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kenya kalepo camp


Community Conservation in Kenya

Embark on a journey into the world of the extraordinary Kenyan communities who are working to protect both their traditional ways of life and the wildlife that surrounds them.

When to go
From price
£18,800 pp*
Ideal length
8 nights

Kenya has long been known for its exceptional wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes, making it one of the world’s most sought-after and revered safari destinations. However, it is undoubtedly the result of the welcoming and forward-thinking nature of its people that it continues to thrive today.


Touch down into the world-renowned Maasai Mara for the beginning of your cultural exploration of this fascinating country. The Maasai people, for which this region is named, are one of the very few indigenous tribes who have worked to retain most of their traditions and way of life. Throughout your stay at the exclusive Cottar’s Bush Villa, you will have the chance to engage one-on-one with a number of Maasai guides, warriors, chefs, beading experts and rangers, all of whom are committed to the creation of a new conservation model that both benefits their livelihood and preserves the natural environment.

On arrival at this award-winning lodge, you will find yourself right in the middle of the Olderkesi Conservancy, an area of over 7,600 acres that is owned by the Maasai Community and managed on their behalf by the team at Cottar’s. A warm welcome awaits, with the next four days providing you with ample opportunity to get to know the friendly and hugely knowledgeable crew who are dedicated to your stay, offering you the chance to swap stories and learn about their lives, communities, and fascinating histories. 

Rising before the sun, embark on a game drive with exceptionally skilled local guides who bring the land to life and effortlessly blend both their knowledge and intuition to create exceptional wildlife viewing experiences almost as if by magic. Spend an afternoon visiting a nearby Maasai village, with careful consideration given to ensure this experience is authentic and sensitive, and witness first-hand the traditional way of life. With your newfound knowledge, embark on a guided walk or even a faster-paced run led by Maasai warriors, following their graceful strides across the vast grasslands.

The next day, go out on foot and spend time with the only all-female conservation ranger unit in the Maasai Mara, learning about their daily anti-poaching activities and dedication to the protection of wildlife in this area. Along with a specialist, go out foraging and tasting local wild food and hear about the wide variety of unique medicinal plants and their healing properties, many of which have been used for generations. Wind down with an afternoon spent in the company of expert beaders, whose creativity and eye for detail are showcased through their exquisite jewellery creations proudly worn by both men and women.

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Bid farewell to the Maasai Mara and board a small aeroplane bound for the Mathews Mountains in Northern Kenya, with their lush forests and towering peaks offering a stark contrast to the open grasslands. As you descend over the rugged terrain, marvel at the sheer isolation of your next home-away-from-home: Kalepo Camp. Nestled in a remote valley, the camp is a true oasis of tranquillity and is set up for your exclusive use for the next four days, creating complete privacy in the middle of the African bush.

From here, you will have the unique opportunity to meet with members of the tribe who call this region home, the majestic Samburu people. Whilst similar to the Maasai people in some respects (both historically are semi-nomadic, pastoralist communities), this is the perfect opportunity for you to expand on your knowledge of the cultures of Kenya and learn about the traditions and customs that prevail in Samburuland.  

Spend a day in the life of the tribe, visiting a nearby manyatta, a small village that will be home to up to ten families who will allow you a glimpse into their day-to-day activities as they survive in this often-harsh environment. Accompany the herders to the nearby wells, where cows, sheep, goats, and camels are brought to drink and close your eyes and listen as the individual songs are rhythmically chanted (it is said that each animal responds to their herder’s unique call, guiding them to the water). But the highlight is the chance to participate in a warrior games, where young Samburu men will invite you to test your skills and join in for some friendly competition.

Immerse yourself in this unique eco-system, learning how to find hives and extract honey from the resident honey gatherers or learn the art of wood carving, taking the time to relax into this ‘slow safari’. Learn the story of Kalepo, and how it forms part of a greater vision for the effects of conservation to extend to peace, education, health and family income for the neighbouring communities, and end the day with the knowledge that your own journey is contributing towards the creation of this reality.

*Prices depend on level of experiences and accommodation. This is based on 4 adults travelling for 8 nights, excluding international flights.


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¹ The Pelorus Foundation is a charity that empowers communities to preserve and protect the world’s wildlife and wild places for future generations’

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