Reviews of Kicheche Bush Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Kicheche Bush Camp never fails to impress
I love Kicheche bush camp - fabulous tents, fabulous cooking, fantastic service, 24/7 wi fi in its own tent [spacious and comfortable] and terrific safari experiencesRead more about the whole safari
A totally different experience
This was our first visit to a 'bush' camp and we were aware from the information received it would be different to what we have previously been used to at safari camps/lodges. The tented accommodation is adequate, each positioned well apart from the next so there is no disturbance from the neighbours and just a short walk to the camp lounge/mess area. It's an unfenced camp so there are animals which do wander through, mostly at night, but we did not encounter any.
For us it was an interesting experience but we did miss the usual home comfort facilities ie. hot water and a decent shower. Bucket showers can be arranged at a time to suit the guests but it's a rather crude arrangement and most of the water from our shower head leaked from one side. We also found the lighting to be too subdued especially in the bathroom area; I had to hold a torch so my wife could put in her contact lenses. There is no mains power and lighting is available for certain periods. Guests are woken each morning with tea delivered to you your tent plus a jug of hot water for a minimal wash.
That aside, the food (no bush food served which we appreciated), hospitality, and game viewing was some of the best ever experienced. This camp is situated in a conservancy which has advantages; unlike the Maasai triangle there is relatively fewer people and therefore a lot less vehicles so game viewing is a far better experience. On one game drive we saw, including a group of 3 mothers with their 8 cubs, a total of 25 lions. On another, 5 male leopards in one group - which was most unusual. On another drive, our first kill - a female cheetah bringing down a gazelle. Just so much game!
Much to our surprise the camp has just introduced satellite Wi-Fi so phone and computer facilities available.
All the staff are to be congratulated on their endeavours to ensure guests are so well looked after in every detail.
Kicheche Bush Camp
We liked this lodge the best of all because of the area it sits in.
Emma and Darren were so helpful and welcoming. What made this lodge the best of the 3 we stayed in was the excellent location - there are wonderful hills around, which makes for great viewing and marvellous game drives.
Our guide, Charles, was truly excellent and we much enjoyed the Bush Walk with him. This is a quiet area. Even over New Year there were very few other cars and being in a conservancy they have a very strict rule on numbers able to enter the conservancy. So very often you could be alone looking at game.
Well looked after, often had exclusive use of vehicle/guideRead more about the whole safari
Kicheche Bush Camp is the cat's whiskers!
Kicheche Bush Camp really is the cat's whiskers.
Darren and Emma are the best camp managers we have ever come across and going back to Kicheche Bush Camp is like visiting old friends. As would be expected in a well-managed camp, all of the staff are friendly, helpful and diligent.
Wildlife viewing is very dependant on the quality of your guide but as all Kicheche guides are silver-badged and know the best angle for viewing and photographing the animals a good experience is assured.
But the stars of the show are the big cats and you will see plenty of their whiskers thanks to the expert guiding. There aren't many places where you can almost guarantee regular and good sitings of leopard and cheetah but this is one of them.
We hope to return!
One of the things that attracted us to Kicheche Bush Camp was reading about how many of their guests are repeat visitors -- they must be doing something right! After spending 4 nights there recently, we would have to agree and we hope that someday we will be able to join the ranks of repeat guests. They just seem to do everything to make a wonderful experience for their guests.
We enjoyed a warm welcome from managers Darren and Emma and their exuberant new puppy Frankie. Their presence in camp, including joining us at meals, made us feel a part of the bush camp family. The camp offers some of the best food we have ever had on our four safaris. It was fresh, varied, and absolutely delicious -- especially the variety of breads that they offered at each meal. They offered an updated take on safari meals, including made-to-order pizza for lunch one day and the Kenyan tradition of Indian curry for Sunday supper.
Our wonderful guide Nelson consistently found amazing things for us to view on our game drives. We watched lots of lions, lion cubs, leopards, cheetah, and hundreds of thousands of wildebeest who were staying in the area because the rains brought ample green grass. He even spotted an aardwolf twice in the daytime, and a caracal (which unfortunately hid in the grass to avoid being photographed.) A special memory was an afternoon drive to a hyena den to watch the young ones play. What an unexpected delight to discover that hyenas can actually be adorable! We chose not to spend a day driving to the Maasai Mara Reserve because the wildlife was so abundant in the conservancy. Nelson was always very skilled at positioning our vehicle for optimal photography, including some amazing sunset opportunities.
The only negative thing that we found was that because of the presence of several other camps in the conservancy, there were times when the game viewing felt a bit crowded. That occurred primarily when finding leopards with their kills, so it was easy to understand why everyone wanted to be there. But we could often find other animals on the hunt with no one else around, so it definitely did not spoil our experience there.
Overall, this is one of the best camps we have ever visited and we recommend it highly.
The hosts at Kicheche Bush Camp are the best!
The hosts at Kicheche Bush Camp are the best! They made us feel warm and welcome. Conversation with them were also interesting and educational.
The fire side drinks before dinner is also a great way to connect with other travelers at camp. The camp pays tremendous attention to detail. The hot water bottle they gave us for the morning game drive is an excellent example.
Great camp that lived up to all the hype
We picked Kicheche Bush b/c we wanted to be in the Olare Orok conservancy, and both the area and the camp were awesome! Things we loved:
- Incredibly action packed game drives. On a single drive, we saw cheetahs, baby hyenas, numerous lions, 2 mating lions, and a lion/wilderbeest kill!
- Great guiding. All silver level. Our guide was very knowledgeable about photography and had great tips for the best shots.
- Beautiful luxurious rooms.
- Truly gourmet food worthy of Michelin stars. Don't know how they do it. If you have time, visit the kitchen and the chef!
- Ability to go for a walk with a great walking guide (Patrick).
- Great jeep mates.
Kicheche Bush Camp review
Fantastic. The managers, Darren & Emma are very personable and go out of their way to make sure that guests are looked after.
Nothing is too much trouble.The food and wine are first class. The guides all hold silver qualifications under the Kenya Professional Guide scheme. All of them regularly accompany professional photographers and as a result they instinctively put guests in the best position to view animals and to take photographs. They explain what animals have been sighted in the conservancy over the last few days and which are with cubs. They will then plan game drives which suit what the guest wants to view. You have the option to have packed breakfasts or lunches depending on what you want to see.
Mixed feelings at Bush
Tents are big and quite average standard but all that you need is there. The tents are also, due to the huge "windows", see through, so that everyone passing by could see exactly what´s going on inside. Luckily, we were in the tent the furthest away from the messtent, so had enough privacy.
Food was good. The kitchen staff did their outmost to meet my dietary needs. They also met our wish to serve our dinner at 19 30, even though the other guests had theirs short before 21 00. Thanks to this flexibility, we could go to sleep early enough not to be completely exhausted the next morning.
We loved Aki, the relief manager, who made everyone feel welcome and was most accommodating to our every wish. All the other staff were very nice and service was excellent.
The high points of our stay were to watch the interactions within two of the lion prides. One lioness had two 1 month old cubs and kept carrying around the female cub in her mouth. The male cub, however, protested wildly and didn't want her to do it, which was great fun to watch. One of the two huge and handsome males patiently tried to convince a young lioness to mate with him, spending hours gently resting at her side.
We also watched lionesses from another pride stalking two wart hogs, but these cleverly escaped. We loved to meet the huge male Romeo II, who had recently been badly injured in a fight, and to see how relatively well he had recovered. Another highlight was to watch leopardess Fig hunt and almost catch a Thomson gazelle.
However, we were disappointed that our guide with emphasis talked us out of going down to the Mara River to see a main crossing. He actually didn't inform us in advance, that the Talek River crossing he instead took us to, was a minor crossing, with an almost dry river bed and no crocodiles. We didn't find out about the difference until it was too late and we suspect he misled us, because he didn't want to do the "very long" drive. This casts a shadow on our stay at Bush and left us with a feeling of disappointment.
Expert Africa comments
Kicheche have responded to us to say they are very happy that Mr and Mrs J had such good wildlife sightings. However they are truly sorry if any impression was given by their guide that he was unwilling to take them to the Mara River. At the time, he had no information about any other crossings and there was certainly no intention to mislead. As these travellers had booked and paid for a private guide and vehicle, he was at their disposal for the whole day. Kicheche have spoken to the guide to ensure there are no miscommunications in the future.