&Beyond Bateleur Camp refurbishment – Masai Mara, Kenya

2019-09-14T09:12:12-05:00July 21st, 2018|

Mary from the Albatros East Africa Kenya office was lucky enough to be invited to stay at the newly renovated Bateleur Camp, located on private concession land at the foothills of the Oloololo Escarpment in Kenya’s Masai Mara. The Kichwa Tembo airstrip is about a 20 minutes’ drive from camp. Game drives from here tend to take place in the Mara Triangle, an excellent area for wildlife and for watching the crossings on the Mara River during the migration season.

Bateleur Camp is a high-end property, and a sister camp to Kichwa Tembo. Bateleur comprises two intimate camps, the Southern and the Northern Camp, with nine tented suites in each location. Its features include a swimming pool, a viewing deck overlooking the Masai Mara, a personal butler and free WiFi throughout the property. Each camp has polished wooden floors and en-suite bathrooms with a glass-walled shower.

The recent refurbishment has brought significant enhancements at Bateleur. These include a larger undercover dining space and the addition of a gin and coffee bar, massage gazebos, a shop and a gym. The interiors have also been revamped to build on the camp’s classic luxury safari style.

Each of the two camps have the following features 

  • 9 tented suites
  • Guest arrival area in each camp
  • A swimming pool in each camp
  • A viewing deck overlooking the vast Masai Mara in main areas
  • A personal butler to ensures that every need is catered for
  • Classical elegance, with polished wooden floors and ensuite bathrooms with glass-walled showers.

Refurbishment summary

  • A larger main area creating more under cover dining space
  • Coolest gin and coffee bar
  • Flexibility with the number of guests that can be accommodated
  • An improved dining experience with an interactive kitchen
  • 2 pools with expansive views
  • Tranquil massage gazebos, shop and gym that services both camps
  • An increase in the size of the tent without changing the entire footprint
  • Improved, updated and more spacious tents with quality finishes
  • Refreshed interiors celebrating classic safari style
  • Existing furniture and materials (tents) reused where possible
  • New pathways and pathway lighting
  • New Swarovski spotting scopes on the pool decks

What we liked

  • The idea of a wake up call with tea and coffee – tents have a small window that opens and closes on the outside where the waiters just slide in your tea/coffee in the morning. That way, guests don’t have to wake up and open the door to pick up their tea/coffee when going for an early morning game drive.
  • Eco-friendly – the water plant was one of the best ideas the camps have invested in. The camps have glass bottles that can be re-used to refill drinking water, reducing plastic waste and saving the clients’ cost on buying water.
  • The newly refurbished tents. They are larger and more comfortable while retaining the classic safari feel.
  • The chef makes the main course on the spot and there is variety to choose from thus no dietary complications.
  • The staff are very engaged and always ready to assist.
  • WI-FI throughout the camp

The camp is fantastic and is looking great after its considerable renovation. Not only is it highly stylish and comfortable – it also benefits from having incredible people working there. With a total of 160 staff, you get exceptional service throughout. Thanks to being located in a private concession area, Bateleur can offer activities such as night game drives, bush walks and special bush meals.

We loved the standard of service and the close attention to detail. For instance, the wake-up coffee is passed through a small window, meaning your butler need not disturb you in your room. Plus, there’s a commendable focus on being eco-friendly – evident in the water plant that allows guests to refill their bottles to avoid wasting plastic.

Considerable effort has also been made on the camp’s cuisine. In particular, growing vegetables on site brings exceptional freshness to dishes. A live kitchen with a chef can produce various dishes to order adds a touch of theatre.

To Consider
While being located in its own concession area is great for night game drives, it means heading to the Mara Triangle for regular game drives. In peak season, it’s impossible to escape the crowds here, which diminishes the exclusivity of the experience.

Bateleur, although more expensive than its sister camp at Kichwa Tembo, offers a genuinely high-end product, especially since its impressive refurb. The option of bush walks and night game drives made possible by the concession area are fantastic additional activities which you simply don’t usually get on safari.

Price (Rack)
From USD725 to USD1320 per person.

If you would like more information on Bateleur Camp including rates and availability, contact Jennie for assistance.

About the Author:

Gretchen Healey
Gretchen is the Marketing Director for the Kusini Collection.

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