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Joy's Camp, Shaba National Reserve 

Shaba National Reserve
Tel: 254 20 603054
view web site ›'s insider take:

Hemmed in by the rugged, red-faced cliffs of Shaba National Reserve, Joy's Camp is one of the newest additions to the Kenyan safari scene. Built on the site of naturalist Joy Adamson's last encampment, the ten luxury tents eschew the usual bush aesthetic—hardwood floors, somber earth tones—in favor of a vibrant palate that pays homage to the region's nomadic tribes. Bright fabrics, brass lamps, and blown-glass vases stand out against the dusty landscape, while the white-washed walls lend a touch of Tangier. It's a look that's less bush than Berber, and the exotic air fits its off-the-beaten-track location, a 90-minute flight from Nairobi. The remote setting isn't always ideal, since game sightings in Shaba are notoriously hit or miss. You might spend two days with little more than zebra and gazelle to keep you company, or you might have the odd lion prowling by the pool after dark. Bumping along in search of game without a single other Range Rover in sight, though, is a big part of the camp's charm, while walking safaris and village visits are a good way to break up the day if the game has gone AWOL. At times the friendly service can be a bit too laid-back, but the camp's distinctive style and far-flung locale will strike the right notes once it hits its stride.

Closed May.

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