We love the authentic feel of Kitich Camp Matthews Forest. And it really is one of the best options in Kenya for walking safari!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Kitich Camp is situated in the Matthews Forest, part of the spectacular Matthews Range. Specifically the camp is positioned within a verdant glade on the upper slopes of the mountains, a lovely location far from the well-worn tourist trail. The camp is approached via a sandy road with acacia trees on each side, but lowlands soon give way to woodlands and a few buildings peep out from among the trees.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Kitich’s communal areas are housed in a hut-style structure, its tiled roof propped up by wooden beams. Inside, there is a lounge comprising wooden-framed sofas and armchairs around a coffee table, plus a few low stools, patterned pouffes, and a bookcase containing ample reading material. There is also a dining room, featuring a long table and upright chairs for communal meals, and a small bar. The whole building has a pleasant natural feel due to its materials and palette of mostly earthy tones. Just outside, there is a delightful deck, where guests can sit, eat, admire the view. The camp also boasts a naturally formed swimming pool and a fire pit, both perfect for relaxing between activities and getting to know your fellow travellers!
The guest accommodation at Kitich Camp Matthews Forest comprises six spacious tents, linked to the main building via neat paths through the glade. Three contain a double bed, while three have twin beds. All overlook the dramatic gorge of the River Ngeng, from a veranda with two comfy chairs and two small tables. Inside, the beds are wooden framed and there are some rugs on the floor to add vibrant colour and warmth. A couple of lamps are supported on a shelf behind each bed and there is also a clothes cupboard and an easy chair. The en-suite facilities are positioned at the back of the tent in an open stone-walled area – these consist of long-drop toilet, washbasin with mirror, and classic bucket shower!
Food and drink comes full board – and with notice, the chefs are willing to accommodate all diets. Many ingredients are sourced from the camp’s own vegetable garden and the cuisine incorporates some tasty Italian influences – the present owners are partly Italian and they bought the camp in 2008 from Giulio Bertolli, famous for his delicious olive oil!
Activities at Kitich focus on walking safaris. The camp occupies a very wildlife-rich region of the Matthews Range, boasting lion, forest elephant, buffalo, melanistic leopard (black panther), Grevy’s zebra, wild dog, giant forest hog, bushbuck, waterbuck and the rare De Brazza’s monkey, to name just a few! The walks, led by Ndorobo/Samburu guides, present excellent opportunities to view mammals, birds and butterflies alike. There are more than 350 bird species and over 150 types of butterfly – small wonder that the BBC once described the Matthews Forest as harbouring a ‘biological bonanza’! Guests can even make use of the River themselves, taking a break by enjoying a swim. The camp offers cultural visits too, in the form of excursions to the nearby village of Ngalai to see the market and the school. Guiding standards from Kitich Camp Matthews Forest really are first rate – the guides know the forest intimately and their enthusiasm shines through!