Time of Visit: May 2017
Room Type: Family Cottage
As is our endeavor to find exciting places to visit and great accommodation to write about, my recent visit to Nakuru National Park in the month of May ticked both the boxes! Nakuru National Park is a few hours drive from Nairobi and we chose Mbweha Camp to stay in while we explored this part of Kenya which is gloriously rich in wildlife. "Mbweha" is the Kiswahili word for jackal and here one can find all the three species of jackals in East Africa.
The camp itself is located in untouched Soysambu conservancy outside the Lake Nakuru National park. Inside the conservancy, the camp is easy to find, as it’s well signposted. Mbweha Camp is easily accessible from Nairobi by road in about 3 hours along the Nairobi - Nakuru Highway. The lodge has access to a nearby Congreve airstrip for charter flights too. So feel free to reach here directly!
As Soysambu conservancy is outside the National park, one can enjoy the freedom of night game drives at a charge of 3000 Kenyan Shillings per person for residents and $45 for non residents. There is no entry fee charged to enter this conservancy. Besides game drives, one can indulge in bush breakfasts, sundowners overlooking Lake Nakuru and guided safari walks. They also arrange drive to Lake Elemantaita hot springs and unescorted guided bike tours for the guests.The conservancy is home to Aardvarks, African mini kangaroos, bat eared foxes, silver backed jackals, hyenas, gazelles, zebras, Buffaloes, water bucks and Impala to name a few.
Mbweha Camp consists of delightfully authentic 10 cottages ( 2 family cottages, 4 double bed cottages, and 4 twin bed cottages)built of lava stone and the thatched roof. They exude a relaxed aura and you can feel the holiday feel sinking in as soon as you step onto this property. They have done their best to give you a real jungle feel and there is minimum intrusion of man made dwellings inside the precincts of the resort.The rooms here are named after a variety of animals found in the conservancy, adding glamour and style to its contemporary African ambience. They have wi-fi through out the camp and 240 V charging facilities in the lounge.
Our cottage the Twiga ( Swahili name for Giraffe) was a family cottage and was really impressive. It had two floors. Now that is something unique as I have never come across two stories cottage in any lodges I have ever been to.Every cottage is surrounded by yellow barked Acacia , indigenous trees and the camp has luscious green grass all over that provides a perfect atmosphere as one listens to the African night sounds of a lion roar in the nearby national park or the other animal chatter.
The lodge has beautiful views of Mau and Eburu ranges, friendly staff, excellent cuisine and service.
The room had one King sized bed, one single bed, and stairs leading to upper floor which has a queen sized bed. The decor was charming and African in spirit. The bathroom had three steel washbasins, organic toiletries, 2 showers with hot water and rustic decor. The room had ample storage and was really spacious.
Inside, the cottages are tastefully furnished, with big beds draped with mosquito nets and an array of easy chairs, tables, and paintings. Bathrooms are located at the back and are spacious. The suite cottages have outdoor luxurious candlelit bathtubs that are included under top ten safari bathtubs of Kenya! In the front, the patios are cosy and provide a great spot to listen to and watch the birds flutter between the shrubs.
Wine, Dine & Make Merry
The camp’s highlight is definitely the inviting lounge and bar, which is open ( still covered) and airy with wood fire at its heart. A large seating arrangement of sofas encircles it. A small ramp leads to the dining area, and beyond that a gravel path takes you to the swimming pool.
The overall service was good. Food was ala-carte and served continental cuisine. Indians or those who love Indian cuisine may find some Indian delicacies being served here as Kenya has a sizeable Indian population living in the country. We dug into delectable Palak Paneer (Spinach gravy with Cottage cheese) and rice for dinner. The unique feature here was the movable menu on a white board which could be moved from table to table so for the patrons to see and order from. Breakfast was cooked to order.
At the camp, they also arrange for private dinners in the cottage or under the open sky lit with stars, on request. At Mbweha, I have had one of the most delicious meals I had come across in a safari camps. After dinner, a guard escorted us back to our Mbweha cottage where we drifted off to sleep surrounded by the sounds and Natural beauty of Africa's -- the perfect ending to a spectacular day.
Mbweha because of its rustic look and African appeal is the best place to enjoy grandeur of Kenyan wildlife. A few hours from Nairobi, a bustling cosmopolitan city, Mweha is a great escape which brings you to Authentic African experience.