Reviews of Elephant Pepper Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
15 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Elephant Pepper Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Elephant Pepper Camp review"
On the way from the airstrip, we were treated to an encounter with a female cheetah plus her two 2 months old cubs. We spent approximately three hours with them before we even saw our tent. So we were late for lunch. Luckily, Ringa, the guide who picked us up from the airstrip, didn’t pay attention to his watch either. We saw this cheetah family several times during our stay, the second time again in the afternoon of our arrival, and the next morning, when she finally had made a kill. During the hunt she had to leave her two cubs behind, and once she dragged her prey into a nearby bush, her first worry was to call for her babies. This went on for several, very long minutes. To see them finally come running and to reunite with their mom was truly worth a sigh of relief.
Another memorable sighting happened on our 3rd afternoon here. Sammy, our guide, found one of the three big prides of lions living in this area, the Acacia pride enjoying the daylight. There were four grown females and four subadult males, and a few meters away there were two sisters with one cub. No matter how he positioned our vehicle, the cub had almost no intention to show her face. Also, the lions were near six giraffes who kept ogling them, but the lions showed hardly any interest in them. So, the lions were just basking in the last rays of the sun, and we were beginning to think this must be the most boring pride of lions we have encountered, and so did the passengers or guides of the other vehicles that one by one left the scene more or less empty-handed. Not so Sammy. He predicted something’s going to happen. And indeed, it did. After watching these sleeping cats for one hour or so, they were waking up all at once, and one by one was moving slowly into the same direction. They got wind of two or three wildebeest at least 1 kilometer away. That was a potential dinner. The lions at first moved very slowly, exchanging glances, but making no sound. At some point, some of them started running, while others staid back and sought cover awaiting the wildebeest running towards them. It was fascinating to watch. Ultimately, the lions didn’t succeed because the wildebeest were just too fast.
The next morning, we saw the two sisters of the Acacia pride again, and this time, the cub was full of energy, wanting to play with her mom and her aunt.
These are just three examples for the many arresting sightings we had at this camp. Another comment is warranted about the food service here. In all five camps the food was delicious and very good or better. But here, the chef was not only remarkable for creating outstanding dishes, he also excelled at creating optical masterpieces.
Finally, I would like to point out that the Maasai Mara is a photographer’s paradise. In four days, I took more than 3,000 pictures in this camp alone." See all these reviews: 20n in Kenya
"Elephant Pepper Camp "
However we always managed to get out on two drives per day with the afternoon drive usually requiring our guide to exhibit some top level Rally Cross skills!
Again, the staff here were excellent and did their very best to look after us in very trying circumstances. Moses, Francis, Jefferson, Robert and Dickson were class acts and deserve a huge amount of credit.
The accommodation and facilities here are simple but effective, the food is first class and the game viewing given the adverse conditions was very good. We had two of the best leopard sightings we have ever experienced together with a host of the usual safari suspects" See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
"Elephant Pepper Camp review"
Food is excellent with 2 great chefs, Peter and Jean Marc delivering superb food. We had a fantastic attentive waiter Simon who looked after us so well and an excellent, experienced guide in Francis. Moses the manager has a great way with guests and staff alike, always positive, enthusiastic and smiling!
One thing to note is that Tent 3 and Tent 4 are either side of the main communal dining and firepit area and some late night noise may be experienced from guests who stay up longer than others!
Some nice touches included a thought for the day left in your tent, pomchos ans well as blankets on the vehicle and hot water bottles in bed!" See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
"Elephant Pepper Camp review"
On arrival at Elephant Pepper we were taken to our tent which was overlooking extensive grass and woodland. Elephants could be seen walking across and through the woodland from the tent. At night we had an elephant walking past the tent, a hippo grazing outside and lions and hyenas calling close by.
On game drives we were lucky to see many lions, 2 leopards and 2 cheetah. Both cheetah stalking but unsuccessful on their hunts.
Saw a family of lions finishing off a zebra kill and two tiny cubs coming out to look at the vehicles and then crying to mum and going back to suckle.
Had a picnic breakfast by the Mara river and another day a surprise full service breakfast again by the Mara river.
The meals were excellent and challenged Elsa's for some of the best we have had in Africa." See all these reviews: 14n in Kenya
"Elephant Pepper Camp review"
On arrival we were met with hot towels and drinks followed by lunch then a full briefing by the camp manager. The monkeys are so clever at getting into tents the zips need to be secured by carbine hook. You could move around the camp freely during the day and staff at night were always there to escort you.
The camp is in a wooded area with views out into the distance where from time to time you could see elephants, giraffes and even a hippo. The camp and the area around was very peaceful which we appreciated compared to the camp in Samburu.
The tent had all the facilities we expected and had a shaded patio area in front. It was short distance from the main area along paved paths. All housekeeping services were very good.
Our guide was Sammy (a local Maasai) for our three night stay. Sammy was friendly and very good as our guide. We went out on morning drives from about 6:30 to about 11am and had breakfast in the bush. Afternoon drives were from about 4:30 to dusk which included a sundowner. At one sundowner I went around to the back of the vehicle and to my surprise saw a hyena sitting quietly five metres away. I alerted the presence of the hyena to Sammy and my wife and they then looked rather sceptically to the back to the vehicle to see I was not playing prank. The sunsets were amazing. On both early morning and late afternoon we needed extra layers on as the conservancy is quite high up and much cooler than the other parks we have been to.
The sighting during our stay included four cheetah family sighting, four lion sighting with one being a large pride with cubs, and leopard sighting which Sammy spotted and other guides touring around had failed to see. At one cheetah sighting the family were finishing off a young Topi and we followed them when they came across a hare which all three chased, but it escaped down a hole in the ground.
Sammy looked very hard for more leopards known to be around, but our luck had run out. There was other wildlife we saw special to the area such as the Masai Giraffe, Topi and Wildebeest.
There were three course lunches and dinner with lunch served in front of the main area buildings where you could see wildlife going by and dinner was served in one of the two restaurant buildings. The food was of good quality and the waiting staff were excellent.
One of the services offered to guests by the Elephant Pepper is an all-day trip to see one of the famous Maasai Mara animal crossing. This would have entailed nearly four hours of driving each way. As we had seen one of these crossing on a previous safari, we decided not to take up the offer and continue with drives in the conservancy.
In summary, the density of wildlife in the northern conservancy was not very high but there was plenty of wildlife to see. The level of services given by all camp staff was excellent. Our guide Sammy was excellent to, very conscious of our safety and marvellous at finding and telling us about the wildlife we saw." See all these reviews: 10n in Kenya
"Whole African Wildlife in one Conservancy"
All in all: IT COULDN'T BE BETTER !!!
Conservancies - like Mara North where Elephant Pepper is located - have no fences to the close-by next conservancies or national parks so that the animals can roam free and without boundaries. You can expect the same animals as in the national park but with much less "traffic" and the great opportunity to drive off road. Most of our spectacular sightings wouldn't have been possible without this option!!
The first night we've been the only guests in this wonderful camp - the other two nights in total just 6 of us!" See all these reviews: 16n in Kenya
"Great camp in Mara North"
The tents were well spaced and private, with a nice deck from which you can see Zebra, Eland and all sorts of other game. The main area was very nice and the food very good.
On game drives we saw some huge prides of lions, with lots of cubs and two enormous males with big manes. The bird life was probably a little less exciting in this area (but good for widow birds). Because it is outside of the National Park we were able to do a night drive, where we saw springhares, hyena, mongoose and even a zorilla!" See all these reviews: 15n in Kenya
It was nice to have lunch all together at a big table and the range of salads for the buffet lunch was excellent, innovative, tasty and different every day. The homemade bread was also delicious.
The wildlife was good, but not outstanding, mainly due to the effect of previous torrential rain and the rain and storms we experienced whilst there in the afternoons. On the morning game drives, we did manage to see a variety of animals but not in the numbers we had expected. Our guide told us that many of the herds had moved to areas with shorter grass but it was only when we and the couple we shared the jeep with specifically asked him if some of those areas were accessible to us that he took us up to the higher plateau where we did see the herds of zebra and wildebeest we had expected, along with a larger number of giraffe than we saw anywhere else.
It was very cold there in the evening. The open sided dining tent didn't provide much protection from the cold on the three rainy evenings we had and we ate our dinner in not just a fleece but also our outdoor jackets! The Naboisho camp last year also had an open sided dining tent but we certainly don't remember having to wear coats so it must be down to this year's weather - nobody's fault but it wasn't a very relaxing way to eat your dinner!" See all these reviews: 11n in Kenya
"Great camp and a very enjoyable experience"
Our guide was very knowledgeable, very attentive with a good sense of humour. We also had the added benefit of learning a lot about the Masai culture and traditions.
We were also very fortunate to have excellent sightings of Cheetah with 6 cubs, Lions with cubs and Hyena with cubs on two separate sightings.
We were also able to experience all the wildlife at a very relaxed pace and take time to observe animal behaviour." See all these reviews: 10n in Kenya
"location location location"
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