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“Incredible from the moment the plane landed” 5 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

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andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
C12 Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Colorado
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“Incredible from the moment the plane landed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

As our airplane approached the Kichwa Airstrip, we could see a myriad of animals from the window of the plane. This would set the stage for the next 48 hours of our trip.

Me, my husband, and 5 other friends went to Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp for several days - Nov 23-26. When we landed, we were immediately met by Daniel, who would be our guide for our entire stay. He had set out a lovely welcoming table with tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cookies, and other light snacks. We happily munched and ate while Daniel introduced himself (and John, the Masai guide for the camp) and told us about our upcoming stay. What a warm and wonderful welcome.

As we drove to the camp, Daniel immediately started his guide duties, as there were tons of animals to be seen. I think the drive would ordinarily take only 15 minutes or so, but we were so enthralled already, that Daniel thoroughly and patiently explained what we were seeing. And it wasn't even really our first "official" game drive - just the ride to the camp.

We were met at the camp gate by John (with cool, scented towels) and Esther (she was a staff manager) and we began our stay. Esther took our necessary information, explained where everything was, outlined our itinerary, introduced us to our room steward(Jackson) and dining butler (Kosen) and we were off to our tent.

Wow. Oh wow. That's what we said when we stepped into Tent #6 with Jackson. The lower number tents are DEFINITELY the best, as they overlook the Masai Mara plains. Incredible. The tent is unbelieveably comfortable, with a deliciously comfortable bed, and the rain shower was fabulous. Actually, in our 16 days in Kenya, it was the best shower we ever had. As a "basic" tent, I wondered if we would miss not having electrical outlets to plug chargers/devices in.....and we didn't. There is an area in the lounge/bar where you plug your things in, and it was not inconvenient at all. And actually, they have blow dryers in the lounge bathroom too. I discovered those on the last day, and still didnt' use them - it shows you how comfortable I was without outlets.

We headed out for our first afternoon game drive. BRING A JACKET. It was quite warm when we left the camp at 4pm, and as the sun began to set it got very chilly. So much so that we were very grateful that we had brought a fleece jacket and windbreaker jacket. Daniel was unbelievable. Simply the best. He took us straight to a pair of brother cheetah's eating a fresh kill. Amazing. Daniel's depth of knowledge, fun personality, friendly banter, and ability to take us to see something astonishing was absolutely fantastic. Note.....apparently there are 2 Daniel's. He is the "smaller" one, as I guess there is a Big Daniel.

The food at the restaurant is fabulous. Our dining butler - Kosen- could not have been more delightful. One of the couples with us was celebrating their 21st Anniversary, and he did extremely thoughtful things for them throughout the weekend - such as setting up a surprise lunch in the vegetable gardens, complete with personal chef on the grill, beautiful rose-petal-strewn table, and music. At dinner we were serenaded by the staff with a musical production complete with singing, instruments. dancing, cake and candles. Wonderful. And Kosen along with Esther oversaw every aspect of our weekend. Esther knew our names from the first moment, and greeted us personally whenever she saw us. It was wonderful.

The first morning, we elected to meet Daniel at 6:30am and do an early game drive, and have breakfast in the bush. Daniel packed us a fantastic breakfast,and we headed out for about 5 hours. It was an awesome decision, as it allowed us to go much farther into the Mara. We stopped at about 9:30am, at a bluff overlooking the river. The river had 21 hippos lounging on the banks of the river. Daniel set up our breakfast which consisted of: cheese/crackers, sausages, fried potatoes, eggs, rolls w/butter & jam, bananas, oranges, yogurt, apple juice, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. It was a feast.

We arrived back at camp at about 11:30am, cleaned up, rested, and had lunch. Our group spent a few hours in the pool, reading, napping, or on the internet telling the folks back home what a wonderful time we were having. The afternoon game drives start at 4pm and end around 6:30pm.

Every game drive was amazing. We saw the big 5, thanks to our wonderful Daniel. Our tent was meticulously taken care of by Jackson. Every meal was fun and delicious thanks to Kosen. We were well taken care of by Esther.

One other note about the game drives: the vehicles used by the camp were the best. We quickly saw how the "pop up" type of vans used by other camps, or the enclosed jeeps would be difficult. The land rovers were wide open, with raised seating, and gave every single person unobstructed views in all directions. They were covered with a canopy so we were not in the sun, and the ride was comfortable. We didn't realize the value of such a well-designed vehicle, until we saw what lots of other people were riding in.

My husband and I are very well traveled. We've been to all the 5 major continents, and stayed at many wonderful hotels and resorts. WE CAN SAY WITH ABSOLUTELY NO HESITATION THAT THIS WAS THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE WE HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. Truly, our stay was THAT incredible.

As an example....as our plane was taxiing down the runway, about to go airborne as we left, Daniel had driven down near the end of the runway, and was standing on TOP of the Landrover with both arms over his head waving goodbye. It was the personal attention and service that made our stay fantastic. Needless to say, WHEN we go back, we will never, ever stay anywhere else but Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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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 (58)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

My wife and I enjoyed our third visit to Kichwa Tembo (KT) in June and as usual everything was perfect. The tents are comfortable and the grounds are beautiful. The staff is efficient and had positive attitudes; a sure sign of good training and a good working environment. Chef George was quite an upbeat personality that we really enjoyed chatting with (and a great cook as well!). One of the key reasons that we continue to choose KT is our guide, Mr. Benedict Kalului. He is very knowledgeable, cheerful and a great spotter. Benedict’s positive attitude and spotting skills stand out in comparison to the other guides that we have had on our five prior safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

His skills have yielded us some great sightings of rhino and leopards for which we are truly grateful. Additionally, he does a great job teaching us about the animals, their behavior and how they interact with each other and local residents. We look forward to staying at Kichwa Tembo when we return to Kenya next year.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Bideford, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Came across this place by accident, we hadn't booked accomodation for the Masai Mara and we just turned up at this place. Everything was excellent, the food, location, service and the tents. They serve three buffet meals everyday which are included in the price and plentiful. The tents are clean, comfortable and have good views. Animals such as Warthog, Monky and Impala wander around the compound and appear quite safe. The staff are polite, friendly and helpful. My only minor complaint is that for me it's a bit pricey.

Room Tip: Tents with a view across the mara ar best.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
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Cairns
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

A beautiful spot in the Maasai Mara, Kichwa Tembo is more than just a place to stay -it is an experience! The positives are: fantastic friendly, helpful and professional staff- nothing was too much trouble. Great location and fantastic wildlife. We stayed five nights and did and saw new things everyday. Words do not do the wildlife sightings justice but my highlights were the cats! In particular the cheetahs. We saw a male and female resting together, a solitary cheetah who had just brought down an impala and two brothers who were chased by a solitary female lion. We saw lions mating, a large pride of females with young cubs and on other occasions solitary males, two females chasing a warthog and many other sightings where the lions were just moving from a to b or resting. Lots of giraffe, elephants, hippos, jackles, hyena, black rhino (3 sightings) zebra, Wilde beast, water buck, bush buck, impala, wart hogs, birds and so much more. But back to Kichwa Tembo! I can totally recommend this camp. Stay at least 3 nights more if you can. Hot air balloon flight was awesome and although expensive is well worth it for a memorable morning. If you have time Esther gives fantastic massages and managed to get rid of a sore neck that had been bothering me for days. Our guide each day was Wilson and he was excellent. Each morning and afternoon he asked us what we wanted to see but we decided to give him full control and just asked him to take us to wherever the best animal sightings were to be had- this was a great idea and every trip out was a new adventure. The staff went out of their way to think of special little surprises for us most days but I am not going to tell you those! The only negative would be that the Internet is very slow and only available in the bar and restaurant but hey, it is in the middle of the African bush and we were grateful to have it! Kichwa Tembo is situated within easy walking distance of Bateleur Camp which we also walked around and it looked far more exclusive and upmarket for sure but as I sit here on the verandah of our deluxe tent watching 3 giraffe walk past I would not change a thing!

Room Tip: The Deluxe tents were worth the upgrade and definately take the drinks package!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

I found this camp to be a an excellent balance between comfort and an experience of the bush - not so fancy that you forgot where you were staying. Loved the pool overlooking the plains. The service was outstanding, and we had a particularly good guide, who was friendly and approachable, but also seemed to always know where to go to show us the best stuff. The food was really amazing, including lots of healthy options, in addition to the divine cake and dessert:) Would DEFINITELY recommend Kichwa Tembo, and would jump at the chance to stay at another andBeyond establishment.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

we were here August 2012. what a fabulous adventure. from the time we stepped off the plane until we returned to the airstrip it was one of the most fantastic adventures of our lives. although it was not all inclusive, it was in so many ways better than an all-inclusive safari. if you are there to see the animals, then the extras available in all-inclusive are not needed. yes, we had to buy our beverages etc, but really the bill at the end was nothing compared to what we would have paid at their "sister" camp. the grounds were beautiful. the hospitality top notch. we had "Pumbas" running down the path past our tent and all around the grounds. we heard lions roaring in the distance at night. and i slept in a tent in africa. we stayed in a standard tent which had a true out of africa feel to it. in the standard tent there is hot and cold sink and shower. never ran out of hot water. and with a little practice the toilet flushed just fine (and i mean just a little). the tents are first rate with all the amenities including bug repellant towlettes. there is not an outlet for charging batteries in the standard tent. but they have 2 long spreader bars for charging in the bar where we all gather in the evening. the luxury tents do have chargers and we made friends with a lovely couple who offered to charge our camera battery each night. our ranger, Wesley, was the best and since there was so much activity during the Great migration we stayed out on safari all day each day. the mornings were a bit cool/cold but as the sun came up it was quite warm and sunny every day. we saw all the big 5 and the crossing of the wildebeests from Tanzania to Kenya. there is not gurarantee of seeing this, but it is worth the trip at this time in the hopes of seeing this magnificent site. we had a man in our vehicle who was into birds. at first i was not excited at all about this, but i am so grateful he was with us. the birds are magnificent beautiful little creatures that many of us who go on safari miss in the search for the big animals. all in all, i recommend this safari camp. be sure when booking you understand if your package includes the admision to the park... ours did (booked with go2africa) our friends did not and it was $80/day additional for them when they checked out. the masai came and entertained us one evening before dinner and then had wares we could buy. this was fun and interesting. we also had an open jeep with bench seats and drop-down windshield. these were both good to have. when it rained (one afternoon) we were able to move toward the middle of the bench (couldn't do this with bucket seats) and Wesley would drop the windshield for better view and pictures. some people from other camps were in minivans and enclosed vehicles with bucket seat. it seemed they would get frustrated with the limitations that came with these vehicles. Also, FLY to safari... the roads to safari (and on safari) are rugged (to put it mildly). if they bring you out in a normal vehicle it will be a miserable drive. these are just a few things to consider when booking a safari trip. Jambo

Room Tip: Tent 19 was in a good location.
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  • Stayed August 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
    • 4 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.
nj
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
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
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 108 Specialty lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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. • 40 ensuite safari tents (28 classic and 12 luxury)• Lodge swimming pool• Safari Shop• Wifi in guest area, reception and Safari Shop• Great Migration, kongoni, topi, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, lion and cheetah ... 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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