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The Sleeping Warrior Camp - Elementaita, Kenya

Soysambu Conservancy, Lake Elementeita - the Great Rift Valley, Kenya

On the slopes of a volcano, surrounded by 20,000 hectares of the private Soysambu Conservancy, nestles an exclusive tented camp, The Sleeping Warrior Camp. On the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Elementaita, lies the vast, extinct volcano. Seen from the distance, its time-eroded crater suggests the profile of a massive Maasai warrior, resting in peace until the end of time.

The Lake lies 160 kms from Nairobi - a 2-3 hour journey depending on road conditions.

The Background
The Soysambu Conservancy is part of the lands of Lord Delamere, one of Kenya's most prominent colonial figures. Formerly a cattle ranch, which includes the western shores of Lake Elmenteita, one of Kenya's most beautiful soda lakes, the land has never been open to the public. Even today, access is strictly limited to the guests of the conservancy. Utterly pristine and hauntingly beautiful, Soysambu is one of only a handful of private conservancies in Kenya.

Kenya hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.

Each tent is secluded within its own Leleshwa grove

Ecologically-conceived, the camp offers four widely-spaced, and traditionally-presented safari tents. Linked by winding lava-stone paths, each tent has a locally-thatched roof, a private bathroom (with hot and cold running water), which is partially open to the wilderness, and its own private veranda.

Elsewhere in the camp, Eagle's Nest is a lava stone honeymoon getaway located on a secluded rocky outcrop, which features a star bed (open to the stars) and its own lava rock pathway. For those who prefer solid walls, Ututu Room is located within Ututu House and offers a private bathroom with bath and shower.

Raised on a small lava-outcrop, with evocative views over the crater of the Sleeping Warrior, is a simple bilding, styled to replicate a Tuscan villa, and mad amost entirely from straw-bales from the surrounding cattle ranch. This houses the central lounge, dining room and breakfast terrace.

Eco-friendly tents, each of which lies in its own Leleshwa grove surrounded by lava stone walls. All have ensuite facilities (hot and cold running water, solar-powered electricity, natural rain-water). Long Hill and Scout Hill sleep 2-3 people, Half Tent sleeps 2, Boma tent sleeps 2 and will also accommodate an additional tent for children.

Dining and bars
Ututu House has a central dining room and lounge with an external natural stone terrace with magnificent views. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room - home-cooked and to the highest quality. Sundowners are traditionally taken on one of the surrounding volcanic hills, with campfire and home-cooked ‘bitings'.

Conference and event facilities
The camp can be adapted so as to accommodate small meetings, conferences or workshops.

The camp is very child friendly, but parents are requested to keep children under close supervision. Children's meals can be prepared and a family tent enclosure is available.

What to see and do
A part of the extensive lands, first owned by one of Kenya's best-known pioneers, Lord Delamere, the non-profit Soysambu Conservancy is dedicated towards preserving this previously private and still pristine wilderness - for the benefit of its unique wildlife, and for the generations of tomorrow. Featuring volcanic hills, rolling plains, and dense acacia woodlands, the Conservancy also includes a substantial part of Lake Elmenteita, the ancestral home of 1.2 million flamingoes and their attendant cast of pelicans, commorants, waders and storks. Within the shelter of the crater, wander large herds of buffalo, within the acacia thickets graze the rare Rothschild's giraffe, and across the plains bound an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of plain's game. Long protected from the impact of mass-tourism, the Conservancy also provides sanctuary for a wide range of carnivores, including the shy and secretive leopard.

Activities include:
• Escorted day and night game drives around the private conservancy.
• Tours of the lakeshore, periodic home to over 2 million flamingoes.
• Escorted walks up the extinct volcano - The Sleeping Warrior
• Ornithological walks around the conservancy, home to 450 species of birds.
• Fly-camping within the conservancy.
• Sundowners or bush lunches.
• Ballooning across lakes Nakuru and Elmenteita
• Excursions to Lake Nakuru - across the rangelands which separates the two lakes

Wildlife highlights:
Defassa waterbuck, gazelles, antelope, colobus monkey, rock hyrax, impala, dik-dik, bush pigs, aardvark, leopard, striped hyena, bat-eared fox, wild cat, golden cat, reedbuck and buffalo and over 450 species of birds.

Other attractions
The camp is committed to sustainable eco-tourism and shares certain wildlife and water management responsibilities with Soysambu Conservancy, a non-profit organization established to protect this 20,000 hectare-area of land. Guest pay $20 per person for access to the conservancy, which goes directly to maintaining the environment and the local Maasai community. The camp also employs local Maasai women to gather sustainable Leleshwa (wild sage) wood for water-heating purposes. Additionally, the camp is sponsoring five local children through school.

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