Imagine being able to embrace the magic of the great outdoors without having to persevere the sometimes harsh reality of the great outdoors, and you will get why glamping (glamorous + camping) is appealing to many modern age adventurers. Go hiking and wildlife spotting during the day and come back to a warm meal and even warmer bed in the evening. It's a win-win!
What if I told you that you do not even need to book a car to drive out into the countryside for the weekend to be able to experience the joys of glamping? Nairobi offers two spots that will be just perfect for an outdoorsy family weekend, with the added advantage of feeling like you are actually in the wild. Both spots averagely cost Sh10,000 per night but be sure to get in touch with them for rates and any special resident discounts.
NAIROBI TENTED CAMP
A dainty baby antelope wanders in front of my table where I am contentedly tucking in chapati and creamy beef stew lunch, gazes curiously at me for a few seconds before galloping off into the bush. By the time I am savouring the excellent mango mousse dessert, a bird perches on a rock on the dry river bed, and as I marvel at the sheer grace in its stance, I am distracted by a brightly coloured butterfly which flutters past my shoulder, its wings ever so slightly brushing against my skin as it disappears into the shrub behind me. I am dining in a nature lover's paradise!
Nestled on a valley amidst a riverine forest within the Nairobi National park is the Nairobi Tented Camp, the only accommodation set up within the premises and a perennial family favourite. The property comprises nine comfortable self-contained luxury safari-style tents outfitted with double or twin beds, a writing desk, clothing rack, bedside table complete with a charming front porch. All tents are self-contained and use the bucket shower system whereby hot water is brought and filled up upon request. There is also a cozy main lounge and dining area with the friendliest of staff at your beck and call, one of the joys of glamping.
The beauty of Nairobi National Park is that it provides one a unique wilderness experience stark within the bustling capital. It is quite intriguing to spot a dazzle of zebras grazing in the plains, set against the backdrop of the city's skyscrapers, a rare jewel of a view that you are unlikely to chance upon in any city in the world. The park is teeming with a wealth and variety of antelope species, buffaloes, Maasai giraffes, plains zebras, lions, cheetah, birds and much more. Matter of fact, you are more likely to spot the black rhino here than in the Mara. The camp can set up either an early morning or evening game drive as those are generally the best times for game viewing. You will also find hiking trails for enthusiasts for a complete outdoor excursion.
After supper from the set menu (dietary restrictions are of course always taken into consideration), curl up around the campfire on the sheepskin rug and meet other travellers staying at the camp. There are an array of drinks to choose from the fully stocked bar. You never know, with a beautiful starry sky, an array of camping games and guests from all over the world, you could always make some lifelong friends! If you are new to camping, Nairobi Tented Camps is a great way to ease into it.
ANGA AFRIKA LUXURY TENTED CAMP
Started in 2016. It's a family owned business located in Karen. There aren't many places that have luxury tented camps in Nairobi so they thought that it would be a nice addition to the scene. Bring across the safari feeling- you feel like you're in Naivasha or the Aberdare ranges even though you're just a couple of minutes away from the city centre. They have six tents, each holding three people max. All tents are named after different wildlife found in Kenya- Punda milia, Ndovu, Twiga, Chui and Simba. The price is averagely Sh10,000 for bed and breakfast. Great for a weekend getaway. Away from Nairobi hustle- still a great alternative to Naivasha. Same setting, same birds; everything there you get here.
So, if you are aching for the tranquility of nature to rejuvenate you or heal your psyche, albeit without being completely at its mercy, you know just where to check out!