Recently renovated, &Beyond Bateleur Camp is situated at the foot of the Oloololo Escarpment in the Maasai Mara National Park, made famous in the classic movie Out of Africa.
If you’ve ever seen the ‘80s movie, you will know the iconic moment from the final frames of the film where Meryl Streep stands on this particular escarpment, with the grassy plains stretching out beneath her.
Now, you can have the same experience at &Beyond’s renewed luxury offering.
Zebras and antelope scatter to make way as you touch down on the dirt runway located in the middle of the Maasai Mara. Ready and waiting to welcome you is your guide who will be your go-to for everything safari over the duration of your stay.
With a friendly “Jambo” (Hello in Swahili) and “Karibu” (welcome in Swahili), you’re off for a short 30-minute drive (unless you spot any exciting animals on the way) to &Beyond Bateleur Camp.
Greeted with the camp manager, chef, food host and butler in the open dining and lounge area, which looks out onto the savannah, you’ll feel like you’re being welcomed home by old family friends. As you plan your first safari with your guide, excitement levels rise at the suspense of what you may see: sleek cheetahs, rare black rhinos or majestic elephants.
While you can plan out your day to suit whatever schedule you would like to follow, a popular option is to head out early for a few hours where you may be lucky enough to spot lion cubs or a rare kill, then head back for breakfast and either laze by the pool, which overlooks the plains so you can still keep an eye on the giraffe, warthogs and occasional lion. While you still have some free time, perhaps shop for some souvenirs in the onsite gift shop or take part in another activity such as a walking safari on the escarpment or a Maasai village visit. Since every tent looks out onto the grasslands where many animals graze, maybe even fix yourself your favourite drink from the personal bar in your tent, sit on the deck and soak up the wilderness.
Around 4.30pm head back out into the national park for more animal spotting, perhaps swing by the hippo pool or try to spot a shy leopard in the scrub. You can also opt to do a special night drive (only possible because the camp is located on a private concession) – you may get to observe some animals who shy away from the hot sun.
After dinner you can arrange your personal butler to arrive the next morning with coffee and tea to wake you up for the next adventure.
An important part of &Beyond Bateleur Camp’s existence is it’s work toward a sustainable future for the environment, animals and local people.
Being pioneers in conservation, &Beyond Bateleur camp ensures it has a positive impact in all areas by implementing a whole range of beneficial policies. Just a few include: recycling and focusing on water and energy conservation, protecting wildlife by establishing breeding programs and instigating anti-poaching strategies, investing in local people by developing community clinics to assist in better healthcare and creating wider career opportunities by recruiting locally and providing skills training.
One thing to know about food on safari is that it will exceed any expectations you have. At &Beyond Bateleur Camp the head chef, Michael Chui, will have you looking forward to every meal to see what culinary delight is next.
Breakfast time means a tray filled with cereal, fruits, yoghurt and cold cuts, then you can order eggs any way you want and pair it with some bacon or sausages.
Come lunch time, you should be ready for a three-course feast, which will usually consist of veggie soup of the day, a sumptuous main such as prawns and quinoa with a tray full of accompaniments and side dishes, all topped off with a sweet treat.
If you’re feeling peckish later in the afternoon, pop down to the lounge at around 4pm where you can enjoy a hot or cool beverage and a home-baked cookie or cake before your evening drive.
One of the best rituals about safari is the sundowner drinks. A long-held tradition, your guide will ask what your tipple of choice is then find a beautiful spot where you can watch the sun go down and raise your glass to the day.
As night falls, and you return to camp, a three-course extravaganza awaits and if you are lucky, one of those nights may be a bush dinner held under the stars. Tents and a large bonfire are set up for this barbecue dinner where you can refuel and relax after a day on the plains.
If you’re keen to try some traditional Kenyan dishes, have a chat to the camp manager or Michael and they can give you a taste of some delicious local cuisine. And don’t worry if there any dietary requirements, they can be handled.
When to go
If you plan your trip right (July to October) you will be there in prime wildebeest migration time and with the river just a short drive away from the camp, you are sure to be in for a visual spectacular. Otherwise, high season occurs around November to the end of February, where you will be more likely to spot baby animals and predator-prey action.
However, a great time to go is in the shoulder season – you may experience some heavy rain as it’s bordering when rainy season begins – but you will also get gloriously sunny days that are hot, but not unbearably so. The real bonus is there won’t be many other people around and the game viewing is still great.
For more information visit &Beyond Bateleur Camp