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Speke's Camp, Kenya

Speke's Camp

Situated on a remote wedge of private land next to the Masai Mara, Speke’s Camp is an unfenced traditional safari camp with a focus on authenticity rather than plush luxury. Structures are all made of canvas and furnished with reclaimed wood, animal bones, African fabrics and ethnic trinkets.

Eight en suite guest tents are spaced out for privacy, set among bushes or along the banks of the Olare Orok River and connected by sandy paths. Each has space for up to four guests in two double beds. Two of these traditional tents are situated close together and work well for families or groups of friends, and there is a family tent with one double and two twin beds.

The open-sided mess tent includes a large dining table and a lounge area with plenty of books on local wildlife, Kenyan history and local cultures. Mismatched sofas, wooden furniture and faded rugs add to the laid-back early explorer atmosphere. A separate tent, strewn with Zanzibari-style beds, armchairs and sofas, provides Wi-Fi access.

Throughout your stay here, you’ll embark on game drives through the Masai Mara in a private vehicle with your own guide and wildlife spotter. Lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo and Masai giraffe are all frequently seen.

Enjoy freshly prepared three-course meals in the dining tent before ending the day around the campfire listening to the chirps of crickets, the woops of hyena and the occasional roar of a lion.

Our rating: Medium

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Rooms

Spread across the camp’s grounds and surrounded by bushes, the tents are made completely of canvas. Each has two double beds for up to four guests, though a couple of the tents are larger to accommodate families or groups of friends. You can relax in the private seating area outside, where you can often see vervet monkeys in the trees. Inside, hessian rugs and faded wooden chests are evocative of early safaris, and your en suite bathroom includes a traditional bucket shower which staff will fill with warm water on request.

Location

Set on private land on the eastern border of the Masai Mara National Reserve, the camp feels secluded but has easy access to the reserve’s big game. The Olare Orok River flows through the camp, lined with indigenous trees that attract vervet monkeys and a variety of birdlife. Your closest airstrip is a 25-minute game drive away.

Food and drink

  • You can take breakfast out on your morning drive to enjoy in the bush, returning for a three-course lunch of fresh salads, pasta and handmade desserts.
  • In the evening, enjoy a candle-lit three-course meal in the open dining area.
  • Vegetarian options are always available and other dietary requirements can be catered for if requested in advance.

Families

  • Two of the traditional tents are situated close together and work well for families or groups of friends, and there is a family tent with one double and two twin beds.
  • The camp is unfenced, allowing animals to roam through, so children must be accompanied at all times.

Facilities and activities

At the camp itself, you can relax in the mess tent’s lounge area, which includes a well-stocked bookshelf. There’s also a separate lounge tent with Wi-Fi access and plenty of comfortable seating sourced from across Africa. Activity-wise, your time will mostly be spent on game drives in the Masai Mara National Reserve. Your stay includes a private vehicle with both a guide and a spotter skilled in picking out even the most elusive species.

Our opinion

We love that this camp is owner-run and has an old-world charm. The tents are spacious and comfortable and the atmosphere is relaxed. Having a private guide and vehicle means that your safari is highly personal and flexible depending on your interests and energy levels.

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