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“Old Fashioned Camping this Ain't” 4 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

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andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
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C12 Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
nj
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Old Fashioned Camping this Ain't”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

The tents have hardwood floors, stone bath areas, hot water and electricity 24 hours a day. There is lots of visual privacy but not audio privacy Coffee is delivered to your tent at 5:30 AM before leaving on a 6:00AM safari ride in an open Land Rover with stadium seating. Monkeys and Wart Hog families roam the grounds. A pool overlooks the Masia Mara plains and often the hot air baloon available for early morning rides ($450 for the ride and champagne breakfast in the bush). The guides are excellent, especially Sophya-a rare female guide. There is a bar and large dining area. Most meals are served as buffets and of good quality except for beef dishes which I found to be tough. Wines are reasonably priced. Ask for a tent near the dining area unless you like to walk a great distance and down hill to the farthest tents. The one thing I found lacking was a fan for hot afternoons. However, the cool evenings of October were ok with the hot water bottles provided at bed turndown time.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
Gulpen, The Netherlands
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

We returned to Masai Mara after four years and asked Julius (JT Safaris) our tour operator in Mombassa again to stay at Kichwa Tembo Camp, and it was again perfect. Excellent place to stay and we managed to see the Big Five this time. Even saw the Rinos two time thanks to our driver Jackson. Amazing how he managed to catch them. Complements also to the Kitchen and Staff of the camp. Excellent food and service. Don't be afraid af the Lions you here at night!! Great noise.
We had a vey nice time, also thanks to our company from Brittain (Mary+Francis), who we met at the airstrip in Ukunda. they also booked with Julius, so we shared the same Jeep for the game drives. They even went for a Balloon flight they booked also at Julius, and said that it was worth every penny, so that is already planned for the future.

Roland+Jacqueline from Holland

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

If you are researching this site in preparation of your FIRST safari you have found the key to making this long trip worth every minute of your travel time!!! When it comes down to the reason for your safari it is to see all the animals and experience the life of the animals as well. &Beyond has the OPEN jeep!! I would have never realized how important this is before booking our safari. Most of the closed vans or jeeps you have to stand up and peer out. Do you really want to do this for hours a day?? The open jeep creates an atmosphere of really being there next to the animals. I believe &Beyond is about the only open jeep safari company in the reserve area.

So after experiencing the adventure of a safari it is not a bad thing to be revived and relaxed in a luxury tented camp. Honestly, I would never choose a room over a luxury tent. To me it would have changed the dynamics of our safari vacation.

Just choose between the two sister camps that are located very close to each other. My husband and I would have chosen Bateleur but they were completely booked. So we stayed at Kitchwa Tembo. The Bateleur is more elegant and therefore more expensive. But Ktchwa Tembo met our every expectation and beyond (haha). The service, food, bedding, security is TOP notch!! Our guide was so experienced and knowledgeable. His name was Akatch Samwel. I really hoped to see cheetahs and of course they are hard to find and there are few of them. Akatch was determined and he succeeded so we saw two cheetah brothers relaxing together under a tree. There was not another human in sight. Such a memorable moment in my life.
.

I was concerned initially about traveling to a continent I had never visited before so I knew that we would be more comfortable with having an agent book all our arrangements for us. We had read in Conde Nast of an agency in Philadelphia that specializes in safari's so we ended up using Bob from Premier Tours. Bob arranged all our transportation. We always had someone with us to make our transfers. I believe this is very important because you are using a lot of different airlines and sometimes are using three in one day. I couldn't speak more highly of the agency Bob used in Kenya to help us with our tickets and transfers…..Liberty Africa Safaris LTD.

My husband and I also decided to break our trip up on our way to Kenya so we would not be exhausted when we arrived. We stayed 2 nights in Amsterdam which was great in itself but we were able to fly to Nairobi and spend 1 night there as well, which allowed us to experience Nairobi and then travel the next day to arrive at Kitchwa in time to be settled and go on a late afternoon safari. And then to also wake up the next morning for a 6:00 am safari and not be exhausted. The early morning safari is an absolute because this is when the animals hunt and feed.

We stayed 3 nights at the camp and then traveled to a beach resort on the coast of the Indian Ocean for three nights. This was enough time for us. We travelled directly to our home in Knoxville after our beach time. This is the one thing I may have changed. I would have broke the trip up on the way back…It was 34 hours of constant travel for us. It is an 8 hour trip from Nairobi to Amsterdam FYI.

Room Tip: There are 40 tents so they cover a bit of ground. Our tent was quite a walk. We did not mind that...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We just spent four days at Kichwa Tembo....three would have been plenty. We arrived at close to. 7pm after traveling for about ten hours and we had to wait 15 minutes before anyone greeted us. Not good. Then we found that our luxury tent was not available and we were relegated to a standard tent. Bad! They said it was the fault of our safari operator- Kensington- but highly unlikely.

The problem appeared to be that Kichwa was hosting a 30+ group of General Electiric people and they had sucked up all the luxury tents at least for the next two nights. The large group also overwhelmed the resort such as when they went into the bar everyone else moved out. I'm sure it was a very profitable piece of business for Kichwa but not a great experience for regular guests.

But given we stayed in both the standard and luxury tents for two nights each I can give you a good evaluation. The standard tent is adequate but with two single beds. There are no separate electric outlets so if you need to recharge you need to bring your gear to the bar. The bathroom is fine.

The luxury tent is worth the up charge. More spacious, a full king sized very comfortable bed, larger bathroom and electric outlets.

Once the GE crowd left the dynamic really changed as the staff was focused on the guests. Stanley, the asst GM was very helpful, Thorne - our minder!- was very solicitous, and Simon our tent butler was always watching over us.

The food is excellent and the marinated, grilled pork chops served at lunch one day were to die for. Meals are buffet style and the selection is always pretty broad.

One highlight was that on our last night there a formal dinner was set up was on our deck which was also strewn with rose petals! But, we had made dinner plans with another couple so we did not get to enjoy it. But a very nice gesture on their part.

Kichwa has a magnificent ground level view of the Masai Mara and plenty of game is on view. At the edge of the property is an infinity pool overlooking the Mara. Cooling off in the pool and looking at a giraffe is a once in a lifetime experience. Also, there is a family of wart hogs living on the property who are very tame but you do need to watch where you step. There are also monkeys who will sweep in and steal your food as well as antelope on the edge of the property. If your tent is at the far end of the property you cross a stream where a 20ft python lives. Our tent neighbors saw and videos it. I have snakes!

Finally, make sure to book am early morning balloon ride. Very expensive but the experience is awesome and the safari breakfast was outstanding.

Room Tip: Make sure to book a luxury tent unless you like to sleep apart!
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Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scunthorpe, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Excellent excellent excellent.
The camp was safari paradise. From the early morning wake up call with our own choice of hot drinks and cookies to the hotwater bottles put into our beds during the turn down service, everything was perfect.
We were upgraded to the luxury tent and could not have wanted anything more.
I'm a very fussy eater and the food was fantastic.
Staff were helpfull, our driver Alice was absolutely amazing, she considered us in all decisions of where we would go and ensure we got the very most possible out of each safari drive.
We pre booked a hot air balloon ride as a honeymoon treat and it was worth every penny.
Be aware that it is pretty cold on the early morning and evening safaris. I packed a wooly hat for our sept trip and needed it.
Binoculars and a good camera are a must. You dont have to be a proffessional photographer but if you have a camera with a good zoom (ours was x12 optical) you can get some amazing pictures.
We could not access the wifi at anytime during our stay. It didn't matter one bit but don't rely on having internet access.
Please message me if you have any questions.

Room Tip: The only difference between standard and luxury rooms is that kuxury have power sockets. If you get...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

Overall the 'tent' experience was excellent. This was the 1st tent camp I have been to and found the accommodation VG and would rather this than a room in a lodge. You hear everything from bugs to hippos so enjoy!
The guides were knowledgeable and pleasant and accommodated your wishes where possible.
The Masai Mara have the usual animals like other parks so if you have been to others you will see much of the same except this area has many more of them.
I specifically went to witness the great migration but was not disappointed despite the herd being split so they passed at different times. This was OK because I missed the earlier group and saw the second. If you can check the migration movement as close as possible to booking flights and accommodation to ensure to arrive at an optimum time. You also may want to check the Tanzania side as well and choose best option given the migration situation.

I stayed in a basic tent which I enjoyed (request tents 1-8 for best views of the Mara).
I was a little disappointed in the food choice (expected more variety) but what was served was adequate and basically presented / served. The adjoining Bateleur Camp apparently had much better food according to other travelers who experienced both but the daily cost differential is substantial for a little luxury but remember you are there for a 'safari' experience not NY City :)

Do enjoy !!

Room Tip: Basic Camp - Tents 1-8
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

This being our first African Safari, we had no expectations. Kichwa Tembo was the first stop on our itinerary. What an amazing, beautiful place. It is located close to the entrance to the park. The Mara Plains is the fabulous view from the dining room. Joseph, our server, was very friendly and did a great job looking after us at meal time. The meals were delicious. Our room attendant, Renson, took the time to ensure our stay was perfect. The bed was so comfy. Hot water bottles, were placed in the bed, waiting for us when we returned from dinner. Renson woke us up, on the (early) mornings of our game drives, with hot coffee & tea in thermoses, and cookies. Cappuccino machine. We highly recommend this property!

Room Tip: Tents with a view of the Mara Plains, #1-14. #1 being closest to dining room and bar area. #37-40, L...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

Address: C12 Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 116 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AndBeyond Kichwa Tembo Masai Mara Tented Camp is set on a private wilderness concession leased from Maasai landlords in the legendary Masai Mara. Situated where forest and savanna meet, these elegant, spacious safari tents boast some of the most magnificent views of the Masai Mara, especially from the large swimming pool. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kichwa Tembo Tented Safari Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
AndBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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