There are only a few safari camps to choose from in the private Naboisho Conversancy. So if you're wondering where to stay for your African safari… luxury camps don't get much better than Asilia! Imagine a 5-star safari hotel with canvas walls!
Before delving deeper into this hotel review, if you'd like to learn more about the Naboisho Conservancy, I cover this in more detail in my safari guide here. Find out when to go, what animals you can see and why you should visit Naboisho instead of the Masai Mara.
Our safari experience started from the moment we stepped off the plane. We were welcomed by two very excited Asilia safari guides as they pointed out the cheetah sitting no more than 50 feet away!
As we drove into camp and deeper into the wilderness, Asilia Naboisho suddenly appeared nestled under a canopy of acacia trees. We knew we'd made the right choice.
The Luxury Tented Camp
All areas of the Naboisho safari camp are entirely open, from the outdoor pool to the dining areas allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the African wilderness.
When we weren't enjoying lunch out on safari, we would sit under one of the beautiful Acacia trees in camp, devouring whatever mouth-watering dishes were on the menu that day. We'd gaze out across the Savannah and watch zebra & wildebeest grazing in the distance (of which I'm sure a lion was doing the same!)
Lunch is served as a mini buffet style right to your table, from fresh curries and vegetables to polenta and salad!! It was always way too much, but I'm not complaining!
Dinner would be served as a three-course meal under the stars after enjoying a drink around the campfire with fellow guests and guides.
As for the staff…their attentiveness and attention to detail are incredible, and nearly every team member, including the safari guides, is from the local Maasai tribes. Seeing surrounding communities benefit from tourism like this is so important!
There are just nine individual guest tents at Naboisho, which is why the camp has such a boutique vibe. As you enter your room, there’s a cute little lounge area with a bamboo table and chairs where I would sit and enjoy my coffee every morning. The staff would always leave me something small like cookies or cereal during every wake-up call, which was such a nice touch!
Meanwhile, open the draped curtains to reveal a vast king-size bed with a large open-plan bathroom on the other side with hot running water! Then I couldn’t contain my excitement when I saw the flushing toilet! There was also a traditional outdoor African bucket shower, which I only used once as sometimes you just need a bit of luxury! Especially when it’s in the form of a hot running shower!
During the day, the sides of the tent are left open (with mosquito nets), which means you can see the wilderness from wherever you are.
Attention to detail does not go a miss here! Every night we would return to our softly lit tent to find it converted for the evening along with a warm toasty hot water bottle inside the bed!
One thing that’s also good to know is a laundry service is included in your stay. Safari clothes can quickly get dirty while driving around in the African wilderness. Check out my ultimate safari packing list to know exactly what you’ll need to take with you.
A Typical Day on Safari at Asilia Naboisho | Kenya
When on safari we like to spend all day, every day searching for wildlife and this trip was no different. We spent most of the 5 days in Naboisho Conservancy enjoying a full day (12 hr) safari, leaving camp before sunrise and not returning until early evening.
Every day was filled with vast lion prides (Naboisho is one of the best places in the world to see them), cheetahs, hyenas, herds of elephants and more! In this post, I want to give you all the info you need on staying at the Asilia camp, but if you'd like to find out more about what wildlife you can see, check out my Naboisho safari guide.
A typical day on safari for us went like this….5:30am wakeup call with a delicious coffee right before leaving the camp at 6am. Heading out before sunrise is one of the best times to capture the action from the previous night's hunt. However, it can be bitterly cold first thing, so the hot water bottles provided every morning were a welcome treat!
After spending some exciting hours on the morning game drive with feasting lions or herds of elephants, we would stop for breakfast in the middle of the African
Afternoon Safari & Lunch
We'd then spend the rest of the day exploring the Naboisho Conversancy to see what animals we could find whilst stopping for a picnic lunch in between. Every day our guide went above and beyond, serving up a buffet of delights in the middle of the wilderness. Although on the days when we did a night or walking safari, we returned to camp for lunch and an afternoon snooze before heading back out again.
As each safari drive drew to an end, our guide would treat us to a G & T straight from the bush bar (aka picnic cooler) as we relaxed in the jeep and admired one of the many resident lion prides.
Things To Do Around Camp
In between safaris, you can enjoy a dip in the outdoor pool surrounded by wildlife or snuggle up on one of the sofas for an afternoon snooze. Come evening; we'd often spend time in front of the fireplace or campfire chatting to other guests and the head guides.
Best Safari Activities To Do – That You Cannot in Masai Mara!
Two of the best experiences in Naboisho were the walking safaris with veteran guide Roelof and the thrilling night safari drives. Something I haven't experienced since my first safari in South Africa! Naboisho isn't governed by the same rules as the Masai Mara national park, which means you can do far more exciting activities.
Finally, getting to see two of my safari bucket list animals on the night safari was a dream come true! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd ever get to see a bat-eared fox or porcupine, and there they were, in abundance!!
Is Safari Safe & Do Animals Enter the camp?
The camp is patrolled day and night by local Maasai to ensure the safety of everyone. During the evening and just before sunrise, you will be escorted as a precaution to and from your tent.
Do animals enter the camp? Well, one evening, after enjoying drinks around the campfire, I asked our Maasai escort. He very casually replied, "YES! RIGHT THERE…" as he pointed his torch towards a Giraffe right next to our tent! We were in fits of laughter at how blasé he was!
Top Tip: Hire a Private Safari Vehicle
Imagine a safari vehicle all to yourself! If your budget can stretch to paying the extra for your own private safari, I highly recommend it. You get the flexibility to stay out all day and search for specific animals only you want to see, all without worrying about other guests.
Whilst sharing your experiences with other people is fun, leaving a sighting of 10,000 wildebeest river crossing because another guest is tired is not!
We visited during the low season when the camp was very quiet, so we were lucky to get our own guide and safari vehicle for the whole 5 days at no extra cost!
Safari Camp Tipping Guide
Tipping is standard practice on safari, and staff are always hopeful of receivig such. Who you tip and how much is entirely up to you but the general guidelines we've always followed are:
- Tip using USD or GBP
- Safari guides: $10 per guest per day given directly to your guide at the end of the trip
- Camp: $5-$10 per guest per day, which you can discretely drop in the communal tip box
Asilia Is a Sustainable Safari Lodge
Asilia Naboisho works closely with the local MAA Trust and authorities to empower the local Maasai communities, especially the women, and support wildlife conservation. A $5 levy is charged every night you stay to support these projects.
If you're looking to stay at an African safari camp that offers the same 5star luxury as a hotel with some of the best safari guides in Kenya. I'd definitely recommend staying at the Asilia Naboisho Camp.
I'm already dreaming of my next visit!