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Camping in the shadow of Kilimanjaro

JENNY ROWLAND goes camping in Kenya, and can't help but rise early.

The night before, I had been told to sleep with my tent doors open, which would enable me to see the sun rise over Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. So, after my first day at the Satao Elerai Camp in Kenya's Amboseli National Park, I bed down in my tented room with flaps open, ready for daybreak. 




Remote and rustic, the Elerai camp location at the foothills of Kilimanjaro is breathtakingly beautiful - and indeed, watching the sunrise from bed with cuppa in hand is a magical experience.


As well as offering large and comfortable tented accommodation, Elerai has a cosy restaurant and bar with a roaring fire and lovely infinity pool, where you can see the odd gazelle or waterbuck. Today, we're lucky to get a visit from two elephants - it's little wonder Amboseli has come to be called "trunk city".




Each game drive with our very knowledgeable and fun guide, Benson, brings new sightings of buffalo, hyena, heaps of different antelope (especially my favourite the kudu), and loads of giraffe towering elegantly under the shadow of Kilimanjaro. There is also prolific bird life here, and I'm particularly mesmerised by a spectacular kingfisher trying to swallow a fish half the size of itself.


On our last night, Benson's "secret surprise" takes us high up on a hill where we are greeted by a Masai tribesman, camp fire and bottle of champagne to watch the sunset. It's the perfect way to end our far too brief stay at Elerai.


For unforgettable tours in Africa, contact Bench International.


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Written by: Jenny Rowland
Published: 23 May 2016

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