Reviews of Offbeat Meru
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Offbeat Meru review
Offbeat Meru is exactly what I was expecting, a small rustic tented safari camp which caters for people who want to experience the authentic safari.
Had an excellent guide in Stanley and saw Cheetah and 15 rhinos as well as a large number of giraffes and other game, as well as birds to numerous to mention.
I was well looked after, and on the trip back to the airstrip, Stanley even spotted a leopard tortoise which I had jokingly said that I had wanted to see.
We'll run, good food, we felt we were in the bush but comfortable. The trips were excellent with good guides and we saw the big 5.
The evenings by the camp fire were were magical.
Craig re scheduled our flight on to Mara direct up the Rift Valley past Mount Kenya instead of returning to Wilson and wasting time. The walk with Stanley and the armed guard crowned it.
Offbeat Meru, off the beaten track
We chose staying at Offbeat Meru because we had read so much about the Meru Park being a beautiful park with lots of wildlife and very few visitors. We found this to be true in every way.
Since Offbeat had a good special going on when we wanted to travel, it helped us to stay within our budget. We stayed at three Offbeat camps. Their stay 4 nights pay for 3 special was used at all three of their camps.
We were not disappointed with our choice. Everything was first rate at Offbeat Meru, from the tent location, food and especially the guiding. We had Dominic as our guide. He was great in all aspects. With careful driving, bird and mammal sighting and just a great personality. We became good friends with him in a short time and had lots of laughs and interesting conversations.
Meru may be a little off the main safari circuit but it is well worth the visit, especially for a visitor who has been on safari once before and wants to spend time at sightings and not have multiple vehicles there at the same time. We saw a total of 12 other tourists the whole time we were in Meru Park. We did not have to share our vehicle with any one else since part of the time we were the only ones in camp.
We saw all of the big five while in Meru. It is one of the few places left in Africa where you can see rhinos in the wild. They are in a fenced in reserve but it is large with plenty of cover so you don't feel like they are in a zoo. Due to Dominic's good sighting we were able to see a leopard. At one time there was a herd of close to 200 elephants right next to the road and they stretched 180 degrees across the horizon in front of us. There are large herds of most of the other mammals with gerenuks and Grevy zebra in this park
Offbeat Meru review
We had a wonderful time at Offbeat Meru. It is a lovely camp and guiding was excellent. We really enjoyed long morning game drives with a bush breakfast. Food was very good, imaginative, and we were well catered for as non-meat eaters.
Meru is a beautiful park with very good wildlife viewing - it had surprisingly few visitors
exactly as described at offbeat Meru
El Nino and climate change lead to continuous rains instead of the November rains dissappearing. so it was very muddy and the bush was very very tall. this interfered with animal sightings, and meant the weather was quite hot and humid, and this is certainly not a complaint about the camp, b/c they didn't cause the unusual weather pattern, but it was unpleasant
the tents were more basic than we've experienced before and that was fine. it was our first experience with bucket showers and that went well. the hyenas going by outside the tent was definitely a feature not a bug.
food was good, not great., but also absolutely fine; the host is a young and extremely affable man who knew a lot about the area and being a manager.
we had a really good time with our guide, although we didn't see as much as we'd have hoped, and that was fine. our guide was terrific in the mud, as we skid around, and over a bit of time, his wisdom and his humor shone.
Sparse but more intimate and exclusive safari
Great place to begin your Kenyan safari experience as the location has fewer tourists and gives you a much more intimate and exclusive experience. The bush is denser which means spotting wildlife is harder, but it also makes you more alert and better at it, which is rewarding here and later at more populated parks.
Our guide (Paolo) was very knowledgable and we had the time to ask him questions and learn more about the ecosystem. Among other more common sightings, we saw a leopard in the evening, a rare sighting of a serval, white rhinos, hippos and a great diversity of birds. The sun rises/sets were particularly stunning and there were plenty of great locations for bush breakfasts / sundowners.
The camp was perfectly located on a river with regular visits from elephants, giraffe, waterbucks and other wildlife right at your doorstep. The food, in particular, stood out as exceptional despite one of the simplest and most basic tented kitchens among all the camps we visited on our trip. The accommodation was simple but comfortable, bucket showers were prompt though not perfect for guests with arachnophobia!
We would recommend Meru for both first timers and more experienced safari-goers, particularly at the start of your itinerary.
Great Safari from start to finish
From the time we got off the plane and boarded our jeep until we left, we experienced Africa at its best. It took us nearly 2 hours to get to camp because we were stopping constantly to watch all the animals. The guides were very knowledgeable and in contact with each other often to provide us with be best sightings.
The tents were nice, but not quite as nice as the ones at Offbeat Mara. The service was excellent. They were ready with hot water when shower time came, cleaned the tent daily, provided good meals. Negatives: Beers were cool, but never ice cold. They ran out of ice one day (I know that would only bother Americans), Our tent was close to the Community tent, but one or two were a long walk.
Animal viewing was outstanding! We saw so many giraffes and elephants that I caught myself saying "oh, it's just another Giraffe". I never thought I would get to say that. In one morning excursion we saw the Big Five. Monkeys ran over the top of our tent. Very few bugs, Not too hot in July (actually cool at night), Great trip!
Fantastic Safari at Offbeat Meru
We had a wonderful welcome at the Airstrip from Dominic and Stanley.
The camp itself is in a beautiful location, the camp manager Craig is a wonderful host, everything ran excellently.
We had a camp fire every night with pre dinner drinks, followed by a lovey meal, the food was excellent. The Askari escorted us to our tents after dinner and we were looked after very well.
The game drives were excellent, our guides Dominic and Stanley gave us a wonderful experience and we saw plenty of game with most days not seeing another vehicle. We enjoyed a picnic breakfast each morning to take advantage of being out early when all of the animals are at their most active.
Our tent had a wonderful view over the small river that passed the camp, the bed was very comfortable with plenty of storage for the clothes and very useful to have the laundry facility plus excellent bucket showers to remove the Meru dust!
After a hot game drive we relaxed by the pool which is a real bonus in the camp as it does get very hot
The animal sightings were wonderful
We were met at the landing strip by our guide, Stanley. All the guides on the safari were exceptional, but Stanley was the best. I think we listed 35 different mammal species during our 3 day stay.
The accommodations were good. Not having any expectation of what a tent would be like, I was pleased. However, the bucket shower situation was not ideal. I had a cold shower the first two evenings, and then the last evening the shower was hot, but there was something wrong with the mechanism to spill the water so I ran out of water.
The host was wonderful. He was present at mealtimes and around the campfire. The setting of the camp was really beautiful. The most amazing part was the fact that the animals, including baboons, warthogs, and elephants were so close.
My only issue was the water in the showers. I know that Offbeat Mara and Offbeat Meru are owned by the same group of people. I recommend that some effort is made to upgrade the tents at Offbeat Meru. The setting and the guide were so wonderful, it seems a shame to not have the facility as great as it could be.
Expert Africa comments
Offbeat have got in touch with us to apologise for this client's cold showers. They have had the same tent attendant team for several years and believe the showers at Offbeat Meru have always been very good, so this is a bit of a mystery as the hot water was delivered to this client and her friends in another tent at the same time. Offbeat agrees that the tents at Offbeat Mara are smarter, newer and larger than the Meru ones and this is reflected in the price, as the Mara rates are around 15% higher than the rates at Meru.
Offbeat Meru review
Host and food very good. Nice campsite and beautiful grounds complete with resident gariffe, baboons, and warthogs.
Tents could have been better like the ones at Mara.
Stanley our guide was magnificent!! Great animal spotting...32 mammals.