Elephant Pepper Camp
Elephant Pepper Camp is a luxury tented camp in the game-rich Mara North Conservancy, adjacent to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The property is cradled by a shady thicket of elephant pepper trees and looks upon grassy plains. Unfenced, elephants, vervet monkeys, and other four-legged visitors are apt to wander through. (Worry not, night security will escort you to and from your tent.)
There are just ten tents at this boutique, Gold Eco-Rated camp: eight doubles and two family suites. The accommodations are handsomely appointed and decorated in a style that harkens to the earlier days of safari. Imagine: canvas walls, wood vanities inlaid with gold basins and faucets, and lanterns aplenty. Amenities are basic but comfortable: solar-powered showers, flush plumbing, and strong Wi-Fi stretches across the camp for those who want to keep connected. Small touches—like hot water bottles tucked gingerly between cotton sheets and hammocks that invite a lazy lounge—are endearing.
Layered with area rugs, the main tent has a bar, dining tables, and a “gift shop” armoire. Assemblies of armchairs and sofas beneath chandeliers are nice places to sip wine while looking across the savannah. Reach for a coffee table book to flip through Kenya’s history or wildlife, or play a game of Backgammon. The low volume of guests at any given time means service here is delivered on a first-name basis.
Elephant Pepper Camp sits in close proximity to the hippo-filled Mara River. The River Pride of lions makes its home in the area; venture a little further, and you may run into the Offbeat Pride. Big game on these plains is noticeable and consistent. Topi, impala, elephant, zebra, hyena, jackal, buffalo, wildebeest, and warthog are counted among a cast of regular characters. Keep an eye out for giraffe, cheetah, leopard, ostrich, and more. Open-sided vehicles seat up to seven, and offer power outlets. Twice-daily game drives are the star attraction at Elephant Pepper Camp; opportunities to stretch the legs are limited to bush walks and hot air balloon safaris.
At camp, gourmet meals are served in the main tent. Lunch is a set menu served family-style, while dinner is selected from a daily menu. Breakfast is offered after the morning game drive or in scenic spots in the bush. A campfire is lit at daybreak and dusk, inviting guests to sip morning coffee or to linger over a pre-dinner cocktail. Sundowners and small bites are delivered on the grill of a Land Cruiser.
All in all, Elephant Pepper Camp is an excellent mid-range option and good value for money.