Our 42-day overland tour concluded in Nairobi, Kenya and after spending the majority of our time in Africa tent camping, we thought we’d go all out for our last two nights. We ditched the three person canvas tent and upgraded to Nairobi Tented Camp, an extremely unique camping experience in the middle of Nairobi National Park.
Tucked inside the bustling and congested streets of Nairobi lies Nairobi National Park, Kenya’s oldest national park rich in wildlife. Nairobi Tented Camp is the first and only tented camp inside the national park. In fact, it’s the first tented accommodation in Nairobi altogether. To get to the camp, we were picked up from the main gates of Nairobi National Park and driven to the campsite about 30 minutes into the park.
When we arrived, we had no idea what to expect from a bush camp. Our previous bush camp experiences consisted of only squat toilets. What we weren’t expecting was to be welcomed to Nairobi Tented Camp with fresh juice and a clean chamomile hand towel. And we definitely weren’t expecting the campsite to be so beautiful and…luxurious. The campsite is comprised of a few common tents used for meals and socializing and eight different standalone tents for guests to stay. We followed the Masai staff carrying our bags to our tent which would be our home for the next two nights. This was no ordinary tent…this was a hotel room in the African bush. Our glorified tent was fully equipped with sheepskin rugs, a king size bed, flush toilet and shower – we were in heaven! The thick forests and grasslands surrounding the camp make it easy to forget you are in the heart of Nairobi, one of Africa’s largest and most vibrant cities. Because Nairobi Tented Camp is in the middle of the wildlife reserve, animals can roam about freely. There aren’t any barriers or fences to keep wildlife out so every time you leave your tent, a Masai guard escorts you to the mess tents. In fact, the service is so impeccable that if you need anything at all, you blow the whistle in your room and a Masai guard or staff member will come to your tent to assist you with whatever you may need.Nairobi Tented Camp is a perfect model of eco-tourism done well. The entire campsite is completely eco-friendly. With the exception of the tent pegs, there is nothing put into the ground. All of the structures are impermanent buildings meaning that they could literally pack the camp up and move it without any impact on the environment. All electricity is solar powered and all garbage is separated for recycling and carried off to different groups who recycle it for a second life. The showers were bucket showers heated by log fires. Any time we wanted a shower, we’d simply tell any staff member and within 10 minutes, they would be carrying hot, steamy buckets of water to our tent for our shower.
The food we ate during our stay was amazing. Breakfast was eggs made to order, fresh baked muffins and bread, fruit, bacon, sausage and roasted tomatoes. Every booking at the camp includes a three-course lunch followed by a three-course dinner. Everything was homemade and cooked in their charcoal oven. One of our favorite lunch starters was a chilled avocado soup with fresh baked rolls. Delicious! On our first day at camp, we went on an afternoon game drive through Nairobi National Park. The park is only 30,000 acres but is home to 527 species of birds, 4,000 zebra, 1,000 wildebeest, 14 species of antelopes, 50 black rhinos, 40 lions and several leopards, cheetahs and aardwolfs. It’s amazing to think that you can fly into Nairobi and within an hour be on a safari spotting giraffe, black rhinos and lions. It’s a very unique chance to view wildlife and see the city skyline at the same time. Our safari guide stopped so we could stretch our legs and enjoy the approaching sunset. He surprised us by pulling out a cooler packed with beers, wine, gin and a few appetizers. They think of everything!At night, the entire camp is lit by low-watt LED lanterns. Everyone sits by the fire listening for animals before turning in for the night. Upon returning to your tent, your bed has been turned down and waiting in the covers are hot water bottles to keep you warm (it’s the little things)! During the night, we heard several hyrax screaming to each other as we laid in bed. Hearing the animals so close to your tent is what makes bush camping so exciting and unique. The next morning we departed for a sunrise game drive. We were lucky to spot white rhinos (our first white rhinos!), a lioness and her two cubs as well as a male lion before the end of our drive. Before departing on our next worldly adventure, we spent the rest of the day relaxing in the comfort of our plush tent reflecting on our amazing journey through Africa. Nairobi Tented Camp was the perfect ending to an unforgettable trip. The hospitality and service are unprecedented. The location in Nairobi National Park and overall bush camp experience are one of a kind. Visit Nairobi Tented Camp and experience it for yourself. Luxury awaits you in the middle of an African wildlife reserve!
Disclosure: We received a complimentary stay at Nairobi Tented Camp in exchange for sharing our experience. These thoughts and opinions are completely our own.