Basecamp Dorobo Fly Camp is a very simple set-up in a broad valley, deep in the Mara Naboisho bush.
Basecamp Dorobo Fly Camp: Our full report
A simple encampment of dome tents, Basecamp Dorobo Fly Camp is set in a peaceful valley in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. With no electricity and shared rustic bush bathrooms (a fly camp is a temporary safari camp), it has no permanent staff and is usually used for one or two nights as an excursion from nearby Basecamp’s Eagle View, 3km to the west.
The insect-proof dome tents at Basecamp Dorobo are a reasonable size – for dome tents – and you can stand up and turn around. As well as two standard camp beds with mattresses and bedding of pillows, sheets and blankets, there is space for personal luggage and room to change. There are attractive rush mats on the floor and a small table, with lighting supplied by solar-powered lanterns (charged during the day).
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- The front of each tent is shaded with a small awning, where there are two camp chairs for those moments of peace and reflection with a cold(ish) drink or for birdwatching or reading. There’s a washstand at the front, as well, filled with hot water first thing in the morning, or on request.
- The outdoor bathroom facilities comprise two composting toilets and three bucket showers. Shower water is supplied by the staff on request. It is stored in black plastic tanks and warmed during the course of the day.
- A large dining and lounge tent is the main central feature of Basecamp Dorobo, but it was not set up for guests during our inspection visit. When guests are in camp, the options would be to eat in the tent, or at a table outside, and either in individual groups, or – on request – together with other guests.
In most respects the camp shares facilities and activities with Basecamp’s Eagle View. The staff often walk the 3km bush path between the two camps – an easy enough walk that guests can also do with an escort.
The main activities at Basecamp Dorobo revolve around game drives, night drives and walking, with guides brought in from Basecamp’s Eagle View or Basecamp Maasai Mara. The usual plan is to do a walk in the morning and then a late-afternoon drive, leaving around 4.30pm and finishing after sundowners with a 1½-hr night drive before returning to camp for dinner around 8.00pm. Basecamp’s vehicles are open-sided Toyota Land Cruisers with a maximum of five or eight passengers depending on the size of the vehicle. All guests have a side (‘window’) seat. Walks are conducted with skilled Maasai game scouts, armed, however, only with spears.
In common with all properties in the Mara, early-morning balloon safaris can be booked at Basecamp Dorobo. These last approximately one hour, followed by a bush breakfast with sparkling wine and then a game drive, arriving back at camp around mid-morning. There are several launch areas and you can expect to be woken as early as 4.00am.
This Fly Camp, with shower water warmed by the sun and unfussy bush meals, is a real opportunity to experience the Naboisho wilderness with the people of the local community – the Maasai camp staff and askaris. We weren’t able to stay the night at Basecamp Dorobo, but we loved the back-to-nature simplicity of the minimal-footprint infrastructure here.
Ideal length of stay: One or two nights; Basecamp Dorobo Fly Camp works well in combination with Basecamp Maasai Mara or Basecamp’s Eagle View
Directions: Access is via Ol Seki/Naboisho airstrip with a transfer time of around thirty minutes, depending on whether you stop for game-viewing.
Owner: Owned by the Norwegian Basecamp Foundation, founded by Svein Wilhelmsen – a non-profit tourism organisation which aims to encourage responsible tourism and has three camps in the Mara region of Kenya (run as Basecamp Explorer Kenya), Spitsbergen and the Pyrenees.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: A full cooked breakfast is served alongside a limited range of fruit and cereals
Lunch and dinner are both three-course set menus.
Dietary requirements can be catered for.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are not included. Guests select their drinks at Basecamp’s Eagle View for the duration of their stay at Basecamp Dorobo.
Attitude towards children: Basecamp Dorobo Fly Camp is reluctant to take children below the age of 15. The owners don’t allow under-15s to walk by the owners and they would have to stay in camp.
Property’s age restrictions: Not as such but under-15s would be restricted to camp which defeats the purpose.
Special activities & services: No
Generally recommended for children: No – the area is quite bushy and there’s lots of game.
Power supply: None
TV & radio: No
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The nearest doctor or hospital is in Talek which is 20km away and about an hour by road. Basecamp Dorobo has links to the flying doctor service.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: Askaris patrol for animals around the unfenced camp.
Fire safety: Nothing in place
Laundry facilities: No Laundry Facilities
Money: There is no safe, or anywhere to lock valuables at the moment, so guests would need to lock these in a bag or – better – leave them in the safe at Basecamp’s Eagle View. There is no currency exchange.
Accepted payment on location: US dollars and Kenyan shillings may be used for any ad hoc payments, but no credit cards are accepted.