iKWETA Safari Camp
All the luxuries you are looking for
on safari - at an affordable price...
Affordable Safari Luxury
in Mt Kenya region
Best value for money
Discover Meru National Park
The Complete Wilderness
“…we were watching 3 lions, when a large group of probably 100 elephants came down to the river in single file – they just kept coming and coming.”- Visitors, Meru National Park
Meet the Big Five
Meru National Park is famous for its varied eco-systems – from thorny bushland in the North and South-East to tropical marshes and dense riverine forests of Doum and Raffia palm in the West with sizable waterways; from rain forest (Ngaya Forest, also known as the “Elephants Maternity”) in the North-West to open grasslands elsewhere.
Meru is, of course, the land of the Big Five – elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, and leopard.
The Park is one of the best places in Kenya to see rhinos in the wilderness. At last count, the fenced 83 sq km Rhino Sanctuary was home to 34 black and 70 white rhinos.
Meru National Park is famous for its lions. The Park is especially associated with Elsa the Lioness and the film Born Free, a 1966 Technicolor British drama film starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers as Joy and George Adamson, a real-life couple who raised Elsa, an orphaned lion cub, to adulthood.
Elsa’s Grave is at the southern end of Meru National Park, off the southern bank of the Ura River.
Some of Kenya’s largest herds of buffalo are found in Meru National Park.
The stealthy and elusive leopard are to be found here. When on safari don’t forget to look up the thorny acacia trees once in a while. You may be surprised what you find – a leopard with a kill…
Meru National Park is the home of many other animals as well, including cheetah, hippo, zebra, giraffe, hartebeest, oryx, oribi, waterbuck, … and abundant birdlife…
The Park is truly a bird watchers paradise. Over 400 species are recorded.
Say Hello to Affordable Safari Luxury
Finally, affordable Luxury at Meru National Park…
Meru is one of my favourite parks in Kenya. The problem was always that there was only basic or 5* accommodation. iKWETA Safari Camp fills the gap with a very nice tented camp just outside the main gate. Very nice tents, good food and friendly staff and excellent location.
– Guest, International Tour Operator from The Netherlands
iKWETA Safari Camp is about Affordable Safari Luxury in Mt Kenya region.
We are a small Tented Camp – by choice … Only 10 guest Tents.
We offer natural elegance, personalized service and best value for money.
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK…
and hear what our guests say
(Excerpts from Trip Advisor)
At last, a non-rip off safari experience in Kenya!
After looking for three weeks for a reasonably priced safari, we found iKWETA, …
Lovely site, beautifully appointed tents and bathrooms, but no unnecessary ‘holiday’ frills, which you normally pay for. Great food, was fast and delicious, staff proactive and well trained and everything was just perfect.
The cost – a third of any other listed safari place and just outside one of the least visited wildlife gems in Kenya…
– Guest from Europe
…It is hard also to mention the “comforts” of bed without noting the attention that was given to the bed linens and pillows, they are like a soft embrace after a long day.
It was also a pleasant surprise to find the tents were bug free (even after a night of rains).
For those of you who like to travel with your kids, this place is great, as they are very quick to make adjustments to accommodate even small children (our kids are 2 and 4 years old, and the tent had plenty of space for a baby cot and single bed, which the staff quickly brought in upon our arrival).
– Guests, family from Thika, Kenya
… The bed is glorious. Hard to wake up in the morning for an early game drive. But the magnificent rising sun seen right from the comfort of your pillow gets you going…
– Guest, from Gaborone, Botswana
Haven of Relaxation.
…I think it is the attention to small details that makes such an appealing complete package. For example, the natural sounds of the “wilderness” are heightened by the strategic placement of wind chimes and water fountains throughout the camp.
Also, there is nothing like being able to enjoy the morning sunrise from the comfort of the bed (all the tents, and beds are facing east, and the open design is optimum for viewing superb sunrises from bed).
– Guests, family from Thika, Kenya
…iKWETA was the first stop on our 17 day adventure… we had a tent called Hippo… The room is lovely with a comfortable double bed and a very modern sink and bathroom…
– Guests, family from Preston, United Kingdom
I love the tent bathroom. It is unique. Unlike other tents that I have stayed in, this bathroom is a room altogether separated from the main tent by a nice stone wall. It has a safari style hardwood table and top sink. Really cool!
– Guest, from Gaborone, Botswana
Fantastic service, lovely place. Dinner outside with just candles to light up the table gave a really romantic feeling.
– Guests, couple
Highlight of our African adventure!
… We truly felt we were being embraced by the natural beauty and awe of Africa…
– Guests, family from Chatham, New York, U.S.A.
Amazing Eco-friendly Camp! For dinner on the first night we had a table out in the open surrounded by fairy-light decorated trees. Totally magical, like eating in a fairy glen.
– Guests, couple from Europe
At night I gazed at the stars and the Milky Way outside my tent…
– Guest, from Paris, France
iKWETA nature trails...
Take a leisurely walk along the nature trails of iKWETA Safari Camp to stretch the legs especially after a long game drive or road trip.
Approx. 10-15 minutes. Morning or evening.
- Spacious, comfortable guest Tents
- Improved accessibility for guests who are wheelchair users and for those with reduced mobility
- Large swimming pool
- Mains electricity
- Ample power sockets in guest Tents for charging devices
- High-capacity backup generator
- DSTV in Guest Lounge
- Free fast Wi-Fi Internet connection available throughout the Camp via cellular network
- Helipad on site for guests arriving by helicopter
- Optional excursions to other attractions in the local area
Fabulous Oasis in Meru. The lovely pool was very refreshing after a long game drive.
– Guests, from San Diego, California, U.S.A.
We have a helipad at iKWETA Safari Camp for guests arriving by helicopter.
AIRKENYA has regular scheduled flights to Meru National Park (Kinna Airstrip). Pick up for iKWETA Safari Camp guests is by arrangement.
Meals cooked to order
Accommodations are on Full-Board basis.
Our delicious cuisine – cooked to order – is prepared from fresh local produce and from our own Greenhouse and farms.
Vegetarian dishes are always on offer.
Flexible meal times
Meal times are flexible, depending on arrival and departure times of guests.
Pre-game drive early morning wake-up calls with coffee, tea and biscuits on request.
Packed Breakfasts and Lunches can be arranged to accommodate game drives.
On Full-Board basis,
at nominal tariff.
What is Certificate of Excellence?
Trip Advisor gives a Certificate of Excellence to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers.
Thanks to favourable guest reviews, iKWETA Safari Camp has earned Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence every year for the past six years in a row – in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 – thus qualifying for Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame twice, also in a row, that is in 2018 and 2019 …
Other acclamations for iKWETA Safari Camp
- Booking.com. WONDERFUL! 9.4 out of 10
- Lonely Planet. Top choice luxury tents in Mt Kenya region
- Jumia Travel. WONDERFUL! 9.2 out of 10
- Google My Business. 4.2 out of 5.
- Business Daily (Nairobi, Kenya), August 26, 2016. “iKWETA Safari Camp raises the bar for Meru”
- Daily Nation (Nairobi, Kenya), October 21, 2015. “Sights of Meru”
- Msafiri (Kenya Airways Inflight Magazine), February 2015. Destinations, Features: Meru National Park: “Back from the brink…”
2019 Full-Board Rates
East Africa Residents
Double/Two persons sharing
Residents of elsewhere
Double/Two persons sharing
3-11 years old sharing
Guest Tent with parents
50% of adult rate
Full-board accommodation rates include Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Selected beverages (tea/coffee, fresh juice at breakfast, water for packed Lunches) are also included.
Full-board accommodation rates exclude Transport, Park fees, Game drives, Special excursions, and Beverages (other than the selected ones) are charged separately.
All rates include applicable taxes (VAT, 16%; Tourism Levy, 2%).
21 December 2019 - 2 January 2020
USD 172/night: 1-2 persons
iKWETA Safari Camp
Meru National Park, Murera Gate
P.O. Box 620 Maua 60600 Kenya
Tel.: +254 705 200 050
Tel.: +254 708 235 861
Accommodation is by advance confirmed reservation. To check our current availability and make your provisional booking, please click on the Calendar box below and enter your desired dates.
You may also fill out the Contact form on this page if you have specific questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible. See also our FAQ [Frequently Asked Questions] below.
We accept payment with M-PESA (to Till Number 56024), and with PayPal and major Credit Cards.
We accept Payments Online on this secure website via Direct Pay Online, a platform used by many establishments in Kenya and in other countries. We can also send you an Email Transaction link to make payment in order to guarantee your reservation. Click on any of the links to go directly to Payments Online page.
Email us now!
Guests use their tour company vehicle or their own means of transportation. iKWETA Safari Camp can assist in making arrangements with local guides/drivers with 4×4 safari vehicles (for transfer and game drives at cost to guest).
BY ROAD. Please use Google Maps for directions.
BY AIR. iKWETA Safari Camp has a helipad on site for guests arriving by helicopter.
AIRKENYA has regular 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).
Enriching guest experience
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 (for a nominal fee) to serve as a guide.
More information is available at Reception/Front Desk.
Approx. 2 hours. Morning or evening. Latest afternoon departure, around 15:30. Cost: KES 500 for 4 pax; KES 100 for each additional pax.
Enjoy panoramic views of the entire Meru Conservation Area, including the blue Nyambene mountains [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 Winery and 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).
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 Kenya coffee. The growing of tea in this region by small-scale farmers has had a significant impact in uplifting the quality of livelihoods for the local people. 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”.]
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.
The forest and water tower are central resources from which the customs of the Meru people – their spiritual practices and their governance systems – are derived and held in balance so as to ensure protection of the territory as a whole and 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.]
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 numerous permanent rivers and streams which criss-cross Meru National Park thus making it one of the best watered national parks in Kenya.
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, christened “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 for literally “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 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.
NOTE: More information on this excursion is available at Reception/Front Desk.
Full-day excursion with packed-Lunch. Depart iKWETA Safari Camp in the morning after Breakfast; descend to the crater; have Lunch at the rim; return in late afternoon. Cost: KES 3,000 (for ranger to accompany visitors).
The Magado Crater [also known as Igombe among the Meru] is situated at the north-eastern tip of the Nyambene mountain range. The lake at the bottom of the crater is a spectacular splendor of patches of color – 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 peacefully grazing by the shores or watering at the lake. Magado Crater (or Igombe) 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: The crater was featured in “Africa from the air: Martin Harvey’s aerial photos of landscapes and wildlife” (The Telegraph’s Travel Magazine, 31 Aug 2012).
(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.
Meru National Park is a year-round destination. Wildlife (including the Big 5) is abundant throughout the year. Scenery is always spectacular.
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.
One of our tents is wheelchair accessible. Restaurant and toilets are accessible as well. iKWETA Safari Camp is on a flat terrain.
Two children between 3 to 11 years old sharing a tent would pay 75% of the Room (Tent) rate.
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 asked to leave iKWETA Safari Camp without refund and surcharged a cleaning fee equivalent to one night stay.
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).
What information we collect. We collect the following information on this website: Name; email address and other contact details. 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. We gather such information so as to abide by lawful requirements 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. We may use this information to contact guests in the future to inform them of our Special Offers.
How we safeguard the information we collect. We are 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 at check-in.
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.