Offbeat Meru Camp is a small, intimate tented camp...just room for 12 or so guests.
It is set along a lush river, and you can see baboons playing in the trees from your tented veranda.
The pool is great--not freezing cold, as many are in the tented camps.
Food is extremely good and even though the camp is small, the manager (Harriet) sees that you're served in a variety of settings--in the dining/lounge area, by the fire near the riverbed.
This gives the place the feel of a larger camp, while still retaining personal service.
Personal service is the best--one night we commented on the night sky and Harriet quickly arranged for mats and pillows on the grass.
A Maasai guide walked us through the constellations as we reclined in comfort.
This place really worked for us. Situated to the northeast of Meru NP in the Basanadi Reserve; the Meru park fees cover the entire area.
The camp itself is in an idyllic spot on one of the many rivers that run through the reserve. It is unfenced and tented, no solid walls, this provided a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the wildlife.
On arrival, as we dusted down with hot towels and fresh juice, Harriet the friendly and pragmatic camp manager took us through the practicalities of living in an open camp; security, bush showers & laundry, power for charging cameras etc. Over the next few days we found this all ran perfectly.
Accommodation is in large well-decorated tents with rugs, big bedside tables, lamps and huge, very comfortable iron beds.
Our bathroom had a lovely old-fashioned washstand with plenty of water provided for showers and washing, and seemingly self-filling glass carafes for drinking and cleaning teeth; we never had to ask for water. The whole feel is somewhat Hemingwayesque and works very well indeed.
The main camp areas are well appointed, with sofas, daybeds, a well-stocked library and a constantly replenished bar.
Nearby is a glorious little infinity pool overlooking the river with deck chairs, comfy sunbeds, on-tap kikoys and towels.
On our first afternoon we watched as a small herd of Impala came and drank from the river while hornbills and weavers darted about.
Breakfasts are served in the bush while out on the morning drives, a fantastic experience, lunches were served back in camp, dinners too, all of which were delicious and convivial with camp management and other guests, or personal and romantic on tables arranged just outside the main tent.
Sundowners were set up in perfect spots around the park prior to driving back after the evening game drives. After showers a couple of gin & tonics watching stars by the campfire before dinner – just lovely.
The reserve and park is what we were there for; this spoiled and surprised us.
The area is dry, hot bush in some parts, yet we were never far from the cool riverine that runs everywhere through the park. Red Kopje’s, huge Baobab and Doum Palms provide dramatic backdrops wherever you are in the park.
Lots of plains wildlife, it’s all here, we basically saw everything bar unicorn over a four-day period, with the exception of other visitors or cars – at every single sighting we were the only people watching. Bernard and Stanley, our Maasai guides were expert, articulate and fun, it was without doubt the best guiding we have ever had.