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“Best you'll find in the Masai Mara” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kicheche Bush Camp

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Kicheche Bush Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Valletta, Malta
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Best you'll find in the Masai Mara”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2013

If you want a genuine camp experience, this is the place to stay. Set within the Masai Mara Conservancy, you will be very close to wildlife - so close in fact that you may be awoken by lions roaring close to your bedhead or buffalo passing by your patio at night. Don't worry though as you're perfectly safe within your luxury tent.

Emma and Darren are your hosts and they, together with their team, just couldn't do more to make you welcome and comfortable - right down to a hot water bottle in your bed at night (which mysteriously stays hot until the morning). The food is amazing by any standards but even more so when you are staying in the wilderness. Excellent guides are on hand to ensure you have the best wildlife safaris of your life.

Room Tip: Tents are similar - the only differential is proximity to the bar/restaurant
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Whatever6790064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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435 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (98)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2013

My second visit to Bush Camp was once again a truly amazing experience! Darren, Emma and Bing (the dog!) run this camp with an unruffled calm that gets everything done for their guests, nothing is too much trouble. The food is amazing - the macadamia tart alone is worthy of it's own mention! The camp staff are cheerful and friendly and everything is run like clockwork, and yes the hot water bottle is a nice touch on a chilly Mara night!
The Guides are the best, their spotting and driving skills are platinium! Charles, Patrick and James certainly know their stuff! This trip was with a photographic group and we all had amazing experiences and came away with great photos and memories of the trip - seeing my first caracal was very special, as were the 3-week old leopard cubs and the 1-day old lion cubs, but my list is really too long for this space... - so go and experience it all for yourselves!

Room Tip: The tents are all equally amazing and well equipped, the bucket showers work wonderfully well and th...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jacdow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2013

A week spent in the Kicheche Bush camp has inspired me to write my first review for TripAdvisor.
Before using long words like "superlatives" better check I've chosen the right word! "Of the highest order, quality, or degree; surpassing or superior to all others".Yes, that's exactly what we experienced.
It started with the camp manager, Darren, meeting us at the airport and a drive to the camp.
Bush Camp is in a stunning setting with wild life very close by, especially when the largest pride of lions in Africa decide to spend the night outside your tent door. However we were always looked after by the askari so never felt in any danger walking through the camp at night.
The camp itself is very comfortable with so many thoughtful touches, such as the hot water bottle in the bed at night when it starts to cool down.
Darren and Emma are the best hosts you could wish for, always welcoming and nothing was ever too much trouble for them.
We were fortunate to have the most amazing game drives every day and were lucky to have the best guides I have been with, so thank you Charles,James and Patrick. With their help I have seen so much wildlife I have not seen before.
I must also comment on the food which was always delicious and has been responsible for me putting on a few extra pounds!
The only thing sometimes lacking was the promised gin and tonic at sundown which sometimes got missed out. But then that's the price you pay for yet another once in a lifetime game sighting coming before there is a chance of the drink being poured!
Thank you to everyone at Bush Camp for a superlative week in Africa.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2013

Fifth visit to Bush Camp - my favourite camp in Africa. If you want a camp where a warm welcome, excellent staff, great food, relaxed friendly atmosphere and comfortable spacious accommodation are secondary to getting you out with the best guides to enjoy the delights of the conservancy and the Mara - this is the place for you. The talented camp managers (Emma and Darren) were away in London, but Val and Lisette did a great job looking after camp and guests in their absence - calm, friendly and knowledgable even though they had repeat guests who probably knew camp better than they did.
What is it about Bush Camp that brings me back time and again? Nelson and the other 3 guides are a big part of it. They know the area so well, are out there day in day out (all day if you want) and yet are always enthusiastic to take you out to find something new or just to sit and watch animals they have seen every day of the week. They use their knowledge well, but take it at your pace, and always seem keen to go out for another look - looking for elusive leopards or capturing that perfect sunrise shot. They clearly love what they do and with 3 silver guides and Nelson on the way, their talent is being recognised. Nelson, you really are a star!
But the guides are not the full story, the rest of the Bush Camp staff back them up all the way with their quiet, friendly, excellent service. Nothing is too much trouble and they clearly enjoy making everyone's stay memorable. From Kennedy's amazing smile (and ability to produce cold beers at just the right moment) to Daniel's quiet persistent (when it took him 5 polite good mornings to wake me at 5:30am on the first morning!), to Abraham and William on front of house and the askaris keeping everyone safe and providing interpretations of the night sounds on the way to the jeeps each morning. And then there is the food - how the chefs produce meals of such variety and quality in middle of the bush is a wonder in itself. And yes, Darren, we had your favourite fish curry for lunch - not sure London could match that?
I could mention the lion cubs playing with a tortoise, the lions chased by a buffalo, the thousands of wildebeest (in December!), the face off between a baboon and leopard - but that would be my highlights and you need to visit to experience your own.

Thanks guys - another wonderful week.

Room Tip: All the tents are great - if you are a little nervous about an unfenced camp, with the askaris on pa...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Julie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington
Level Contributor
53 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2013

The best as you get in a bush camp in the Mara. Kicheche is managed by a couple, who are devoted and engaged to delivering the best bush experience you can get in the region. You will not get a hydroslide or cable TV in your room, but you will get the most beautiful and clean (glamorous) tents in the area, with the friendliest staff you can imagine. Everything the camp can do for you to accommodate you will happen within reason.

We honestly are thinking of going back and we rarely go back to any of the places/stays we have been. I can go on, but everything positive that can be imagined is applied to this place.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lokumos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2013

From the moment we were greeted at the Olkiombo airstrip, and driven to the camp by Livingstone, we were relaxed and in good hands. When we arrived at the camp, Darren, Emma and Bing the dog opened the land-cruiser door for us. The camp life was explained with safety precautions taking the most time and impressing upon us the fact that we were definitely out in the bush.

Our guide, Patrick, was informative and knowledgeable. The food was exceptional and the room so comfortable that although we did not want to sleep, we did just that straight through the night!

We honestly cannot imagine a better location or better treatment.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
72 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2013 via mobile

We've spent 4 nights/5 days here and feel like they were some of the best of our lives! Emma and Darren run this place flawlessly, clearly investing a lot of personal energy and care into the choice of staff, the routine and the overall set up. The camp is beautiful and cannot possibly be compared to glamping. The tents are well equipped and laid out. The bathroom is great and the bucket shower works really well, the tent staff care so much about the details you won't wait long for anything you need. The food is fantastic and we put on several kg! How they cater such stunning food inc gluten free is beyond me (and lovely wine). I will never forget bush breakfasts with giraffes, hippos and lion cubs. As for the safari, I'm not sure where to start. The brilliant thing about being in Mara conservancy rather than the reserve is that the number of camps and vehicles are severely limited. Yes you will have to pay more but its worth every penny. Most of the time it was just us and occasionally one other truck, maximum is 4 and they all self police so they keep respectful distances. You will never see harassed animals being chased or crowded, which cannot be said in the reserve. That mattered a lot to us and we now would never go to a crowded are. We spent our time with Patrick as our guide, who deserves to win every award going. His knowledge and patience, spotting skills and lovely nature made for the perfect drive. We saw every conceivable combination of animal and situation inc the big 5 along with a Cheetah kill with her cubs, multiple lion kills with cubs, baby elephants playing in their mud hole, a leopard and her cub in open and up a tree, giraffe of every generation inc males fighting, hyena chasing lions off a kill (seen to be believed!) and a crossing which we weren't expecting! I could go on, we also met lots of repeat guests including one who said in 17years this was the best week of game drives. We have come away dreamy eyed about how we plan a trip back and incredibly privileged to have seen so much. Be sure to book and the when you are there Get up early we left camp most days by 6am and don't expect to sleep as the lions and buffaloes surround your tent at night! - but none of that matters. This experience is all part of the magic and you can sleep when you are dead! This really is the trip of a lifetime and we cannot recommend it highly enough. Darren and Emma deserve to be No 1 as it simply doesn't get any better than this.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Slmorris1
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 #3 of 140 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 
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Also Known As:
Kicheche Bush Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Kicheche Bush Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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