Entumoto Safari Camp in the Masai Mara.
After the establishment of Mara Siana Conservancy, Rimoine Ole Kararei, a native Maasai had a mission. He wanted to tour all the surrounding camps and lounges around the Masai Mara ecosystem to identify a conservatory model that not found in other camping sites, which could attract more visitors.
Alongside his Swedish friends, they toured the entire Masai Mara Conservancy and realised there was something lacking.
“I was looking for the right opportunity in East Africa for 20 years. But when Rimoine showed me this valley and told me he would like to be part of establishing a camp here, with a conservatory model to balance with the business interest, I realised that my dream was about to come true,” says Karl von Heland, Rimoine’s partner.
According to the two conservationists, all the other camps lacked the right mixes of an African art and a western architectural glamour that coincided with the conservancy and the community around, and, this is what they brought in.
He had identified a site where the world’s Big Five drink from mineral water from their well of life.
The well, which is found just at the heart of the tented camp, has a natural attraction to the Mara Conservancy’s wild who trek miles away from all corners of the Mara ecosystem to come and quench their thirst in the well. “It is right on the adventurous terrain through which mostly elephants pass either by night or early in the morning to quench their thirst. Some animals trek all the way from the bushy forests in Trans Mara to this place to only quench their thirst then they get back,” says Isaac Kasura, the camp’s head guide and manager.
The well, which is located just in the heart of Entumoto Camping Site, is nestled in the rolling foothills of Lenganishu, Oloonkashe and Esonkoyo hills but just in between the Megwara Hills Valleys.
“The memories of you dining and wining in the middle of the adventurous wild, from the comfort of the African-inspired architecture and the assured scenery of the world’s Big Five drinking water directly from their “Embolyei” (meaning where animals converge to drink) is something one cannot forget,” says Kararei.
Watching the elephants drinking water from this well begins early in the day when everyone is trooping out of their rooms, which have the capacity to accommodate a full family in the tented suites, that comprise two double or twin rooms, each with en suite bathrooms and a central lounge with fireplace, comfortably furnished and includes two divans which could double as beds.
With a picturesque and rustic break from the humdrum of the pre-emptive Mara game drive on hold, you are welcomed by the strong architecture and interior of Entumoto’s main lounge.
Here, one can get the best view of the embolyei and bearing in mind that the camp is not fenced, the guests are at liberty to have the best view and also can get that conservatory ideal space that allows the animals roam around the place at ease.
“We set up a taste of African inspired lounge interior to offer the best position to photograph the animals as they take the salty water which is rarely found within the vicinity,” says Kararei.
The lounge allows guests to view the lions drink from the well and offers the real sense of a nice but very basic materials, which according to Kararei, was meant to suggest a simple mix of a the Swedish alongside the rich African taste.
“Visitors mostly like certain basic things like light, comfort and safety. Here, it is in everyone’s views as you take the photos in the natural light in the morning…,” says Kararei.
Inside the lounge, there is a number of Maasai-inspired photography that is sparsely mounted on the tent walls.
The firmly designed custom banquette tables offer a compact space to pair with that Kenyan environment and warmth with the vintage chairs designed to offer enough space for a dozen guests who are at liberty to have a panoramic view of the Big Five quenching their thirst.
“The good thing is that we have structured the entire lounge in such a way that as one has their breakfast, they can view the animals as they quench their thirst,” he says.
Entumoto is among the two camp sites that have supported the Mara Siana Conservancy Initiative spearheaded by the World Wide Fund and the surrounding community a few years ago.
The camp’s management gives Sh1,000 annually to the community for each visitor who spends a night in the camp.
This is in appreciation of the fact that the community has leased the land to the camp for conservation purposes.