All the luxuries you are looking for on safari
- at an affordable price...
iKWETA Safari Camp
Meru National Park
Explore this complete wilderness from your base at iKWETA Safari Camp
Meet the Big 5
and More ...
Meru National Park is also famous for its lions. Presently, the lion population is estimated to be around 80.
Besides the Big 5, Meru National Park is the home of many other animals such as cheetah, plains zebra and Grevy’s zebra, giraffe, hippo, lesser kudu, oryx, gerenuk, hartebeest, gazelle …
Meru is also a birdwatchers’ paradise … Over 400 species recorded
NOW SAY HELLO
– International Tour Operator from The Netherlands, in Tripadvisor review
Only 10 guest Tents.
– Mains electricity, ample power sockets in guest Tents for charging devices;
– High-capacity backup generator in case of mains power outage;
– DSTV in Guest Lounge;
– Free fast Wi-Fi Internet throughout the Camp;
– Improved accessibility for guests with reduced mobility;
– Guides/Drivers accommodation on Full-Board basis, at nominal tariff.
– Flexible meal times;
– All meals cooked to order;
– Vegetarian and vegan dishes always on offer;
– Pre-game drive early morning wake-up calls with coffee, tea and biscuits on request;
– Optional packed Breakfasts and Lunches to accommodate game drives.
iKWETA nature trails
Take a leisurely walk along the nature trails of iKWETA Safari Camp, especially after a long game drive or road trip …
and other acclaims
iKWETA Safari Camp was listed in Tripadvisor Hall of Fame twice in a row – in 2018 and 2019. The honour is for establishments earning Certificate of Excellence five years in a row.
Lonely Planet. Top choice luxury tents in Mt Kenya region
9.2 out of 10
Google My Business.
4.3 out of 5
Business Daily (Nairobi, Kenya), August 26, 2016. “iKWETA Safari Camp raises the bar for Meru”
Msafiri (Kenya Airways Inflight Magazine), February 2015. Destinations, Features: Meru National Park
Meru National Park
P.O. Box 620 MAUA 60600
Tel.: +254 705 200 050
Tel.: +254 708 235 861
Accommodation is by advance confirmed reservation.
Reservation is confirmed upon receipt of a deposit of 50% of the total amount due.
To check our current availability, book, and make payment, please click on the link below.
There are two major access routes to iKWETA Safari Camp and Meru National Park:
Murera Gate (main entrance)
Ura Gate (during dry weather)
Both access routes offer guests spectacular vistas through the Mount Kenya region.
iKWETA Safari Camp has a helipad on site for guests arriving by helicopter.
AIRKENYA has scheduled flights to Meru National Park (Kinna Airstrip). Guests are picked up by their tour company vehicle or by local guide/driver (by arrangement and at cost to guest).
Express Guest Check-in
-2- On arrival, guest’s body temperature is taken, he/she presents ID document, signs Registration form, receives short briefing, heads to his/her guest Tent.
-3- On check-out, the procedure is also expedited – since payment is always in advance of stay and ‘cashless’ payment may be made for any extras…
Expedited check-in and check-out procedures for guests, are part of the iKWETA Safari Camp Standard Operating Procedures we have put in place to make social distancing easier at check-in and check-out.
Additional actions to control the spread of COVID-19 include rigorous hygiene measures in the common areas, in food and beverage service and in housekeeping. We continue to train our staff on the new Standard Operating Procedures and to assess the effectiveness of the measures we have put in place and to make revisions as necessary.
For more information, see FAQ.
iKWETA Safari Camp offers its guests a number of optional excursions in the vicinity or proximity of the Camp to provide opportunities for cultural contact and interaction with the locals.
Guests use their tour company vehicle or their own. iKWETA employee may accompany on some of the excursions to serve as a guide (for a nominal fee).
More information is available at Reception/Front Desk.
Guests enjoy “Sundowner” after conquering Gatwe (“Skull” Hill)…
Approx. 2 hours. Morning or evening. Latest afternoon departure, around 15:30. Cost: KES 500 for 4 pax; KES 100 for each additional pax.
Scale up Gatwe (“Skull” Hill) and enjoy panoramic views of the entire Meru Conservation Area, including the blue Nyambene Hills [Nyambene Forest and Water Tower] “marching in the distance towards Mount Kenya”, as one insightful observer quipped.
Visitors will have the opportunity for interaction with local communities during their leisurely walk through the farmlands.
Drive through small-scale tea farm landscapes en route to Nyambene Forest and Water Tower and the dams of Tuuru Water Scheme. Visit Kiegoi Tea Factory (by arrangement) and other places of interest, including Maria Consolata Shrine at Mukululu Catholic Mission. Half-day or full-day options may include packed-Lunch in Nyambene Forest. Cost: KES 3,000 for guide and conservation fees (for group of any size). An option includes a visit to Kiegoi Tea Factory, one of Kenya’s “fair-trade” success stories. [See Note at bottom on the concept of fair-trade.]
Nyambene Forest and Water Tower is the source of water and livelihood for much of the population in the region of Mount Kenya East (large swathes of Meru, Tharaka-Nithi and Embu Counties). It is the source of the 14 permanent rivers and streams which crisscross Meru National Park thus making it one of the best watered national parks in Kenya.
This excursion takes visitors on a rapid ascend – from around 800m at iKWETA Safari Camp, to around 2,500m – through small market centres and farmlands of scenic landscapes where some of the best quality tea in the world is grown for export. Kenya tea is one of the top foreign exchange earners, alongside tourism, horticulture and coffee. The growing of tea in this region by small-scale farmers has had a significant impact in uplifting the quality of livelihoods of the local people.
The excursion takes visitors deep into the Nyambene Forest and Water Tower where the dams of the Tuuru Water Scheme are located. A walk in this equatorial forest is a wonderful experience for both its serenity, peace and tranquility and because the forest and water tower (like Mount Kenya and Magado Crater [Igombe], see under excursion) is considered sacred and holy by the Meru people.
Because “water is life”, the Nyambene Forest and Water Tower is central in the spiritual practices and governance systems of the Meru people. Protecting and conserving the forest and water tower is therefore considered paramount for the protection of the Meru territory itself in order to maintain its order, integrity, well-being and sustainability.
“Oh Ngai o Nyambene ne Igombe (Magado Crater) …”, – Oh God of Nyambene and Igombe …; “Oh Ngai o Nyambene na Kirimara …”, – Oh God of Nyambene and Mount Kenya …
– are common exhortations to God among the Meru people preceding prayers for blessings, including for rain.
The Tuuru Water project, an endeavor of the Catholic Diocese of Meru and the local communities, distributes water over an area of 1,200 sq km of both high and low population densities. The aqueducts extend over 250 km and channel more than 36 million liters of water per day to more than a quarter million people and more than 60,000 large and small domestic animals.
The Italian missionary, the late Brother Giuseppe Argesse, known as “Mukiri” by the local community (because he was a man of action and few words…), is credited with the success of the Tuuru Water Scheme, that is literally for “quenching the community’s thirst for drinking water”… He arrived in Kenya in 1957, at the age of 23, and served for some 61 years until his death in September 2018 at the age of 84. He was honored by the United Nations in 1999 with the prestigious Path to Peace award at a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York for the contribution “he made to the development of peace at an international level”.
NOTE ON THE CONCEPT OF “FAIR-TRADE”.
The concept of fair-trade now widely accepted and practiced by progressive entities around the world entails offering farmers and workers in the developing countries better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and ensuring fair terms of trade.
The practice requires companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price).
The practice of fair-trade also attempts to address the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest and weakest producers. The overriding concern about fair-trade therefore is to enable the poorest and weakest producers improve their position and have more control over their lives.
*More information on this excursion is available at Reception/Front Desk.
The Magado Crater [also known as “Igombe” among the Meru people] is situated at the north-eastern tip of the Nyambene range of hills. The lake at the bottom of the crater is a spectacular splendor of patches of colour – with dark purple, bright red and green being dominant. Parts of the lake evaporate to form soda salt crust.
Like Mount Kenya and Nyambene Forest and Water Tower [see under excursion], Magado Crater is considered sacred and holy by the Meru people.
“Oh Ngai o Nyambene ne Igombe [Magado Crater] …” – Oh God of Nyambene and Igombe …; “Oh Ngai o Nyambene na Kirimara….” – Oh God of Nyambene and Mount Kenya … – are common exhortations among the Meru people preceding prayers for various blessings, including for rain.
The excursion takes visitors through small towns of the Meru countryside where “miraa” [also known as khat], is the major cash crop of the region, more important economically in this region than even coffee and tea. After the Mutuati market, there is steady descend overlooking largely arid and semi-arid spectacular landscapes of northern Kenya.
The crater is located a short distance from the small market centre of Gachiuru [the place of many bird nests]. The name of the market centre is quite apt as most of the trees in the surrounding bushes are literally adorned with bird nests …
The crater rises 73 meters above the surrounding area. It has an average diameter of 800 meters and an average crater depth below the rim of 140 meters. Debris blasted out during the crater eruption formed a rim 80-100 meters thick. From the top, the view of the bottom of the crater is one dotted with hundreds of domestic animals watering at the lake or peacefully grazing by the shores. Magado Crater is the only place for long distances around where animals can water and have access to the much desired natural salts.
The trek to the bottom of the crater, waddling between scores of small and large livestock, is in itself quite an experience. The chorus, or rather the cacophony of sounds – of the mooing of the cows, the hee-hawing of the donkeys, the mee-meeing of the goats and the bleating of the sheep – all anxiously trying to weave their way down to the lake as quickly as possible to quench their thirst and to lick the natural salts, is like a scene from centuries past…
NOTE 1: A video by Zammy Mustaq is a celebration of the epic beauty of the Magado | Igombe crater. It will make you want to visit…
NOTE 2: The crater was also featured in “Africa from the air: Martin Harvey’s aerial photos of landscapes and wildlife” (The Telegraph’s Travel Magazine, 31 Aug 2012).
In our experience, nothing says “let’s work together”, or “let’s just have fun”, like members trying to scale up Gatwe (“Skull Hill”) near iKWETA Safari Camp …
Similarly, nothing provides better bonding opportunities than step-challenges between members – from where you park your vehicle, to the dams of Tuuru Water Scheme deep in the Nyambene Forest; from where you park your vehicle at the rim of the Magado (Igombe) crater in the Nyambene National Reserve, to the edge of the escarpment, from where you then have to negotiate with thirsty livestock, as you and them, waddle your way to the lake at the bottom of the crater…
Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked most frequently about iKWETA Safari Camp and Meru National Park.
The Nyambene Hills, a formidable water catchment area on the Park’s western boundary, is the source of the 14 permanent rivers running through the Park and which give life and great vibrancy to an otherwise semi-arid region.
The mosaic of different habitats and diverse vegetation types in the Park are mirrored by a diversity of wildlife (with 500 species recorded), including substantive populations of large mammals such as the Big 5 – elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard – and rare species such as the caracal, lesser kudu, aardwolf, over 400 species of birds and over 720 plant species.
The Meru Conservation Area is the second largest contiguous elephant habitat in Kenya after the Tsavo National Parks.
We have now in place a 10-point Action Plan that we hope will enable our guests to enjoy their stay with us in the knowledge that public health and the highest hygiene standards are in place to prevent COVID-19 entering iKWETA Safari Camp.
Our new actions include expedited check-in and check-out procedures for guests, limited contact between staff and guests and rigorous hygiene measures in the common areas, in food and beverage service and in housekeeping. We continue to train our staff on the new Standard Operating Procedures and to assess the effectiveness of the measures we have put in place and to make revisions as necessary.
Our 10-point Action Plan (3 p) will be shared with prospective guests and/or their travel agents, upon request. It is also available in each guest Tent, in protective laminated covering that is easy to disinfect between guest change-overs.
(1) Accommodation is by advance confirmed reservation. Reservation cannot be confirmed before a deposit of 50% of the booking total is made. The full booking balance is due on the day of arrival.
(2) Payments by M-PESA, Payments Online on our secure website, major credit cards, bank transfer, or PayPal.
(3) Change of dates is possible depending on availability.
(4) The deposit will be refunded according to the cancellation conditions.
(5) If the booking is cancelled less than 14 days before arrival then a charge equal to 50% of the stay will be made.
(6) In the event of a no show or booking reduction (after arrival date) the full cost of the booking is charged.
(7) Terms and Conditions Apply for the period 21 December – 3 January (Festive Season).
NOTE: In light of the disruptions caused by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic to the travel and tourism sectors, we encourage guests who have booked with us to reschedule their bookings instead of cancelling.
Check-in: After 14:00 hours. Check-out: Before 11:00 hours. A surcharge may be imposed for early check-in and late check-out.
Meru National Park is a year-round destination. Wildlife (including the Big 5) is abundant throughout the year. Scenery is always spectacular. iKWETA Safari Camp is open 365 days a year.
The road network in Meru National Park is excellent even for a salon car. During the rainy season a 4 x 4 vehicle is preferable. The Rhino sanctuary includes a large wetlands zone.
There are two major access routes to iKWETA Safari Camp and Meru National Park – through the Murera Gate (main gate) and through the Ura Gate (during dry weather) – both offering guests spectacular vistas through the Mount Kenya region.
En-route to and on their departure from iKWETA Safari Camp guests can enjoy game drives through Meru National Park if they take the Ura Gate, especially if they are coming from or heading to Nairobi via Embu. Please use Google Maps for directions. Directional maps (sketches) through the Ura Gate also available on request.
1. Access via Murera Gate
By Public Transportation.
Arrive in Maua town by public transport. Transfer to iKWETA Safari Camp can be arranged. Travel by Matatu or “Piki Piki” (motor-cycle taxi) is also possible. Maua is well served by public transportation from Nairobi and Meru town. Buses and Matatu shuttles depart at all times of the day from the neighbourhood of downtown Nairobi popularly known as “Tea Room”, off Accra Road. Take direct shuttle to Maua or transfer at Meru town.
By Private or Tour Company Vehicle.
Arrive in Meru town, proceed onwards in the direction of Maua and Meru National Park, Murera Gate. There are two alternative routes to Meru town along the Mount Kenya ringroad:
From the south, around the east side of Mount Kenya via Embu – take the A2 Highway from Nairobi to Makutano/Nyeri/Embu junction, then turn right on the B6 Highway to Embu and onwards to Meru town. Drive through Meru town up to Makutano – junction of B6 and C91 Highways – and turn right on the C91 in the direction Maua.
From the north-west, around the west and north side of Mount Kenya via Nyeri and Nanyuki – take the A2 Highway from Nairobi to Marwa/Nyeri/Nanyuki junction, a few kilometers after Karatina town. Turn right at Marwa and proceed on the A2 onwards through Nanyuki in the direction Isiolo/Meru. At the junction of the A2 and B6 Highways (after the descent on the steep Subuiga Hill), veer right to take the B6 Highway to Meru. Drive through Meru Forest up to Makutano in the outskirts of Meru town. At Makutano – junction of B6 and C91 Highways – turn left on the C91 in the direction Maua.
NOTE: After Makutano/Meru/Maua junction in the direction Maua, drive along the C91 through a number of market centres until after MAILI TATU for the turnoff to Meru National Park (about 2 km before Maua town). The turnoff to Meru National Park comes up quickly – after some speed bumps – and is often confusing to travellers since the signage is to the right and you have to turn left… The location is popularly known as “Farm”. The road to Meru National Park, Murera Gate, is tarmarked most of the way. Drive through some market centres for about 7 km until the V-junction on the road [“Kwa Njilu”]. Veer to the right for Meru National Park and iKWETA Safari Camp. There is signage.
Makutano/Meru – “Farm”/Maua/Meru National Park Road Junction: 48 km
“Farm”/Maua/Meru National Park Road Junction – “Kwa Njilu” V-Junction: 7 km
“Kwa Njilu” V-Junction – iKWETA Safari Camp: 15 km
iKWETA Safari Camp – Meru National Park, Murera Gate: 2 Km
2. Access via Ura Gate
By Private or Tour Company vehicle. Public transportation not available at present.
Access to Meru National Park via the Ura Gate is during dry weather. From Nairobi, take the A2 Highway in the direction Nyeri. Drive for about 87 km to Makutano – junction of the A2/B6 Highways. Turn right to take the B6 Highway in the direction Embu-Meru. Drive through Embu town to Ena market, junction of B6/C92 Highways. Turn right on the C92 Highway in the direction Ishiara-Mitunguu. You will see the signage for Meru National Park, Ura Gate. The road is tarmarked up to Chiakariga.
Drive along the C92 through a number of market centres until Kathwana market. About 3 km after Kathwana (past the TOTAL petrol station), get off the C92 Highway on the right, in the direction to Chiakariga market. There is signage for Meru National Park, just before you enter Chiakariga market.
Embu/Meru/Ena (B6 & C92) Junction – Chiakariga (Turnoff to Meru National Park, Ura Gate): 64 km
Chiakariga – Ura Gate: 52 km
Ura Gate – Murera Gate: 48 km
Murera Gate – iKWETA Safari Camp: 2 km
One of our tents is wheelchair accessible. Two Zebras Dining and nearby guest toilets are accessible as well. iKWETA Safari Camp is on a flat terrain.
Full-Board rates for children sharing a guest Tent with adult(s) are as follows –
East African Community residents: 1 child, 3-11 years of age, $38 per night.
Non-East African Community residents: 1 child, 3-11 years of age, $44 per night.
Children less than 2 years old: free.
iKWETA Safari Camp is very flexible with meal times and provides personalized meal service, as requested.
iKWETA Safari Camp can cater to vegetarians and vegans. Guests should advise in advance of any lactose intolerance, peanut allergies, diabetic needs, celiac disease (gluten-free).
All iKWETA guest Tents are fully-equipped with heavy-duty mosquito netting protecting Tent doors and windows. Also, Tents have safe mosquito diffusers. As precaution, guests are advised to have their personal mosquito repellents.
Kenya has strict anti-smoking laws. Tobacco Control Act (2007) states that “no person shall smoke in restaurants, hotels, bars or other eating place; except in designated smoking areas”.
All iKWETA Safari Camp guest Tents are smoke-free. Smoking is absolutely forbidden inside the guest Tents. Smoking is allowed only in the designated outdoor areas, including on the veranda of the guest Tents, by the Swimming Pool, and in the Central Area adjacent to Two Zebras Dining, using the provided ash trays.
Any guest contravening the smoking law and iKWETA Safari Camp smoking policy makes himself/herself liable to lawful action under the Tobacco Control Act. Also, he/she may be surcharged a cleaning fee equivalent to one night’s stay and asked to leave iKWETA Safari Camp without refund.
iKWETA Safari Camp provides its guests free Wi-Fi Internet connection throughout the Camp over the available cellular networks. The service is offered as an amenity to enhance the guest experience. Guests wishing to use the Internet can request Wi-Fi access credentials from the staff. Service is available for one device at a time per registered guest. A guest cannot be issued several credentials to connect to different devices simultaneously, e.g., to laptop, tablet, phone, etc.
All guests wishing to access the Internet over the iKWETA Wi-Fi network are expected to adhere to Acceptable Internet Use Policies which include the following –
(1) Guest shall not use the iKWETA Wi-Fi network for any unlawful purposes, as defined by Kenya laws.
(2) Guest shall not interfere with the proper functioning of the iKWETA Wi-Fi network.
(3) Guest shall desist from online activities such as downloading videos and streaming music since these activities can be a significant drain on the available cellular bandwidth and data bundle.
(4) Guest who abuses iKWETA’s fair use policy or violates the establishment’s rules and general guidelines shall be denied further access to iKWETA’s Internet connection, and depending on the seriousness of the infraction, may also be asked to leave iKWETA Safari Camp without refund.
NOTE: iKWETA Safari Camp does not offer printing services onsite; neither does the Camp allow the use of its business computers by guests to process their documents, access their mail, etc. Exceptionally, we may print an important document for a guest – that is a document no longer than three (3) standard pages, e.g., an e-AirTicket – for a nominal fee.
To maintain serene surroundings and especially a quiet and sleep-conducive environment, iKWETA Safari Camp has zero tolerance noise policy. A warning will be issued to offending guest(s) if there is a noise complaint. If there is a second complaint, the offending guest(s) will be asked to leave iKWETA Safari Camp with no refund. There is zero tolerance policy to drunkenness. No illegal substances are permitted at iKWETA Safari Camp. A violation will result in immediate expulsion from the Camp and possible involvement of law enforcement.
Types of lost and found incidents include:
(1) Mislaid property – the owner has unintentionally left the items behind.
(2) Lost property – the owner has unintentionally left the items behind, then forgotten them.
(3) Abandoned property – the items were intentionally left behind by the owner.
iKWETA Safari Camp will maintain a record for lost and found items and of the efforts by Management and staff to contact and return the items to the owners.
Valuable items, such as luggage, will be kept only for 24 hours and disposed of thereafter for safety and security reasons. iKWETA Safari Camp will not be held responsible for any missing or damaged items inside the luggage. Non-valuable items will be kept for 1-2 days. Non-valuable items include items in paper or plastic bags. Perishable items will be kept for 24 hours and disposed of thereafter. Perishable items include food and food items.
Guests shall be held liable for any loss of or damage to property of iKWETA Safari Camp incurred by them. The establishment reserves the right to charge guest’s account commensurate to the cost of such loss or damage.
(1) Pets are not allowed. Only registered guide dogs may be permitted by prior arrangement.
(2) Guests may not bring their own pillows, bed sheets, duvets or other items of bedding.
(3) Guests are not allowed to bring their own electrical appliances and/or equipment for heating and/or cooking purposes.
(4) Parties or events are not allowed in the guest Tents.
(5) Any person visiting a staying guest must register with their Kenya ID or national passport.
(6) Any person sleeping over must register with their Kenya ID or national passport and the lead guest will be charged for the night(s) (at the appropriate tariff, e.g., as Double).
Tipping is entirely up to you… It is also often a sensitive issue – for you and the recipient! You are welcome to ask the Camp owners or the Camp Manager for advice. We have an anonymous tipping box for all staff, situated by the steps near the Reception/Guest Lounge area. The tipping box is opened periodically and the proceeds divided equally among all the staff. Some guests prefer to tip directly – and that’s also fine. But please recall that all iKWETA staff – from receptionists to housekeepers to groundsmen; from cooks to waiters to watchmen – contribute to making your stay enjoyable…
– PRIVACY NOTICE –
WHAT INFORMATION WE COLLECT. iKWETA Safari Camp collects the following information on this website: Name; email address and other contact details. Data collected both by us and on our behalf by third party service providers (e.g., for Online Reservations and Payments Online) may include personal details of “Lead Guest” (such as name, phone number, email, postal address and payment information). At check-in, it is standard procedure and a lawful requirement in Kenya for all Hotel guests to provide certain basic information about themselves. The law states that: “The licensee shall keep a register of particulars of every guest” (Tourism Act, 2011. Section 27, Tourism Regulatory Authority Regulations, 2014. Register and book to be kept by licensee). This information is collected on a standard Guest Registration form. For meetings, conferences and events, there is a basic Registration form for participants.
WHAT WE DO WITH THE INFORMATION WE GATHER. iKWETA Safari Camp gathers such information so as to abide by lawful requirements, including verification purposes, and to be able to follow up on our guests’ reservations and to provide them with a better service. Such information is also useful for internal record keeping and for handling and resolving any disputes that may arise.
HOW WE SAFEGUARD THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT. iKWETA Safari Camp is committed to ensuring that our guests information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online and on Guest Registration forms at check-in. Data that is collected on our behalf by third party service providers (e.g., for Online Reservations and Payments Online) is subject to the privacy policies and practices of those third party service providers. If payment information is provided this is processed directly by PCI Level 1 Compliant third party gateway providers according to prevailing international industry data security standards.
HOW TO CONTACT US. If guests have any questions about this Privacy Notice, they can contact us by e-mail through the Contact form on this website or write to us at: iKWETA Safari Camp, Meru National Park, Murera Gate, P.O. Box 620 Maua 60600 Kenya.