This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
Kicheche Bush Camp
Kicheche Bush Camp
Kicheche Bush Camp
Kicheche Bush Camp
Kicheche Bush Camp

Kicheche Bush Camp: Our full report

Located in the quiet Olare Motorogi Conservancy and with only six tents dotted through the bush, Kicheche ...

... Bush Camp is an intimate tented camp owned in partnership with photographer Paul Goldstein. As a result, there is a keen focus on wildlife viewing and photography here, making this a popular camp that safari enthusiasts flock to year after year.

Kicheche Bush Camp is one of three Kicheche camps in the Maasai Mara ecosytem, the others being Kicheche Mara Camp and Kicheche Valley Camp.

The main communal tent at Kicheche is simple yet stylish, made mostly from a crisp cream canvas but with an added shade sheet to help keep things cooler. Entirely open at the front and looking out into the surrounding bush, the tent has no view as such, but that just enhances the bushy nature of the camp, whilst plants in terracotta pots add a homely slant.

Inside is a lounge, with cream sofas and comfortable cushions. Coffee-table books, including the inevitable one of Paul Goldstein's photographs, are strewn across a central table making this a great place to sit in the afternoon with a coffee. On the other side are two tables that are usually set together for communal dining – indoors in the cooler evenings but outside under a shady tree for lunch and breakfast. In a small neighbouring tent, a shop offers some curios such as jewellery and branded T-shirts, hats and fleeces. This is also the only place to pick up WiFi signal in camp.

The attentive staff are always around to help with drinks and requests, bending over backwards to make sure that you enjoy your stay. The engaging and approachable managers, who host meals and greet you off every drive, create a very homely and welcoming atmosphere.

The six identical tents at Kicheche Bush Camp are spread far apart, making each very private. They are vast and much more complex than your average safari tent, with rooms created by canvas walls. During the day these are opened right up to create quite an open-plan room, but at night the various areas can be separated off, enclosing you in a smaller and cosier bedroom.

At the front is a lounge with comfortable chairs and a coffee table. It is here that your coffee or tea is left in the morning, while during the afternoon it is a nice spot to while away your siesta. In the spacious bedroom, pale-wood furniture and cream fabrics look very contemporary and stylish, and the odd bit of Maasai jewellery dotted around reminds you that you are in Kenya! A large decanter of drinking water, radio for emergencies, and wellington boots for wet weather offer some useful practicalities too.

The bathrooms can be separated off by a canvas flap for privacy. A free-standing wash basin sits atop a white wooden table, with a plumbed-in tap and mirror. There is plenty of hanging space for clothes, a proper flush loo and lovely toiletries too. The tent's bucket shower is set over a beautifully crafted wooden shower stand, this is always ready for you when you return from your evening game drive, or can be requested at any time of day.

You'll need to tear yourself away from the lovely tents to join the activities at Kicheche Bush Camp, which focus mainly on game drives in comfortable, open-sided 4WD vehicles, with only four seats (there's also one six-seater). They all have plug socket strips with inverters, for charging your batteries. The vehicles are very well set up for serious photographers and the guides are superb. You will spend most of your time exploring the Olare Motorogi Conservancy which has few other vehicles around and some superb wildlife viewing. For guests who spend three nights here during the migration season (roughly defined as July to October inclusive), you may wish to spend a full-day visiting the main Maasai Mara National Reserve to try and catch the wildebeest herds. There is an additional charge for this. In the national reserve driving is restricted to the roads and during the day only, but in the conservancy drives can take you off-road and extend after dark as well. Most evening drives bring you back to camp after a short night drive, in time for dinner at 8.00pm.

Nature walks can easily be arranged and these are led by a Kicheche Bush Camp guide with a radio, and an armed ranger and typically last two to three hours. If you're really adventurous you can also arrange an overnight fly-camp – you leave Kicheche in the afternoon and walk to a very simple bush camp consisting of dome tents and a single bush shower and toilet. There is also an option to go on a longer walk, departing from Kicheche Bush Camp, overnighting in a small fly-camp, then walking on to Kicheche Valley Camp the following day.

We feel that Kicheche Bush is a great choice for photographers, both amateur and professional, and guests return time and time again for the excellent photographic opportunities offered by the conservancy. Many of the guides themselves are excellent photographers, and you will see their photographs adorning the walls of the camp. They can happily give you camera tips and know how to position the vehicles in order to allow you to perfectly capture the moment. The managers have started up a lens hire service with a range of super telephoto and wide angle lenses available; when we were here in February 2019 these started at around $30 per day.


Our view

Kicheche Bush Camp is a real favourite of ours, with fantastic managers who create a very convivial and friendly camp. This, twinned with the high quality of the camp itself, which is spotlessly clean, well kept and stylish, makes it a first-rate choice for people who like bush camps but with a high degree of comfort. The most telling thing we noticed when we were there was that out of ten visitors in camp, eight were repeat guests. For us that says it all!

Olivia Barclay-Hudson

Olivia Barclay-Hudson

Country manager: Kenya

Geographics

Location
Maasai Mara Conservancies, Kenya
Ideal length of stay
3-4 nights
Directions
Kicheche Bush Camp is reached via a 90-minute flight from Nairobi to Olare Motorogi Conservancy Airstrip. It is then a 15 minute drive back to camp, or longer when you inevitably pause to watch wildlife on the way. It is also only a 10 minute drive to the main Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
The food we had at Kicheche Bush Camp was really good – tasty, well presented, varied and a cut above the norm that we have experienced in the Mara. The managers used to own a restaurant on the Kenyan coast and have a history of producing excellent food. We mostly enjoyed the fun and chatty atmosphere around the table at mealtimes.

Breakfast is usually a picnic taken out in the bush. We had boiled eggs, cold bacon and sausage, as well as yoghurt, cereal, fruit salad, coffee or tea, and fruit juice. In camp, you'll also be offered a proper cooked breakfast.

On most days lunch is a cold buffet, with dishes such as spinach frittata, green salad, avocado and papaya salad, couscous and bean salad along with irresistible fresh sourdough bread. Cheeses and dessert are also a daily feature; we particularly enjoyed the homemade passionfruit ice cream.

Dinner is a set menu with starters such as caramelised onion and feta tart or tomato and mozzarella salad. For a main course we had chicken with mustard mash potatoes and buttered green beans. For pudding, the homemade profiteroles topped with caramel were exceptional.

Special interests

Solo Travel
With its fun and unpretentious atmosphere and informal group dining, Kicheche Bush Camp is very good for solo safari holidays. Wildlife activities like 4WD game drives are shared with other guests and outside peak season, they charge a relatively low single supplement.
See ideas for Solo Travel
Photography holidays
With keen photographer Paul Goldstein a major shareholder and frequent visitor to the camp, Kicheche is well geared to photographers. The guides are very good at using light in their positioning, and the vehicles have bean bags, tables to rest on, and bars to attach lenses.
See ideas for Photography holidays

Children

Attitude towards children
There are no formal age restrictions at Kicheche Bush Camp, but they pointed out that, aside from a few games in the main area, there is little to accommodate children.
Property’s age restrictions
Usually 8
Special activities & services
With links to the MAA trust, Kicheche can arrange for children to learn how to bead, or to visit one of the local schools. The guides are also always keen to show children how to make fire and use a bow and arrow.
Equipment
Kicheche Bush Camp will do separate children’s meals and can fit a third bed in each tent, however there are no specific family tents.
Generally recommended for children
We felt that Kicheche Bush Camp is quite wild and better suited to adults. It is also a small camp and it is likely that boisterous children would impact negatively on other guests.
Notes
Children are their parents’ responsibility at all times, and will need supervising extensively. Any families with under-7s will need to book exclusive vehicle use.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Kicheche Bush Camp

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Kicheche Bush Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Buffalo

100% success

Elephant

100% success

Giraffe

100% success

Hippo

100% success

Leopard

100% success

Lion

100% success

Spotted Hyena

100% success

Zebra

100% success

Eland

83% success

Wildebeest

83% success

Cheetah

75% success

Striped Hyena

22% success

Wild dog

11% success

Pangolin

10% success

Aardvark

0% success

Black Rhino

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
There is generator backup. Charging is possible in the tents 24 hours a day.
Communications
There is cellphone reception all around Kicheche Bush Camp with a choice of networks and 3G available, so you will be able to stay in touch if you want to. In 2016 they introduced Wi-Fi for guests' use which is available in the WiFi tent.
TV & radio
There is no guest TV, though the staff have TV and guests could share that, for example for an important sporting event.
Water supply
Borehole
Water supply notes
The camp's borehole water isn't potable, though it is fine to shower and wash with. Drinking water is brought into camp in large plastic bottles and provided in flasks to each guest.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
The nearest clinic to Kicheche Bush Camp is at at Mara Intrepids lodge which is 45 minutes away by road. There are also some local health centres in Talek, which is about a 35-minute drive. Kicheche Bush Camp has links to the flying-doctor service in case of emergency and private charter planes can land at the nearby Olare Motorogi airstrip.

When we visited recently, the guides and managers were all first-aid trained and told us that they had annual refresher courses. The vehicles all had first-aid bags, whilst in camp the first-aid box was slightly more substantial and contained basic medicines.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
Kicheche Bush Camp has askaris on site and an armed ranger. Guests are escorted around camp at night due to the presence of wildlife.
Fire safety
There are fire breaks all around the camp, and fire extinguishers at every tent and in the main area. Staff have regular training in fire safety.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Cultural excursion

    Cultural excursion

  • Fly-camping

    Fly-camping

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Hot air ballooning

    Hot air ballooning

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
A full laundry service is included (except ladies underwear, for cultural reasons)
Money
There is a central safe for valuables. Kicheche Bush Camp can exchange small amounts of cash and when possible will offer cashback against credit cards, with a 5% surcharge. However, guests cannot rely on this service as it depends on the petty cash (and phone signal!) being available in camp.
Accepted payment on location
Kicheche Bush Camp accepts payment for any extras in cash – euros, US dollars, Kenyan shillings and pounds sterling – or by credit card; there is no surcharge on purchases.

Other lodges in Maasai Mara Conservancies

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Naboisho Camp

Naboisho Camp

Naboisho Camp is one of the most luxurious of the handful of camps in the Naboisho Conservancy. It offers day and night game drives, game walks and full creature comforts in the bush.


98% (41 reviews)
Kicheche Mara

Kicheche Mara

Kicheche Mara Camp has just eight tents and a rustic and comfortable feel. It is set by a stream in a pretty area of the Mara ecosystem's Mara North Conservancy.


98% (39 reviews)
Offbeat Mara

Offbeat Mara

Offbeat Mara is a small traditional camp that appeals to safari traditionalists, located in one of the Maasai Mara’s quiet conservancies.


97% (28 reviews)
Kicheche Valley

Kicheche Valley

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.


96% (18 reviews)
Encounter Mara

Encounter Mara

Encounter Mara is located in the private Naboisho Conservancy – a game-rich area of the Mara ecosystem – and offers a contemporary take on the traditional, low-impact luxury safari camp.


95% (11 reviews)
Serian

Serian

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.


98% (10 reviews)
Mara Plains Camp

Mara Plains Camp

Mara Plains is one of the very best camps in the Mara ecosystem. Located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, just outside the Mara reserve, it has access to three wildlife-viewing areas.


100% (10 reviews)
Elephant Pepper Camp

Elephant Pepper Camp

Elephant Pepper Camp is a small 10-tent bush camp, put together in the traditional "campaign" style, and including a large honeymoon/family tent.


98% (8 reviews)
Porini Lion Camp

Porini Lion Camp

Porini Lion Camp is a pioneering, community focused eco-camp, with excellent guides and game viewing, in the predator-rich, Olare Motorogi Conservancy.


83% (8 reviews)
Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp

Ol Kinyei Adventure

Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp is a satelllite of the larger Porini Mara Camp. Both of them are located in the Maasai-owned Ol Kinyei conservancy, the oldest community conservancy in the Maasai Mara ecosystem.


97% (7 reviews)
Porini Mara Camp

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.


96% (5 reviews)
Cottars 1920s Camp

Cottars 1920s Camp

Cottar's 1920s Camp is a classic, luxury tented camp with a 1920s safari theme, located in its own conservancy on the southeast border of the Maasai Mara National Reserve.


92% (5 reviews)
Ngare Serian

Ngare Serian

The luxurious Ngare Serian and its sister camp Serian face each other across the Mara River on the western side of the Mara North Conservancy


96% (5 reviews)
Karen Blixen Camp

Karen Blixen Camp

Karen Blixen Camp sits on a meander of the Mara River in the Mara North Conservancy, just beyond the northern boundary of the Maasai Mara National Reserve.


90% (4 reviews)
Basecamp Eagle View

Basecamp Eagle View

Basecamp Eagle View is a community-focused safari camp in the Naboisho Conservancy, with a strong emphasis on responsible tourism and a spectacular location.


100% (4 reviews)
Hemingways Ol Seki Mara

Hemingways Ol Seki

Magnificently located tented lodge on a bluff looking south across the Naboisho Conservancy toward the Maasai Mara National Reserve.


93% (3 reviews)
Saruni Wild

Saruni Wild

Saruni Wild is a rustic and traditional safari camp in the Lemek Conservancy, with just three tents and limited electricity.


93% (3 reviews)
Leleshwa

Leleshwa

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.


90% (2 reviews)
Mara Toto

Mara Toto

Mara Toto is a small luxury camp due to open in 2019.


100% (1 review)
Basecamp Wilderness Camp

Basecamp Wilderness

Basecamp Wilderness Camp is a simple, traditional tented camp, set in a remote valley in the Naboisho Conservancy in the Mara ecoystem.


100% (1 review)
Kicheche Walking Wilderness

Kicheche Fly Camp

Kicheche Walking Wilderness Fly Camp is a temporaray dome tent camp set up for participants in Kicheche's two-day walking safari between Kicheche Valley and Kicheche Bush Camp.


100% (1 review)
Saruni Mara

Saruni Mara

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.


80% (1 review)
Basecamp Leopard Hill

Basecamp Leopard Hill

With six beautiful tents, Basecamp Leopard Hill is a smart safari camp in the Naboisho Conservancy in the Maasai Mara ecosystem.


100% (1 review)
Mahali Mzuri

Mahali Mzuri

Mahali Mzuri is a strikingly modern tented camp in the Virgin Limited Edition group, in a remote part of the Mara ecosytem's Olare Motorogi Conservancy. It has lovely views and all the luxuries of a five-star hotel.


100% (1 review)
Mara Bushtops

Mara Bushtops

Mara Bushtops is a luxury safari hotel on a private concession, outside the Maasai Mara National Reserve, with the emphasis on comfort, relaxation and good food and wine.


No reviews yet
Cottars Private House

Cottars Private House

Cottar's Private House is one of the few truly luxurious, modern private houses in the Mara ecosystem, spoiling its guests with first-rate staff, a swimming pool and wonderful views.


No reviews yet
Entumoto

Entumoto

Entumoto is a high-end tented camp, with a swimming pool, situated in a very pretty location on the east side of the Maasai Mara ecosystem.


No reviews yet

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa