They say the best safari getaway is one that enables you to interact and appreciate all forms of nature, let alone Kenya’s teeming wildlife.
The pin-drop quietness save for the swishing winds and the chirping birds welcomes you to the wilderness of Ikweta Safari Camp in Meru.
Tucked within the acacia, shrub bushes and grasses near Meru National Park and Murera Gate, Ikweta gives a taste of the unspoiled wilderness that Meru is known for.
After a rugged terrain dotted with thickets, two kilometres from the national park, we enter a narrow path that leads to the camp’s reception under a canopy of creamish-coloured acacia trees. The grinding sound of our feet against the murram makes some exciting rhythm.
Ikweta sits on a 30-acre piece of land and has 10 tented rooms, which come with a separate bathroom ensuite, and a patio to sit outside in private. The rooms are tastefully furnished—and being in the middle of nowhere— they are romantic quite.
From the spacious tents secluded among trees, reached by winding walkways, you can’t miss sighting crocodiles and hippos wallowing in rivers and listen for their honks and burps.
Dinner in the bush
After a calm night, you get to wake up to the magnificent view of the sunrise. All Ikweta tents are built with the entrance facing east, such that you can watch the morning sun rising over the Meru National Park, from the comfort of the bed.
If you slept with your tent curtain drawn, you will be awaken by the warm rays of the sun.
The furniture is made from Meru oak timber, while the safari-style furnishings keep you anticipating for your next itinerary.
The chimes that are hung near the tents musically sway; a true teaser that makes you start thinking about life or work. It is a perfect place to admire nature’s wonder, listening to the noisy bullfrogs, crickets chirping as you clear your head. You will particularly love the candle-lit dinner in the bush where you dine under the stars.
All food at Ikweta is prepared fresh from the farms within the camp. There is a spacious makuti restaurant where dinner is served and for breakfast, visitors sit by the terrace alongside the chirping birds and the gurgling artificial river.
If the sun gets hot, you can cool off in the swimming pool tucked within the wild. In keeping with the eco-friendly approach, the swimming pool has been designed as a reflective pool to integrate into the environment.
It is not tiled with blue tiles. It also gets heated by the sun as the tented camp is located in a warm region. As trees and nature surround the reflective pool, wind leaves can fall from trees can drop into the pool. However, it is cleaned throughout the day.
From Ikweta, you can visit the Meru National Park for a further feel of the wilderness as you watch the ‘big five’—lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros.
The habitat conceals even the largest animals but, you can be lucky to see a rare lesser kudu, impalas, grants gazelle which are facing extinction and gerenuk. It is the bird life, however, that will make your adventure journey unique. The park has more than 400 species of birds. In such glorious landscape, you can never get bored.
Besides the game drives, seasoned safari travellers can step outside their comfort zone and move more slowly by foot through a two-kilometre nature walk to Gatwe Hill (the hill of skulls) from where one can view the Meru National Park and the overlooking Nyambene Ranges.
One can also take a drive to Nyambene Forest where you will enjoy a picnic lunch under a thick canopy by a dam run by the Catholic Church. It supplies the arid Igembe with water. These safaris also reveal smaller fauna, including the rich insect life.