Set amongst the forest at the foot of the scenic Oloololo escarpment (the rim of the Great Rift Valley) in Kenya’s iconic Masai Mara National Reserve, is the classic and elegant Bateleur Camp.
Here, amidst the reserve’s astounding year-round concentration of animals, including the seasonal Great Wildebeest Migration, guests can have an unsurpassed wildlife experience. Guests can almost exclusively explore this area on a game drive or on foot, enjoying access to pristine outdoor dining locations.
Comprised of just two intimate camps of nine tented suites each and a family tent; each elegant tent, with its own private butler and housekeeper reflects the ambiance and glamour of Kenyan explorers of old.
Slip into a world of hardwood floors, polished silver and copper bathtubs juxtaposed against the romance of the open Mara plains, with their abundant herds of wildlife.
Beautifully handcrafted artefacts, fine antiques, leather buttoned Chesterfield sofas, books, and crystal and candlelight adorn the comfortable sitting and dining areas.
Refreshing lap pools in each camp provide cool comfort in between captivating game drives. Delectable cuisine is served in a memorable setting beneath the stars and bush breakfasts and romantic sundowners offer an unforgettable African experience.
Adventures at Bateleur Camp include twice-daily game drives, including spot-lit night drives. The camp also offers a range of additional activities such as bush walks, hot air balloon safaris, community excursions, a well- equipped gym and wellness treatments in our massage sala.
&Beyond Bateleur Camp is situated in the Kichwa Tembo private concession, which neighbours the Masai Mara.
Meaning ‘head of the elephant’ in Kiswahili, Kichwa Tembo consists of private land leased from Maasai landlords and situated in the remote western Mara, almost exclusively explored by &Beyond guests.
In addition to its the excellent year-round concentration of wildlife, Kichwa Tembo lies directly in the path of Africa’s spectacular Great Migration.
ABUNDANT YEAR ROUND WILDLIFE
The Masai Mara is unforgettable due to the abundance of wildlife and spectacular landscapes. This is the quintessential African safari experience, where travellers can expect to encounter the Big Five and observe thrilling predator interaction.
DINING UNDER THE AFRICAN SKY
Dine under the African sky with an open-air breakfast on the banks of the Mara River or out on the plains. At night take in the sounds of the bush while enjoying a fireside meal. Your every whim is taken care of and your table set up in the wilds of Africa makes for a sublime dining experience.
Appreciate a more exclusive piece of the Mara where you can explore in a vehicle, by foot, by day or by night. In the company of a safari guide, observe sights and sounds of the bush, while using your complimentary Swarovski Optik binoculars.
AUTHENTIC MAASAI CULTURE
Immerse yourself in the Masai Mara, translated into spotted land of the Maasai, where you can interact daily with our staff, many of whom are from local communities. Or visit a traditional village and witness the daily rituals and traditions of the Maasai culture.
THE ESSENCE OF A SAFARI GAME DRIVE
Game drives in the Masai Mara are unforgettable due to the abundance of wildlife and the spectacular landscapes. With gently rolling hills and wide open plains, this is the quintessential African safari experience.
Travellers can expect to encounter large numbers of animals year round, with big herds of elephant, buffalo and other plains game. It is also common to see predator interaction.
The Great Wildebeest Migration passes through the Mara for approximately three months each year. Game drives may last from a couple of hours to the whole day, with a picnic breakfast and lunch.
If you are lucky enough to experience nature’s greatest spectacle, the Wildebeest Migration, it is a sight to behold. From July to November each year over two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle embark on a cyclical movement through the Mara, driven by rainfall and the subsequent availability of grazing.
Throughout their journey, the wildebeest face tremendous threats, crossing rivers teeming with wily crocodiles and encountering an abundance of predators following closely behind them.
In November the short summer rains begin and the wildebeest move south to their Serengeti calving grounds. However, the ample resident wildlife of the Mara stays in place, ensuring an unforgettable safari experience at any time of the year.
Lion and hyena can be encountered in the reserve, as can cheetah and leopard. The Mara is famous for its magnificent, black-maned lion and you stand a good chance of viewing these powerful animals on a game drive.
Up to six species of vulture are found in the Mara and one or more of them may often be seen on the sidelines of a lion kill. The Masai Mara National Reserve is part of a huge conservation area that also includes the Serengeti National Game Reserve and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in neighbouring Kenya.
With no fences or man-made barriers, wildlife can move freely throughout this area, constantly recreating an ageless natural cycle.
THE ESSENCE OF A HOT AIR BALLOON SAFARI
Experience the beauty of the Masai Mara on a hot air balloon flight. Take off at dawn and float in whichever direction the morning winds take you.
Your altitude may vary from treetop height or lower, which offers a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities, to 300 metres ( 1 000 feet), showcasing the vastness of the panorama.
From time to time the pilot must put more heat into the balloon with the powerful whisper burners. In between these burns, there is silence apart from the natural sounds below.
Sweep your eyes across the panoramic plains and discover the fantastic features unfolding before you, with an abundance of gentle undulating hills, sparkling rivers and verdant grasslands.
Dotted in between this lush terrain you can spot the heads of gentle giraffe foraging from the top of leafy trees, slumbering elephants swaying in the cool breeze, graceful gazelles leaping through the vast expanse and pods of hippos splashing in the water.
Probe further and you may see prowling predators stalking across the savanna. As you sail above the reserve, you are privy to the daily rituals of the wild things in their natural habitat.
It is a beautiful experience to witness the intricacies of the Mara ecosystem and the harmonious coexistence of the vibrant flora and fascinating fauna.
This is a once in a lifetime experience to really appreciate the spectacular magnificence of wild Africa. The hot air balloon flight lasts about an hour and is followed by champagne and a full English breakfast.
THE ESSENCE OF SUNDOWNERS IN THE BUSH
Enjoy the safari ritual of sundowner drinks in a breathtakingly beautiful location on the famous Oloololo Escarpment, which commands magnificent views over the vast Masai Mara.
Sip on an ice cold gin and tonic, a sparkling glass of champagne or your favourite cocktail as the dusk gently deepens around you and the sun sinks slowly over a classical safari landscape.
The evening sounds of the African bush will slowly quieten as the plains species seek shelter for the night and the predators begin to prepare for their nocturnal hunts.
Contemplating the silence of the vast sweeping plains, your eye is drawn to a herd of majestic elephants slowly making their way to a glimmering waterhole. The baby elephants play and tangle their trunks with their older siblings.
Carving another path, the wildebeest trudge up the escarpment slope to the same liquid haven. Here the little ones stick closely to their mothers. Creating a magnificent wild backdrop, zebras and giraffe amble past each other and quirky warthogs go down on bended knee to forage in scrubby brush.
Cast your gaze further back and you may see jackal sneaking ever closer. This is a glorious time to relish the daily ritual of life in the wild as it unfolds naturally before you.
THE ESSENCE OF BUSH DINING
Revel in the wide open landscapes of Africa as you savour a meal served just like African explorers of old would have enjoyed. They say that everything tastes better in the open air and this is even more true when you are enjoying your meal in the middle of African bush.
Enjoy an bush dining experience with open-air breakfast on the banks of the Mara River or while looking out over a scenic view from the Oloololo Escarpment.
Alternatively, choose to dine beneath open skies with dinner served by candlelight in a quiet corner of the camp grounds, followed by some fireside singing and dancing or even a traditional band.
There is nothing more thrilling than bush dining, either near the river’s edge with hippos grunting and jostling below or on the vast sweeping plains with expansive views of the magnificent home of the wild.
Your every whim is taken care of and your table set up in the wilds of Africa will make for an unforgettable dining experience. Cast your eyes to the skies for the fluttering of colourful wings or the glint of a myriad stars.
Survey the scenery and tune in to an assortment of bird calls, rustles and other background noises typical of the African bush. Enjoy the ultimate dining adventure in the midst of an extraordinary natural setting that has become your own personal dining room.
THE ESSENCE OF THE MAASAI CULTURAL VISIT
Immerse yourself in authentic Maasai culture as you visit a traditional village, accompanied by an English-speaking guide who lives there himself.
Find yourself in the midst of the daily hustle and bustle of local life as you witness the daily rituals of the Maasai. Once you have drunk your fill of this authentic cultural experience, you can choose to browse through the Maasai Craft Centre and purchase artefacts made by the people you encountered.
All proceeds from this go directly to the community. Living a semi-nomadic lifestyle, the Maasai tribe has modernised in some ways but still adheres to many aspects of their traditional culture.
Established as fierce warriors, their lively cultural dance, vibrant clothing and beautifully crafted handiwork are recognised worldwide.
The Maasai used to move nomadically with their herds to abundant lush pastures but these days they have built permanent huts or bomas and prefer to stay in once place. They are pastoralists and cattle is essential to their way of life.
A man’s success is measured by the number of cattle and offspring he has. As great a status and show of wealth the cattle are, they are also a vital food source. This glimpse of authentic Maasai culture is a fascinating experience of an ancient way of life that still flourishes today.