We spent three days at the andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp at the end of September last year, an add-on to our beach holiday at Diani Beach Resort, just south of Mombasa. We arranged our safari (including the hot air balloon trip) before leaving the UK through JT Safaris of Ukunda.
The camp is less than a mile from the airstrip, and although the road to the camp was quite rough and the going was slow, it didn’t matter much when we had so many animals to stop and admire - and that was even before we had gone on a formal game drive.
The camp has a central area with restaurant, bar, shop etc and then the tents are spread out through the grounds, all overlooking the plains. We had one of the standard tents nearer to the central area and were very happy with the facilities - hot and cold running water, electricity etc. We lacked the recharging facilities of the superior tents but iPhones, cameras etc could be charged in the bar at night, so that wasn't a problem. The staff couldn't have been more helpful, the facilities were good, and the food was varied and well cooked.
We took a hot air balloon trip with the Skyship Company, and this was a real highlight of the trip. Our pilot, a Canadian called Peter was very informative and with only six passengers in the basket, we all felt really involved. After our flight we were treated to a champagne breakfast, and that is a memory that will stay with us forever. Yes, it was expensive but it was worth every penny.
The game drives in the reserve were stunning. The roads were better than that between the airstrip and the camp, but we often went off road in search of the animals Our driver was Jackson - a bit gruff perhaps, but very knowledgeable and knew where to go for the best viewing opportunities. Our jeep was open-sided with three bench seats tiered behind the driver for optimum viewing, far better than many of the other vehicles we saw on our drives. We shared with two lovely couples, Jacqueline and Roland from the Netherlands who were holidaying in Diani Beach also, and Ann and Steve, two wildlife photojournalists from the UK. We were lucky enough to see a great variety of animals, including all of the Big 5, and our only regret was that we didn't manage to see any cheetah.......oh well, I suppose we'll have to go back again to put that right.
- 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