Klein's Camp, Tanzania
Klein’s is a sophisticated and secluded enclave hidden the vast Serengeti Plains of Tanzania. Serengeti means ‘endless plains’ in Maasai and in this intimate lodge you can survey them with the encompassing savanna that is home to some of the best game viewing in the world and its famed lions. Approached by a small plane the sweeping grasslands are stunning and an unforgettable start to your safari.
The Serengeti is part of one of the world’s largest conservation areas that is also made up of the neighbouring Ngorogoro Crater area and the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya allowing the free movement of wildlife within the area and the migrations. Sweeping views of the Serengeti are unrivalled from this incredible camp set high in the plains of Tanzania.
Klein’s is part of the And Beyond Safaris that have a sustainability commitment to the environment and its people, also through their Africa Foundation, that is unparalleled. The property is set in the Kuku Hills in the midst of the rolling grasslands where herds of wildebeest, zebra and giraffe can be observed grazing and sauntering through the landscape below. Elephant and prides of the much anticipated lions are easily observed during game drives or escorted walks and are incredibly at ease in the presence of humans.
The size of this reserve means that interaction is kept to low numbers and there is a feeling of serenity and oneness with the land as opposed to busier areas where traffic jams have been known to occur at peak times of game viewing. There is an intimacy and refinement of a bygone era here.
Ten thatched cottages are built in traditional stone with tasteful and comfortable interiors scattered through the camp. Soft creams and sumptuous soft beds add a luxury and a subdued colonial theme is carried throughout the camp. The main dining room and bar area is understated yet luxurious, with the most incredible vista across the never-ending plains of Africa. Nights draw in and fires are lit, three course meals of gastronomic delights are served as you listen to the sounds of the game below and Maasai will come and mingle, dance and tell you stories of these great grasslands.
Days start early with a tap on the door and coffee before a dawn drive when the world is waking and the wildlife start their morning routines of feeding, hunting, bathing and roaming the hills. Nothing ever prepares you for the beauty of loping antelope; surprisingly quiet herds of elephant or the majesty of lions basking in the sun. The privilege of seeing the beauty of these animals living and moving freely is one the greatest experiences in life.
The guides at Klein’s are highly trained and from local communities throughout Africa and will impart a wealth of knowledge about the ecology, birds, animals and habitats of all the different species that dwell in the reserve. One of And Beyond Safari’s guide training facilities is located at Klein’s so the quest for knowledge here is constantly being sated with every game drive or walking safari. Often a trainee guide will be experiencing a game viewing for the first time alongside you and the feeling of passion and excitement for their care and conservation is contagious leading to a truly pleasurable journey.
The abundance of nature’s beauty is all consuming. Zebra’s monochrome mystery is flowing freely through the land, mingling with the statuesque giraffes stripping trees, grazing gazelle, wildebeest herds trotting through and elephants agilely crossing the hills. Quietly however you approach the most majestic of them all, the King of the plains, the lion. It is remarkable how close and silent a first glimpse is of the immense mane, and the proud harem of females sitting and soaking in the sunlight.
The self possession of the pride and their regal relaxation assure you that they know they are the lords of all they survey. The Serengeti Lions are famous throughout the world and Klein’s is home to several prides. Their Black Rock Pride welcomed another twelve new cubs in August 2013, allowing this magnificent animal to thrive in this awe inspiring landscape. Occasionally you will witness buck and wildebeest tearing through the landscape, closely followed by zebra and other prey, meaning the hunt is on. Generally this is in the cool of the mornings or evenings, and is a chaotic spectacle of survival in the savanna.
There are a myriad of species that are not so obvious such as leopards and cheetahs, the sensuously spotted cats that are not so open but can be seen tearing past of snoozing in trees. Prolific bird life, rhino, hippo at the source of the Gurumati River, large herbivores like Eland, elephant and the big cats make this is a perfect safari spot.
However the main spectacle is the Great Migration of wildebeest, eland, zebra and Thomas Gazelle that is one of the most astonishing natural shows on earth. Klein’s lies in the wildlife corridor that joins the Maasai Mara with the Serengeti and when the rains come and the herds start moving then two million animals move to new grazing lands. The phenomenon is a mind blowing experience that displays Mother Nature at her most powerful and best.
Like all of And Beyond’s properties Klein’s is dedicated to the community and sustainability. Wood consumption has been reduced by 75% by using solar panels to provide hot water and recycling of water and goods increased. The Africa Foundation (see Eco Heroes) provides clinics and education to the local community at Ololosokwan. Maasai children are also regularly taken out on game drives and given lessons in conservation to ensure the protection of this pristine area for generations to come. Poaching in the Kuku Hills is a concern and the rangers at Klein’s work in conjunction with the local communities to patrol and monitor the area.
Klein’s is a low impact and personal property that is warm and welcoming. A vast area of savanna is supported by this spectacular property, which also offers a perfect safari experience in a low key yet lavish setting. This is place for those wishing to experience the rolling Serengeti and it’s famous prides of lions.
Photos Courtesy Of And Beyond Safaris & Electra Gillies
Words by Electra Gillies