Spending 4 nights in Kenya’s famous Masai Mara game reserve during the annual wildebeest migration was a dream come true with every manner of animal on parade whilst we enjoyed our luxurious surroundings. The entire experience was amazing but capped off by spending a night under canvas at & Beyond’s Bateleur Camp.
On arrival at Bateleur you traverse an area of riverine forest where an animal I have never seen before popped its head out to greet us.
Bateleur is the epitome of bygone Africa where the elegance of vintage Africa marries perfectly with the panache of canvas whilst scenes of both tranquility and life and death are played out before your eyes. Both the communal and private areas are aesthetically very appealing and ooze comfort.
The staff was exceptional at Bateleur and lunch served under the trees with a view of the plains was superb. We could have lingered for hours watching the myriad of animals including giraffe, buffalo and elephants sauntering past or listening to tales of Masai culture from Masai warriors who were delighted to share many aspects of their lives with us. In fact, one of the warriors Makita set off on a special mission for me to collect medicine from the on call Swahili Dr. Not many people can lay claim to this service in the bush.
As I was not feeling up to par, for the first time ever I stayed in camp whilst my family went on the afternoon game drive. I thought I would rest, however the antics of the resident Samango monkeys were too enthralling to miss and I was drawn to the common area by the sounds of cracking branches and shouting where I came face to face with a monkey face down in citrus cake. “Mercy Uncle!” as my son would say – who could believe it.
Unfortunately could not get a photo but later in the afternoon when relaxing on my deck the monkeys decided to join me, bless them. Luckily I had not dozed off, and just made it into the tent before they did quickly zipping up the fastenings whilst the precious visitors hurled themselves against the mesh. Who would have thought I was that attractive to monkeys! At first it was kind of funny but then I became a bit freaked out and thought about googling “can canvas mesh hold out against renegade monkeys?!” Finally,my family returned, the monkeys dissipated and I was told I had to dress for a very special night drive.
Very special it was. Moses our ranger and Makita drove us to the most romantic setting in the bush where candlelit tables were draped in white tablecloths, candelabras and rose petals. We danced with the Masai whilst toasting the experience with vintage Verve which my husband had brought all the way from Australia accompanied by gourmet african cuisine. To be honest the atmosphere was so amazing I could have been eating bangers and mash and been happy.
The very special &Beyond team had made my friend Pam and I a very special birthday cake. Overwhelming.
Next morning we said goodbye to all our favourite animals and to cap things off our wonderful guide Moses was rewarded with a first for himself when on taking us to the air strip we saw a roan antelope which had been extinct in the Mara for a decade. This is one thing I love about the bush – no two days are ever the same.
To book an exceptional experience in the African bush contact Kirsten.Arnold@andbeyond.com http://www.andbeyond.com