When I tell people I spent 4 nights in a tent in Kenya surrounded by nothing but bush and wild animals, they are shocked. But this wasn’t just any old tent. This was the Jamba Mutara Tented Camp where camping becomes glamping.
The Jambo Mutara Camp has 15 tents and is the only accommodation in the 20,000-acre Mutara Conservancy. It boarders on Ol Pejeta Conservancy which has the largest population of black rhinos in the area.
It will take you about 4 hours to drive there from Nairobi or you can fly into the Nanyuki airport and have the lodge pick you up from there. From Nanyuki, it takes about an hour to drive to the lodge on the dirt roads, but you’ll be entertained along the way looking at the villages and spotting animals grazing.
As you can tell, the camp is isolated, but it’s nothing like campgrounds you grew up with. The tents at the camp are luxurious.
From the outside, they don’t look like much, but on the inside, it’s incredible. My tent had a king-size bed, sitting area and a flush toilet and shower. But the best part is the terrace. Each tent overlooks the watering hole where the animals in the area stop to drink at each day. The animals I saw included lions, zebras, gazelles, elephants, giraffes and water buffalo. There are more animals in the conservancy but they must have visited the watering hole when I wasn’t looking.
Did I feel safe in my tent? Absolutely. But it is exhilarating experience to know the animals are so close to you. One night a water buffalo was right outside my tents snorting around (he was so loud he sounded like he was “in” my tent), but after a little while, he continued on his way. It was then I felt like I was truly in the heart of Kenya.