Elephant Pepper Camp is listed in the Elewana Collection, joining 15 high-quality boutique properties across Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar. Constructed in 1984, it was named for the elephant pepper trees adorning the site. The camp has won numerous awards for its sustainable approach to tourism, and it also holds a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence! Accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and a laundry service. The camp is open from June to March (so closed from April to May).
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is accessed via 30 minutes’ game drive road transfer from Mara North Airstrip. It’s situated in the Mara North Conservancy, within a patch of woodlands amidst sprawling plains.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT ELEPHANT PEPPER CAMP:
There are eight standard tents and two larger tents for honeymooners or families. All are positioned in the shade of elephant pepper and fig trees, and well spaced for ample privacy. The two larger tents are particularly secluded, at either end of the site. Every tent is Meru in style – an exterior layer of canvas extends over the inner layer to create a shady veranda at the front. The veranda is set with safari chairs and a table, and it’s a great spot for relaxing and enjoying your views! Some tents are also equipped with a hammock, hanging between two trees a short distance away. Entering one of the standard tents, you’ll find a double bed or twin beds, bedside stands and lighting, a writing desk and chair, a few shelves, and hanging space. The furnishings bring in mind the campaign of the Indian Raj, with their dark wood and brass notes. This style continues into the en-suite washroom, accessed through a canvas flap at the back of the tent. Facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washstands each with brass basin and mirror over, and shower with hot and cold running water. Both the larger tents offer a bigger bedroom, sufficiently spacious to accommodate up to two extra beds for children.
The lounge and dining room at Elephant Pepper Camp occupy one tent each, approached from the guest accommodation along neat pathways through the woodland. In the lounge tent, well-cushioned wood-framed sofas and armchairs surround wooden coffee tables and occasional tables. There’s also a well-stocked bar! The dining tent contains one long table where everyone dines together. Guests can also opt to eat while out in the bush during the day, but the dining room is always the setting for dinners after drinks and safari stories around the campfire. The campsite offers plenty of al fresco seating areas, not least a swing chair constructed by a member of the Elephant Pepper team! Elephants and other wildlife are often spotted in the area, passing through the dappled shade.
ACTIVITIES AT ELEPHANT PEPPER CAMP:
The camp offers classic safari activities and a couple of cultural experiences, as follows:
Expertly guided game drives- These take place during morning and afternoon, within the Mara North Conservancy. The conservancy covers almost 30,000 hectares of sprawling savanna, woodlands, and river sources, ripe for exploration! The plains are popular with herbivores such as giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes, making for plentiful predator sightings. And there are hundreds of birds, so don’t forget to pack your binocs!
Safari night drives- Also enjoyed with a knowledgeable guide, these drives are offered just before dinner. Red spotlights are used to locate the conservancy’s nocturnal species, not least leopard, civet, genet, and aardvark.
Guided safari walks- This activity is highly recommended for anyone interested in close scrutiny of Mara North’s plants, insects, and birdlife. There are often opportunities to track big game! Please note, walks have a minimum age requirement of 12 years, but camp staff are happy to arrange shorter rambles for younger children.
Cultural safari visits- All guests are invited to visit the homes of Elephant Pepper’s Maasai staff members. The Maasai are happy to show you around their manyattas, huts built using cattle dung and grass. You can also purchase some handicrafts.
Children’s safari activities- As well as embarking on nature rambles, kids can get stuck into casting tracks, assembling a campfire, and firing bows-and-arrows!
Great Migration viewing- If your stay here falls between July and October, you can look out for the huge herds of the Great Migration! The immense concentrations of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles push up into the Mara from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park during these months, in their search for food.