- Safari Tour: Masai Mara National Reserve
- Safari Tour: Samburu National Reserve
- Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Zanzibar
- Glamping Review: Osero Lodge
- Flight Review: Ethiopian Airways Business Class A350
- Flight Review: Ethiopian Airways Business Class 777
Glamping, otherwise known as glamorous camping, is an exciting and different way to experience an African Safari. Embedded within nature while having every luxurious amenity imaginable is a great way to connect with the surrounding environment without “roughing it”.
The Osero Lodge is located in southwest Kenya near the Masai Mara National Reserve and hosts a dozen or so fancy tents with fine dining, a swimming pool, bar, and lounge areas. While glamping can be expensive, its worth trying it for at least a few days as part of longer longer trip just to get the experience.
Located just on the border of the Masai Mara National Reserve makes this site well situated for going on safari tours within the reserve. It is also not too far from nearby larger accommodations that host hot air balloon rides over the reserve at sunrise (a must do).
Even though the lodge is not in the middle of the reserve, it is still located in the wilderness. I heard many animals throughout the night including a pair of mating lions that would just not quit. No worries though because the camp site was enclosed by a fence to keep out animals.
The structures within the property blend in well with its surroundings by using mostly natural materials such as wood and stone. There are no sweeping views of savanna plains since the camp is within a forested area.
The dining area seats about 20 people but when I stayed, there were only two other guests during dinner. Most guests go on all day safaris since there is so much to see and do within the Masai Mara Reserve. So, unless you are staying for a long period of time, its unlikely you will have much opportunity to try out the pool.
Each tent is nestled into its own private area with a small clearing and surrounded by trees. The small amount of available tents provide a more private and exclusive experience where you can enjoy some peace and quiet.
From the outside, the tents did not look all that large. However, when you walk in you see a huge bed with intricate carvings and a full sized hot tub. There was even a beautiful Zanzibar chest, seating area, armoire, safe, shower, and dual sinks. Like all beds in this part of the world, there was mosquito netting to protect from insects while sleeping.
While the most of the structure is made of canvas, the floors and bathroom walls were made of more permanent materials.
The bathroom area was separated by a canvas door that you can roll down and zip up for privacy.
While we were at dinner, the staff placed two hot compress bags covered in fleece into the bed since it was cold outside. It was such a great idea and it felt like having a small dog keeping you warm.
Hot water is not always available, however all you have to do is give the front desk the times you wish to shower and they will provide hot water by starting up the burner. Once the hot water is available, it will be as hot as you want! It can get pretty cold at night so a nice hot shower is a perfect way to end the day.
Considering the camp was in the middle of nowhere with limited resources, the food surprisingly was awesome. The diversity of flavors and dishes exceeded my expectations and was truly impressive. The chef even greeted us, talked about the dishes, and made sure were were satisfied.
The staff was super friendly, attentive, welcoming, and helpful. Everyone was well trained and the place was ran like a well oiled machine. Everything was ran efficiently and on time including check in/out, hot water availability, meal preparations, and room cleaning. Once you provide the time you would like to begin dinner, they will begin preparing your meal and get you from your tent once it is almost ready.
During dinner the staff even conducted a Masai warrior dance to display their local customs, dances, and singing.
Another thing I liked is that the lodge only allow guests to provide a tip during check-out based on how they felt about the service. I prefer this since I sometimes forget to keep enough small bills on me for tipping.
In conclusion, glamping is an enjoyable way to experience an African safari. Guests are more connected to the wilderness than just staying at a crowded lodge. The Osero lodge is an excellent option due to its proximity to the Masai Mara, outstanding service, luxurious tents, and delicious food.