Reviews of Kleins Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
The trip to Kleins began so well, with the sighting of a family of cheetah (mother and 5 youngsters)) who were sunning themselves on a rock not too far from the track we were driving along. We were accompanied by two men from the &Beyond foundation, who gave us a lot of interesting information about the good work done with the locals.
Wonderful views from our new room, over the 'concession' lands - in some ways it looks similar to Scotland but with giraffe and zebra visible !!
Erasta, our guide is an enthusiastic photographer and was able to help us set our new camera for night photography when we found a leopard with its kill up a tree. We sat under that tree for ages - an experience we had never dreamed of having! Also found a pair of lionesses with a kill from the previous night, just lying next to a partly consumed carcass, waiting til they felt hungry ! This was the only place we also had a spotter sitting in the jump seat on the bonnet of the truck - his sharp eyes ensured we didn't miss a thing.
Lawrence left his ebook at Manyara - it had already been found and a call made to Kleins before he had even missed it. It arrived with the next plane the following day.
After spotting a lioness strolling across the plain nearby, Erasta found we had a flat tyre and no tools to replace it - thank heaven for the radio. While we waited for reinforcements, it was an interesting experience to have seats set up with a prime view and a breakfast feast cooked for us when there were obviously big cats nearby. Help arrived by motorbike, which then had to be pushed to help it start so the rescuer could go back !! It all added to the wonderful experience that was &Beyond.
Klein's Camp safari
Because the Klein's airstrip was temporarily closed, we began our stay by landing at the Lobo airstrip and driving through the national park to reach Klein's Gate. While landing at Klein's would have saved time, we nevertheless had an enjoyable drive through large herds of zebra to reach the camp. We were welcomed by the entire staff and escorted to their beautiful bar with a panoramic view of the Klein's Concession.
The view was just as spectacular from the porch and windows of our large room. We appreciated the ample storage space, comfortable chairs and reading light, luxurious bed and pillows, and bathroom amenities. If we had any artistic talent, we would have made use of the art supplies that are available in the room.
Askari escort you in the early morning and the evening as you walk to and from your room, but the times for your guard to arrive must be set up in advance as there is no telephone or walkie-talkie to call them. Of course, there is a whistle and even an air horn if an emergency exists. You are assigned a butler who makes those arrangements, serves you in the dining room, and takes care of any needs you have. Our butler Robert was gracious and easy to talk with.
The food was wonderful and beautifully presented. Second helpings were always offered, even though we rarely had room to eat more. On two occasions we went on early morning game drives, leaving camp at 6:30 a.m.. Our guide Alex and tracker Leboo prepared delicious meals in the bush, setting up two grills and preparing beverages, toast, bacon, sausage, and eggs to order. What a feast! In the evening, our game drives also included a stop to prepare cocktails and watch the sunset before switching on the lights for a night drive back to camp.
One evening we were surprised by an unannounced dinner in the bush -- we were told that the dining room was closed and that we had to get in the car. We arrived at a torch-lit site with a blazing fire in the center, rimmed by dining tables and barbecue grills. We had a delicious meal beautifully served in a romantic setting.
On our last day, we had requested a visit to a Maasai village. We began with a game drive, and then journeyed across the river to a local village to visit one boma. While Klein's has an arrangement with the Maasai that they may bring guests for tours, they do not make specific arrangements for each visit. Therefore, you will see village life as it is really happening rather than a staged performance. In our case, all of the men we out tending the cattle, leaving only a few women and the children behind. We entered one dung hut with our guide Alex who described life there for us. Our tracker Leboo spoke the Maa language, so his help was invaluable to us when we came out of the hut and found that the women had arranged blankets full of jewelry and other goods for us to buy. We were asked to pay $50 in cash directly to the Maasai girl who allowed us in to her hut, and then used more cash to make a few purchases.
While we missed seeing the Maasai ceremonial performances in the village, as some camps arrange, we had had the opportunity to see the Maasai "jumping dance" the previous night during some surprise entertainment at dinner in the camp. So we felt like we got the best of both aspects -- seeing the ceremony and traditional costumes, but also seeing the real daily life in the village. We had booked 4 nights at Klein's Camp so that we would have time for the Maasai visit, but since the village is so close and the visit there is integrated into the morning game drive, we could have easily done it in a 3-night stay.
We had the same guide and tracker for each of our game drives. Guide Alex was interesting and informative and helped us understand the animal behavior and environment. We usually shared the open Land Cruiser with one or two other couples. The variety of game was good, with large herds of cape buffalo and zebra, and we had our first sightings of leopards there. One fun sighting was of a hartebeest being stalked by a leopard, who was in turn chased up a tree by a lioness. Our guide and tracker were delighted by it, saying that it was something you rarely see happen.
Klein's Camp is a wonderful place to stay -- great staff, great accommodations, and great game viewing. We highly recommend it.
Pretty much perfect.
Great setting very engaging and friendly team, very personable - good mangement. Nothing too much trouble. Very child friendly (we had a 10 and 12 year old). Bush breakfasts with our guides were great.
Great tracker (Leboo) and guide/driver (Alex) and we saw pretty much everything we needed to see in 4 days. Highlights were 2 lion kills and a trio of Leapord playing in a tree for 30 minutes! Would happily have stayed longer but to be honest the size of the concession meant that we had pretty much covered all of it.
Emanual the chef is a genius - easily the best most interesting and tasty food we have ever had on safari - consistently brilliant
Kleins Camp review
For those who want to experience safari in the true sense of the word this camp is a great choice. Off roading, walking, night drives and only one or two other vehicles out in the expansive private concession hence you really get to feel close to the wildlife and not on the tourist trail.
Hosts were the warmest and friendliest we met and so were the staff. People clearly enjoyed working there and it permeated to the guests. The lodge is extremely low key and comfortable - not glam like the crater lodge but the staff, the views and the food ensure it is at the top of its game. (Rangers were the best we came across)
Bush bar with bonfire and lanterns was the best we saw of the entire trip. They really went the extra mile
Only comment - portions of meat/fish felt very small especially at lunch and often had to ask for a bit more chicken etc as one drumstick for a main meal for example would be served.
Kleins Camp review
Our stay at Kleins Camp was the highlight of the holiday. It was good that we went there third otherwise we would have found the other locations less exciting given the game viewing at Kleins was exceptional. Our stay here was perfect.
Our guides (Malley and Gwando) were exceptional and knew exactly what they were doing. They were very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and had a great sense of humour. We really enjoyed the way they tracked the animals and led us to an amazing number of exciting experiences, from the tracking of a beautiful leopard and her cubs to a few yards to getting us to the right place to watch a pride of lions catch and kill a buffalo. The ability to track off-road at Kleins gives it such an advantage over the other lodges. The early mornings with breakfast in the bush and night drives are another great aspect of Kleins and we would have seen much less without that flexibility.
The accommodation was excellent and very comfortable - we particularly liked the hot water bottles we found in the bed on the colder nights. The views from our room were very good, but from the bar & restaurant are totally stunning.
The service at Kleins was as good as anywhere and felt very personal. This extended to every member of the team that we met, from the Masai camp security up to the lodge manager. Our butler was very friendly and somehow always there before we realised we needed them ourselves.
The food at Kleins was also the best we had. What set it apart from the other safari lodges was that the food was not as heavy as others could be and always very tasty.
Best night drives at Kleins Camp
& Beyond went over the top Beyond in location, accomodation, service and expertise.
I smile just thinking about their plaid table cloths laiden with treats from greeting us at the airstrip to sundowners!
The guides went out of their way to locate a pair of cheetah brothers. Rabin our guide and "Mr Cute Masai" our tracker Hats Off to Both. I will never forget the thrill of riding in an open vehicle looking face to face with a noble huge regal male lion. Rabin told me to relax and enjoy he would keep me safe. He did and to say I enjoyed would be an extreme understatement!
The night drives were exciting. Gave us a whole different perspective of the bush! Thank you Rabin for the quote"Never shake hands with a bush baby"!
Expensive and worth every cent! Perfect in every way.