kitich camp mathews forest
The Mathews Range… rises from the arid brown plains of northern Kenya like a green tropical island

- BBC

By day, guests can explore forest trails and crystal clear mountain streams by foot. The local Samburu guides share their extensive knowledge of the abundant hardwood trees, cycads, orchids, birds and butterflies. The guides know how to gently follow the trails cut through the bush by elephant, bushbuck and buffalo that call the forest home. Unlike most of Africa, guests can swim and relax in the springs and rivers around Kitich camp making this a truly unique experience.

Kitich Camp is a truly remote and private location in a stunning forest glade on the upper slopes of the Mathews Mountains (also known as the Lenkiyio Hills). The forest of the Mathews Mountains covers about 900 km², or  222,000 acres, and the astounding peaks rise 6000 ft. from the surrounding lowlands.

At night, the atmosphere is magical, and the glade is lit for guests to observe the cautious trail of nocturnal visitors, including Melanistic (black-coated) leopard, elephant, bushbuck, and buffalo – all of which come to drink and hunt by the river.

With just six tents situated under a dense tree canopy, overlooking the stunning Ngeng River, this camp is a low-key classic. At Kitich, we provide old fashioned safari comforts, including soft & fresh linen, comfortable double beds, iced drinks, and gracious dining – all in a wonderfully peaceful setting.

 

 

Sprawling over the Laikipia plains, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a prolific wildlife conservancy that is popular with celebrities, conservationists, writers and photographers. Lewa found recent media attention with stories of a Royal romance and the fairytale engagement that followed.

Visitors to Lewa are privy to some of the most spectacular wildlife viewing that Kenya has to offer: lion, leopard and jackal thrive on the rich diversity of prey that inhabits the area. The Wildlife Conservancy is home to the largest concentration of Grevy’s zebra in the world, and its range of habitats attracts diverse birdlife and hosts over 130 Black and White rhino.

Featuring large tented bedrooms with verandahs and full en-suite bathrooms, Lewa Safari camp offers authentic comfort for its visitors; cozy log fires in the sitting room are perfect for relaxing after a day in the Conservancy. This unique and exclusive retreat offers privileged access to 65,000 acres of private protected wilderness.

Underpinning the glamorous magnetism of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a serious mission: a pioneering and pragmatic approach to conservation, founded in the 1970’s, that has developed into a thriving and globally recognised rhino conservation habitat.

Lewa Safari Camp was originally built as the rhino manager’s house in the 1980s. A separate cottage bedroom was added when he got married! (The current main lounge and dining room is the original house, and the current Spa is in the cottage). At that time the rhino sanctuary was only 5000 acres, in the area surrounding the camp, and supported by conservationist Ana Mertz.

As the success of the rhino breeding and protection program grew, and eventually the whole property became a rhino conservancy, so rhino management and protection was moved to the Conservancy Head Offices; and the house was turned into “Lewa Safari Camp” in the mid 1990s. Client tents were added, and the lodge was managed by the Conservancy until they put it out to tender in 2009; when management was awarded to Cheli & Peacock.

The lodge has since undergone extensive renovation, under the direction of Stefano Cheli, so that camp operations are ecologically responsible as befits the ethos of the Conservancy, to ensure the camp is economically viable, and to upgrade all aspects of client experience.  It is now the Conservancy’s flagship – very comfortable, with excellent food and elegant surroundings to match the views and unsurpassed gameviewing of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

 

Kitich Camp has guarded the 900km sq forest for over 40 years, originally set up as a hidden jewel for guests to enjoy in the 1970s by Miles Burton, celebrated hunter and conservationist. Miles was a larger than life character, counting Hollywood stars, and the great and the good among his clients. In the 1980s the camp was used to monitor rhino.

Liz, Stefano and their friends the Hitchins bought the camp from Giulio Bertolli, of Italian olive oil fame in 2008. Giulio loves Kitich, it was his home for over 12 years, and he would only part with it to Stefano Cheli, whom he knew would preserve the essence and magic of Kitich.

Stefano Cheli completely refurbished the camp in 2009, including installing state of the art solar power, and delightful bathrooms.

Miles built the original road up to Kitich, and the road stops at camp. The only way in, Kitich Camp is truly the guardian of the forest. The camp remains very small, only 6 client tents, and many of the staff have worked there for over 20 years.

 

A unique forest hideaway, Kitich Camp offers exclusive accommodation for a limited number of guests:

6 en-suite tents, three with double beds, and three with twin beds.

Each tent overlooks the lush gorge of the Ngeng River, and consists of a main bedroom with en suite bathroom, with traditional safari “butler” shower.

 

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