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Ol Seki Hemingways Camp, Kenya

Ol Seki Hemingways Camp

Set on a rocky ridge in the Masai Mara’s community-owned Naboisho Conservancy, Ol Seki Mara is a polished safari retreat with just a small number of spacious tents. In the welcoming communal spaces, you can share drinks with fellow guests around the campfire, unwind with a book in the lounge tent and dine on freshly prepared food while taking in views over the tree-scattered grassland below.

The circular canvas tents are filled with natural light and set well apart for privacy. Two are designed for families or groups of friends, featuring two en suite bedrooms and a shared kitchen and living area. Spend the warmest part of the day relaxing on your patio, cooling off in the infinity pool or indulging in a massage in the spa.

Meals, usually comprising international dishes, can be eaten in private or in the main dining tent with other guests. Romantic candlelit meals can also be arranged in a private location within the camp.

Much of your time is spent exploring the conservancy on shared game drives with experienced guides. Known for its lion prides, the conservancy sees far fewer vehicles than the main reserve and just a small number can be present at a wildlife sighting. Other activities include walking safaris, Maasai village visits, dawn hot air balloon rides and horse-riding safaris.

Our rating: Deluxe

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Rooms

Set apart from each other for privacy and each boasting far-reaching views over the plains below, the six Nina tents are circular in shape, light, airy and spacious, and have a furnished patio area often visited by scuttling rock hyraxes. Inside is a double bed or twin beds, with space for an additional single bed if required. The en suite bathroom includes a curtained off shower, flush toilet and dressing area. Families or groups of friends can stay in the Chui or Simba tents. Both have two en suite bedrooms and a central living area with private kitchen, lounge and dining room. The latter also comes with an optional private butler service.

Location

Ol Seki was strategically built on the edge of a ridge, overlooking the Naboisho Valley and the distant Ngama hills. Its location within the Naboisho Conservancy means you’ll see far fewer vehicles while out on game drives compared to in the main reserve, and there are strict rules on the number of vehicles permitted at a wildlife sighting. The area is known for its healthy lion population as well as Masai giraffe, cheetah and elephant.

Food and drink

  • The food mostly comprises international fare, although local dishes are served upon request.
  • Eat out on the patio gazing across the plains, in the dining tent or in the privacy of your room (Simba and Chui tents can request a private chef for the evening).
  • Breakfast includes both cooked options and a buffet of fresh fruits.
  • A three-course lunch is usually served at 1pm, followed by afternoon tea prior to your afternoon game drive.
  • Return to a three-course dinner at around 8pm.
  • Meals are usually enjoyed as a group around the main table and most drinks are included.

Families

  • While there are no activities geared exclusively to children, families will have plenty of space and privacy staying in the Chui or Simba tents, which can each accommodate up to six people. The camp is unfenced, so children must be accompanied at all times.

Facilities and activities

The camp has an infinity pool looking out over the valley, a spa and a lounge tent complete with comfy sofas and a selection of books. Wi-Fi is available throughout the property and laundry is included in your stay.

Activity-wise, most of your time will be spent on shared morning and afternoon game drives through the conservancy with skilled guides. For an additional cost, you can choose to enter the main reserve. Other options include guided walks, Maasai village visits, dawn hot air balloon rides and horseback safaris.

Environmental and social responsibility

The Naboisho Conservancy is owned by local communities, who benefit financially from tourism in the area. Many of the camp’s staff are from the surrounding Maasai communities and are provided with training to develop professional skills.

Our opinion

This polished camp has a fantastic position high on a ridge, and we like the space, privacy and high standards of the tents. The Naboisho Conservancy is one of the best areas of the Masai Mara for wildlife viewing, and camp is a quick ten minute drive from the nearest airstrip.

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