Kicheche Valley is a permanent tented property, and like its sister camps, Kicheche Laikipia, Kicheche Mara and Kicheche Bush Camp, its small size guarantees superb service – a big thumbs-up from YZ! It has won a few safari awards, including a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence! We recommend it for all travellers to this beautiful part of Kenya.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Kicheche Valley is set on the eastern side of the 50,000-hectare Mara Naboisho Conservancy, within a remote wooded valley.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The main facilities at Kicheche Valley consist of a lounge, a dining area and a small shop. These are positioned on a terrace within a spacious mess tent, with characterful crazy paving and lovely views of a natural spring. The lounge has comfy armchairs and sofas around coffee tables, while the dining area contains smart upright chairs and a long table for communal meals that are often hosted by the manager. The style is Central and West Africa meets Swahili, with some classic animal-print cushions and ornate wooden furnishings. It really is a very relaxing place to spend time between activities! The camp’s small shop sells souvenirs in addition to clothing, jewellery and local handicraft items.
Kicheche Valley’s guest accommodation comprises just six tents, canvas structures on wooden decking with sturdy rock foundations! They are connected to the mess tent via earth paths, sometimes stone-lined. All tents boast beautiful views across the valley as far as the game-rich plains. They are octagonal, with screen windows to keep out the mosquitoes! Each contains either a double bed or twin beds, crafted from cedar, as well as bedside tables, a writing table and chair, a sofa and a luggage rack. A third bed can be added, on request. Snug rugs on the floor provide some pleasant warmth for guests’ feet! Just outside, on the private veranda, there are two wicker chairs and a small table – the perfect place to take in the view. The en-suite facilities, at the back of the tent, consist of flush toilet, twin washbasins and shower. With their clean contemporary look combined with some vibrant patterns, these tents are seriously stylish. And as the camp is completely unfenced, it is not uncommon for guests to receive visitors, such as hyena!
Food and drink is full board, with many dishes prepared using the camp’s own herbs, peppers, pumpkins and salad crops! The day begins with hot beverages and biscuits brought to guests’ tents. Then breakfast is usually a picnic that includes sausage wraps, frittatas, fruit and cereal. Lunches are a light and healthy affair, comprising three courses, typically cold soups and salads, chicken and fish and grilled halloumi, rounded off with fruit salad or ice cream. And dinners are delightfully formal and feature some fantastic filling options such as sage-stuffed chicken and Dauphinoise potatoes.
Kicheche Valley offers some exciting activities. Game drives take place by day and by night in the Conservancy. Naboisho is chock-full of wildlife, including loads of elephant and giraffe, a large pride of lions, plenty of wild dog, and huge herds of wildebeest and zebra especially during the Loita Migration! For guests staying three nights or more, it is possible to enjoy a day trip into the Maasai Mara National Reserve – this is particularly popular from approximately August to October, when the famous Great Migration is in full stampede!
Both areas also boast brilliant birdlife, with chances of seeing some rare species in the Conservancy – bush pipit, northern white-crowned shrike and pygmy falcon, for example. Game walks are great for observing everything up close, spotting the little things that are not always visible from the vehicle. And you can also enjoy sweeping views across the Mara from the sky, by taking a hot air balloon safari. These depart at dawn and end in a bush breakfast complete with sparkling wine, followed by a game drive. This activity is well worth fitting in to your itinerary!