Sand River Camp
Sand River Camp: Our View
Sand River Camp is part of the Elewana group, which is one of the most reasonably priced luxury operators in East Africa, with camps throughout Kenya and Tanzania. Sand River Campis alsoone of the best value camps in the Elewana collection. It combines high end accommodation with excellent service, superb game viewing and guiding, as well as being a fantastic location in the Masai Mara Reserve - but with prices that are lower than at most other luxury Mara camps!
With sixteen rooms, Sand River Camp may appear larger than many other upmarket camps in the Mara region. However, Sand River Camp is actually divided into two camps with ten and six rooms respectively, each having their own lounge & dining areas. So when they are busy, these two camps can operate as two totally separate camps, which are then called Sand River and Little Sand River Camp. This means that guests can still enjoy the experience of staying in a small and intimate camp.
Sand River Camp has a tranquil location next to the Sand River in a peaceful, uncrowded area in the far south of the Masai Mara Reserve. It is very close to the border with Tanzania and the Serengeti, so it is one of the first camps in the Mara to experience the Great Migration as it moves into the Masai Mara.
Sand River Camp is a fantastic option for clients looking for a luxury camp which still has a strong focus on the game viewing experience, but also provides a classic tented camp safari experience in a wild bush setting. Sand River Camp is definitely one of the best value options at the upper end of the market in the Masai Mara. Elewana’s extensive network of camps in East Africa is also an advantage for clients who want to do longer trips combining different areas in Kenya. This is because Elewana also has camps in the Masai Mara Private Conservancies, Laikipia, Amboseli and Meru. This makes it possible for clients to do multi night stays in Elewana camps and thus enjoy special offers and discounts that they often have, making Elewana even better value.
Sand River Camp: Quick Facts
- 16 luxurious tented rooms with en-suite bathrooms, each with outdoor shower & bath
- 1 family room
- Camp can be divided into 2 separate camps - Sand River and Little Sand River
- Superb location in a more peaceful, less crowded part of the Masai Mara Reserve
- 4x4 game drives
- Hot air balloon trips (additional cost)
- Camp is unfenced with wildlife able to roam through the camp
- Children of all ages welcome although it is better suited for families with older children
- Good facilities including curio shop, swimming pool and Wi-Fi
- Perfect for honeymoons and special occasions
- Access is usually by scheduled flight into Keekorok airstrip in the Masai Mara
Sand River Camp: The Details
The camp was totally refurbished in 2019 and the tented rooms are now very smart and new. They are alsovery romantic,with a wonderful blend of modern and colonial safari décor. So guests feel as if they are staying in a vintage Africa 1920’s style camp, but with all the comforts and luxury of the 21stCentury! The tented rooms are huge and opulently furnished with polished wooden floors, Persian rugs, four poster beds and a separate lounge area with comfy sofa and a travel chest for a coffee table.
The attached bathroom is equally luxurious with twin wash basins, a flush toilet in its own cubicle and a free-standing copper bath! A glass door leads out to a semi open air shower looking onto the surrounding bush. All the rooms also have an outside deck, which is an ideal place to relax. The rooms are well spaced apart,providing lots of privacy,and they are beautifully located amongst the bush facing onto the Sand River.
Fifteen of the Sand River Camp rooms are twin/double rooms and there is one family room. The latter is especially spacious as it comprises of two separate en-suite bedrooms connected by a lounge area - a great option for families with children! This offers privacy while there is still the security of being in the same unit. The communal areas of this camp are also very comfortable.
The tented lounge/bar area is spacious with plenty of comfy leather armchairs and sofas to relax on. There is a large outdoor deck with sun loungers and umbrellas looking over the Sand River. The attached dining tent is mainly set up with separate tables for individual dining. It is also possible to dine outside. Private dinners can be arranged at secluded spots in the bush for special occasions. The camp also has a large infinity swimming pool, which is a real bonus, as few camps inside the Masai Mara Reserve have swimming pools. Although this is a luxury camp, we love the fact that you still get a genuine, wild, bush safari experience with a real connection to nature here.
The remote location of Sand River Camp inside the Masai Mara Reserve means you are surrounded by wildlife. Indeed, as the camp is unfenced, wildlife can be roaming through the camp at any time. The tented rooms mean you do not feel separated from your surroundings and you will often go to sleep listening to the sounds of the bush!
The Masai Mara is famous for its game viewing. The area around Sand River Camp is no exception. The wildlife viewing here really is superb, with an abundance of big cats in particular. You can never totally escape the crowds in the Masai Mara Reserve, especially in peak season. But Sand River Camp is located in the remote southern section of the reserve, well away from other lodges and the main entrance gates. So this area will definitely be less crowded than other areas of the reserve.
As it is close to the border with the Serengeti, Sand River Camp is also the first area of the Mara to experience the Migration as it moves from there to the Masai Mara. It should be noted though that the Sand River is shallow, and very narrow, so you will not see the spectacular river crossings here that the migration is famous for. You need to go to the Mara River to see these, which is a bit of a drive from Sand River Camp. But during the migration season your guide will be happy to take you over there.
Game activities at Sand River Camp focus on game drives in open game vehicles. We have always found the guiding at the Elewana camps to be excellent. The camp can also arrange cultural visits to a local school they support, and they can also arrange hot air balloon trips at an additional cost.