My wife and I travelled to the Masai Mara on August 2012 and we were fortunate enough to stay at Kicheche Bush Camp. We can safely say it was the best trip we ever had, mainly because everything worked so well. It was sincerely like being in a dream.
The camp managers, Emma and Darren, treated us like we were old friends. The same can be said about the rest of the camp staff. Our guide, James, was simply wonderful, extremely experienced and he had an uncanny ability for positioning us in the middle of the action every time. We had daily demonstrations that these people go out of their way to make you comfortable and to assure their guests have the most perfect stay possible. You hardly remember you are camped in the middle of the savanna, such are the amenities at your disposal. I could go on and on about how great Kicheche Bush is, but that is pretty evident for a place reviewed as excellent 138 times out of 141 (at the moment of my writing).
Here is a brief "technical" evaluation of the premises to help undecided tourists make up their minds regarding accommodation and services.
1- The tent is extremely spacious and very comfortable. The floors are covered in tarp (or whatever the material was that made up the tent), so you don't have to tread on the soil. We had a queen (or was it king?) size bed with plenty of pillows and very smooth linen. Everything was very, very clean. There is plenty of storage room for luggage and to hang some of your clothes. The tent had a front "porch" with two lounging chairs where you could admire the Mara during the slow early afternoon hours (better not to have a game drive when the sun is hottest, as the animals will mostly be lethargic and hiding away from the heat).
2- The "bathroom" facilities are divided between a sink with running cold water, a toilet connected to a septic tank (flushes just like your toilet at home, absolutely NO smell came from the tank) and a "shower room", where you can have a bucket shower. This is the only point that could frustrate the pickiest of travelers, as hot water for the shower has to be brought by a staff member and poured in a bucket over your tent. The showering experience is exactly like the one you would have at home, but there is only water for about five minutes or less. More water can and will be brought on request, but keep in mind there is an actual human being doing the heating and heaving for your comfort. It did not, in my opinion, harm in any way my positive experience in Kicheche Bush. We were camping after all...
3- The food is excellent. The camp serves a buffet for lunch and you get French dinner service ta night. Lunch and dinner are served at the communal or main tent, where you get to interact with the other guests and with the camp managers. This is actually one of the best experiences of the trip, and you get to hear people's exciting stories about what animals they saw that day. (As there are only six tents in the camp, usually holding two people each, it never gets crowded.) Breakfast is usually served afield, with the animals like gazelles and wildebeests roaming the background. If have to pinch yourself once or twice to make sure everything is real. The camp is very accommodating of your nutritional needs. My wife and I are vegetarian and we could have been in London, such is the quality and variety of the food we were offered.
4- It is the services, though, that make Kicheche Camp a unreal experience. You don't have to worry about anything, because Kicheche staff will wake you up in the morning, cater delicious meals during the day, prepare your bed before you sleep (they even place hot water pouches to make your bed warm at night - it gets really cold at the Mara during winter), guide you through wonderful game drives, where you will see things you will never forget. The variety of wildlife is breathtaking. (We even got to see a lioness hunting.) We were definitely pampered.
This review is already too long and it is time it ended, but please allow me to once again recommend Kicheche Bush very, very highly. You will not regret the choice and will most definitely have memories to last you a lifetime. Please, if you are considering a trip to the Mara, do yourself a favor and stay at Kicheche Bush.
PS: We also stayed at Kicheche Valley Camp during this same trip and have posted a review about it.
- 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