The Karen Blixen Camp is situated in the Mara North Conservancy in Kenya, a large tract of land managed by private camps and the local Masai and forming a large extension to the Masai Mara Reserve itself. It is one of the most successful Conservation areas in Africa, providing a blueprint on how wildlife and people can live together to the mutual benefit of all. It is situated on the banks of the Mara River, will most rooms having verandas looking our over it.
The Public areas are arranged around lawns that run down to a bend in the river, the eddying waters home to a large bloat of hippos (yes, really, that is the collective noun for a group of them…) You can sit on the lawns enjoying a coffee or beer and watch them wallow in the shallows, often with the young playing in the waters. Its also a popular spot of elephants to come to drink.
The dining room is a large thatched structure with open sides, allowing for outdoor living inside. There are canvas walls that can be put up during the wet season. Adjoining this is a comfortable bar, also looking out over the river. Meals are produced using home-grown ingredients where possible and cooked by chefs from the lodges very own cookery school, now famous for producing excellent Masai cooks to work in the kitchens of lodges and camps in the area.
The camp offers 22 luxury tents. Each is erected on a wooden floor with a large,comfortable bed at its heart. Each has a private bathroom with flushing toilet, twin basins and an outdoor shower, the hot water provided by solar electricity. They also have 24 hr electricity, also generated by the sun and stored in batteries until needed – the camp has Gold Eco-tourism rating as a result of its environmental efforts. The tents are nicely spaced with daybeds on the front verandahs to relax on between safari activities. They also have the gentle background noise of the river, not enough to drown out the sound of the nighttime wildlife but enough to give the feeling of the wilderness.
If you want to be more active during your free time there is a small pool in the grounds behind the lodge, in a secluded spot so as not to disturb other guests. Its the perfect place to cool off and let the kids let off some energy.
As you would expect from such a lodge, the game viewing is done in excellent, oped sided and banked seated vehicles ensuring a good view for all guests. Capacity is 6 guests per vehicle ensuring everybody gets ringside seat and there is plenty of room to view and photograph in all directions. The game viewing in the reserve is excellent, especially renowned for its big cats with lions, leopards and cheetah all regularly seen. The area is also one of the best in Kenya for viewing wild dogs. During the Migration Season trips are made into the Masai Mara Conservancy itself to watch river crossings, but there are usually quite large numbers of vehicles there so much of the viewing of the herds is done within the Mara North when the animals arrive.
There are game walks, as well as nature walks when you can have the plants and the reserves smaller inhabitants explained to you. You can also enjoy a Bush breakfast or dinner, ding out in the wilderness.
The camp is home to a Cooking and Hospitality School, providing superb training for young Masai school leavers and training them for a career in hospitality.
If you are looking for a authentic safari, with luxury accommodation, superb setting and with access to some of the best game in Africa, then The Karen Blixen Camp is worth considering.