This location features in the closing scenes of the 1985 film Out of Africa, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford! The property is owned and operated by &Beyond, a world leader in luxury travel. The name &Beyond is synonymous with high-end accommodation – and Bateleur is no exception to this rule! This is a seriously classy camp in an awesome area. Highly recommended by YZ!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Set at the foot of the scenic Oloololo escarpment in Kenya's iconic Maasai Mara National Reserve.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Many of the communal areas of Bateleur Camp are housed in a beautiful building – stone walls under a classic canvas roof supported by tree trunks. It is open fronted, providing amazing views through the forest and onto the rippling plains of the reserve. The inner space is open plan and includes a lounge, dining room and library. The lounge is on an upper level and features plush sofas and armchairs with plenty of comfortable cushions! Vases of fresh flowers and explorer-style artefacts adorn the coffee tables, while a fireplace yields wonderful warmth during the colder climes. Books are available from the camp’s library, essentially a tall bookcase slightly set back within a side wall. The dining area begins on the lower level of the building and flows out onto a delightful deck with lots of room for guests to sit around tables, relax, and enjoy a meal. The camp’s swimming pool is surrounded by trees and sunloungers, creating a shady haven in between activities!
Bateleur’s guest accommodation is connected to the main building via paved pathways through the verdant grounds. It comprises 18 tented suites. Each unit is raised well off the ground on sturdy timber beams – and the same beams also support a pitched roof. A short flight of steps at the front of the tent leads onto a veranda with a pair of armchairs and a small table, perfect for taking a break and gazing out over the reserve! Inside each tent, there is a large double bed or twin beds, storage space, and a writing desk and chair. The walls are classic canvas, the floors are polished hardwood, the palette is natural with gold tones, and the general effect is effortless safari chic! The en-suite facilities are located at the back of each tent – they consist of flush toilet, double washbasin and shower. Each tent also has a hairdryer and a safe.
Activities at Bateleur are excellent! Game drives are possible both in the reserve itself and in the Kichwa Tembo Concession close to camp. As &Beyond owns the Concession, the camp is able to take visitors out at night as well as during the daytime. This is a great place to view wildlife – all Big Five, the wildebeest Great Migration from July to October, and loads of other predators and herbivores! Birding is brilliant too, with a total of over 570 migrant and resident species.
Walking safaris are impressive too – the camp offers a nature trail through the nearby riverine forest and a special session for appreciating the local hippo! Guests can also trek to the top of the Oloololo Escarpment, which has spectacular vistas of the reserve 500m below. Another way to view the landscape from up high, is to take a hot air balloon safari, launching at sunrise and descending for a champagne breakfast – a real treat. And if you are interested in getting to know the local Maasai people, you will love their welcoming warriors dance and the opportunity to visit their village with an English-speaking guide.