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Where to Stay in Kenya

GP Mara Plains Camp

Top 10 best Kenya Safari Lodges

Kenya enjoys a huge variety of accommodation types to suit anyone from families to honeymooners. Whether you are looking for something rustic or more luxurious, we have knowledge to deliver the most authentic safari experience to suit you. To us, setting is paramount, and our chosen lodges are expertly placed to ensure they perfectly complement the natural environment, some of which are ideal for walking or riding safaris. From the better known luxurious Governor's Camps and Elsa's Kopje to the community run luxury camps of Ilngwesi and Kioja Starbeds and idyllic barefoot beach retreat of Funzi Keys, we can select those that will enhance your itinerary, in the perfect spot for wildlife or outstanding natural beauty.

1. Arijiju

Located on the Borana Conservancy in the Laikipia Plateau, Arijiju is a luxury exclusive-use retreat, where guests can combine a wildlife adventure with relaxation and wellness. Arijiju's design is inspired by Ethiopian monasteries, using both local stone and timber. Comprising of five suites, sleeping up to ten guests, the property is ideal for hosting families and groups of friends. The communal areas include a candle-lit lounge and bar area, library and office, gym, yoga studio, tennis and squash courts, infinity pool and a spa. The property has an exceptional team of 14 butlers, personal chefs, private game rangers and ground and house keepers to cater to guests every need.

2. Giraffe Manor

One of the most exclusive hotels in Africa, normally booked up a year or two in advance. A wonderfully exclusive boutique property, set in 12 acres of private land, in the suburbs of Nairobi, just 20km from the city centre. Initially built in 1932, in the 1970s (under new ownership) some highly endangered Rothschild giraffes were taken in as part of a conservation project run by the AFEW (African Fund for Endangered Wildlife). Since then the Rothschild giraffes have thrived, with 140 acres of indigenous jungle to make their home, alongside warthog, dik dik, waterbuck and over 180 species of bird. Giraffe Manor is the only place in the world where you can share your breakfast with one of these cheeky creatures. We are able to arrange your stay at the exclusive Giraffe Manor in conjunction with other properties as part of a bespoke safari.

3. Kicheche Mara Camp

Kicheche Bush Camp is located in the Masai Mara Reserve within the Olare Motorgori Conservancy - a perfect location ideal for experiencing the wildebeest migration. Excursions to Masai villages visits and the Kicheche Community Project’s schools can be arranged, alongside game drives in customised vehicles. Accommodating just 12 guests, Kicheche Bush Camp has an intimate and tranquil feel. The six custom designed tents at Kicheche Bush Camp are spacious and fully insect-proof. Each is equipped with twin or double beds, fresh linen, bedside tables, luggage racks and rugs. En-suite bathrooms include a dresser, flushing toilet and traditional safari bucket shower with a view. Each tent has a veranda overlooking the plains, with comfortable chairs for relaxing and observing the wildlife. For larger groups and families, one tent can be converted into a triple on request. Kicheche Bush Camp has a spacious, well-furnished lounge and dining tent, although meals are often taken al-fresco. This intimate camp lends itself to communal dining, although private dining can be arranged on request.

4. Mara Plains Camp

Nestled within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, a stone's throw from the Mara Reserve border, this camp boasts access to three breathtaking regions, each brimming with diverse wildlife. Embracing an intimate and personal ethos, the Mara camp exudes an old-style safari romanticism, revolving entirely around the guest and the captivating wildlife of the moment. The setting ensures a high-quality experience, where guests can immerse themselves in the enchanting allure of the surrounding wilderness. From the iconic landscapes to the rich tapestry of fauna, every aspect of the safari is thoughtfully curated to deliver a memorable and bespoke adventure. In this idyllic retreat, the focus is on creating a connection between the guest and the untamed beauty of the natural world, promising an authentic and immersive safari experience.

5. Offbeat Mara Camp

In the Mara North Conservancy, Offbeat Mara offers access to exclusive game viewing away from the busy Mara Game Reserve. This is a private and exclusive camp with just 6 luxury tents and a traditional African 'bush ambience'.

6. Ol Donyo Lodge

No set schedules, no other tourists and an abundance of wildlife, set into the western foothills of the Chyulu Hills – the youngest volcanic range in Africa – Ol Donyo Lodge is ideal for an exclusive get away. The unrivalled location offers stunning views up the snowy peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, down to the traditional migration paths where the wildlife is abundant and the ‘big 5’ can be found wild and wandering. The lodge was rebuilt in 2008 and passionately redesigned with conservation in mind. It is now luxurious and small providing an exclusive and eclectic wildlife experience in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Each of the lodgings has dramatic, unspoilt views of scenic Africa and provides complete privacy for its welcome guests. No two lodges here are the same. Some have two beds; others have 4 and are ideal for families and groups of friends. Some have private lounges and plunge pools, however all are luxurious and spacious with superb views. Each lodging is en-suite, with indoor and outdoor showers, a bath, twin vanities and flushing toilets. They all have ‘star beds’ on the roof, perfect for private sun-downers overlooking the dramatic Mount Kilimanjaro, the more adventurous may even want to sleep under the stars.

7. Angama Mara

Perched on the edge of the Great Rift Valley Escarpment this remarkable lodge overlooks the magnificent rolling plains of the Masai Mara. Each glorious glass fronted tented suite appears to be suspended in mid-air. Wake up to hot-air balloons sailing past and enjoy 180-degree views of the game-rich Mara below. Angama Mara offers a contemporary and luxurious safari experience. You will have direct access to the exclusive Mara Triangle for safari activities and private picnics in the iconic ‘Out of Africa’ picnic spot.

8. Karisia Walking Safaris

Karisia Walking Safaris specialises in walking safaris supported by camels, offering a unique perspective of not just the animals but the land they live in. On foot we fine tune our senses and experience the country in vivid and exciting detail. We thrive on adventure and an old fashioned approach to safari. Our train of friendly camels carry our comfortable mobile camps to remote and splendid locations each day. Our walking Safaris traverse beautiful country with geologic structures of immense age that tell stories of a turbulent and rich history beside the Rift Valley. Archaeological artefacts like flints, shards, graves and pottery litter much of the ground near our camps and in all this evidence are fascinating stories of an equally turbulent cultural history. The rich wildlife in our part of Laikipia distinguishes it for its diversity of large mammals, the greatest in Kenya. Besides the Elephants, the big cats and all the remaining large predators, endangered species thrive here too like the Grevy's Zebra, Wilddogs and Highland Hartebeest. Tracking was always a large part of the human experience and with our Ndorobo trackers we work hard to keep the tradition alive scouring the ground for signs of game. Culture is an added dimension to our walks and we are all keenly aware to remind our visitors of our human history that began right beneath our feet.

9. Lewa House

Located at the very heart of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the house is set on top of a hill with extensive views over gentle rolling hills with Mount Kenya to the south and the rugged Mathews Range and the sacred mountain of Ol Olokwe to the north. The accommodation at Lewa House is in the form of cottage style rooms which are spread out along the hillside, all looking to the expanse of wilderness to the north. Beautiful shaded gardens surround the house and breakfast or lunch is often served on the lawn. The house also has a large swimming pool which overlooks a waterhole providing some of the best game viewing on Lewa! This owner-run property is perfect for families, couples and singles and is very much designed to feel like a home away from home.

10. Serian Camp

The Serian Camp is owned and managed by Alex Walker- a renowned specialist in this part of Africa, the training he has passed onto his staff is incredible. The primary focus at Serian is upon seeing the local wildlife and game- this is why there are no fixed daily schedules in order for you to spend as much or as little time with the local flora and fauna as you wish.