Kenya is the original safari destination, and as such there is a fantastic array of lodges catering for every type of traveller, and every budget. Starting from the bottom are the “drive in” cheaper safari lodges. We generally only work with the “fly in” camps, as we believe these offer a much higher quality safari experience. If you visit a “fly in” camp, you use the vehicles and guides from the lodges, and as such your guide is a real expert in the area and is primarily a guide, and only secondly a driver. When people do “driving tours” their guide is usually primarily a “driver” and will not know the specific areas you will be exploring. Also, we believe it is important to get to a destination quickly, so you can enjoy it fully, without having most of your trip being focussed on getting from A -B which can minimise your time at sightings.
Kenya lodges can be separated into a few categories. Across the board Kenya lodges are fairly classic and old school in their style, with an “out of Africa” atmosphere to them all. So you don’t get modern and luxurious, as you do in say Tanzania. Most of the camps in the Masai Mara tend to be tented, replicating the style of safari when it all began. You then get the more rustic yet permanent lodges in the Laikipia area. Then at the top end of luxury in Kenya, you get the authentic brick style permanent lodges, which offer an exceptional and unbeatable experience, if this is your style! It is not a country for the latest cutting edge architecture and all the mod cons, but it is brilliant at taking you back in time to where it all began.

The best tented camps in Kenya


The most basic of the “fly in” lodges are not really that basic, but more a glamping experience with big solid beds, en-suite “safari showers” and all in all, a very comfortable experience. This style of camp is typical for East Africa, and is particularly popular in Tanzania’s Serengeti, as the camps up sticks every few months to follow the Great Migration’s path around the Serengeti. In both Kenya and Tanzania these can get exceptionally luxurious, so there is a huge range of prices for this style of lodging.

The brilliant thing about Kenya is that it is quite a bit cheaper than the slightly more exclusive Serengeti. It has largely based itself on a high volume approach to tourism, which means the rates for even some exceptional lodges is relatively low. Starting at the bottom end of the tented camps is the unbelievable Kichwa Tembo which is only $450 per person per night in a standard tent. Then, you get the more luxurious tented options such as Mara Plains at $1,900 per person per night… Showing you don’t have to be in a permanent structure to get all the luxury in the world!

The best permanent lodges in Kenya


In the Laikipia region, which is made of of “ranches” of sorts, and offer a huge amount of activities because of their private concessions, there are a number of old school permanent safari lodges. Places like Borana have not changed much over the years – perfectly comfortable, rustic yet luxurious in their own charming way, to stay somewhere like this you would be looking at $700 per person per night… Bargain! Especially when you consider riding safaris are also included in the cost. Moving up a notch is the smarter barefoot-luxury option such as Ol Donyo in the Chyulu Hills at around $1,360 per person per night, and up again to the most luxurious options Kenya has to offer is the likes of Angama Mara which is $1,250 per person per night. 
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Little Governors - Masai Mara Reserve
Little Governors – what can I say. I loved it there. Service was excellent and I loved the hot water bottles in my bed at night. So many animals and our guides were amazing. We so enjoyed the balloon ride and have excellent pictures.
- J Cole
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    Cost: $753
    Loisaba - Laikipia

    Our View

    Located on a sheer escarpment that overlooks the Laikipia, it is impossible not to have your breath taken away by the views! This truly is to experience the African sky at its largest. The lodge itself is set on a private cattle ranch that now features wandering oryx and the occasional elephant....but the idea of coming here is to unwind and take in that view. Again, a great accompaniment to the nearby Mara, and with activities such as horse riding, helicopter rides, tennis, a full spa and plenty more, you can be as energised as you like.
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    Cost: $740
    Macushla House - Nairobi
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    Cost: $172
    Manda Bay - Lamu

    Our View

    Manda Bay is definitely up there with the best (but also the most expensive) of the luxury beach properties on the Kenya Coast. Set a mere 20 minute boat ride from Lamu Island, the lodge is set on the west side of Manda Island which gives it a protected outlook onto the inner waterways that run between the islands. This is both a blessing and a drawback in our book.
     
    The blessing is that it does not suffer from the trade winds that can blow fairly heavily up and down the coast, and it gives the lodge access to one of the best water skiing areas I have seen! The drawback is that, where Kiwayu has idyllic white sand for the beach, Manda have more of a yellow sand beach…but this is not much of a drawback. The communal area is one of our favourites of any lodge.
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    Cost: $310
    Mara Plains - Greater Mara
    This is probably the best camp I have ever stayed at! The rooms were drop dead gorgeous with great views of wildlife from the comfort of your own bed! The game was spectacular with great sightings of lion and cheetah and thousands of wildebeest. A truly amazing camp!

    - J. Roberts
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    Cost: $1,930
    Msambweni Beach House - Indian Ocean Mainland

    Our View

    Msambweni House is a relatively new addition to the Kenya coast and is definitely a welcome one! The house itself has a great feel to it with all of the rooms having an open and fresh feel to them. The stretch of beach that they are located on is far enough away from the infamous Diani that it is not impacted by the large numbers of lodges up there and so makes for a great and enjoyable beach stay. The food is also a huge selling point with fresh fish (surprisingly!) being a speciality. This is a great option….subject to availability.
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    Cost: $387
    Naibor - Masai Mara Reserve
    Naibor camp was just everything wonderful that we could have wanted.  Great, great staff....great game drives with great guide....the current camp director is a young man who will be here this year....his name is Ivan and he had a young intern named Troy working there at the time. As is their custom we had dinner together every night. They were lots of fun and very helpful. There was only one other family in the camp and they chose to eat as a family. Really they did not leave a stone unturned to be meet any need we had and they have a wonderful, beautiful place to do it in. We were very pleased...thank you for reccommending Nairbor.

    - B Summitt
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    Cost: $890
    Ngong House - Nairobi

    Our View

    Each of the rooms at Ngong House have been beautifully constructed and looked after over the years the house has been open. As with the other hotels in the area, this is a great place to relax for a couple of nights while exploring the sights in and around Nairobi. Great rooms and fantastic service, it does however lack from having no pool.
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    Cost: $547
    Norfolk Hotel - Nairobi

    Our View

    Norfolk House is a good hotel to stay in if you want to be in the centre of town although it can get very booked up should there be a conference in town and suffers slightly from a smallish, overlooked pool.
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    Cost: $353
    Ocean Spa Lodge - Indian Ocean Mainland

    Our View

    Set on a private beach on Kenya's South Coast hides this exclusive, luxury and intimate beach retreat. With all the anemities you could need, and more, since it's opening 2 years ago it has proved itself to be a super luxurious option for those who enjoy the finer things in life. 
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    Cost: $475
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    We create fabulous safari itineraries and honeymoons throughout Africa and the islands of the Indian Ocean.  Our knowledge and experience will guarantee you the very best possible itinerary for
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