Basecamp Explorer Kenya manages unique safari accommodation camps in Masai Mara and Mara Naboisho Conservancy, in the most scenic locations providing breathtaking views, exclusive wildlife safari experiences and authentic cultural interactions with the local people. All our camps have been designed to give our guests a taste of the different dimensions of being on safari. Experience the full range of safari activities including night game drives and guided walking safaris.
Basecamp Masai Mara
Basecamp Masai Mara provides 13 spacious and luxurious tents and 2 family tents, bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve. Hidden away under thatched roofs on a lush peninsula along the Talek River, Basecamp offers spectacular views of the savannah. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with hot water shower and a private terrace overlooking the Talek River. You will have your own veranda overlooking the river, and a bathroom en suite with a hot solar heated shower open to the sky. Enjoy the amazing wildlife from the comfort of your tent, the fig-tree platform, or while lazing over a drink in the open-air bar.
Eagle View in Mara Naboisho Conservancy offers luxury in a setting of breath taking beauty. Comprising of 9 spacious deluxe tents with en suite bathrooms and own terrace, the tents are attractively laid out in modern safari style with fine views over the vast Naboisho Conservancy. Indeed, this camp offers guests a tranquil and relaxing retreat where one can listen to the natural sounds of nature. Marvel at the abundance of wildlife in Mara Naboisho Conservancy as you enjoy day or night game drives with our Maasai guides. Experience a different dimension of the Savannah on our walking safaris as you learn the finer details of the wilderness. Eagle View overlooks a natural waterhole where the unexpected interaction between the predators and their prey provides constant entertainment to our guests. With more than 70 identified lions, Naboisho is now believed to have one of the highest lion densities in Africa.
Leopard Hill offers a unique location in the heart of Mara Naboisho Conservancy for guests to experience the magic of the Kenyan savannah. Enjoy privacy, exclusivity and magnificent views from four spacious deluxe tents, a family tent or a honeymoon suite. Situated next to a series of watering holes where wildlife flock to drink, Leopard Hill offers guests a chance to observe the African wildlife from a prime spot while enjoying the modern luxury of the camp. To top it all, guests are able to enjoy the scenery without disturbance, as this part of Naboisho Conservancy is restricted from motorized vehicles.
What makes Leopard Hill accommodation truly special is the adjustable motorized roof in the tents, which provides an unhindered view of the African night sky. Dubbed the Star Bed, the roof opens to present a stunning view of the night sky. Inspired by round Maasai houses known as Manyattas, the tents offer an almost 360-degree view of the surroundings, from the bed towards the fig tree and the water holes and from the bathroom to the back. With indoor and outdoor showers, each tent has its own theme and houses an outdoor fireplace on a large terrace.
At Leopard Hill, we offer our guests an opportunity to discover the unspoiled natural beauty of Masai Mara while engaging in a variety of safari activities. Enjoy unsurpassed game viewing or discover the pristine beauty of the Mara from a different perspective. A walking safari with the true safari specialists, the Maasai, brings out the intricate details of the savannah while a game drive enables guests to view wildlife in the comfort of a 4×4 open Land Cruisers leaving the guest with a satisfied safari feeling. When guests return to camp after an adventure, guests can enjoy a yoga session to reconnect and restore harmony between mind, body and nature or guests can enjoy a deeply relaxing and rejuvenating massage.
Wilderness Camp offers 8 spacious style tents secluded in a private valley within Naboisho Conservancy where our local Maasai hosts offer a true blend of cultural interaction. This permanent intimate camp with an easy relaxed atmosphere offers optimal tranquility that allows you to enjoy a blend of untamed Africa and a truly natural safari experience. Enjoy early morning and evening game drives and experience Basecamp sundowners of drinks and nibbles as you catch breathtaking African sunsets at uniquely selected scenic points. Our Maasai guides will take you on a guided walking safari in the conservancy following animal tracks and learning how the various indigenous plants and animals are of important use to the community and how the Maasai way of life is intertwined with nature and the environment.
Dorobo Mobile Camp
Dorobo Mobile Camp is a movable camp inside Mara Naboisho Conservancy. The result of years of admiration and respect for the hunter-gatherers of the Maasai people, known as the Dorobo, this camp is truly the stuff of legends. Inspired by the wanderings of the Dorobo people, who spend their lives living off the African savannah carrying no other protection than their intrinsic understanding of the wilderness, Basecamp is delighted to offer the unique opportunity to partake in several days of walking and mobile camping on the savannah.
Walking with the Maasai you will get an authentic insight into the culture of the Maasai people – our friends and partners. Following a few hours of walking, picnic lunch is served in the shade of a tree. The afternoon walk takes you to the campsite where specially designed ‘fly-tents’ and a fireplace await. At Dorobo Mobile Camp we aim to bring guests closer to the very essence of the African Savannah.
The Basecamp Story
Many years ago, Svein Wilhelmsen, a Norwegian financier, was on holiday in Kenya, when he met Chief Ole Taek, a Maasai elder. As they sat around an open fire under the savannah night sky, Ole Taek aired his worries about the future. Taek spoke of his worries of nature perishing faster every year. The Masai Mara ecosystem was vanishing and that placed the Maasai and the Maasai way of life under threat. This conversation with Chief Ole Taek motivated Svein to find a sustainable solution to help the Maasai community. Six months later, inspired by the old man’s words, Svein launched an adventure travel company known today as Basecamp Explorer. The Basecamp dream envisioned using responsible, low-impact tourism to do good, to safeguard wildlife and empower local people. At the basis of our concept lies the fundamental belief that the protection of the Mara Ecosystem can only succeed if the local communities are given fair substitutions to less sustainable alternatives such as agriculture.
Since the beginning, we have partnered closely with the Maasai people to develop models for conserving nature and empowering the local community. Over the years we have established and supported several community projects aimed at enhancing capacity, raising awareness and improving living conditions. By visiting Basecamp you are making a significant contribution to ensuring the future of the Mara, for the wildlife, the Maasai and for future safari visitors.
Basecamp Maasai Brand
Basecamp Maasai Brand (BMB) is an economic empowerment community project benefitting over 150 local Maasai women who utilize their traditional handicraft skills and talents to create beaded items for sale. The women make beaded items with 75 percent of proceeds going to the creator of the item. Since we started working with the Maasai women in the fair trade certified BMB project, an immediate impact was felt within the community. Today, these women have a source of financial independence, enabling them to feed their families as well as provide school fees for their children, thus reducing the cycle of poverty and illiteracy within their families and communities.
Basecamp also supports a capacity building program through education sponsorship at Koiyaki Guiding School (KGS). KGS was established to educate the target Maasai students in hospitality (tourism) and other nature-based enterprise courses, thereby providing employment opportunities, promoting and encouraging long-term conservation of the unique Masai Mara ecosystem. KGS takes a holistic approach to environmental conservation in the region through empowerment of the host communities to effectively manage peaceful co-existence with the wildlife and nature at large.
The Basecamp tree plantation was established to revive the Talek river ecosystem by addressing the pressing issue of deforestation and ground erosion. Since its establishment in the year 2000, over 100,000 indigenous trees have been planted. In 2015, Basecamp Kenya and Basecamp Spitsbergen collaborated and established a new forest area bordering the Basecamp tree plantation in Masai Mara. Gruve 3, an old coal mine in Spitsbergen was closed in 1996 and reopened in 2015 for visitors. To offset the already generated carbon dioxide Basecamp Kenya and Basecamp Spitsbergen opened up the mines for Visitors. For every guest visiting Gruve 3, Basecamp offsets carbon footprints by planting one tree in the Masai Mara region in Kenya. The Basecamp tree plantation has successfully established the only typical forest along the Talek River which now serves as a home to over 286 identified bird species and other small wildlife. We are currently operating at a Carbon positive level. We absorb more than we emit and our aim is to be Carbon positive inclusive of all guest travel with us by the end of 2019.
Basecamp Explorer was instrumental in the formation of an innovative and effective community partnership with over 500 Maasai landowners. This partnership formulated Mara Naboisho Conservancy which serves as a source of livelihood for the local Maasai community through revenue generated as lease fees and ensures the sustainability of the Mara Serengeti ecosystem. Mara Naboisho has successfully integrated tourism with traditional Masai practices providing employment opportunities and a secure source of income for over 500 families with further indirect benefits to approximately 10,000 local people.
Our commitment to Responsible Tourism
Our long history of close co-operation with the Maasai community distinguishes us from other tourism operators in Masai Mara. In 2010, we were instrumental in successfully establishing the community-owned nature conservancy, Naboisho Conservancy, named after the Maa expression of ‘coming together’, chosen by the Maasai to epitomize how the Maasai community came together to face the alarming issue of decreasing land. By establishing a community-owned nature conservancy, we provide the Maasai with an alternative to selling their land to outsiders and helped protect pristine wildlife territory. The local community receives income from tourism activities in Masai Mara. Over 95% of camp staff are from the local Maasai community, therefore, your holiday empowers and enriches the community within which we operate our camps.
Where we operate
- Beach Holidays
- Bird Watching
- Mobile Safaris
- Mountain Climbing
- Safaris - Fixed Camp
- Walking Safaris
- Eco tourism
10 August 2020
We are excited to announce the reopening of Basecamp Explorer Kenya safari camps in Masai Mara from the 1st of August 2020. Basecamp’s collection consist of small and private safari camps situated in carefully selected locations in Masai Mara and Mara Naboisho Conservancy allowing guests to enjoy privacy and exclusivity, close to rich wildlife sightings and astonishing views over the savannah.Read More
13 July 2020
For the last 23 years, Basecamp Explorer Kenya has been partnering with the local community to create meaningful safari experiences for all our guests. We attribute our success from closely partnering with the local Maasai community by involving them in all aspects of the community projects enabling generations to benefit through this process. We have seen this process transform the areas where we operate in Masai Mara to incredible safari destinations due to them being good places to live in and good places to visit.Read More
03 October 2019
If privacy is your preference while on safari then Leopard Hill is the perfect place for an intimate experience in Masai Mara. Voted by TIME Magazine as one of the World's Greatest Places to Stay, in 2019. Leopard Hill’s location in the heart of the award-winning Mara Naboisho Conservancy is literally in the middle of the highest density of wildlife in the world.Read More
11 July 2019
We are proud to announce that the construction of the Enjoolata Centre is underway at Basecamp Masai Mara. The Enjoolata Centre is an education and entertainment centre which aims to inspire the Maasai community to come together to make a difference through awareness creation.Read More
04 March 2019
We are pleased to inform you that Basecamp Explorer Kenya will be exhibiting at ITB Berlin, from 6th to 10th March 2019, in the Kanya Stand - Hall 21 A, Stand No. 122. We shall be very pleased to meet with you and update you on the latest Camps developments & new safari products at Basecamp Explorer Kenya. Kindly email our Sales & Marketing Manager on Petronilla.email@example.com to book an appointment with us.Read More
19 December 2018
Mid-November, Basecamp Explorer celebrated 20 years of welcoming guests to Masai Mara. For Basecamp, the past 20 years represent a growing partnership with the local Maasai community. A partnership that has helped in the development of sustainable tourism models. Since 1998, alongside our sustainable initiatives, Basecamp Explorer Kenya has grown to incorporate unique tourist destinations located in breathtaking sites in Masai Mara National Reserve and Mara Naboisho Conservancy. We endeavor to provide guests with exclusive wildlife safari experiences in the most authentic and responsible way.Read More
13 May 2018
Welcome to Leopard Hill, Basecamp Explorer’s newest tented camp in Masai Mara. Located in Mara Naboisho Conservancy and built in a similar fashion as the other Kenyan camps, on elevated decks, Leopard Hill offers close proximity and thus wonderful access to the Masai Mara National Reserve. This allows guests an opportunity to witness the world renowned wildebeest migration then return to an evening of intimacy and seclusion.Read More
03 April 2018
Leopard Hill offers a unique location in the heart of Mara Naboisho Conservancy for you to experience the magic of the Kenyan savannah. Situated next to a series of watering holes where the wildlife flock to drink, the camp offers you a chance to observe the wildlife from a prime spot.Read More