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Kenya Safari

Bateleur Camp

Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya

Sunset over Bateleur Camp
Return to Map of Masai Mara

View images of Bateleur Camp:  Bateleur Images

BATELEUR RATES: Bateleur Rates

Set on the fringe of a riparian forest and overlooking the vast, game-filled plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Bateleur Camp at Kichwa Tembo and Kichwa Tembo Tented Safari Camp offer world-class accommodation in the African bush.  Meaning "head of the elephant" in the local KiSwahili, Kichwas Tembo is situated at the foot of the Oloololo Escarpment on the northwestern border of the Masai Mara Reserve within a private land land concession leased from the local Maasai people.  This area is almost exclusively explored by our fly-in safari guests and is far less crowded that the more easten ares of the Mara.

Experience classic safari style, where wildlife adventures by day blend with elegant panache under canvas at night, at Bateleur Camp. Commanding sweeping views over some of the premier game viewing regions in the world, this intimate camp reflects the ambiance of the Kenyan explorers of the 20s and 30s.

Verdant branches that open up onto an expansive panorama provide endless views of the Masai Mara as soon as you open your eyes in your vast wooden bed.

Let the untouched landscapes take you back to the style and glamour of vintage Africa. Slip into a world of hardwood floors, polished silver and sparkling crystal juxtaposed against the romance of the open Mara plains, with their abundant herds of wildlife

Why to stay at Bateleur Camp
• Set in the legendary Masai Mara, one of the richest and most diverse wildlife areas in the world
• In the path of the annual Great Migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra
• Breathtaking views over the Masai Mara - set just below the spot where Out of Africa's famous final scene was filmed
• Ambiance of classic Kenyan safari

Accommodation            For images of Bateleur Camp, click Bateleur Images
This exclusive safari camp is the epitome of private tented luxury. Bateleur Camp is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and comprises just 2 intimate camps of nine tented suites each, with shingle roof, wooden doors and a private deck. Each tent is luxuriously furnished with gleaming wooden floors and wood-framed beds, overhead fan, twin hand basins, shower, private w.c, cupboards, leather chairs and writing table.  The tents are set among the forests on the edge of the Masai Mara, below the location where Out of Africa’s famous final scene was filmed.  This romantic and totally private camp reflects the ambience of Kenyan safaris of the 1920's and 1930's.

Nestled in a lush riverine forest, the tented suites reflect classic elegance, with polished wooden floors and en suite bathrooms with glass-walled showers, twin hand-basins and a separate flush w.c. Each tent has a private deck overlooking the vast game-filled plains of the Masai Mara.  A personal butler will ensure your every need is catered.

The main guest areas, shaded by a dense forest canopy, consist of a sitting area with fireplaces and verandas with views of the endless game-filled Mara plains. Beautifully hand-crafted artefacts, fine antiques, leather buttoned Chesterfield sofas, books, crystal and candlelight adorn the comfortable sitting area and indoor/outdoor dining area and will transport guests back to the heyday of the romantic classic safari. A unique feature is the treeshaded rim-flow lap pool with a view of the Mara

Your private butler will serve you delicious Pan-African cuisine in the dining area, on the veranda or in a romantic setting under the stars. Bush breakfasts and candlelit dinners offer an unforgettable experience of the African bush.

Activities & Wildlife
At Kichwa Tembo, it is our passion to share our knowledge and understanding of the Masai Mara and its inhabitants with our guests. Our highly trained guides will do their utmost to delight our guests with a choice of the following adventures:

  • Twice daily game drives - explore the Masai Mara in an open 4x4 safari vehicle on early morning and late afternoon / early evening game drives. An expert guide will share his knowledge of the surroundings and the local wildlife 
  • Full day game drives during the Migration - when the Great Migration moves through the Kichwa Tembo area guests can choose to enjoy full day game drive among the massed herds. A picnic lunch among hundreds of thousands of wildebeest is a never to be forgotten experience.
  • Interpretive bush walks - enjoy a leisurely walk within the camp grounds, taking in the sights and sounds of the African bush and not forgetting to watch out for the resident warthog! A longer excursion to admire the panoramic views along the Oloololo escarpment or on the lush banks of the Mara River in the company of an armed guide can be arranged (Bateleur Camp only) .

Lectures on Maasai culture and sundowners offering spectacular views across the Mara can also be arranged (rate included for Bateleur Camp). Maasai community visits and hot air ballooning are available at an additional cost. As Kichwa Tembo is in a private concession, night game drives can be arranged for a minimum of two guests. This thrilling experience allows guests a glimpse of the nocturnal world of the predators and provides sightings of animals that are not normally encountered in daylight. A minimum of six guests can be hosted for a bush breakfast or dinner on the banks of the Mara River or the slopes of the Oloololo escarpment (included at Bateleur Camp only).

Private Safari
For those seeking a truly intimate safari, a private guide and vehicle ensures a personalised game viewing experience. This safari is ideal for keen photographers or birdwatching enthusiasts, who are free to spend as long as they want at each sighting.

Masaai Village Visit
Experience a guided tour by an English - speaking Maasai, who lives in the village, introducing guests to authentic Maasai living. Guests will have the opportunity to browse through the Maasai Craft Centre and purchase artefacts and souvenirs, which are made in the village. All proceeds are given back to the community.

Bush Dinner
A delicious Pan African meal is served in a memorable setting under the stars, followed by fireside entertainment by our very own Sukuti band. Private dinners can be arranged on request for 2 or more guests within the camp grounds.

Bush Breakfast
Enjoy a delicious breakfast in the bush, either on the banks of the Mara River or on the Oloololo Escarpment. Sip champagne (served on request) whilst enjoying the spectacular panoramic views of the plains below.

Sundowner Coctails
Enjoy sundowner cocktails at a breathtaking location on the famous Oloololo Escarpment. Watch as the sun sinks over a spectacular classical safari landscape from a vantage point that commands views over the entire Masai Mara.

Night Game Drive
The &Beyond Kichwa Tembo concession is the only place where guests can experience night game drives in the Masai Mara. As the sun sinks over the vast horizon, the African bush comes to life with predators and other nocturnal creatures. Guests may have the opportunity to observe fascinating species not normally encountered in daylight.

After a busy morning on game drive or a stimulating walking trail, pamper yourself with a relaxing massage in the privacy of your own room. Strong hands soothe your aching muscles as the peace and tranquillity of the surroundings drains any remaining tension.

Masaai Dance
Tall Maasai warriors in traditional dress form a guard of honour as guests arrive. Deep, haunting voice burst into song and soon the ground reverberates to the rhythm of their athletic traditional dances as the Maasai leap higher and higher, seeking to outperform each other.

The Masai Mara Nature Reserve is home to a vast number of resident wildlife, as well as home to the annual Great Migration. The migratory wildebeest, zebra, kongoni and topi join abundant elephant, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, lion and cheetah. Leopard and serval are frequently encountered, while endangered black rhino can be found in the dense bush thickets. The Mara River is also famed for its enormous crocodiles, which lay in wait for the wildebeest and zebra during the migration, when more than two million wildebeest and zebra move in search of prime grazing land.    

The small and compact Thomson’s gazelle follow the herds in their quest for life-giving water and grazing. Lion, and hyena, as well as the more elusive cheetah and leopard, mingle with the migrating masses, while vulture and jackal await the scraps of the more powerful predators. The Mara is famous for its magnificent, black-maned lion and guests stand a good chance of viewing these powerful animals. Up to six species of vulture are found in the Mara and one or more of them may often be seen on the sidelines of a lion kill.  

The rare black rhino are most frequently encountered in the Ngama Hills in the eastern Mara. The Mara hosts a large elephant population, which has had a significant impact on the reserve. The Mara River is famous for its enormous crocodiles, with massive hippo frequently spotted in the water during the day or feeding out on the plains at night. The dense riverine forest around the Kichwa Tembo camps is home to two unusual monkey species - the blue monkey and the redtail monkey, with their striking facial patterns. 

At &Beyond we seek to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating very small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched. At every lodge we seek out small (and sometimes not so small) but meaningful ways of putting our values into action every day. Each &Beyond lodge supports the conservation of wildlife and contributes to its neighbouring communities in one way or another. In addition, we seek to limit our impact in terms of fossil fuels, the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, and recycling.

At Kichwa Tembo Masai Mara Tented Camp water is recycled from the showers and the carwash to irrigate the lawn.

Collaboration with the Mara Conservancy and Anti-poaching teams
Kichwa Tembo management and guides work closely with the Mara Conservancy which is responsible for the sensitive utilisation and habitat management of the region west of the Mara River known as the 'Mara Triangle'. Kichwa Tembo provides logistical support for the valuable anti-poaching and animal rescue team set up by Anne K.Taylor.

Environmental Sensitivity
The Kichwa Tembo Green Team is engaged in the control of invasive alien plants within the camp surrounds and at the Oloololo gate. In an effort to reduce the use of fuel wood, the Green Team makes fuel bricks from waste paper and coal dust. A community-owned vegetable garden (shamba) provides fresh salads and vegetables to the lodge. Maasai women from the nearby Kipas and Ndorobo villages are provided with technical and other support for the establishment of bee hives.

Improving Health and Morale of our Staff and Communities
&Beyond is dedicated to providing its staff with as much information as possible to enable them to achieve freedom from poverty, malnutrition, gender inequity, stigma, HIV/AIDS and TB through its Positive Health programme.

Kichwa Tembo Team Educated street Children on HIV/AIDS
The Kawangware Street Kids and Youth programme supports 60 children from Kawangware's impoverished areas. These children were taken off the streets and taught skills in order to become productive members of society. They are now gainfully employed in making bags of various sizes and creating other crafts. Kichwa Tembo supports the programme through purchasing these bags for use in the lodge. Two members of the Kichwa Tembo team were invited to talk to the children about HIV/AIDS; dispelling myths surrounding the disease as well as educating the youth on ways and means to prevent contracting the virus.

Other Considerations
• Weather: Kichwa Tembo experiences a gentle and warm climate. Daytime temperatures are mild and nights can be fairly cool. Summer extends from October to April, with December to March being the warmest months. All year, minimum temperatures are 11ºC/52ºF and maximum temperatures are 30ºC/86ºF. The cool season is from May to September.
• Rainfall: Rainfall occurs predominantly in summer (October to April) in the late afternoon or at night. The Masai Mara receives the highest rainfall of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem – an average of 1000mm (39 inches) of rain per year, concentrated in two seasons with the so-called ‘long rains’ from March to June, and the ‘short rains’ from October to December.
• Best time to travel: All year round.  The Great Migration is a 12-month cycle and depending on when the rains come, the animals normally reach Kenya in July. Hundreds of thousands of herbivores then disperse onto the plains of the Masai Mara for the next couple of month.
• Malaria: The camps are situated in a low risk malaria area.
• Children: Children welcome. Regretfully, children 5 years and younger cannot participate in the regular game drives. Child minders can be booked at an additional cost. Children aged 6 to 11 years are accommodated on game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion. An extra bed can be arranged for a child 16 and younger sharing with their parents. No more than three triples in camp at any one time.
• Ratio of guests to staff: 1 to 2
• Camp closure: Open year round.

Top           Return to Map of Masai Mara           Return to Map of Kenya

Wildebeest & Zebra Migration Routing & Schedule for Kenya / Tanzania:  Great Migration Schedule

For History and General information about Kenya, click More Kenya
For information about the Kenya's National Parks & Reserves, click Kenya Parks

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