Where Prince William proposed to then-Kate Middleton: a look at two of Kenya's gem safari camps

Miriam Foley

Once inside Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, it comes as no surprise that Prince William proposed to then-Kate Middleton while on safari here in October 2010. The breathtaking conservancy near the foothills of Mount Kenya sprawls across 62,000 acres and made the perfect setting to get down on one knee to pop the question. Not only the conservancy but Kenya hold a special place in the popular royal's heart – it is where his grandmother was when she found out she would be Queen.

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Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in Kenya's Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in 2010


Touted as the country's most successful conservancy, Lewa – the UNESCO-named World Heritage Site in the Laikipia region of northern Kenya – offers one of the most diverse and exciting wildlife experiences and is home to 10 per cent of Kenya's black rhino population and the largest population of Grevy's zebra in the world.

Lewa Safari Camp is a magical camp found within the privately-owned reserve – when Prince William makes his frequent visits he stays in the reserve's owners' private property – and is home to 12 tents so luxuriously finished that they resemble luxe bungalows. Each comes complete with thatched roofs, verandas offering breathtaking vistas of the plains and freely wandering animals, and en suite bathrooms.

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The magical Lewa Safari Camp is home to 12 beautiful tents with verandahs perfect for animal-watching

At the heart of the camp is a central dining and lounge area where there's always a roaring log fire and a swimming pool for a dip during downtime. Here, excellent three-course meals with European influences are served for dinner accompanied by fine wine, while mouthwateringly-good buffet lunches are prepared for after your morning game drives – expect to see to some of the most spectacular wildlife viewing that Kenya has to offer: lion, leopard and elephants, giraffes, gazelle, impala, warthog, and so much more.

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Expect unforgettable game drives topped off by three-course fine dining in the camp's charming setting


An early-morning wake-up call ensures you catch the enchanting birdsong and already-active rhinos, giraffes and elephants that you can glimpse from the comfort and safety of your verandah at sunrise, while sipping coffee.

And the day is punctuated by game drives in 4x4 land cruisers, with excellent highly qualified guides, as well as guided bush walks and breakfasts in the bush and romantic sundowners.

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One of the tents at Lewa, pictured, just two hours away from Joy's Camp in Shaba National Park


Just two hours away lies Joy's Camp in Shaba National Park – the perfect continuation for those after a safari fit for royalty. Founded in 2006, Joy's is situated in the exact same spot where conservationist and Born Free founder Joy Adamson once lived.

Joy, who campaigned for the conservation of lions and leopards and was against game hunting, raising awareness for the cause both in Kenya and around the world, met the Queen personally at a showing of Born Free in Leicester Square, 1966. The former British colony of Kenya no doubt holds a dear place in the monarch's heart – it was where she was when at 25 she learned of her father's death and that she would become Queen.

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Born Free founder Joy Adamson meets the Queen in 1966


Guests at Joy's will find themselves immersed in a Kenyan wilderness, accommodated in ten spacious and luxurious en suite tents designed with a commitment to eco-tourism and a love for the natural surroundings – it is one of only nine gold eco-rated camps in Kenya and was awarded Best Sustainable Hotel in Africa in 2013.

Responsible tourism practices are upheld by the charming camp staff – you'll be given a recyclable plastic bottle that you'll keep for the length of your stay on arrival – and solar power is used for heating and lighting in all rooms. Charging of devices can be done in certain timeframes in your tent every day.

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The breathtaking oasis of Joy's Camp promises an unforgettable experience to be cherished for a lifetime


As in Lewa Safari Camp, you'll find a charming dining and bar area, this time overlooking a swamp where animals gather daily – you'll spot buffalo, antelope, impala, adorable dik-dik (small antelope) during your breakfast or lunch and see their silhouettes after dark while you sip on a G&T by the fire.

While the wildlife is plentiful here, it isn't behind every turn or tree, meaning your excellent guide needs to track and seek them out by expertly following their tracks and eyeing their behaviour – which adds only magic to the unforgettable experience when you happen upon a pride of eight lions disguised in the bush...

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Memorable moments at Joy's include surprise bush breakfasts and sundowners to round of a drive

Lewa Safari Camp and Joy's are part of the Elewana Collection. Visit Cheli & Peacock Safaris via email safaris@chelipeacock.co.ke or CheliPeacock.com for more information on a luxury safari experience.

HOW TO GET THERE

Kenya Airways operates daily flights from Terminal 4 – London-Heathrow to Nairobi. Flights are operated on a new B787 – Dreamliner. Prices from in Business Class – GBP2685.06 including all taxes Fare in Economy Total GBP723.06 including all taxes. For reservations call 020 8283 1818 or visit kenya-airways.com

For more information on visiting Kenya, contact the Kenya Tourism Board on 020 7593 1731 or visit magicalkenya.com

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Flying first class with Kenya Airways London Heathrow-Nairobi gets the safari off to a fine start

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