iKWETA Safari Camp
Exceptional and underrated game park in Kenya's Tana River basin
iKWETA Safari Camp
iKWETA Safari Camp is a basic but charming camp, well-placed to access the beautiful Meru National Park. The park is part of a vast savanna at the basin of the Tana River that connects with four Kenyan parks and reserves, but Meru is by far the most productive. After nearly two decades of neglect and heavy poaching, Meru saw a renaissance of conservation in the late nineties. Now it stands (almost) restored to its former glory with a superb population of buffalo, excellent numbers of reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, elephant and a poacher-proof rhino sanctuary, home to both white and black rhino.Two kilometers outside the park's main gate, iKWETA sits amidst a thick cluster of trees and is easily accessed from the main road. The staff are welcoming and every effort is made to accommodate you - from your meal preferences to your itineraries.
At the lodge
iKWETA is not high-end luxury, but it's comfortable, simple and very, very homely. A large, high-peaked thatched structure houses the dining area and bar and there are several tables that can be arranged for private or family-style dining. From the main area, pathways wind through the lush camp grounds, where benches are scattered in the shade - perfect for tranquil mornings and afternoons. The large pool is surrounded by several pool loungers and is always a favorite spot, whatever the time of year.
The ten guests tents are well-spaced throughout the lodge grounds, discreetly tucked into the thick tree groves. Rooms exhibit classic safari-decor with solid wood furnishings and satisfactory amenities. They have thatched roofs and canvas walls with floor-to-ceiling mesh windows for good air-flow and even better views. Ensuite bathrooms have hot water showers and flush toilets. Out front is a shady furnished verandah where guests can sit and enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Meru National Park, from the comfort of their beds.
IKWETA is equally popular with those keen to self-drive in Meru National Park, and others wanting a guided safari. Big Five game drives will keep you busy, and yield great predator sightings - lion and cheetah, especially - and a wonderful range of plains game, including reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, Beisa oryx, lesser kudu, gerenuk, Grant's gazelle and huge herds of buffalo. Visits to the rhino sanctuary can also be arranged and are definitely worthwhile.