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“Quaint”
Review of Camp Carnelley's

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Camp Carnelley's
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 3, 2013

I have heard the horror stories from other people saying that camps around Naivasha are full of party animals, so was expecting the worst. This place is well signposted from the Naivasha road. Upon entering, the "reception" is a bit dodgy - nobody well informed enough to show us the place (we didnt prebook as it was the low season) However, the bar had cold beers and after half a beer we managed to find someone to show us around. The Banda's are good if you are a family or a group of friends - they include breakfast with your stay (which is yummy!) Some of us opted to stay in a Banda and I opted for the more rustic twin room. The Banda's have an ensuite bathroom with solar hot water and the twin room has an ablution block closeby with hot water in the evening and morning. The twin room is cosy and each bed has a mozzie net - since it was winter I didnt use it, the sheets were clean and it was basic, yet comfortable and good value (2500KHS) We were able to buy firewood up the road for a fire that night and what I loved was the fact that we could order tea / coffee at the main restaurant and take it with us as it came in small thermos flasks for takeaway. We were left to our own devices after dinner and proceeded to enjoy an evening under the stars around a roaring fire. The next day we opted for a boat ride around the lake. Its well worth doing this - our guide was knowledgeable and the price was reasonable (3000KHS per hour) we managed to see some fantastic birdlife and of course hippos. One thing I DO suggest trying is the pizza at the restuarant - woodfired - and massive! The bar is well stocked and the decor in the restaurant is great. The place is very peaceful and well worth the stay. I would go there again for sure.
One thing I would have liked assistance on is the fire situation - management should sell some kindling / firelighters to help campers to get their fires going ;) (just a suggestion) and of course the reception...it really does the place an injustice not having a proper functioning one.

Room Tip: Twin rooms are basic and are further away from campers with bathrooms outside - great if you need a...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank BonitaCarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 - 170 of 233 reviews

Reviewed June 17, 2013

The site is lovely, the food and the ambiance fantastic. Right on the lake, beautiful birds, hot showers and even flushing toilets. We specifically chose this spot because we were taking our 2 small children camping for the very first time and we wanted it to be idyllic. We chose this spot because we told it was quiet and remote enough that we wouldn't be bothered. and it was, until...We were all set up, we had our marshmallows on the campfire, kids were cozy on our laps, we could barely hear the restaurant with people laughing and faint music, it was very nice. We put the kids to bed, they fell asleep quickly after a full day. Then we heard the restaurant close, music was turned off at a reasonable time- until the noisy group of young adults tromped back to their campsite at the far end of the site. There they laughed, shouted, banged, screamed and revved their motorcycles loudly (at 3 am). at 5 am they were still going. It was horrible. We had decided to go camping with our children only when they were happily sleeping through the night so that we wouldn't disturb the other campers. Too bad the others weren't as considerate. Where was the management? I suspect that since these people had paid to camp, as we did, then they were allowed to behave however the pleased. It was horrible, and they single handedly ruined out father;s day camping trip. I had been looking forward to it ever since the boys were born- now i'm not sure if we will go again. maybe in another country where management might protect other campers or where campers are better behaved. What a selfish, horrible group.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Mbvanwees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2013

We were staying at a different camp (crayfish camp) in Naivasha and decided to have our dinner here. The setting is nice but the place was too quite with a small TV in the bar area playing some music. The staff are slow. Even though we were seated right at the counter the service was really poor and when we ordered our food it took quiet some time to come. The pizza was nice though

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank MrsMutua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 3 nights, an extra night more than we expected- we were having such a wonderful experience we did not want to leave!

We took our motorbike from Nairobi, (on the lower road past Mt. Logonot), and it was about 2 and a half hours. It was easy enough to find and we set up camp near the bathrooms and hot showers. Even though we planned to eat locally to save some cash, we enjoyed the food so much that we spent every meal at the restaurant- pizza was the best I've had in Kenya, and portions were generous!

The bandas looked really cool! If we go back I hope to stay in one. They are newly constructed with solar hot water heating and awesome artistic features- just like the restaurant. I would definitely recommend staying in one if you have the cash! Oh, and bring cash since they don't accept credit cards.

Hell's Gate is right there, as is the lake. Definitely take the boat out for an hour to see the birds and hippos up close. We saw hippos from our campsite too, though none came up on the land since the lake is high right now. A little disappointing- we got up at all hours of the night to check but never saw more than their heads popping out of the water. Wrong season I guess- next time!

The other campers were super cool too- this place attracts the young and old traveler crowd of people looking for an authentic experience of Kenya. It's nice and close to get to, and it was a much-needed break for us, not too rugged :)

Check out Carnelley's if you are going anywhere near Lake Naivasha or Hell's Gate National Park! We met the owners and they are good-hearted people interested in preserving Kenya's wildlife- well worth supporting them!

Room Tip: Camp on the far side of the lawn, near the bathrooms. They are clean so you might as well have easy...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Aria E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

This is a great spot to stay if you are visiting Hell's Gate Park. It's close to Elsa's gate and far enough out of Naivasha that you get the feeling you are in your own little piece of the bush. We stayed in a Banda and it was great. Arriving at the place can be confusing if there is no one at the "reception". Being part of this continent means one learns quickly. Get out and look around for someone especially around lunch time ;-) Don't go to the bar as they will send you back to reception. You have to leave your key at reception if you want your room serviced. They did a decent job and the place was clean the entire time we stayed there. The boat trip on Lake Naivasha is a bit disappointing but it does give an overall view of how the lake level can change and the surrounding countryside. The main attraction in the area though is Hell's Gate Park. Food wise, they serve pretty good fare. I enjoyed sampling different dishes and all of them were good. It's a place I would definitely stay at again.

Room Tip: We stayed in Banda 3. Close enough to the bar but far enough to be out the way. Its also on the end...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Anthony B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

What a place to stay. I could live here.
The best food i have had in Africa. The design of the bar/restaurant is just amazing, its like the builder just came up with it on the spot and done a great job. The new bandas that have been built since the last time i was there are really cool. They are reasonably priced and the beds are very comfortable. The askari at the gate is very helpful and can arrange any activities or transpor. The staff are very friendly and are great to chat too, they definitely deserved the tip i gave them. You can go out on a boat for sightseeing on the lake and the whole camp has a wide variety of animals.
I whole heartedly advise a stay here.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank dmtree23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

We had stayed once before on Lake Naivasha at the Fish Eagle Inn which is pretty much next door. Camp Carnelly's was way cheaper and so much nicer in so many ways - I would stay again. It's convenient for Hell's Gate and the camp itself is delightful. We spent a lot of time just chilling out here and soaking it up, watching the (many) birds and walking down to the lake and watching the monkeys. Absolutely delightful.
We stayed in one of the old bandas which was good value and very comfortable although without the charm of the very attractive new ones. That said, the weather wasn't that warm while we were staying so we were pleased to have windows that could close which most of the accommodation doesn't have (including the new bandas). But that was only because it was cold - I'm sure this is not the case most of the time!
The restaurant and bar area are lovely and the food was great. Everyone was friendly and helpful and we were sad to leave.
I would stay here again if I visited Lake Naivasha again and would recommend it.
Thanks for a great stay!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Cathy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Camp Carnelley's

Address: Moi South Lake Road | Lake Naivasha, Naivasha 20151, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Naivasha
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Naivasha
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Camp Carnelley`s Hotel Naivasha
Camp Carnelley's Naivasha, Kenya - Rift Valley

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