The essence of freedom camping doesn’t exactly appeal to everyone. A cold restless evening spent squeezed into an uncomfortable sleeping bag on the ground while swatting away at mosquitoes all night coupled with having no proper bathroom facilities can be a bit of a turn off. Now imagine being able to embrace the magic of being surrounded by nature without having to persevere the sometimes harsh reality of the great outdoors, and you will get why the neologism that is 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? If you are aching for the tranquility of nature to rejuvenate you or heal your psyche, albeit without being completely at its mercy, Nairobi Tented Camp is just the spot for you!
A dainty baby antelope wanders in front of my table where I am contentedly tucking into a 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 advantages 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 unique a view that you are unlikely to chance upon in any other 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. Be sure to chat up their experienced guides- they are a bubbling elixir of information that you are unlikely to find in any book! 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 travelers staying at the camp. There are an array of drinks to choose from 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!