15th July 2012 will see the launch of Basecamp’s Eagle View, a new tented safari camp in Kenya, run by eco adventure pioneers Basecamp Explorer. Lying in a secluded valley within the private 50,000 acre Naboisho Conservancy, this luxurious eco-lodge is home to just eight tented suites and a large family suite*, all with spectacular panoramic views across the Mara. Designed using sound sustainable principles, this tranquil lodge offers guests an opportunity to get heart-stoppingly close to an incredible array of wildlife while directly supporting the vibrant Maasai tribe.
Unlike many safari lodges built on ancestral Maasai lands, Eagle View supports the local community directly, paying a guaranteed income to each of the 500 families who own the Naboisho Conservancy, irrespective of the tourism income generated. This is fresh approach and encourages a sense of conservation among the Maasai families, whereby there is value in protecting their habitats, ensuring that the area is rich in wildlife with one of the highest density of lions in the Masai Mara ecosystem.
Eagle View enables small numbers of tourists to experience the Mara, in a new way. With just a handful of intimate camps (a fifth of the density of popular, less controlled, areas) the Naboisho Conservancy offers an exclusive wilderness experience with open top jeep and walking safaris, and night drives, led by Maasai guides and rangers whose histories are intertwined with the land.
Perched high above a natural escarpment, each suite comes with its own private open air lounge from which guests can gaze across vast game filled plains and a waterhole that attracts wildlife throughout the day. A tremendous sense of calm and tranquillity envelops Eagle’s View, the natural cycle of wildlife and ancient Maasai stories and legends helping to put life into perspective.
Svein Wilhelmsen, Founder of Basecamp Explorer, says:
“Basecamp Explorer is delighted to open our third safari lodge in Kenya, in keeping with our ethos of sustainable tourism that benefits wildlife, environment and the local community while offering an exceptional travel experience. Basecamp Eagle’s View changes the face of sustainable-tourism in Kenya, bringing together the country’s rich heritage, abundant wildlife, and indigenous communities with truly sustainable and stylish accommodation. ”
Designed to be the most sustainable eco-lodge in Kenya, the new camp has been built using recycled steel, sustainably sourced wood, certified bamboo and local materials, ensuring a minimum carbon footprint and an authentic and individual atmosphere. All greywater will be circulated and used for watering the surrounding vegetation, with solar produced electricity. Using the latest solar technology, hot showers will be available, saving precious energy.
Guests are invited to visit Basecamp Explorer’s community projects including the Koiyaki Guiding School (the only local guiding school in Kenya with a guaranteed income), Fairtrade Arts and Crafts project and Big Cat Conservation Project, for a taste of true responsible tourism. Income from all visits, paid to the local Maasai tribe in the form of guaranteed leases via Basecamp Explorer, supports their education, clinics and conservation.
Dr Lars Lindquist, Chairman of Basecamp Foundation, says:
“Naboisho means gathering place in the Maasai language, and our aim is that Eagle’s View becomes a place where the paths of the wildlife, travellers and the Maasai community can come together. The Maasai are equal partners in this new form of tourism, and are an integral part of the camp, acting as custodians of the land, guides, camp staff and, more often than not, dinner companions. Basecamp Wilderness Lodge is committed to protecting the unique Mara eco-system and culture while offering authentic African safari experiences.”