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andBeyond Bateleur Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 15, 2008

We loved, loved, loved our stay at Bateleur. Before coming to Africa, I was nervous about the accomadations because I didn't know what to expect. After staying here, I could say that its as nice as any luxury hotel in the us (if you put the hotel in the middle of the African bush!). Staff was wonderful- everyone wanted to make sure you had everything you needed and were as happy as possible. Our game viewing experience was super and the guide knew everything about everything.
If we were to go to Kenya again, we would stay here and stay for 4 or 5 nights instead of just 3.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank daisybugAlabama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 - 172 of 208 reviews

Reviewed September 25, 2008

We stayed at Bateleur for three nights and hugely enjoyed it. The standard of service is excellent and the food was really very good. You are fed a HUGE amount...lunch 3 courses / dinner 4 courses and breakfast is a bit of a feast too. I was struggling a bit i must admit, as it was all very tasty and tempting! They are also keen to ply you with booze! So you have to be very strong willed to avoid totally overindulging!
We had an excellent game drive experience. Whilst our guide had a decent level of knowledge about the wildlife, we did tend to spot the animals before he did!!! However he was first and foremost an excellent driver and we had him and the very comfortable jeep all to ourselves. Plus through his skilled driving he got us an amazing spot to watch a crossing (incredible sight), what more could you ask for?
The tented rooms are beautiful as all CC africa accommodation appears to be. I have however stayed in larger ones in South Africa for a lot less money. So whilst they are very well appointed and with really nice tasteful furniture - they could be a little roomier, but that is a fairly small point as they are certainly not cramped.
The staff are excellent, and you have your own 'Butler' and 'Room Steward' assigned to your tent. We appreciated the attentive, friendly and excellent service provided by our guys. They could not do enough for us and managed to do this in an unobtrusive manner. We got to know them and had really nice chats with them during our stay and yet they gave us our space too.
The management team are anything but unobtrusive!!! We sometimes found that their eagerness to create FUN FUN FUN at the camp a little exhausting and echoed slightly of the Hi Di Hi , HI DE HO approach to hospitality. But it was all meant with the best intentions and to criticise it would be unsporting of me.
I would note they do pull out all the stops at arranging special dinners, treats etc to make your stay more individual and special and for this they had a really genuine enthusiasm. We had a spectacular bush dinner arranged for us one evening on the banks of the Mara River. It was quite a special night and the staff and management put a lot of effort into doing to right.
Wine and drinks etc are all inclusive, and whilst you are asked for your preference as 'red' or 'white' rather than given a listing of what type of wines they actually have, you can ask - they have a decent choice of good South African wines. An actaul printed list of them would be very helpful
We managed to take some time to enjoy the pool here, which we had all to ourselves and the odd monkey that stopped by to say hello. An utter chill out zone.
It is a bit of a splurge to stay here, but it is certainly quite a place and we truly enjoyed our stay. So if you can afford it - I would recommend a visit here.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank pinkrosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2008

Bateleur Camp was is one of the best safari lodges I have ever stayed at. The whole experience from the accommodation, to the service to (most importantly for me) the wildlife experience were first class.

You know you are staying somewhere special from the welcome you get at the airstrip. Whilst those going to other lodges are picked up and taken away you are met by the manager and a few Masai tribesmen next to a drinks table where you get a welcome drink and meet the others you will be on safari with. A nice touch and a good start to the stay.

The lodge itself is beautiful. Full of character and nice design touches and a great place to have a drink and dinner. The food was good and varied, as were the settings for dinner.

The rooms are fairly close together, which somewhat limits privacy, but are very well designed and finished. You have a lovely balcony on which to sit and enjoy a G&T before dinner as you watch the wildlife wander by in the distance. The beds are almost ridiculously comfy which makes it extremely hard to get up at 6am!

But getting up is well worth it as the game experience is fabulous. Our guide (Daniel) was enthusiastic, professional and incredibly keen to give us the best experience possible. I loved the fact you could spend the whole day on a drive and take lunch in the bush, rather than having to come back to the lodge for lunch.

If you can get here in time for the migration it is a hell of a place to see it. I was a little early, but got to see the early stages and that was impressive. Next year I will try and time it a bit better!

My only other comment, which is nothing to do with the lodge, is that I took a balloon ride one morning. I guess this may be enjoyable for some people but I found it utterly dull, a terrible way to see wildlife and it really didn't give a different perspective on the Masai Mara than you get driving up a hill!! Paying US$435 for this was ridiculous and I would have had more fun setting fire to $10 notes. I can only imagine this would be exciting for someone who finds scrabble an adventurous pursuit...the only time my heart rate or interest got up was when I saw the cost.

Anyway, Bateleur was fabulous and I will definitely be back. If you want to see amazing wildlife, with some of the best guides in Africa, and stay somewhere comfortable and stunning, you wont find anywhere better.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled solo
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3  Thank Adrian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2008

Our trip was wonderful!! All of the people at the camp were nice, helpful and very attentive. My family and I was there last september into october. We visited several CC Africa Camps. The food at Bateleur Camp was fantastic!!! Overall it was a very wonder experience. I would reccomend this trip to anyone who is looking for a once in a lifetime trip.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with family
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Thank tbec13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2008

Unique experience. The staff is the most friendly and kind one could wish to find anywhere in the world. The atmosphere is incredible. The camp is luxurious and charming. A true safari experience. We found it even more exciting and authentic than the best and most luxurious camps in South Africa.
We miss it a lot and wish very mush to go back there.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cenoronha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2008

After a painful flight from Nairobi we disembark from the Air Kenya plane and see other guests struggle with their luggage to their dusty jeeps and off they go. We go to follow before spotting a shiny Bateleur Land Cruiser accompanied by the wonderful Wilfred with a cold flannel and a table set up with a selection of cold drinks. Bateleur was the only camp at the airstrip that had done this. We felt very special and knew then we were in for a treat.

On arrival at the camp we were greeted by all the staff waving and another drink and an incredibly warm welcome from Esther, the Deputy Manager, before being shown to our room.

Room:
Stone foundations with canvas surround form what was the most beautiful room on our honeymoon. Sitting on the terrace in leather armchairs with a view of the Masai Mara is an experience you can't get enough of (although if the sun was facing you it did get too hot), and can't forget. The lodge is open fronted so you have the view of the Masai Mara from your bed (albeit through mosquito netted doors). The bathroom had 2 sinks, stone wall shower and all essential toiletries in glass jars. Hot water and electricity is available all day. Hot water bottles are placed in your bed at night. Night times were the noisiest we experienced on a 2 week safari, ordinarily in a hotel I would consider this a bad thing but when you are on safari this is very much a positive point! Expect to hear bush babies, hyenas, lions and other noises we didn't identify!

Food:
Wake up calls consisted of hot tea and coffee and home made biscuits. Breakfast consisted of fruit, muesli, yoghurt, muffins plus the option of a cooked breakfast if you had any space left from the night before! Lunch was always 3 courses, as was dinner; the food was delicious and there was so much of it! Joseph was the nicest chef you are ever likely to meet, coming round to each table before and after each meal. There is also tea and freshly made cake before the afternoon game drive.

Game drives:
We saw 4 of the Big 5 within the first hour and a half of our first game drive (after that the 5th - leopard - we didn't see for the remaning 2 weeks!). Also we saw 5 cheetah across our 3 day stay here, 2 week old lion cub - lion prides are a certainty. Throughout our holiday we visited Southern Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Selous - but the Masai Mara was our overall favourite, not only for the quantity of game (we went outside of the migration season!) but also the rare ability to off-road close to the animals. The jeeps were open sided and very comfortable, with cold drinks available all day. There are, of course, quite a few other vehicles around but it is certainly possible to be on your own with a pride of lions etc and many of the animals still have the natural nervouness around humans and the vehicles (unlike the nearby safari park Ngorongoro Crater).

Staff:
Without exception, every single member of staff was genuinely friendly and warm. Joseph the Manager is unrivalled in his warm personality, even going so far as organising 2 birthday cakes for me - one on a balloon safari run by a different company! Our surprise meal on New Years Eve in the middle of the Masai Mara is something we will never forget.

Dining / lounge area:
Our favourite dining area of all the lodges we stayed in, from the individual tables (not communal eating) to the amazing view and board games for those quiet moments (not that there are many!).

Overall this was definitely our favourite safari location and started our love affair with CC Africa! We have every intention of returning.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SpaceRaiders80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2008

This was our first stop at a CC Africa lodge. Although at first we were a bit taken about how very organized everything was (we were even given a formal presentation by our guide on all the other CC Africa lodges which seemed a bit strange, like a marketing pitch) we very quickly came to appreciate what an excellent job CC Africa does in the 2 lodges we visited and all the transfers in between (we organized our trip directly through CC Africa). The experience booking with CC Africa was not very good, but from the moment we got to Africa until we left it was absolutely first class.

Bateleur camp was particularly wonderful due to the staff, the lovely tented accomodation and dining area, and the game drives. The staff (guide Eric, butler Winfred, steward William and especially Chef Mishka) were all exceptional. The lodge and individual tents were fantastic creating very much an early 1900's safari type atmosphere with crystal glasses and silver cutlery for meals. We did visit the much larger main Kichwa Tembo camp next door to Bateleur which also seemed nice, much better swimming pool but the accomodation seemed a lot more basic.

The game drives offered the best selection of game viewing of all the lodges we visited and we were able to get closer to the other animals than the other lodges. However there were normally quite a number of other vehicles around each sighting. We did have one day in which we drove out near the Serengeti and saw a cheetah amongst many other animals and the whole day we were the only vehicle around. This was the one lodge where we shared the Land Cruiser with another couple although we did see other vehicles that seemed to be private (not sure what the policy on this is). The meals were all delicious (although way too much food was served which seems very wasteful) and chef Mishka was incredibly hospitable having a chat with us during dinner, giving us a tour of the huge vegetable garden, and at the end of our stay giving us a number of requested recipes with a personal note.

As with all the other safari lodges, and contrary to pre-trip worries, we had no trouble with mosquitoes or any other insects and the temperature was lovely, although this location was warmer than the others.

One note of warning. One morning we were taking pictures of all the monkeys playing outside our tent and I stupidly forgot to lock the door to the tent. Next thing we knew one of the monkeys was in our tent happily helping himself to our cookies and tea. They also pinched some cheese from the breakfast table while another couple had stepped away.

The only suggestion I have is that CC Africa, even if they put up the prices, should pay the staff so that tipping is not required and should then make that clear to the guests. We felt that it simply creates too much anxiety trying to figure out what a fair tipping amount is given you have a guide, private butler, private room steward, and then a staff tip box.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank vcat67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Bateleur Camp

Address: C14, Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #59 of 146 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $658 - $2,786 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set among forests on the very edge of the Masai Mara, each elegant tent at andBeyond Bateleur Camp replicates the style and glamour of vintage Africa. A world of hardwood floors, polished silver and sparkling crystal is juxtaposed against the romance of the open Mara plains, with their abundant herds of wildlife. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bateleur Camp At Kichwa Tembo Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
AndBeyond Bateleur Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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