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The Masai Mara is a vast wilderness abundant with a diverse range of fascinating wildlife, rolling plains, and lush forests. Located in the Mara North Conservancy, the heart of the Masai Mara ecosystem, Elephant Pepper Camp is the perfect base from which to explore the wonders of the Mara.​

The vast, fertile plains of the Maasai Mara boasts a plethora of wildlife; with over 450 bird species and both resident and transient populations of lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, to name a few, the plains are dense with game. Elephant Pepper Camp is perfect for those wanting to observe the spectacle of the migration, classified amoung the “Seven Wonders of the World”, when, from July to November, over 1.3 million wildebeest and zebra cross from the Serengeti in search of greener pastures.

The camp’s remote location allows the stars to shine bright at night, undimmed by harsh lighting; guests enjoy the unique experience of listening to the sounds of lion, leopard and hyena foraging and hunting, whilst being cosseted with traditional and modern comforts such as a campfire and cosy duvets.

Upon waking, tea and freshly-baked biscuits ease guests into a morning of game drives or bush walks across the conservancy in the company of highly experienced local guides and wildlife rangers. Blankets warm the guests on night game drives back to camp after sundowners in the bush. Delicious Northern Italian cuisine, fresh baking and sensational salads complete the rustic luxury sensation.

Game Drives
The Elephant Pepper Camp guides are based in camp, in the Masai Mara, and know their backyard intimately. All the guides are Bronze or Silver level Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association certified, and some of our guides have guided in this area for 20 years!

Elephant Pepper Camp has open gamedrive vehicles. The current fleet are new, specially fitted, 4×4 Toyota Landcruisers. The vehicles are unrivalled with feature enhancements specifically designed for comfort and photography – open sided with 3 rows of seats, photographic equipment stands, and charging sockets. Guests will share gamedrives unless “exclusive use of vehicle” has been prebooked at an extra charge.

This is the best part of the Masai Mara – a year round game viewing experience like no other!

We are often asked why the gameviewing in Mara North Conservancy is better than in the Mara Reserve. The explanation is because cattle are not allowed into the Reserve, therefore from the months of November through to June, the grass is high within the Reserve, and the plains game, followed by their predators tend to avoid the Reserve, and stick to the Conservancy which has balanced grazing, and lush short green grass. During the months of July to October, when the zebra and wildebeest migration flood into the whole Mara eco-system, the grass in the Reserve is trampled and eaten, and gameviewing is similar within the Reserve and within the Conservancy.

Migration River Crossings
The great migration of thousands of zebra and wildebeest coming north from the arid Serengeti plains looking for fresh grazing mill around the whole of the fertile Mara eco-system for as long as the grazing lasts, usually about 4 to 5 months. The Mara River crossings happen during the middle of the day, when the animals are thirsty, come to the river to drink and are pushed across by the crowds of animals behind them. We recommend staying out for the whole day with a picnic lunch; the Elephant Pepper Camp drivers know all the crossings, including the smaller private areas that you can enjoy a few hours by the river away from the crowds.

​Evening Game Drives
Elephant Pepper Camp, offers pre-dinner game drives with red-light spotlights. Gamedriving at dusk and early evening opens up a whole new world – hunting predators, aardvark.

​Guided Walks
Take the time to leave the car behind and enjoy the small things – animal tracks, flowers and micro-ecosystems.

Our manager Patrick is an experienced walking guide, and together with Masai from the local area, they can take you on a delightful ramble from camp – a whole new perspective of the eco-system around you.

Elephant Pepper Camp is also perfect for young explorers! Patrick loves organizing fun walks for kids within the camp. Little ones will learn how to make a fire, throw a rungu, fire a bow and arrow and track wildlife. As a memento of their adventure, children can take home their very own cast from the tracks they discovered!

​Bush Breakfast & Sundowners
Take a moment to sit back, enjoy the spectacular views, the smells, the colours, and the gentle breeze.

Bush breakfasts are a chance to enjoy a full breakfast, al fresco, in the middle of the plains, surrounded by wildlife.

“Sundowners” are a safari tradition – after a day of safari; stop, watch the spectacular sunset; traditionally with a gin and tonic in hand!

​Cultural Visits
Known for their beautiful beadwork, spear in hand and bright red coloured “shukkas” (blankets worn as clothes); the Masai are our hosts, it is they that have kept this land pristine, living in harmony with their cattle and the incredible wildlife that the Mara is home to. They are a people who are proud of their heritage, and although they find some of the new western trappings useful – mobile phones, motor bikes, they prefer to continue to live in their traditional way.

Many of the Elephant Pepper Camp staff are Masai, and enjoy welcoming you to their home, not far from camp. The Masai live in semi-permanent huts known as Manyattas and it is the role of the wife to construct the hut from cattle dung and grass. The families will show you round their home for a fee (payable separately, ask the manager for details), and will want to take the opportunity to sell their traditional handicrafts – bargain hard!

Elephant Pepper Camp works closely with the community, and there are ways that you can get involved.

Horseback Safaris
Ride Kenya offers two-hour equestrian safaris that range from a gentle walk to a canter (depending on rider experience). All equipment is provided — including hat, riding boots and jodhpurs. And there are three styles of saddle to choose from — English, Trail or Western.

On arrival, riders receive a briefing followed by an assessment in the paddock to check your riding ability and an introduction to your horse before heading out onto the open plains. Each ride features one guide as the lead horse and one guide riding at the rear. ​

​​The cost is $250 per person. Morning and afternoon sessions. Minimun age 14 years. The drive from Elephant Pepper Camp to Ride Kenya is approximately 30-45 minutes with a game drive on the way.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservation
Elephant Pepper Camp has been the driving force in creating the Mara North Conservancy (MNC) which covers a core parcel of over 70,000 acres bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve to the north and effectively increasing its size by 20%. The conservancy, established in 2009, provides some of the Masai Mara ecosystem’s prime game viewing, whilst guaranteeing over 800 Masai landowners stable revenue, transparent financial management and the preservation of the ancient balance between wildlife and traditional pastoralism.

Elephant Pepper Camp has worked with the local Masai community for nearly 20 years, with the creation of MNC only the latest development in preserving this vital wilderness.

Sustainable Tourism
Elephant Pepper Camp is one of only six camps in Kenya to have been awarded “Gold Level” Eco Rating by the internationally recognised civil society organisation Eco Tourism Kenya. The camp achieves environmental best practice by combining old fashioned safari camp know-how with the latest technology, leaving a minimal footprint. Almost invisible under the Elephant Pepper trees with completely removable tent structures, the camp relies entirely on solar power and uses only LED lighting.

Rubbish is responsibly disposed of or recycled and separated glass is sold to the recycling plant ‘Central Glass’ in Nairobi.

Community
Elephant Pepper Camp has always worked directly with the community in this area since the late 1980s. Ensuring that the landowners benefit with a fair income from tourism. Since 2009, Elephant Pepper Camp has contributed over US$ 415,000 in lease payments and bednight fees directly to the Maasai landowners.

With the fixed payments coming in, these landowners have opened bank accounts, are able to plan their expenditure and even start accumulating savings. This helps them to set up local businesses and invest in the education of the future generation. Elephant Pepper Camp also employs over 80% of its staff from the surrounding communities.

Get Involved
On your safari, through the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust, you can really make a difference to the communities you are travelling near, by donating stationary, text books, uniforms, food and sports equipment in person, directly to the staff and pupils of a school. We work closely with the Committees of each school to make sure that each donation addresses a genuine need highlighted specifically by the school staff and parents.

At Elephant Pepper Camp, we support the local Ololomei Primary School which caters for 240 students from Pre School (age 6-7) to Standard 4 (age 10-12). In 2007 the camp had raised enough funds to build a new classroom, in 2009 we added a kitchen and in 2010 we provided the school with desks and chairs.

If you are considering bringing donations from abroad, visit the Pack for a Purpose website for very specific advice on what is needed. Please do note that when flying within Kenya, the internal flight weight restriction is 15kg and may therefore limit what you can carry with you to the camps and donate to the rural communities in person. We can always, however, donate anything over and above your weight limit on your behalf at a later date.

 

 

 

 

Location
Elephant Pepper Camp is situated in the prime core of the protected and private Mara North Conservancy wilderness area. In the same location for 20 years, and one of the original, very small and exclusive tented camps, Elephant Pepper is located away from other lodges, in the heart of the African bush.

Accommodation & Facilities
• 8 spacious safari tented rooms with en suite facilities (twin & double combinations)
• Private viewing decks
• 2 honeymoon / family suites
• Croquet, boules & gift shop
• Free wifi available in public areas
• Gold Level eco-rating & 100% solar

Dining
• Dining times are as follows:
   Breakfast: 06h30 to 09h30
   Lunch: 13h00 to 14h30
   Dinner: 20h00 to 21h30
   Individual dietary requests can be satisfied with advance notice
• Dining tent & lounge
• Bush breakfasts, sundowners & picnic lunches
• Selected premium wine list

​Encounters
• Day & evening game drives in customdesigned, open-sided, 4 wheel-drive game-viewing vehicles
• Guided bush walks with resident qualified guides
• Close to leopard gorge, famous setting for BBC’s Big Cat Diaries
• Campfire under-the-stars listening to the bush’s nightly soundtrack
• Visits to local community projects. (Conservancy fees benefit local communities)

Electricity
• Elephant Pepper Camp runs fully on solar power
• All tents have solar LED lighting 24 hours a day
• Multi plug in the office for charging guest batteries
• All game viewing vehicles have inverters allowing battery charging whilst on game drives
• The camp’s power cannot support hairdryers
• Guests are recommended to bring converters & universal plug adaptors

How to get there
Mara North Airstrip is 30 minutes’ drive from camp. Musiara is a 1-hour drive from camp.
 

 

 

For more information on Elephant Pepper Camp click HERE

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