Nguruman Escarpment, Kenya
At a Glance
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The only time to avoid Kenya is during the long rainy season in April and May. November is considered the short rainy season, however, these are less predictable and are much lighter. The best time of year to visit the Maasai Mara is during the Great Wildebeest Migration which tends to pass through the Mara between mid July to late October.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Shompole or take a look at our itineraries to Maasai Mara and Southern Kenya
Shompole is a stylish safari camp situated at the edge of the Great Rift Valley. From its elevated position on the side of the Nguruman Escarpment, Shompole overlooks the vast plains below and the mountain for which the camp is named.
The main camp at Shompole has just six uniquely elegant rooms with high thatched roofs and incredible views, Little Shompole has two private suites, a swimming pool, dining area and its own staff. The rooms have been strategically designed to take advantage of the views and on a clear day you can see as far as Ngoongoro Crater in Tanzania.
Shompole is situated in a 35,000 acre conservancy overlooking riverine forest and sun-baked plains. It is an artistic wilderness retreat created by Anthony Russell, a veteran of wildlife tourism, who established Shompole as a group venture with the local Maasai people. Shompole aims to create self-sustaining tourism.
The camp is perfectly positioned to make the most of the incredible view and the cool breeze. There are no sides to the buildings to interrupt the views and the main lounge and dining area overlook Mount Shompole and provide a wonderful setting to enjoy meals or just to relax during the heat of the day.
The variety of landscape at Shompole allows for a great range of activities, from day and night drives through the game-rich plains and mountain-biking along the edge of the escarpment or walks at Lake Natron, breeding ground of East Africa's two million flamingos. Visits to the local Maasai market and pre-historic sites, learning about the skills and lives of the Maasai and nights spent out in romantic fly camps.
Shompole has six open sided rooms with huge mosquito nets draped around enormous beds. The rooms are simple yet incredibly stylish constructed from white quartz stone with lots of pale fig-tree wood furniture, smooth wooden decks and the occasional terracotta pot complete the look. Little Shompole has two private suites, a swimming pool, dining area and its own staff.
Shompole is not suited to very young children and therefore those under 12 will not be accepted. However, at this age and beyond children begin to connect with nature and animals and show great curiousity and ability to learn. A safari can be a hugely rewarding and educational experience. Meal-times and food can always be tailored to suit younger palates.
All rooms have a personal butler to help make the guests stay as relaxing as possible. The guides are trained locals who have an intimate knowledge of the area and the wildlife.
Each room at Shompole has it's own cool pool to enjoy in pivate and at Little Shompole there is a stunning infinity length pool perched on the hillside. There is also a therapist on hand for massages and other treatments. The main lodge has a shop offering beautiful art and pieces from local Maasai workshops.
Shompole offers guests a great range of activities, from day and night drives through the game-rich plains and mountain-biking along the edge of the escarpment or walks at Lake Natron, breeding ground of East Africa's two million flamingos. Visits to the local Maasai market and pre-historic sites, learning about the skills and lives of the Maasai and nights spent out in romantic fly camps. The activities are tailored to suit each guests personal requirements.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Shompole Lodge is the most stunning lodge in an incredible setting. The views out over the plains and Shompole Mountain are unbeatable. The rooms are so beautiful that you have to tear yourself away from them to explore the Shompole Reserve. The fantastic guides helped to bring the intricacies of the Maasai culture to life and I really enjoyed seeing inside the manyatta and seeing the men dancing.
Heartbreakingly romantic and incredibly chic, the Shompole eco safari lodge comprises just eight thatched open air rooms perched on the edge of the Great Rift Valley on the site of the Nguruman escarpment.
The lodge offers a Swiss Family Robinson-experience with five-star class. The beds, bathrooms and private plunge pools are all open to the elements but cleverly concealed into the landscape to let you imagine you're the only people around - but stunning food and impeccable service remind you that you're being incredibly well looked after every minute of the day.
Game drives offer close-up views of incredible wildlife (we saw lions hunting and giraffes courting, as well as a multitude of rare flora and fauna), while night drives, sundowners on the plains and trips to the flamingo-smothered Lake Natron constitute a safari vacation you could only have imagined before.
Game drives in the Maasai Mara
Exploring this iconic ecosystem in an adapted, open 4x4 safari vehicle with your professional safari guide is one of the best ways to get up close to the huge volume and wide diversity of wildlife in the Mara.
Maasai Mara Balloon Safari
Experience the magic of floating over the plains of the Maasai Mara in a Hot Air Balloon. Balloon safaris are a fantastic way to experience the vast beauty of the Mara and provide exceptional photo opportunities with spectacular lighting and scenery.
Private Safari Guide and Game Drive Vehicle
Ensure an exclusive and totally tailored safari experience by booking a private safari guide and game drive vehicle. A private guide gives you the flexibility to go where you want, when you want. If you have specific interests this is an absolute must.
The Great Migration
The Maasai Mara is famous for being home to one of nature’s most spectacular events: the Great Migration. Millions of wildebeest cross from Tanzania’s Serengeti to Kenya’s Mara in search of better grazing.
Walking in the Maasai Mara
Exploring the African bush from outside a safari vehicle is a wonderful experience. Get away from the noise of the 4x4 and, accompanied by your professional safari guide, begin to pick up on the smaller details of the African bush.
Location & directions
Nguruman Escarpment, Kenya
Shompole lies on the edge of the Great Rift Valley on the side of the Nguruman escarpment in south western Kenya, very close to Lake Natron.
How to get there
8 hours 30 minutes international flight to Nairobi and from there the only way in is by private charter. From Nairobi it is a 35-minute flight - a spectacular one as you fly over the Ngong Hills and down the escarpment into the Great Rift Valley.