There’s so much to love about this quaint property set in the heart of Nairobi National Park. Being the only accommodation facility located inside Nairobi National Park makes it the perfect weekend getaway for those seeking a quick bush stay not too far away from the city. The Nairobi Tented Camp has been in operation for nearly 12 years and is currently being managed by Gamewatchers Safaris as one of their Porini Safari Camps. The camps pride in being small, authentic and eco-friendly with private verandahs.
Upon arrival at the camp I was warmly welcomed by Edwin the camp manager and served a glass of cold juice. Earlier on, I was received by Saruni the Guide Driver at the Park’s entrance who drove me into the Park with the camp’s safari vehicle. I relaxed at the lounge area sipping my drink and peering into every corner of the facility. There was a river right outside the camp and I couldn’t help but take in the serene atmosphere around me. The cool breeze from the indigenous trees around provided a sense of relief from my earlier bustles of cutting across the city to make it here.
My two-day stay at the Nairobi Tented Camp was nothing short of amazing. Having arrived at the camp at 3pm, I was in time for the four o’ clock game drive. The camp usually gives morning and evening game drives within the Nairobi National Park in their 4X4 safari vehicles. My experience and conversations with Saruni and Edwin shed more light on the importance of using safari vehicles vis a vis the minivans inside the parks.
The evening game drive took about two and a half hours. By the time I got back to camp, I was excited, fulfilled but hungry. It didn’t help that I had taken a snack provided by the Camp before the game drive. There was definitely so much to enjoy and learn while doing the sightings. I spotted both the white and black rhinos and this brought lots of warmth. A Black Rhino with its calf browsed gracefully at nearby shrubs with the city’s skyscrapers in the background. It was a marvellous sight to behold.
Just before dinner, we enjoyed some drinks by the fire recounting all the wildlife we had spotted and getting to know more about each other. I had met two other guests from Germany during the drive. We were also joined by Edwin the camp manager. The conversations amongst us were candid and we didn’t want to cut them short. The occasional shrieks from the Rock hyrax would rent the air but we did not mind it at all. I bet we all loved lingering by the fire because chilly nights are common at Camp. Dinner was served by 7:30 and I enjoyed savouring every bite of the sirloin steak. A sumptuous mango cheesecake dessert followed and the night went by fast. After the long chats we all retired in our tents by 11 pm.
My night’s rest in one of the camp’s nine spacious guest tents was very comfortable. I found a delightful surprise under my sheets. They had placed a hot water bottle in bed during dinner so as to find a warm bed awaiting. The queen size bed in my tent exuded a glamping demeanour.
This was no ordinary bush stay. All rooms are ensuite with flush toilets and safari showers. A tiny study desk dotted one of the tent’s corners. Two lamps standing on each bedside created a warm ambience in the room. A similar cute setup awaited in the washroom with two lanterns hanging by the mirror as a vase of fresh roses rested beside the sink.
It’s interesting to note that the camp runs on solar energy. The use of bucket showers ensures water in the camp is used sparingly while also ensuring there is running water inside the tents. The camp is also conscious of not using single use plastics.
As such, there are glass bottles of mineral water in the tents that can be used for drinking and brushing teeth. Similarly, the camp provides aluminium water bottles that are constantly refilled. The best part is that these Porini branded bottles will be a souvenir upon leaving the campsite.
The morning was off to a very early start. We were scheduled to go on a game drive at 6:15 am. Around 5 am, we were gently woken up by an attendant who brought in some coffee and cookies and some warm water to wash our faces. Breakfast would be served after the game drive. I was eager for another awesome experience and crossed my fingers that I would spot some lions and leopards this time round.
One thing that stood out for me during the game drive was the competence of our guide Saruni. He was very well informed and seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to spotting game. From simply tracking footprints and dung, he was able to tell a lot about the animals. The cloudy morning covered the sunrise view but I was elated to have seen a considerable number of animals.
Giraffes, Zebras, Buffalos, Antelopes, Elands, Jackals, Ostriches, Baboons, Monkeys, Rhinos are just but a few. As much as there were no leopards to see, an incredible sighting of a pride of lions feasting on an eland was a great attraction for many. We even witnessed Sirikoi the male lion being chased by a buffalo. Truly, it’s never a dull day at the animal kingdom.
Similar to dinner, the table set up at breakfast was inviting. The camp bakes its own bread, prepares fresh salads and overall high quality delicious meals. I was saddened that it was almost time to check out. The peace and quiet at the camp is one I wouldn’t trade for anything. The resident bushbuck glided across the tents as if to say goodbye while baboons barked in the near distant. The place is truly one with nature.
- The Tented Camp is accessed via the main KWS Gate along Langata road.
- Park entry fee paid at the gate as well as a special camping fee.
- There is provision to leave the car at the Main gate and have the Camp safari vehicle pick you up
Residents rates are KES 9,950 per person on half board basis.