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“Bush Camp heaven”
Review of Kicheche Bush Camp

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Kicheche Bush Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Southwold
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Bush Camp heaven”
Reviewed August 30, 2011

Big Thanks to: Darren and Emma , the talented camp hosts/managers for such a warm welcome and for ensuring we had a wonderful experience; Patrick our guide was knowledgeable, smart and and sensitive to what we wanted from the drives ;Toya our 'tent guru' who looked after the tent, & supplied us with early morning tea and coffee with cheerful efficiency; and to all the other staff who provided us with delicious food,helpful service including escorting us to and from our tents at night.
The tents and central dining and lounge areas are spacious, secure, well furnished and very comfortable.
Kicheche Bush is in a beautiful conservancy where you can get close to the wildlife , often without any other vehicle in sight. Wildlife watching starts in the camp with bushbabies in the trees and Impala grazing between the acacia trees. The Moniko Pride territory is close to the camp ,we got to see some wonderful lions and their cubs, alongside Cheetahs , Hyena, Ard Wolf, Eles, Hippos, Wilderbeast, gazelles, eagles, etc etc.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank KerrySouthwold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2011

We are a family with 3 teenage kids and spent a fantastic three days at Kicheche Bush Camp. The tents are spacious, stylish and comfortable, no bugsm no creepy crawlies. The ambience is straight "Out of Africa" and the staff were delightful. Emma and Darren the hotel managers were engaging and charming, they hosted beautiful alfresco lunches and candlelit dinners. Our teenagers are not the easiest to please and have been spoilt by previous holidays but they too were captivated by this wonderful place. The game drives were magnifficent and we just felt that all the staff here would really bend over backwards to make sure we enjoyed every minute of our trip.
We brought games, cards, even some movies with a mini portable projector to keep the kids occupied....they were not needed, not even once, there was simply too much to do!
I cant imagine coming back to the Mara without staying at Kicheche.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lasttimeiamdoingthis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2011

I stayed at Kicheche Bush Camp for a few days on a safari holiday in Kenya. Food was good. Drinks were included. The camp comprises a small number of eco-friendly tents.
The lighting is solar powered with a stand-by generator. This leaves the tents rather dimly lit. Heating is provided by hot water bottles in the beds.
The photo opportunities were very good. I'm not quite so sure about the al fresco breakfasts.
I was a bit put out by the fact that Darren the manager wanted me to be packed up at 6 am on the day of my departure despite the fact that I had virtually a full day's activities remaining on that day.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • Sleep Quality
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3 Thank thunderer25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, BC
Level Contributor
67 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2011

While the accommodations, food and game drives were excellent, it was the people and service at Kicheche Bush Camp that made our stay a truly wonderful experience. We (two adults, two teens) were met by our guide Nelson as soon as we stepped off the plane and started our first of many game drives on the way to the camp. We had already seen a leopard, a lion, wildebeest, zebras, baboons, hartebeest and Grant’s gazelles before we had even pulled into Kicheche Bush Camp. As soon as we were out of the Land Cruiser, we were warmly greeted by Darren and Emma. Darren and Em are the perfect hosts: friendly, outgoing, enthusiastic and have lived in Kenya for several years. Abraham and Peter carried our luggage to our tents and were responsible for waking us up in the morning, bringing with them coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, goodies to eat and a jug of hot water for washing. They also filled our bucket showers with hot water in the evening. The camp is in a conservancy shared by only two other camps, which means that you may not see another vehicle on a game drive. There are six widely spaced tents accommodating no more that 14 guests which allows for an intimate and personal experience. The tents are luxurious and the canvas allowed a connection with the wild so we heard lions roaring and grunting and gazelles moving through the camp at night. The food was some of the best we have had on our trip in East Africa. Hats off to Charles, Stephen and Dedace in the kitchen, who prepared wonderful meals under less than ideal (camp) conditions. While the alfresco lunch, and dinner experiences in camp while chatting with Darren and Em and the other guests will be memorable, it will be the bush breakfasts and lunches that stand out as a highlight of our stay at Kicheche. Nelson set up a table with tablecloth, variously beside a hippo pool, a sloping green plain where elephants were eating and under the shade of a grove of trees. He then proceeded to lay out a feast upon the table. As guide, Nelson was the best. He’s got a good sense of humour, knows all the animals and birds and can spot game a mile away. We spent a lot of time with Nelson and truly enjoyed it. He taught us a lot of Maa too, the language of the Maasai—ashe oleng Kasoe—we’ve even remembered some! Another highlight for us was a bush walk led by Nelson and Charles (another excellent and knowledgeable guide) with protection by the vigilant Seyonoi and his AK-47. Thanks everyone for an extraordinary time.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Huehuetenango
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2011

My father & I stayed at Kicheche Bush Camp for 3 nights, and I'm sure that we will always remember our experience. The Masai guides at Kicheche and Emma and Darren, the camp managers, ensured that we had fantastic safaris throughout the private conservancy and the Masai Mara reserve. We were on game drives for most of the entire day each day from sun-up to sun-down, and our guide, Patrick, was fantastic. He could spot the most incredible sitings at a distance, and he made every effort to ensure that we saw the things that we most wanted to see and then some. These included: cheetah, leopard, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, wildebeest river crossing, lots of lions including cubs, hyenas, jackals and many others (giraffes, zebras, gazelles etc). He was incredibly knowledgeable and patient. The game drives are very personalized - the drives we went on were just 2 people (just us) to 4 people (us and another couple) per vehicle. On our game drives, we had fantastic picnic meals at picturesque view points - overlooking elephants, hippos, and the plains. We also had sundowners out in the bush each day. The picnic meals and camp meals were fantastic and I really appreciated the delicious vegetarian options that they provided for me. There are only 6 tents at the Bush camp and each tent has a lot of privacy. There is great attention to detail, and you can hardly say that you're "camping" when you have hot showers and facilities within your own tent, comfortable beds, and even hot water bottles for chilly nights. The camp managers, Darren & Emma, are very friendly and treat you like guests in their own home - dining with all guests and discussing the day's adventures with everyone. Every effort is made to ensure that you have a memorable vacation that exceeds your expectations. Coming on safari in Kenya is an investment to be sure, and I cannot recommend Kicheche Bush Camp enough, to ensure that you get all that you hope for on your visit. We also found it quite nice that after paying in advance, there were not surprise "extras" - all game drives, meals, drinks and even laundry were included.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Nairobi_Life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High wycombe
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2011

Where to begin??? An apology to all previous people that have written reviews about Kicheche Bush Camp, It cant be that good.. surely can it?? I stand corrected!! This camp is amazing, brilliant location, on the edge of the Mara, on a private conservancy, lots of game, only a few other vehicles, (and none of those white vans that charge around, not showing any respect to the animals). We booked direct with Kicheche, after contacting their Nairobi office via email, from the very start we realised we were onto something good. The contact at the office, a lady called Milcah, assisted us with everything we enquired about, always returning our emails swiftly, organising everything, transfers from Nairobi airport, the internal flights to & from the mara, our flight to Mombasa, arranging for our surplus luggage to be couriered ahead for our stay by the coast., nothing was too much trouble to her. We became friends over the emails. The only thing Milcah wouldnt help with was to which camp we should choose.
We arrived in Nairobi in the early hours of the morning, a transfer to Wilson airport for the Safari link flights, on landing at the third Mara airstrip, having changed planes once, we were met/greeted by Charles, one of the guides from Kicheche, a warm friendly welcome. He advised us the drive to Bush Camp would take approx 40 minutes, Lunch wouldnt be served until approx 1.00 - 1.30pm, would we like to go on a small game drive. With tiredness forgotten about, we set off across the plains, what an amazing experiance, coming over the hill, a herd of over a hundred Wilderbeasts, in the forefront, Zebra, Gazelles, Antelope, In the distance, Giraffes, a smallherd of Elephants, Buffalo. We had only been on the Mara a few minutes, my camera clicking away like mad. We headed towards some bushes..., movement within!! a Cheetah with her cub, just a few yards away. She showed no signs of stress, with us watching/photographing her. Then off we went again, towards a pool, at least 15 hippos relaxing in the water. Then Charles suggested we head for the camp.
On arrival at the camp we were met by the hosts, Darren & Emma, a friendly, experianced couple, knowledgeable in their occupation, made to feel so welcome, it was as if we had known them for years. The refreshing face cloth, the cool drink, a welcome touch. We were shown to some chairs, the only real serious part of the safari stay! the do's and dont's around the camp, we are in the wilds, no fences, animals just a few yards away, game drives start outside your tents, (tents!!! these are luxurious, two comfortable chairs & a table in the varanda part, a king size double bed, ample storage space, cold running water, flushing toilet, and the Safari bucket shower, an experiance not to be missed, although ours wasnt quite a real bucket shower!!). Darren was having a problem with me, I was flying high, (not a drug in sight!), we had only been on the Mara for 90 minutes, we had seen so much.
After the informative talk from Darren, he showed us to our tent, then we returned to the centre of the camp for lunch.. alfresco.. buffet style, incredible food, I was informed that I might go up a trouser size. They cater for everyone, Vegetarians, dairy free, wheat free, etc. The food throughout our stay as good as you get in a top market restaurant. After lunch a little chill out time, before we went out on the sundowner & game drive. We were introduced to our guide, Nelson, What can we say about him!!!!! knowledgeable, friendly, fun, easy going, knows how to be in the right place at the right time, positions the vehicle for great sightings, and his eyesight!! whilst driving... he was spotting animals, laying down, partially concealed by rocks, by bushes, we said he had a sixth sense. He took us close to the animals, always aware of their space, them showing no signs of stress. then he found a great spot for our 1st sundowner. Then back to camp... try out the shower before gathering around the camp fire prior to dinner. All guests eating together, with the great hosts, chatting about what we had all seen. Whilst eating dinner, you're asked about your early morning wake up call, and what hot drink you like, Tea, Coffee. Hot white Chocolate, & cookies... freshly baked.. mmmmmmm. you also get a vase of hot water for a quick wash in the morning.
Your early morning game drive starts a dawn.. around 6.30am. On leaving the camp.. within 5 minutes, Nelson spotted a lioness with a kill, (early morning breakfast), Hyena's & Vulchers moving in for the remains, then off to see the local pride of Lions, Lionesses, Cubs playing in the bushes on the side of a hill. As much time as you want to stay for taking photos, then off we went, so many animals... a trully incedible sight. Off the private conservancy into the Mara, across the plains. Walking out in the open, a fully grown male Black Rhino, what a sight.. not even been here for one full day.. we had seen so much, only one of the so called big five to go, Hakuna Matata, the Leopard with a cub.. and a kill. (just for good measure!!).
Further on into the Mara, to the Mara river, awaiting a crossing, the white vans ... a real pain.. no respect for the animals, we saw four vans chase a hippo into the bushes in their quest to get close, something the Kicheche guides would never do, these guides know their stuff, You wont find better, more experianced, qualified guides anywhere in Kenya. We had lunch on the plains, watching the herds of Wilderbeasts, small herds of Zebra, Nelsons cool box of food reminded us of Mary Poppins carpet bag, the food just kept on appearing. After lunch we neared the Mara river, a small crossing taking place, around 300 hundred Wilderbeasts & Zebra making their way across. What a sight!!
Then it was time to start back to camp, so many animals to see. Nelson spotted a Cheetah & a cub laying on a rock, he saw the remains of a kill within some bushes, a Jackal trying to fight off some vulchers, then Nelson spotted another Cheetah, this one with a full belly. This guides eyesight, we couldnt believe how he did it. Then it was back to camp for shower, dinner .. sleep... I must mention sleep, The tents fantastic.. the beds so comfortable, the ambiance..... The Wilderbeasts lullaby need a little tuning.. they dont stop all night.. But thats why you go to a camp like this.. to be at one with nature.
We spent three memorable nights at Bush camp, Nelson showed us/ told us about the different Bird life, making the calls, then showing us in his books the birds he had just told us about. we looked at varieties of vegetation around the conservancy, Nelson is so passionate about his work.
Then came the time to leave, Darren had organised a special early lunch for us, prior to our departure. We had said this would be a once in a lifetime holiday, Within a couple of hours of arriving we had seen so much. I want to go back... We will go back, And the only company/camp I want to stay with will be Kicheche. Read reviews of other people.. I can honestly say.. stay at Kicheche... your stay will be the best holiday ever!!!! Thanks to everyone at Kicheche... you're all trully amazing.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mike d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrogate, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 8, 2011

If you only ever go on one safari make Kicheche Bush camp the place you go!
We arrived at a tiny airstrip in the Masai Mara and were met by Charles who was our guide for all of our 4 days at Kicheche. As there were 4 of us we had our own car which was perfect and Charles was an incredible guide. He knew the answers to all our questions and knew exactly where to take us to see the best things. Even on the way to the camp we saw lots of animals including wildebeast, water buffalo, gazelles, giraffes, zebra and lions.

We arrived at the camp just before lunch and were met by Emma and Darren - the camp hosts - who couldn't have been more helpful and were very entertaining throughout our stay.
We were shown to our tents - definitely camping in style - incredibly comfy beds, flushing toilet, running water, storage space for clothes and amazing view, not to mention the bucket shower!

As there are only 6 tents at the camp it is incredibly friendly and every one sits together to eat. Lunch is served out side in the shade of a tree and drinks before dinner are served round the campfire before a delicious meal in the main tent. The food was amazing when you consider they only have food delivered once a week - the chefs do an incredible job!

We were woken up at 6am every morning by Abraham, who was in charge of our 2 tents, brining us hot chocolate and cookies. He couldn't have been more helpful and even managed to wake my 18 year old daughter which is very impressive! He also produced our boiling hot bucket of water for our shower every evening when we got back and our tent was always spotlessly clean. There is also a laundry service which is very useful on safari - clothes go in the morning and are back by the evening, beautifully ironed!

The game drives were exceptional, partly due to Charles our amazing guide and partly due to the location of the camp. It is situated on a private conservancy which means that only a few jeeps are allowed on to it so you were never surrounded by loads of people. There were also an incredible number of animals and we were lucky enough to see mating leopards, cheetahs dining on there recent kill, lions surrounding a water buffalo ready for a kill, a lion chasing a leopard up a tree to protect her young, hippos and elephant coming face to face, wildebeats crossing rivers, and too many different types of animal to mention! Another highlight of the game drives were the 'sundowners' - sitting at a little table in the middle of Africa watching the sun go down with a gin and tonic! Breakfast was served in some amazing places too and it included fruit, cereal, bacon, sausages, beans, hard boiled eggs, coffee and fruit juice.

Our whole safari experience was exceptional and I wouldn't have changed a thing. We will definitely go back to Kicheche and it was made so special by the exceptional people who work at the camp, the service and location.

Thanks for an amazing holiday that we will never forget!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Martin175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kicheche Bush Camp

Property: Kicheche Bush Camp
Address: Olare Orok Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00502, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 138 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An intimate luxury camp of only 6 tents located in the exclusive Olare Orok Conservancy of the Masai Mara. The camps top quality guides and hosts will ensure you a superb safari experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kicheche Bush Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Kicheche Bush Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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