Entumoto Safari Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya
I am absolutely fascinated by the history of the Masai Mara, Kenya, and my new friend Pippa Strong at Advantage East Africa has been kind enough to draw my attention to a safari camp with a particularly engaging back story. In 1919 Karen Blixen was joined in Africa by a young Swedish officer, Erik von Heland, who became the manager of the Karen Coffee Farm, famed as the setting of the film Out of Africa. Back in Sweden, Erik von Heland shared the memories of his African adventures with his family in books and film. The founder of Entumoto Safari Camp, Karl von Heland, is Erik’s grandson.
Entumoto is situated in an impossibly evocative hidden valley with views across the world-famous landscape of the Masai Mara. Entumoto means “meeting place” in the local language Maa, and it is a personal, luxury tented camp that aims to offer a consistently high standard of bespoke dining, service and accommodation. More importantly, Entumoto creates safari experiences from both specially designed open Land-Cruisers and guided tours on foot in the irresistible, wildlife-filled hill country.
The memorable arrival by air at Entumoto allows you to admire incredible sights like herds of elephant grazing peacefully from the comfort of your small plane. On arrival you transfer to a 4X4, manned with the all-important fridge full of cold drinks. The Entumoto drivers are local experts and keen to share their unique stories and experiences.
Any number of bespoke luxuries are available on your safari, including the extraordinary sight of full service three course dining under a tree at the lunch site. The fresh vegetables served are grown at the camp, and you can enjoy a blend of local specialties such as barbequed goat, as well as international classics like Parma ham and melon. Once at the camp, the Manager, Alphonse, has trained his staff to give a warm welcome and has been at pains to introduce home comforts to the communal areas. Rooms with verandas and stunning views across the valley are available, with sizeable beds and bathrooms. There is a cold but very welcome swimming pool onsite too.
Of course, even beyond these creature comforts are the game drives. You can regularly expect to see the wonderful sight of buffalo and whole elephant families. Spotting lions takes a bit more good fortune, although you can at least guarantee a trip to majestic Lion Rock, which is straight out of The Lion King. Even better, you can watch the sun set from the full bar and fire that can be organised on top of the rock for your viewing pleasure! After that, the waiters can arrange another incredible gourmet barbeque meal in the bush with copious drinks and an extraordinarily romantic ambience.
All-importantly, this is your safari, your way, and it comes down to your decisions about how to make it as memorable as possible.