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.

elephant pepper camp
Combines rustic simplicity with unquestionable luxury

- tatler

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.

 

 

Guides

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! Mara North Conservancy, is a privately managed conservancy in the core of the Masai Mara, gamedriving in Mara North is restricted to those vehicles belonging to lodges within the conservancy, so Elephant Pepper guests have this outstanding part of the Masai Mara, almost to themselves. Gamedriving is outstanding, with a resident pride of lions, cheetahs and leopard; and of course the famous zebra and wildebeest migration surrounding camp in months of July – October. Being private, yet central to the vast Masai Mara eco-system, the Elephant Pepper guides have easy access to the reserve, zebra and wildebeest crossings, and outstanding gameviewing within the conservancy.

Activities

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 and 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!

Horse Safaris

Experience horseback riding across the African plains, through a wide variety of wildlife. Ride Kenya offer a 2 hour horse safari, ride amongst the wildlife from a gentle walk to a canter (depending on equestrian skill). The drive to Ride Kenya is approximately 30 – 45 minutes from Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp with a game drive on the way.

All the equipment is provided, including hat, riding boots, jodhpurs.  They offer 3 different style of saddle to choose from – English, Trail or Western.  All equipment is in immaculate condition.

On arrival guests will receive an introduction briefing followed by a riding assessment in the paddock to check riding ability and it’s a good opportunity for guests to familiarise themselves with the horse before heading out onto the open plains.  Each ride has 2 guides, one leading and the other at the rear.

Duration is 2 hours and can be offered either in the morning or afternoon, minimum age is 14 years.

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.

Weddings & Honeymoons

Honeymoons

There is nothing more romantic than a safari! Already an unforgettable, once in a lifetime and pampered experience; safaris offer incredible sunsets, romantic tents with spectacular views, and relaxed al fresco dinners.

All the tents at Elephant Pepper Camp are romantic with lovely views; the camp also has a Honeymoon Suite ideal for that very special romantic holiday.

Being a very special holiday, we often have special offers and upgrades for honeymooners.

Weddings

Over the years, Elephant Pepper Camp has hosted many beautiful weddings, blessings, and renewal of vows for our guests.

From small simple ceremonies involving merely a glass of champagne at the end of a gamedrive; to elaborate three day events, with over 15 guests taking over the whole property.

Discuss your ideas with your travel agent, or contact us for more information.

 

Liz and Stefano have been using this site since the 1980s. First, as their preferred site for mobile tented safaris, then finally using the site full time with a seasonal camp; becoming more luxurious with each passing year!

The camp was rebranded “Elephant Pepper Camp” in 2005, named after the “Elephant Pepper” tree, that grows throughout camp; warburgia ugandensis. The flavour of the leaves and fruit is fiercely hot and subtly different to chillies, the tree has many medicinal properties; and is a favourite with elephants!

Having been on this site and working with the local community for very many years, Stefano, a passionate conservationist created and continues to chair and manage the Mara North Conservancy – a working balance of equitable income from tourism for the local community landowners, and sustainable conservation management.

Despite being an elegant and comfortable camp with substantial tents, Stefano has maintained the ethos of non-permanence and designed it so that it can still be completely removed to leave a virgin site.

The Elewana Collection

Elephant Pepper Camp joined the Elewana Collection in 2015, a collection of 16 boutique lodges and camps in the most iconic locations within Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Stefano and Liz continue to participate in the management of conservation, safari guiding and lodge experience (including the food!) at Elephant Pepper Camp.

Stefano is the Chairman of Mara North Conservancy.

 

Safari Tents

Elephant Pepper Camp has undergone extensive refurbishments in the beginning of 2014, and the results are impressive – if we may say so.

The 8 (4 doubles & 4 twins) spacious luxury safari tents are larger, brighter and offer more spacious bathroom areas. Combined with Indian Raj Campaign furniture, mixing dark wood with intricate brass fittings, the tents have a very classy & elegant feel.

The tents are set underneath a grove of fig and Elephant Pepper Trees and are spaced out to ensure privacy. From your personal verandah or hammock you can watch wildlife roam on the savannah plains…

We are also happy to announce that we have installed running water throughout the camp, including the showers – providing more comfort for you!

All tents can fit one extra bed, to accommodate children under the age of 16 years. For families we recommend our brand new Family Tents.

Honeymoon / Family Suites

Elephant Pepper Camp’s two Honeymoon / Family Tents are the ideal accommodation for couples that want extra space and privacy and for families.

The spacious suites each comprise of an ensuite master bedroom and a sitting room, which can be converted into a second bedroom for children under the age of 16 years. The lush bathrooms have double wash basins, flush toilets and hot water showers.

Located at either end of the camp, the Honeymoon / Family Suites offer spectacular views over the savannah plains from your private veranda.

 

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