. The chef, Anton, cooked us delicious food meal after meal. My boyfriend is vegetarian and Anton delivered a different, tasty option for him every time. After only one lunch and one dinner, we realised we would be leaving weighing twice as much as we did on arrival. Excellent food!
It is possible to go on game drives here as well but because we had done this for the previous two weeks, we were happy to just read, sleep, eat and go for walks. This is something you do not normally get to do in safari camps. However, Swara is on a cattle ranch and since they do not have large carnivores, we were allowed to walk around by ourselves. This way we got to see things you don't normally stop for on a game drive. Amazing insects, little birds, burrows of porcupines, warthogs and others. We found skulls and whole skeletons, but also a tree with 15 vultures. We did manage to get within 20 metres of a group of giraffe.
Back at the camp the two lovely dogs of the manageress kept us company most of the time. A water hole at the end of the garden attracts wildlife in and is a great place to view. Unfortunately, the two dogs very often took great pleasure in running up to the wildlife and barking loudly. This was amusing but also slightly annoying. During the first night the dogs decided to lie outside our cottage (as their owner was away, the dogs staied in the camp overnight). We first became aware of this when they sarted barking at some creatures they could hear or see in the woods. This carried on all night and we were woken again and again, every time close to a heart attack as the dogs were literally metres away from our bed.
The whole place could do with a bit ot TLC and a lot more attention to detail. For us it did exactly what we needed it to do, but the place has potential to be a lot better. The staff are fantastic. They are knowledgeable, helpful, fun and always happy to do anything you ask for. Thank you Patric and Anton in particular.
On our last evening we were picked up at 20.30 , arrived at the airport 30 minutes later and went on our late night flight home. Even if you are just looking for a first or last night hotel this is much better than any airport hotel could be.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Acacia Camp - Swara Plains is situated on a 20,000 acre ranch, teaming with plains game - only 35 kms from Nairobi city centre, with very easy access to Jomo Kenyatta International airport. It'is a rustic camp, consisting of 13 wooden banda's and delicious food! Ideal for game walks/drives, bird watching, biking, fishing. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Swara Plains Acacia Camp Hotel Nairobi