Our safari started straightaway on the way to the camp from the airstrip – in moments we had seen elephant, buffalo and zebra, and over the course of our three days we saw every possible animal there was to see. At camp there were the lovely Donna and Josh the owners along with the fab Fred who looked after us and entertained us brilliantly. All the camp staff were lovely and so helpful. The food was absolutely delicious with the most scrumptious breakfasts – they couldn’t make enough pancakes for our children! Highlights included being hunted by bloodhounds, followed by the most magical breakfast in the bush. Then a birthday evening to beat all evenings round the campfire with dancing and cakes. All in all, we all rate Mugie at about 100 out of 10 – everyone was just BRILLIANT! I cried when we left – it really had been the most perfect stay.”
Ekorian’s Mugie Camp feels like a home-from-home in the wild, a retreat from a faster-paced world and a chance to reconnect with nature, family and friends. The welcoming owners, Josh and Donna Perrett, have young children themselves and have created a safari experience that caters to all ages – with everything from family-style dining to a wide range of wild and adventurous activities, all supported by a friendly, experienced and enthusiastic team.
The camp is composed of just six accommodation tents – each is raised up on a wooden deck and crowned with a thatched papyrus roof. Each spacious tent has an ensuite bathroom with hot running water and flush lavatories, and beds can be configured as twins or doubles. Two tents each also have a children’s annex with bunk or twin beds – making them perfect for family groups.
A communal mess tent for relaxing and dining, a reception area and a shady deck adjoining the swimming pool (overlooking a watering hole) are spread out across the camp among native aloes and flower beds and acacia trees. The entire camp is surrounded by a stone wall and electric fence, which allows guests to walk around camp and children to play safely without a worry.
There are plenty of games and activities in camp keep everyone occupied during down-time and these include volleyball, bird watching, traditional archery, spear-throwing, lawn games, trampolining and swimming in the freshwater, chemical-free swimming pool.
“We were recommended to go to Ekorian by friends and it did not fail to deliver. Everything surpassed expectations – the stylish and extremely comfortable tents, the endless amounts of excellent food, and not least the incredible staff and guides who made our trip fun, personal and knowledgeable. We went on numerous game drives, a camel ride and had breakfast in the bush (all included in the stay!) and we left feeling as though we had all had the experience of our lifetimes. Everything was seamless. I cannot think of one thing that could be improved! Thank you!!”
Whether watching elephants come down to drink and swim while kayaking on the dam, or a passing stand of giraffe while sipping a drink at the iconic Sundowner Tree, or seeing buffalo wander past while you’re relaxing by the pool – wildlife viewing is abundant. There are three open-sided game viewing vehicles from which guests can take in the varied flora and fauna.
The Conservancy is home to around seventy species of mammal including lion, cheetah, leopard, buffalo, elephant, eland, giraffe, zebra, hyena, impala, and warthog. There are several rare and endangered species residing at Mugie – including the Grevy’s Zebra and Jacksons Hartebeest, and the conservancy has one of the highest lion density populations in Laikipia,
There are also hundreds of bird species – whether permanent or seasonal residents – so there is never a dull moment for birders. Migratory species from the northern hemisphere flock here between November and April. In addition to watching wagtails, weavers, sunbirds, and many, many more, there are no less than four species of owl living in camp!
Unlimited game day and night drives with knowledgeable guides are just a small part of the safari adventure – go for a walk through the bush with experienced guides and savour being at one with nature, enjoy kayaking and fishing for tilapia and catfish on the Mugie Dam, go on camel rides through the conservancy, track with or be tracked by bloodhounds, meet Tala the tame giraffe or hit a round on Kenya’s Northern-most golf course. Visits to local Samburu and Pokot communities can also be arranged, as can visits to the Mugie school and other projects supported by local charity The Moyo Foundation.
“We enjoyed the most wonderful five days here. We saw lots of animals, great and small, with the help of our excellent and well-informed guides, George and David. The camp is beautiful, comfortable, stylish and ecologically sound, with a stunning setting. Meals are delicious, fresh and beautifully-prepared. The hosts are friendly and helpful with a light touch. I’ll be back and will recommend it to my friends – it’s just a fabulous place.”
Camp owner Donna is a cordon-bleu trained chef and the menus at the camp focus on wholesome, tasty, home-cooked meals, using ingredients from local markets and neighbouring farms. At the camp is a vegetable garden for all the salads, herbs, and other vegetables (all are grown without fertilisers or chemicals). The camp cooks have a natural flair for fresh and healthy dishes. Meals are eaten in the mess tent, beside the swimming pool, or out in the bush, depending on how guests prefer to spend their day.
Start the morning with a hot flask of Kenyan tea or coffee and home-made biscuits before heading out on a game drive. Arrive back in camp to a full English breakfast or enjoy it out in the bush – with freshly-made toast, farm eggs, home-made pastries, yoghurt, granola, jams and marmalades.
Lunch back at camp, or a picnic on the deck overlooking the dam, is always a delight with vibrant home-grown salads and freshly baked bread. Fresh cakes and biscuits for a traditional afternoon tea follow a siesta in the breezy comfort of your tent. Homemade bitings are a delicious treat along with sundowners out on a game drive. Return to camp for starters served under the stars by the camp fire, as you relax with a drink in hand. And then discuss the day’s adventures over a delicious, candlelit meal in the dining tent.
“We went on three amazing safaris in Kenya, and have to say that Ekorian was our favorite. Mugie doesn’t have the vast wildlife numbers of, say, the Maasai Mara, but we saw everything we wanted to see in an intimate, magical experience. Our guide, George, was an absolute fountain of knowledge about everything our group wanted to know. My mother-in-law tested him on his obscure bird knowledge, and he didn’t bat an eye, and he deeply enriched my experience with his attention to the wildflowers that captured attention. He was incredibly sweet with our kids as well, as were all the staff. The camp is luxurious and comfortable without being stuffy, the food is excellent, and the climate is delightful. Memories for a lifetime.”
In order to ensure an organic, authentic safari, Ekorian fuses luxury with sustainability, and comfort with responsibility. The camp is eco-conscious and ‘silver’ eco-rated by the Kenya Eco-Tourism Board and incorporates environmental conscientiousness in every aspect of its design. It uses solar power (no hair dryers or electric razors please) and every effort is made to minimize the use of plastic products. The swimming pool is eco-friendly and chemical-free – as is the vegetable garden.
Bottled water is not supplied – instead rainwater is harvested and boiled and filtered and provided in reusable water bottles on game drives and in recycled glass bottles and glasses in the rooms and at meal times. The soaps and shampoos supplied in the rooms are all organic and locally-made, and the items for sale in the camp shop are created by local artisans, and most in support of a good cause – including beadwork made in collaboration with The Moyo Foundation
The Moyo Foundation
Based on the interconnected pillars of Conservation, Healthcare, and Education, The Moyo Foundation is a volunteer-run charitable organisation working with the camp, the conservancy and the local community. Focusing on mitigating human-wildlife conflict, Moyo helps to raise funds for and awareness of wildlife conservation. Moyo provides educational scholarships for children from rural communities and supports Special Needs students at Mugie School. Moyo sponsors local Women’s Health Outreach Clinics which bring access to medical resources and vital health education www.themoyofoundation.org
“This was our second time staying at Ekorian’s Mugie. I thought the first Safari would be hard to top, but Josh and Donna have managed to up the ante without losing any of the authenticity. In an age of over-consumerism and excessive largesse, it is so refreshing to stay in a camp that is environmentally responsible and eco-sensitive without compromising on service, comfort or value. The staff are extraordinary – warm, welcoming, helpful, knowledgeable and professional. There is such a range of activities to choose from and it is ideal for families, and a great camp for children to learn and explore the wonders of Mugie. The wildlife is shyer here and well hidden, but luckily the guides are exceptional at spotting and knowing their movements – particularly of the big cats, cheetah, lion etc. Kayaking on the dam while elephant are drinking or swimming nearby is a dream come true. We are counting down the days until we can return – thank you Ekorian for the memories and a safari of a lifetime.”