Kicheche Bush Camp

Reviews of Kicheche Bush Camp

Excellent(99%) From 29 travellers
Excellent
28
Good
1
Average
0
Poor
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Terrible
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Below are independent comments from 29 of our travellers who have visited Kicheche Bush Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Tony from Bangkok
Arrived on: 3-Sep-2019 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Superb camp with uniquely genuine hosts

Kicheche Bush has a reputation in the industry for being the camp of choice for photographers and filmmakers, and attracts a large number of repeat visitors, some visiting up to three or four times a year - we can see why, and we are sure we will visit again. Wildlife viewing is superb - that goes without saying in the Olare Motorogi conservancy - and guiding is industry leading (with guides able to provided valuable photography tips to amateurs like ourselves, as well as being expert spotters and possessing encyclopaedic knowledge of the ecosystem) - but it was the hosts, Darren and Emma, that we really felt set this camp apart. Having managed the camp for nine years, they were much more than managers - they felt more like proprietors, uniquely invested in the success of the camp and utterly committed to ensuring each and every guest felt equally welcome, comfortable, and had the best possible experience. We've stayed at a number of top end safari camps over the years, but the hosting here was by far the most warm and genuine of all.

The guests come from a wide range of backgrounds - some seasoned safari goers, others first timers in Africa, some retirees, others honeymooners, some professional photographers, others armed with nothing more than a cellphone - but all are made to feel equally important and at home in camp. It takes real skill to welcome guests day after day with equal enthusiasm, and to facilitate the interaction of such a diverse group of guests so that strangers at camp feel like members of the same family - but Darren and Emma were masters of this art, and it created a wonderful atmosphere in the camp.

Tents were really spacious, comfortable and beautifully appointed, and the shower was, hands down, the best safari shower we've ever experienced. In fact, I would almost go as far as to say it was the best shower we have ever experienced, safari or not! Do not be put off by bucket showers - the only difference between these and normal showers is that you have to order them rather than water always being there, and the water lasts only six minutes at a time. But on the plus side you always have good water pressure and the water is always piping hot. The shower has to be believed to be seen - a sunken panelled wooden affair that feels more like a spa than a safari tent, and is about ten times the size of any of the other safari showers we have experienced.

Food was also exceptional, the highlight being the selection of cheeses, Kenyan made, but rivaling anything we've had from France.

And if in the oasis we ever needed reminding how close we were to the real bush we only needed to look in the tree outside the tent, where the remains of a gazelle's leg was still hanging, having been stashed there by a leopard resident in the area the previous week!

Vehicles are extremely well equipped, open top and sides, but still with some shade from the strong daytime sun, and complete with multiple power outlets and USB sockets - uniquely designed with the needs of the photographer in mind. Guiding was top notch, and management were briefed in advance of our previous safari experiences and interests and so were able to tailor our experience appropriately. We had reserved a private vehicle, but we noted that among those that did not, every effort was made to pair up groups with similar interests and experience levels, so that everyone was able to get the most out of their stay.

The only minor 'downside' was that the camp do not offer night drives, and we were always back in camp shortly after sunset. The reason given was wanting to limit disruption to wildlife and to their nocturnal hunting activities - this is admirable, but we noted that other camps in the conservancy do still offer limited night drives, and so one would question how much impact this restraint really has. We are not talking about full on night drives here, but wonder whether the camp might consider offering slightly extended evening game drives, perhaps staying out for an hour or so after sundown, enjoying a slow return to camp with a red-lamp to spot nocturnal species without disturbing predators. We were, however, able to take a night drive at their sister camp Kicheche Valley in Naboisho conservancy, and so this was no problem for us in the end.

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Mr I. from Strafford
Arrived on: 1-Sep-2019 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Excellent friendly staff, great guide.

Very efficient and sociable camp managers (Emma and Darren). They made us feel very welcome and the camp was very well organised with great attention to detail. We had many excellent group meals. Food was excellent (better than Rekero).

Camp setting was not as dramatic as Rekero but staff were amazingly friendly and helpful throughout.
We had another excellent guide (Nelson) who consistently placed us in perfect positions to view and photograph wildlife. He had an excellent understanding of what was needed to get a good photograph as an amazing ability to find wildlife.

Tent accommodation was excellent

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Dr M. from Loughborough
Arrived on: 9-Feb-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kicheche Bush Camp review

The quality of service here was exceptional as was the food and indeed the attention of all of the staff.

Best photographs of the holiday were taken here on both vehicle and foot safaris.

Attention to detail by the staff was fantastic.

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Mrs P from Darlington
Arrived on: 14-Mar-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Special experience at Kicheche Bush Camp

We found the Kicheche Bush Camp to be a very special place. From the friendly welcome lemonade to our transport back to the airstrip, everyone went out of their way to make our stay a treat. The food and wine were outstanding, with vegetarian options being a highlight of each meal.

Our tent was attractive and comfortable, with plenty of space even though we had a third cot added for our travel companion. The weather was cool during the evenings, so we all loved that hot water bottles were tucked into our beds.

The variety and number of animals that we were able to see at close range was amazing! Our guide, Micah, was very knowledgeable, patient, and good humored. He seemed to find something new and interesting for us to see with each drive.

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Ms S from Ste Marthe
Arrived on: 6-Mar-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kicheche Bush Camp review

This was my favourite camp -- very beautiful surroundings and the tent was really lovely!

The managers, Derren and Emma were wonderful and went out of their way to be helpful and welcoming. Derren was kind enough to arrange for me to have a morning's horseback ride at a nearby facility and took time to drive me there and drive me back to camp at noon. It was a wonderful morning and brought back memories of my many horseback safaris in Botswana.

Again, the guides were superb and knowledgeable.

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Steve H from Leeds
Arrived on: 19-Feb-2018 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great time at Kicheche Bush Camp

Kicheche Bush Camp as exciting as ever.

It was good to meet Darren and Emma this year. Very hospitable and well organised. Wildlife brilliant as before and Fig continues to star.

Well done Patrick for spotting an Aardwolf running at speed in the dusk and getting us in position for a couple of good photos.

Good company, good food, good camp - everything perfect.

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Dr W & Dr D from Leeds
Arrived on: 9-Feb-2018 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Kicheche Bush Camp review

This is the best place we have ever been for the diversity of wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities.

The guides are phenomenal and never disappoint.

Darren and Emma, the camp managers, are fantastic and one of the many pleasures of returning to Kicheche Bush Camp is to meet up with them again.

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Mr V from Texas
Arrived on: 6-Feb-2018 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kicheche Bush Camp review

We continued to enjoy the Kicheche approach to the safari experience at Bush camp. The tents were spacious and nicely appointed, and although the setting at first glance was not overly inspiring, it brought in grazing zebras quite close to the tents, while bushbabies could be found in some of the larger trees around the property.

The staff here was just as friendly and service-oriented as at the other Kicheche properties, and managers Darren and Emma helped keep the vibe fun and relaxed, while attending to every detail behind the scenes.

Unlike at Laikipia and Mara, Bush was booked solid throughout our stay. The camp's convenient proximity to the main Reserve may be one reason it is so popular. We did drive down to the Reserve on a couple of occasions for specifically-desired sightings, but the difference in vehicle traffic between that in the Reserve and that in the Conservancy was palpable. I was always more than happy to stay in the Conservancy.

We did have to share a vehicle here, but Kicheche places a maximum of only 4 people in a vehicle, and Darren made a concerted effort to pair up guests with similar interests and priorities. The customized vehicles were open air (with a canvas roll top cover in case of inclement weather or impending sunstroke), outfitted with well-placed supports and beanbags to help with photography, which was important to us.

Our guide, Patrick, did an excellent job of positioning the vehicle to make the most of our sightings. I obtained photos that I would not have been able to achieve — and in some cases; that I would not have even thought of — because of his expertise. As with our other Kicheche guides, Patrick was affable and diligent in trying to get us the best sightings possible. Because of his efforts, we were able to witness an extraordinary lionness kill that was probably the pinnacle of an already fantastic safari.

This last safari to Kenya really was a game-changer for us in many ways, and the Kicheche ethos played a big part in that.

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Mr & Mrs lion from UK
Arrived on: 27-Jun-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Kicheche bush camp

A different feel to Valley camp but really loved it. The hosts were great, being good fun, friendly and informative. Frank, their Jack Russell was the star of the camp.
Our tent was number 1 The monkey. It was close to the hub of the camp and was well appointed, spotlessly clean and with a great bucket shower. All the staff were very friendly and helpful and the evening dance they put on was much appreciated.

Organisation of meals was either out under the trees or inside in one group. Both worked really well and much friendly banter and stimulating conversation took place.

Our driver/guide, James was excellent, a very safe driver and a keen photographer which suited me down to the ground. The jeep was well set up including bean bags for photography.

The wildlife was amazing and we certainly saw more animal behaviour and species ie 9 different antelope than on many safaris we've done. Predators included Fig (leopard) with two very young cubs, many lion cubs and a cheetah. I liked that we could stay as long as we liked at any sighting and that nobody was interested in hunting down the Big Five, but we could spend ages at dwarf mongoose etc. The highlights were time spent with two hunting dog up from the Serengeti and watching a lion pride hunting wildebeest in the pouring rain. Absolute magic.

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Ms P from London
Arrived on: 15-Mar-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent

A wonderful camp

Having travelled extensively in Africa, this was my first time in Kenya - and I was blow away by the Mara. The rains had already begun, meaning everything was a sparkling emerald green - and the wide open vistas, so different to what I was used to from Zambia, were spectacular.

The game - especially cats: a showoff leopard, Fig, and large prides of stunning lions (those manes!) - just leaps off the landscape in front of you. Nelson was an excellent and friendly guide, and Aki was a charming host back at camp. Tents were spacious and well-equipped, including brollies and boots for the downpours (being caught in one of these on our evening drive, just as we were watching a pride of lions, was a highlight), and food was very good. The camp is especially good for photographers, with specially adapted vehicles offering loads of space for kit and well-trained guides.

Highly recommended.

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