As travellers, we float in between budget and more luxurious options. If there appears to be a decent low-cost option, we’ll stay there, but if we need to spend more to ensure a good nights sleep, we will. Nathan will tell you ‘it’s all about the value proposition’ and I spend far too long on TripAdvisor talking myself in and out of places to stay based on the reviews of other travellers.
With that said, when we stumbled across a potential camp in Nairobi, it was clear that we’d be splurging (a relative term for us), and not because of the lack of other suitable options around town but because we were onto something special.
The Wildebeest Eco Camp is nestled amongst the bush in Karen, one of the outlying suburbs of Nairobi. Not far from the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (where you’ll meet and learn about orphaned baby elephants), the camp is well positioned to take in the best of Nairobi, and is within easy access to a mall should you need any supplies.
In total we spent two nights at the camp; one in a deluxe safari tent (the Eco Camp’s glamping offering) at the beginning of our time in Nairobi and another in an equally-comfortable-but-more-budget-friendly garden tent at the end of our safari. Also on offer, was the ability to pitch your own tent, borrow one of theirs, or hook up your van.
The deluxe safari tents are perfectly located, overlooking the camp’s pool and their gorgeous pond which (means as you drift off to sleep, you’ll be relax to the sound of the local frogs – bliss) and come with more than you could ever need in a tent! Full power, a bathroom (with the most gorgeous shower), a deck to unwind on and of course, proper beds.
The garden tents aren’t quite as luxurious, but they do come with a solid floor, power and again, a real bed – and they are of course a tremendous upgrade from a traditional tent. They’re an excellent option for couples, as it costs very little to upgrade from using one of their temporary tents (for two people) to these permanent ones. If you are travelling by yourself, there was also the option to purchase a bed within the dorm tent which also looked comfy. All of these options require use of the shared bathrooms, but they’re never far away and were kept spotlessly clean and tidy whilst we were there.
It was the beginning of the long rainy season in Eastern Africa when we stayed in Nairobi and though the days were dry, there was a wicked thunderstorm our last night at the Eco Camp and we were certainly pleased to be tucked up in one of the permanent tents. We stayed dry as a bone, even in one of the most extreme downpours we’ve ever experienced.
Wifi is free and is available throughout the camp and breakfast is included in the cost of your stay (but is upgraded if you stay in the deluxe tent, yahoo!). The on-site restaurant is affordably priced and makes delicious food which is great, as although everything is only a taxi ride away, the camp itself isn’t really walking distance to any other restaurants.
Though the tents were gorgeous, it is worth noting that the beds we slept on were both fairly firm (as were the majority of beds we experienced in Africa), so if you like a relatively hard bed, you’ll be in luck in this part of the world!
If we return to Nairobi, we will absolutely book in to stay at the Eco Camp again – we had a great time. The staff were friendly and went out of their way to help, the accommodation was well priced, the grounds were gorgeous, and best of all, we got to stay in a memorable spot not far from one of East Africa’s biggest cities.
If you too would like to stay at the Wildebeest Eco Camp, you’ll find current pricing and information on their site. Happy travels!