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“Great facilities and hospitality, but bring ear plugs” 5 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
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Great facilities and hospitality, but bring ear plugs”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Overall, we had a great stay at Kichwa Tembo! The staff was friendly and welcoming, our driver/guide was fantastic, and the food was very good.

One of the best features of Kichwa Tembo is the presence of Maasai naturalist guides - when we were there it was Johnathan and Erik, who are just fantastic. They are available every day to talk about the Maasai culture, and they lead daily walks in the areas surrounding the camp. We loved talking with them, and they were so nice to our 10 year old son. They made a bow and arrows for him and spent a lot of time teaching him how to use it. They also bring in other Maasai warriors for a little show and jumping competition every few nights. One night they brought our son some Maasai clothes to wear had him participate in the jumping competition with them. What a fabulous experience for him! We've been to other camps and have visited Maasai villages, but we feel like we learned much more about the culture and way of life by just chatting with Johnathan and Erik after lunch a couple of times.

Our driver/guide Jackson was amazing as well. He always did a great job of positioning us perfectly for taking great pictures. He had a knack for getting to the good animal sightings early so that we always had a great view. He really went out of his way to make sure we had a good experience.

Food is served buffet style and is quite good. There is always a meat and a vegetarian option and plenty of fresh salads, and the desserts are great. We stayed 4 nights and found there to be a very nice variety in the meals. You also have the option of taking a picnic breakfast or lunch on game drives, which makes for a nice change of pace and lets you stay out on the drives longer.

The staff is very attentive. Someone from the office stopped by our table each night to make sure that everything was going well. We had no problems during our stay, but I'm sure if there had been any issues they would have been addressed promptly. They had a great surprise for us during our last dinner - they brought by a "going-away" cake, saying they hoped we would come back soon. Our son absolutely loved that little impromptu celebration, and we were very touched by that kindness.

The classic tents are clean and well-appointed, with plenty of space for an extra bed for our son. The room steward even puts hot water bottles in the beds at night, which is a very nice touch. We followed a TripAdvisor suggestion to request a tent with a view over the Mara plains, but as it turned out the view is obstructed by trees. Our tent overlooked a nice lawn but we couldn't see much of the actual park and we were quite close to other tents. When we sat on our porch we could see all of the neighboring tents and guests - it felt kind of like being in a busy campground rather than a luxury tented camp. It would have been better to be in one of the tents that was more concealed by trees, and get our views of the plains by sitting at the pool. Some reviews have recommended staying in the tents closer to the main lodge so you don't have to walk as far, but I would recommend the farther tents. It really isn't that long of a walk unless you have mobility problems, and you will get more privacy. Note that there are two types of tents - classic and luxury. The luxury tents are slightly larger and have hairdryers and a plug for charging batteries. If you stay in the classic tents, you'll have to charge your things at the charging stations in the bar area (get there early in the evenings!). Luxury tents are farther away from the main lodge.

The one downside is that this is a very large camp (over 40 tents), so it can feel pretty crowded, especially when large groups come through. Some travelers don't seem to understand the concept that tents don't have actual walls, so other guests can easily hear all the noise you're making. Most of the time things quieted down by 10:30 pm (which isn't all that early when you're getting up for early morning game drives!). But on our last night we were kept up by loud talking well into the night. The next morning we discovered that the loudest of the voices belonged to the leader of a large tour group, who also liked to discuss plans with his group loudly in the middle of the restaurant during meals - I would expect more considerate behavior from a travel professional. I don't think the Kichwa Tembo staff can do much to mitigate the effect of people like him, but it certainly left a poor impression in an otherwise excellent stay. Maybe some gentle reminders to guests (and tour leaders!) to be considerate of others would help. We were staying in the classic tents, which were very close to each other. It might be a bit quieter in the luxury tents? I'm not sure if they have any more distance between them. I suspect in order to guarantee a bit more quiet one would have to pay a whole lot more and stay in the Bateleur Camp, where you probably would be buying more considerate neighbors.

Really though, you can't go wrong with Kichwa Tembo. We would definitely recommend it and hope to come back again sometime!

Room Tip: Classic tents #1-14 are closest to the main area and theoretically overlook the Mara grasslands (but...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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261 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 (65)
Date | Rating
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English first
Madrid, Spain
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We visited this hotel last week and we really loved it!.
The tents are very comfortable and you feel as if you were sleeping among the animals, Food is great and the staff is very kind.
We will repeat!

Room Tip: The best rooms are the ones near the restaurant
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Stockholm, Sweden
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

For our honeymoon, we decided to travel to the bush and spend some time away from technology and the hustles and bustles of the city. We arrived at Kitcwa and we were welcomed by Akatch our driver who also was our tour guide. Akatch was well versed about the Mara and also was very eloquent. The restaurant and bar staff was very friendly and the food was excellent. They have a variety of foods too. I enjoyed the game drives in the morning and taking breakfast in the bush was awesome. The game walks which were accompanied by a game ranger were also adventures. I got to take photos of the wildlife up close. The hippos were so fascinating and scary at the same time. I was happy to leave the Mara having luckily seen the so called big five, the Leopard, The Elephant, the Lion, The Buffalo and the Black Rhino. Thank you &Beyond-Kichwa Tembo , for making my trip memorable. Looking forward to come again soon.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

Although The clients seem to be getting good services, The by road tour driver guides as they are known, seem to always get suprice's like having to depart on early morning game drives or even depart from kichwa tembo without breakfast. The waiter allocated in the restaurant serving driver guides should pull up his socks as not only are the ''by road driver guides'' important they are also doing the same jobs as the resident guides. This awkward treat meant and lack of hospitality leads the same guides to have heavy hearts when visiting kichwa tembo. Serving of cold meals and a waiter full of attitude is not needed by someone who has spent the better day on the road. When visiting Kichwa tembo, you should be kind enough to ask your driver if he has had his hot meals.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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SOUTH AFRICA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

We had a great time there : excellent fresh vegetables picked from the organic garden created from scratch by the Chef, with amazing passion and dedication -
Our ranger, Wesley, was a star and also very dedicated to his job : always wanting to please and went the extra mile......We were very spoilt with excellent viewings of the Great Migration -
A hot air balloon trip in the early morning over the Kenyan bush was also quite an experience!

Room Tip: Tented rooms from 1 to 10, not too far to walk from the main dining room
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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
    • 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.
West Midlands
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is just stunning in every way - having been on safari once before we thought we knew what to expect but Kichwa Tembo has rewritten the book..
This was booked before we travelled to Mombasa with JT Safaris - Julius understood what we needed and placed us accordingly..
Travelling as a family of 5 this was always going to be expensive but as for value for money and wow factor we could have paid double!!
Met from the private airstrip by our driver who had prepared tea, coffee and cakes for us before transporting us to our accomodation for the next three nights..
The rooms - pool and dining area are all immaculately kept and the whole camp is fully sympathetic to its wildlife and surroundings (we had bushbabies clambering over the tents at night and warthogs and antelope in the grouds during the day)..
Far from being a prescriptive game drive - our driver Elly sat down with us and designed an itenerary around our enthusiasm and capability - we opted for long days and picnic lunches and this way we caught all of the wildlife we could hope to see.
Elly was as enthusiastic as we where and very knowledgable - it so important to understand what you are seeing from a guide that knows the ways of the Mara.
Everybody that we had dealings with at Kichwa Tembo where fabulous and I must thank Edward for the special attention he showed to our 8 year old Daniel..
We are already looking to book once again and this WILL be the camp we use and no doubt we will book via JT Safaris once again..

Room Tip: We had tents 5 and 6 - these are well placed in the gardens with a fantastic view over the plains...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

This camp is more functional than luxurious (I don't mean that in a bad way). After all, presumably the reason you come here is for the game viewing. Staff are friendly and guides do a great job tracking down game, of which there is plenty to view.

Food is served as a buffet, usually with a cooking station and it is very good indeed with changing menus each day.

Nice infinity pool with a great view of the Mara plain below.

"Rooms" are very spacious "tents" with fairly comfortable bed, washroom and shower. Other than sleeping, you probably won't spend much time in them and they are a bit dark.

The camp's lawns are mowed by warthogs.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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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 #51 of 111 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. ... 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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