Twenty years have passed since its original opening, so it seemed only fitting to once again enlist the creative vision and unsurpassed talent of &Beyond Bateleur Camp’s original designers, Fox Browne Creative, for the iconic camp’s highly anticipated redesign.
The award-winning and uber-talented duo, Chris Browne and Debra Fox, immediately set to work conjuring up fresh new ideas and stylish, yet understated, African touches that would update and refresh the camp, yet still retain its much-loved Out of Africa ambience and undeniable air of old school safari romance. Chris emphasises that “It is what is has always been.” All original pieces that were sourced 20 years ago have been retained and stylishly reutilised.
The wait is finally over. Completely rebuilt from the ground up, our beloved &Beyond Bateleur Camp (in Kenya’s Masai Mara) has proudly reopened its elegant new doors to some very excited guests. An official opening ceremony and ribbon cutting was held at Bateleur South Camp earlier this month, which was attended by local African dignitaries, Kenyan government officials and community members. We couldn’t be more proud to reveal the camp’s sophisticated new look and feel … we’d love to hear what you think!
Out of Africa
Situated just below the breathtaking lookout where Out of Africa’s famous final scene was filmed, &Beyond Bateleur Camp has always carried an authentic air of unapologetic, Out of Africa-esque romance and nostalgia and it pays particular homage to those elegant safari days of old. One could (almost) expect Robert Redford to walk around the corner at any minute.
Once you’re over the disappointment that Redford isn’t actually going to arrive and swoop you off your feet in that unmistakable yellow bi-plane (want to know where you can see the original? click here), be sure to check out the Swarovski spotting scopes conveniently located in each of the two camps. They can be quickly fitted with an iPhone, enabling you to take photos of your sightings. The very first sighting from these handsome spotting scopes was of a tree full of tree-climbing lions, followed by elephant, giraffe, buffalo … you get the picture.
Oh, that view!
I can guarantee that you will never (ever) grow tired of the view. As dramatic as it is captivating, the world-famous, tree-dotted Mara unfolds right in front of you (from every tented suite and guest area). It’s like having your own private Mara. Once the butler delivers your morning dose of Kenyan caffeine and freshly baked biscuits through the discreet butler hatch right in your own tent, there’s something quite magical about staying cosy under the duvet watching as the hot air balloons float over the limitless plains. It’s so peaceful that you can actually hear the periodic roar of the flames as they keep the balloon gently afloat.
Mixing old and new
The tented suites and guest areas are imbued with vintage silver, aged brass, local mazeras stone and soft worn leather. Just a few of the perfectly curated design elements include: antique trunks, elephant engraved glasses (did you know that Kichwa and Tembo are the Swahili words for head and elephant?), antique Maasai beaded goatskin wedding skirts that have been repurposed to cover plush ottomans, standalone bathtubs encased in a glass room with views of the forest canopy and stars above, al fresco showers, private courtyards, old-world maps and those unexpected quirky accents (such as framed prints of movie starlets from the 50s) that Chris and Debra are known to incorporate, adding humour and light-heartedness to their enviable designs.
You won’t want to miss these
Some of the highly anticipated additions to South Camp are not to be missed. Previously unpopular spaces have been cleverly restored into beautiful, well-purposed areas where guests can shop, exercise, swim, relax and enjoy that sweeping view at all times.
Perhaps the most popular feature is the craft gin bar, which stocks 16 different craft gins, each with its own story. Browse our unique gin menu to select the cocktail of your choice, each one infused with fresh botanicals grown in the lodge’s shamba (organic vegetable garden), and savour the view.
Guests craving a bit of retail therapy will love the new boutique Safari Shop, which is a celebration of Kenyan high-end fashion, jewellery and accessories. Browse the collections of local designers, including Anna Trzebinski, Penny Winter and Antassia.
Both North and South Camp boast inviting infinity pools overlooking the Mara that absolutely rival some of the world’s best pools with a view. Next to the South Camp pool is a fully-equipped, state-of-the-art exercise room, complete with treadmill, elliptical, stationary bicycle, yoga ball and weights. I certainly made use of the gym and I can’t say I’ve ever worked out with a view of five giraffes, a herd of buffalo, plenty of warthogs and a lone elephant bull before. Another bucket list moment.
Not feeling the exercise vibe while you’re on holiday? Then skip the gym-with-a-view altogether and opt for a relaxing spa treatment in the intimate massage sala. Boasting the same incredible view, there are two massage tables that allow for both couple and solo treatments. Add to this &Beyond’s signature garden-to-table dining, which is always fresh, wholesome and slowly savoured in different, and truly memorable, locations, as well as our hearty, interactive breakfasts that overlook the Mara, and you have the perfect Kenyan safari escape.
And so, after 20 wonderful, romantic and adventurous years in the Mara, this gorgeous camp has now come full circle, with a nostalgic makeover from its original designers. We invite you to come and experience it for yourselves. Isn’t it time to escape the constant traffic and to-do lists that accompany city life and come explore the magnificence of the Mara with us?