The feeling that you’re far, far, far away from civilization. In the middle of the wilderness, yet in a place where it feels like you’re being surrounded by a small family. This is how our stay at Emboo Camp could be described in a nutshell. But actually, a short description of this special place won’t do justice. The camp breathes the passion and strong eco vision of owners Valery and Loïc, as they question all the other eco camps by rethinking all the conventional ways to be sustainable. Valery: “At Emboo Camp we are redefining the term ecological. At all our facilities, we have asked ourselves how it can have the least possible impact on the environment.” This conscious mindset gives a stay in Emboo an extra dimension. Read more about this special place, which made our safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya, unforgettable.
In the middle of the Masai Mara wilderness; surrounded by hippos, lions and hyenas
The first thing you notice is the number of tents Emboo Camp consists of. A total of eight, which is perfectly in line with the desire of Valery and Loïc to have a small ecological footprint. It doesn’t detract from the styling of them; when you enter the tent, which can be fully opened from top to bottom, you’re immediately stunned by the comfortable luxury. And it wouldn’t be Emboo Camp if all the furniture wasn’t produced locally by small businesses.
Furthermore, the tent contains a rain shower, where you can shower with sun-heated water, a toilet and a spacious washbasin. “Twenty-four hours a day electricity is available in the tent, generated by our solar panels in the camp,” says Valery. Then she leaves us alone and we enjoy the spectacular view that our tent offers. We have a view on the Talek River. A place where wild animals regularly bathe and quench their thirst. Especially at dusk and during the night. Luckily there are several Askari’s in the camp, security guards, who always accompany you from one place to the other. We haven’t spotted any game in the vicinity of our tent, it’s a matter of luck.
In addition to sitting peacefully in front of your tent while enjoying the wonderful nature around you, there is also the opportunity to nestle by the campfire in the evening and meet the other guests. Chances are there will be a moment where the conversation will be interrupted by people from the Massai tribe. They perform their traditional dances with a lot of jumping and singing and afterwards there is time to talk to them at the campfire and to ask questions. After the first meeting with the other visitors, it’s time to sit down at the table in the large tent, which is furnished as a place to eat. All the guests are welcomed to sit at the long table and delicious food will be served by the chef, who is an original Massaai. We hear hippos that come to drink water on the banks of the Talek River. Valery and Loïc also join us for dinner and tell us which animals visit Emboo Camp now and then: “We have already been woken up by hyenas and have heard lions very close to our tents several times”. We realize we are really in the middle of the wilderness while we enjoy our delicious three-course menu.
Next level eco camp
In addition to the fact that the water from the shower is naturally heated by the sun, Emboo Camp also deserves its ecological stamp in many other ways. To start with the fact that Emboo Camp does not produce liquid waste in any way. Valery enthusiastically shows us how the water recycling process works. All wastewater is collected in one of the two lagoons within the camp. The natural water plants in these lagoons purify the water in about two weeks, the water is then, after a positive quality test, reused in the camp. When the water plants are fully grown, the water can also be used for showers. The same plants are also used in the natural swimming pool next to the camp. Oh, we didn’t mention that yet did we? They also have an amazing natural swimming pool, looking out over the Talek river next to the camp. You might be lucky and see hippos bathe in the river while you’re going for your afternoon swim!
A unique safari experience with the first electric safari car of the Masai Mara
All in line with their vision, the ”game drives” organised by Emboo Camp are environmentally conscious as well. With the first electric Landrover in the whole Masai Mara, we take off for our first game drive right when we arrived at the camp. It is charged with electricity produced by the solar panels at the camp. Driving the electric car gives the safari a very unique experience; the car is almost silent which enables you to experience the silence of the Savannah and which does not make the animals run away by the roaring sound of the car. Besides, environmentally-friendly driving through one of the most beautiful stretches of wilderness gives quite a good feeling. Now that’s what we meant with rethinking all the conventional ways of being an eco-camp. It should also be mentioned that the guides who work at Emboo Camp have an enormous amount of knowledge of the animals and nature. “The best thing about nature is that everything is new every day,” our guide enthusiastically shouts from behind the wheel, during one of the beautiful sunsets. All in all, this is a safari that is not easy to forget.
The little extras
For those who still have doubts about how wonderful a stay at Emboo Camp might be, there are many small extras to mention that make a visit to this magical place more than worthwhile. Let’s start with the fact that at dinner you can indicate your preference on the so-called ‘tent menu’. Here you choose how you want to spend the night in the tent: completely closed, only the windows open or completely open. Don’t be scared, the open parts of the tent are covered with a mosquito net. Of course, we went for the ‘fully open option’ and we can assure you, the feeling of sleeping in the wilderness is magical. And right at the moment, when the evening has set in, it got a bit chillier and when you think it couldn’t get any better you crawl into your bed and stumble upon a hot water bottle. Besides that, someone just offered you the option of being woken up in the morning with a cup of coffee or tea. If all these things do not make you fall asleep right away… We can not end this article by addressing the entire ‘staff’ of Emboo Camp. It is clear that they feel at home in this place and they do everything they can to make you feel the same way!