Lodges

Gamewatchers Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp

Back-to-basics, but brilliantly done

Gamewatchers Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp

If you're on a budget, but still looking for an unbeatable and totally genuine safari experience, then look no further... Ol Kinyei Camp has your name on it! Set in a grove of shady acacia trees in the exclusive Ol Kinyei conservancy (just outside Kenya's world famous Masai Mara Reserve) the back-to-basics camp is adventure camping at it's very best- no frills allowed. The small domed tents are simple but brilliant, and with glorious views across the wildlife-rich conservancy and open plains, forests and rivers, you certainly don't need much more. Access to the camp is by air, with daily scheduled flights from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to the nearby Naboisho Ol Seki Airstrip.

At the lodge

The hotel

Kept cool by the branches of several magnificent trees, the unfenced camp is well set out, with a central dining and bar tent linked to the tents via clearly marked pathways. Evenings are spent around the open camp fire or in the romantic lantern-lit mess tent (complete with cosy, roll-down mesh sides in case of wind and rain). Meals are served family-style around a large dining table, indoors or al-fresco, and the food is simple, plentiful and always delicious.

The rooms

Accommodation consists of nine small but modern dome tents with practical zip-down doors and windows, and comfortable mattresses on the floor. The tents are large enough to stand up in and can accommodate two adults and one child. At the rear of each tent is an enclosed cubicle with a flush toilet and simple safari shower with hot water available on request. Feel free to bring your own sleeping bag and towels or save some space in the suitcase and hire them for a nominal fee.

On safari

Experiences

Early morning, afternoon and night game drives are conducted in open-sided safari vehicles with a maximum of six guests in each. Guiding is excellent, with local Maasai guides and trackers leading the way to lounging big cats and enormous herds of elephant. Guided bush walks are also offered, as well as visits to a traditional Maasai village and all-day game drives with a picnic lunch in the neighbouring Masai Mara National Reserve.

When to go

Masai Mara by month

January

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are reasonably high, with moderate humidity and a handful of rainy afternoons.
  • Game viewing is good throughout the year with impressive numbers of resident game and plenty of predators.
  • Migratory birds such as bee-eater, rollers, eagles and huge flocks of swallows and swifts soar through the skies.
  • A beautiful time of year with Mocker and Green Banded Swallowtail butterflies flitting from flower to flower.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

February

Season: Dry
  • Weather experienced is hot with moderate humidity and low rainfall.
  • Game viewing is good throughout the year with impressive numbers of resident game and a good density of predators.
  • Migratory birds are present and strengthening their wings for the long flight North.
  • Vast herds of buffalo congregate during this time with plenty of newborns, offering the opportunity to witness a late season birthing.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

March

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are high with lower humidity and rainfall increasing, especially towards the end of the month.
  • Game viewing is still good at this time of the year, as long as you don't mind the chance of seasonal rains.
  • Migratory birds are strengthening their wings and begin to fly North into Africa and Europe.
  • Roads can get muddy during this time of year making game viewing a little more tricky.

April

Season: Wet
  • Game viewing is still good at this time of the year, as long as you don't mind the chance of seasonal rains.
  • Wildflowers are in bloom with the beautiful whites and pinks of the Tissue Paper Flower as well as the red and yellow blooms of the Flame Lily.
  • Various herds of elephants move out of the forested areas to feed on the lush grasses of the open plains, providing exceptional viewing opportunities.
  • Roads can get muddy during this time of year making game viewing a little more tricky.
  • Temperatures drop slightly, humidity increases and a 1 in 2 chance of rainfall is expected.

May

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures continue to drop but are still hot, with high humidity and a 1 in 2 chance of rain.
  • Game viewing is still good at this time of the year, as long as you don't mind the chance of seasonal rains.
  • The grasses are longer during this time of year with cheetah making good use of the cover, hunting Thomson's and Grant's Gazelles.
  • Butterflies are present in good numbers with swallowtails in the woodlands and African Monarchs in the grasslands.
  • Roads can get muddy during this time of year making game viewing a little more tricky.

June

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are relatively hot and humid, with a sharp decline in rainfall.
  • Game viewing is good throughout the year with impressive numbers of resident game and good densities of predators.
  • Grasses are still long, concealing lions on the hunt for warthog and recently born eland calves.
  • An interesting month for birding with Saddle Billed Stalks and Crowned Cranes nesting on the outskirts of the marshland areas.
  • A good month to avoid the peak season numbers with a dramatic improvement in weather.

July

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are at their coolest but still relatively hot and humid, with rainfall unlikely.
  • The arrival of the Great Migration takes game viewing from impressive to exceptional.
  • Grasses are long hiding the newborn Thomson Gazelles from the numerous, hungry cheetah of the Masai Mara.
  • In the forest the Warburgia tree is fruiting, drawing in elephants, baboons, Blue monkeys and Brown parrots to feed.
  • July is known for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets, painting the sky pink, red and orange.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

August

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are slightly cooler but still relatively hot and humid, with a lower chances of rainfall.
  • The presence of The Great Migration takes Game Viewing from impressive to exceptional.
  • A great period for river crossings as the crocodiles make easy work of the sick and weak individuals in the herd.
  • The Quinine trees are in flower and fruiting in the forests attracting spectacular birdlife including hornbills, Turacos and barbits.
  • The sunrise experienced during the cool mornings is reason in itself to visit this region.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

September

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are hot and humid, with occasional afternoon rainfall.
  • The presence of the Great Migration takes Game Viewing from impressive to exceptional.
  • River crossings are frequent in this month, although crocodiles have, for the most part, had their fill.
  • Migratory birds begin to arrive from North Africa and Europe creating a splash of colour in the treetops.
  • Expect beautiful colours with the reds and oranges of the fireball lilies and the stripped blues and whites of the pyjama lilies.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

October

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures have reached their peak, with lower humidity and the potential for occasional rains.
  • Catch the end of the action packed Great Migration with plenty of predator prey interactions.
  • Vegetation is lush and in bloom with migratory birds present in breeding plumage.
  • With the shorter grasses, rarely seen species such as the Bat Eared Fox and Serval Cat are more frequently spotted on the open areas.
  • Sunrises and sunsets are impressive with pinks and oranges cascading across the sky.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

November

Season: Wet
  • The start of the 'Green Season', temperatures are high with lower humidity and an increase in rainy afternoons.
  • The Great Migration has now left the region, leaving behind the impressive numbers of resident wildlife, including a high number of predators on the open plains.
  • A great month for seeing young animals with topi, impala and giraffe choosing to calve during this period.
  • Vegetation is lush and in bloom with migratory birds present in breeding plumage.
  • The Masai Mara can get crowded with tourists during this month.

December

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures begin to drop slightly, with lower humidity and fewer rainy afternoons.
  • The Great Migration has left the region, leaving behind the impressive numbers of resident wildlife, including a high number of predators on the open plains.
  • Migratory birds are present during this time of the year, providing plenty of activity in the treetops.
  • The rutting season for antelope has kicked of with males approaching their prime, posturing and fighting for territories and mates.
  • Another good time to visit the Masai Mara, avoiding the peak season crowds experienced in this region.

Wildlife


The Masai Mara is Kenya's flagship conservation region: a place of rolling plains, bush scrub and acacia thicket— known for the seasonal great wildebeest migration, a mass movement of more than two million, wildebeest, zebra, kongoni, topi and gazelle. As exciting as this phenomenon is, there is so much more to this wilderness. Encounter elephants, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, crocodiles and a variety of cats including lion, cheetah, leopard and the shy serval during a stay in these parts.

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