Reviews of Elephant Pepper Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
12 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 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"
"Elephant pepper camp."
He found a pride of lions. 3 lioness and 8 cubs of different ages, one of the lionesses was watching a warthog, so James moved the car so we could see and she stalked and then chased, only to be helped by a cub who got in the way , so they missed the warthog that time. One evening we were late back to camp after the afternoon drive and James saw a lion, full mane in all his glory just sitting under a tree, well he was 50 meters away and he roared, well, James just said he's calling his brothers so we will wait, fine says me! As long as they realise Australian blood doesn't taste good, Kenyan blood, that's ok, just not Aussie, well he just laughed, as two more lions came up, then all three got up, sauntered over to the truck looked at us, and laid down right next to me. I kid you not I was a little concerned, so then came brother no. 4 to join them, so by this time, with no moon out it was pitch black, and then you hear this 1 little rumble , then a second answered, and then one let rip, I swear that roar came from his boots, the car shook from the vibrations, and I nearly.............. James just sat and laughed. So we stayed a few more minutes and then went back to camp. Every day I was at either bush camp I went back excited over something that I had encountered that day.
We had one very sad occurrence, when we went out one day we saw a male lion playing with a litter of 4 cubs, we sat and watched them for at least half an hour, crying, looking for milk, but crawling all over him, he moved his massive paws out of the way so they could move,,,,he was just so gentle with them. We went back to camp for lunch and another guide came in and said he saw the male squash one kittens head with his paw, and one of he managers went out to the spot and saw definate signs that he had killed and eaten all of them, which apparently happens when they are not his cubs.
I saw everything , I saw 2 cheetahs do a chase, I saw a leopard meal just hanging from a tree, I learnt the way they tell the lions apart ( by their whisker holes and notches out of ears) . There was a market day in the village while I was there, definitely a must see, the beautiful necklaces, the enormous holes in some of the men's ears, the lovely women, but all they want to do is touch you, which is a bit daunting. They love having their picture taken though.
Sadly it came to my last day. I goaded James, I told him I hadn't seen a vulture. Would you believe he found a nest with a pair in, then found the male of another breed, I couldn't believe either him or my luck. For someone who doesn't take photos, my camera needed 4 new sets of batteries because of the number of pics taken just in the camps.
I can honestly say that I cannot think of an animal that I haven't seen, from bustards to vultures and the delightfully brilliant startling, to the wildebeest and the big cats. It was so educational, from habitats to mannerisms and identification. I go home a tired but extremely happy lady." See all these reviews: 11n in Kenya; 2n in Zimbabwe
"Elephant Pepper review"
We'd seen comments about the camp's lack of flexibility but this must be a thing of the past. Whatever we wanted to do and whenever we wanted to do it was fine with Alison and Tom." See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
"Wall to wall wildlife!"
The accommodation is superb. Large well furnished and equipped tents, with plenty of 'windows ' well lit at night and with a view from the front deck, of passing wildlife.This is a camp for those who prefer to have the home comforts of constant piped hot water and wifi, while they are in the bush.
The camp is very well organised and friendly, managed with love and efficiency by a couple, Alison and Tom. All of the staff were excellent, but Alison and Tom in particular, add much to the experience, for guests staying at this camp. There is a significant degree of flexibility with regard to activities. Some guests chose an early dinner followed by a night game drive, while others wanted a late dinner after their night drive." See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
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Alternative places to stay in this same area.
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Kicheche Valley is a boutique tented camp in a wooded district of the Mara ecosystem's Naboisho Conservancy, with plenty of wildlife in the area.
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Mara Plains Camp
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Serian is a luxury tented camp on the east bank of the Mara River in the Mara North Conservancy. It is the sister camp of Ngare Serian, on the west bank.
Porini Lion Camp
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Ol Kinyei Adventure
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Kicheche Fly Camp
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Basecamp Eagle View
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Porini Mara Camp
Porini Mara Camp is a small, pioneering eco-camp in the first private conservancy in the Mara region, with comfortable accommodation and a range of activities.
Saruni Wild is a rustic and traditional safari camp in the Lemek Conservancy, with just three tents and limited electricity.
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Cottars 1920s Camp
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Basecamp Leopard Hill
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Small and intimate, Offbeat Mara is set in a valley above the (often dry) Olare Orok River within the Mara North Conservancy.
Karen Blixen Camp
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Leleshwa was a delightful, boutique safari camp on the picturesque banks of a tributary of the Talek, with an extensive, little visited game area on its doorstep.
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Saruni Mara is a luxurious permanent lodge, on the remote northern edge of the Mara North Conservancy, with stunning views, good guiding and very private and comfortable rooms.
Mara Nyika is one of the newer additions to the Naboisho Conservancy and offers a luxurious and exclusive safari.
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Cottars Private House
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