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Lois Hild Photography

Kicheche Bush Camp, Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Masai Mara

3 posts in this topic

1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well)

Kicheche Bush Camp

2) Website Choseaddress if known:

http://kicheche.com/our-camps/bush-camp

3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known).

September 2014, High Season

4) Length of stay:

4 nights

5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what?

Chosen due to its guiding reputation and accommodations for photographers. Unlimited game drives.

6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently?

Booked through Bustani Safaris

7) How many times have you been on Safari?

Twice

8) To which countries?

Kenya only

9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to?

Several of the Serana properties, Galdessa

10) Was the camp/lodge fenced?

No. Our first night there we were visited by both elephants and lions in camp. All is good as long as the hyenas don't get into the mess tent. Askari patrol at night to keep you safe.

11) How many rooms/tents does it have?

Six tents

12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private?

Tumbili. View of the savanna. Private

13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent?

Very comfortable

14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why.

The food was outstanding. Darren, the manager was formerly a baker. Request the Macadamia Nut Tart, or the Creme Brulee, or...

15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?)

Set menu, but dietary preferences and restrictions were cheerfully catered to.

16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes?

Communal dining with the managers supplying interesting and lively conversation and information.

17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives?

Excellent, especially the Kenyan Quesadillas!

18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible.

19) How many guests per row?

We had a private vehicle

20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken?

You set the length. You can stay out until lunch, or even take a packed lunch and stay out until dinner. No specific route. You go where there is something interesting to see. Game sighting starts in camp.

21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you?

See above

22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like?

Private conservancy. I think the most we saw was two other vehicles at any given time.

23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity?

24) Are you able to off-road?

Yes

25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting.

The one to make the sighing does not get bumped. That way everyone is more likely to inform everyone else when they have made a good sighting.

26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings?

Big cats. Fifty different lions in one day! Five different cheetahs in four days. A leopard within the first 3 hours. All the species the Mara is known for.

27) How was the standard of guiding?

Top notch. They only hire Silver level guides.

28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue?

Nelson and I are now Facebook friends and he keeps me updated on what's going on with the different animals on the conservancy, so no bad experiences!

29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why:

His knowledge was immense and his ability to read the environment to find cheetahs was almost mystical. He was able to find lions in complete darkness. Always seemed to be able to anticipate an animal's movement and be able to position the vehicle for the best angle for viewing and light. The guides at the Kicheche camps have driven for some of the best wildlife photographers in the world.

30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs?

Absolutely.

31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known.

Yes. http://www.mmconservancy.com/wildlifeconservancy/

32) Safaritalk trip report link:

33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add:

The Kicheche camps are owned by a wildlife photographer and therefore know what the needs of photographers are and cater to them. The guides are well trained to drive for photographers and many are accomplished photographers themselves.

34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.

Inside tent
post-50670-0-73448900-1462689965_thumb.jpg

Veranda

post-50670-0-43554600-1462689970_thumb.jpg

Bucket shower

post-50670-0-99520800-1462689974_thumb.jpg

Path to tent

post-50670-0-15824200-1462689981_thumb.jpg

Visitor that strolled past during lunch

post-50670-0-44326800-1462689989_thumb.jpg

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I have stayed at Kicheche Bush Camp twice each time for 5 days and thought it was just spectacular. The wildlife sightings couldn't have been better, the tents were vey comfortable, and it was a great wilderness experience.However, the best part about it,was the superb management team of Darren and Emma.The first time that I was there, I didn't have my baggage because the Kenyan Airways Courier service had lost it.Darren and Emma very kindly ordered clothes and shoes from Nairobi, which were promptly delivered to me at the camp. They are by all count the finest hosts

 

I learned just how hard it is to manage a safari lodge when I stayed there.Being a manager of a safari lodge, isn't a lot of fun because you spend a lot of time coordinating logistics. It is a tough job and not a never ending series of game drives and walks.

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@@optig - I have to agree that Darren and Emma are really the icing on the cake. And don't forget Bing! You aren't there 10 minutes and you feel like you are visiting old friends. It is a really tough job, and living in the bush for long stretches isn't that easy. I hope they can stay at it for a long while because I plant to go back frequently.

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