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“Absolutely Amazing!!” 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
Harpenden, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Absolutely Amazing!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

We spent 4 nights here to kick of our Honeymoon. It was simply incredible and could not fault any part of it.

The luxury tent was beyond our expectations and all the staff at the camp could not have done any more to make us feel welcome.

Joshua and Isaac who looked after us in the camp were superb and both our game drivers (James (Kipiko) and Elly) were incredible and ensured we saw everything we wished too including all the big 5 and a crossing.

It was the most amazing experience and were very sad to leave. As a first time on Safari it was perfect and would recommend to anyone. We met some great guests there and had an extremely memorable 4/5 days that we will never forget.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
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278 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
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uk
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for two nights booked through jt safaris whom I would highly recommend organised everything from start to finish can't praise him enough. He situated on diani beach look him up . Anyway the camp was well organised with delicious food and excellent service . Our guide Eric was fabulous knew all the best areas to be in we seen so much including lions mating in front of our jeep to watching a gazelle giving birth from start to finish . This was a holiday of a lifetime and would totally recommend it

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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texas
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

If you would have told me when I was a young child that I would visit Africa and see wild lions, hyenas, leopards, rhinos and more in their own habitat, I would never believe you. Kichwa Tempo camp was a wonderful place to stay. The camp is well run, organized and more than comfortable. It is NOT a tent!!!

Our cabin tent was number 39. We paid extra for the more "luxury" tent, mainly because I wanted to be able to recharge my camera batteries easily. Tent number 39 is the furthest out from the dining area at the very edge of the complex. We liked it because it was away from the bussle and noises of the camp.
Point: if you have walking issues, you may want to address that BEFORE you arrive by emailing them and asking for a tent closer to the dining area.

Be sure to bring a flashlight or a headlamp for the walks at night to and from the dining area. The walks are lit, but extra light is always good. While we were there, a security person did escort us a couple of times. But, we did not rely on him.

We did not have any issues with mosquitoes when we were there, but we were prepared.

The tent was large with separate toilet area and shower area. There were two separate large closet areas for more than enough room. There was a safe for valuables. I loved the shower. Hot water while showering with the sounds of the wild around you. Don't bother to bring soap, shampoo, lotion, etc. They have it all. Do bring a washcloth. They don't have those.


The bed was large, probably king sized and comfortable for us. They placed hot water bottles in the beds at night (while you are eating) to make the beds nice and toasty when you get in. The water bottles stayed warm thru the whole night.

There idea of a wake up call is to bring to your cabin coffee, hot chocolate or tea to your cabin at the time you designate with cookies. They arrive hot in a thermos. NOTE: they may run ten minutes late. We were usually up and dressed by the time our coffee arrived. We drank it on the porch listening to the morning sounds, then headed out to meet our guide. We never had breakfast in the morning. Too busy .... we had breakfast out on the Masai Mara. :)

Our days were spent waking up early, meeting our guide, Sigue (who was wonderful and knowledgeable). Breakfast out on the savannah. The jeeps that and Beyond uses are open air jeeps. There are nine seats, three seats per row, three tiers of seats. We had six people in our group, so everyone had a "outside" seat. As a group, you decide if you want to eat breakfast then go out, or go out and eat breakfast on the savannah. We elected to do the latter. We got back to the camp about 1:30 for lunch. Then out again at 4:00 to 4:30 and back to camp by about 7:00 to 7:30 PM. The hours of the day flew by.

The lunches were buffet style. The food was great Good choices, flavorful with a local spices. Great desserts. You were assigned to the same waiter or waitress your entire stay. Beer was extra, but at $3.00 a bottle, a large pint, not expensive. Dinner was buffet one evening, ala carte on the other two nights. Desserts were delicious. You did NOT go hungry. Unless you are truly picky about your food, you shouldn't be disappointed.

We did the balloon ride. Paid for it before we got there. I found out that it was more expensive at the camp by about $30.00. While expensive, it was well worth it. It ends with a champagne breakfast on the savannah. Full breakfast, not continental. The balloon hold sixteen people, four per corner. If you are a large person, it might be tight. Our pilot turned the balloon around so that people in the back "row" became the front row during the ride.

The animal viewing... what can I say. We saw all of the big five... the lion, the cheetah, the rhino, the elephant and the buffalo. We saw babies, babies, and babies. A week old giraffe jumping and running with stilted unsteady legs, still with its umbilical cord remnant (viewed thru my telephoto lens); seven baby lion cubs running toward the communal mother, baby hyena puppies playing with each other, leopard eating their his prey, a mother rhino with her baby 25 feet from our jeep, hippo herds, ... I have so many memorable pictures. We did not see a crossing while we were there. In a way, it was probably best. I don't think I would have wanted to see the crocs get their meals while the crossing occurred.

NOTE: if you want great pictures, you really need to get a telephoto lens. I used a Nikon d300 with a 80 to 400 mm lens and got great pictures. I also took along my Nikon Coolpix for wide angle shots and up close shots out of the range of my telephoto lens. While you could get good pictures with a compact camera, you need something bigger to get the "great shots". There are companies that rent you camera lenses, check into it.

Tipping:
Be ready to tip you room steward, your waiter/waitress, and your guide. My husband and I also placed money in the communal tipping box for the people that do the jobs behind the scenes (the cooks, security, maintenance people, etc) We tipped the room steward $5.00 per person per day.
We tipped the waiter $10.00 per person per day. I left $20.00 per person per day for the communal tip. And for Sigue, because he made it all so wonderful.. we tipped him extra. I gleaned from various sites that the tips were varied and all over the board. Some said $120.00 for the day for the whole jeep, some said $20.00 per person per day, some said just $100.00 for the whole time. We spent at least 8 hours per day with him. He went out of his way to get us the great shot of the rhino mom and baby (within 15 to 20 feet of her), ... we gave him $50.00 per person per day. For our three days... we gave him $300.00. Money well spent for our lifetime memories.

Hope this helps all of you out there looking for a lifetime treat.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
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Norwich UK
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Kichwa Tembo at the end of August 2013. We arranged our safari through http://www.julius-safaris.com/ This was our fourth safari experience having previously stayed at various camps or lodges in Samburu, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Amboseli & the Mara. Kichwa was without doubt the best!! The photographs on tripadviser fail to do the place justice. Location, superb…..food,excellent……..service, outstanding. Kichwa is owned by the Masai and the benefits of the tourist go to preserve the wildlife of Kenya, the Mara environment and the Masai people/culture rather than line the pockets of people where perhaps profit is the main criteria. I have read some reviews where people have moaned about warthogs roaming the grounds or the quality of the food and wonder what it takes to please such people!!! The food IS excellent…..much is grown locally and surely the warthogs and monkeys in the camp grounds ADD to the experience rather than detract. Our driver/guide was Benedict…….eyes of a hawk, extremely knowledgeable and we could not have wished for better. Benedict went out of his way to ensure that we saw some spectacular sights…..three river crossings/giraffes ‘neck fighting’/lions with kill/ lioness with cubs (a few times)/cheetahs with kill/lioness LITERALLY within touching distance/rhino within 10 feet/’Jenny’ of giraffes with young playing…….and many more memorable sights. Benedict KNEW these animals, where they were AND where they would go…..We started each and every day thinking that it would be hard to top the previous day……we were never disappointed….what better praise can be given. No two days were the same. Whilst Amboseli is superb it pales in comparison to the Mara and it is difficult to think that Kichwa could be surpassed. Tents were comfortable……kept spotless. Customer service by ALL was excellent ……ALL seemed determined to make the safari experience ‘special’. We hope to return to Kichwa Tembo and have no hesitation in recommending the camp…..You will NOT be disappointed and you will be helping the wonderful Masai people and all that they represent.
We were fortunate enough to book through JT Safaris . BEFORE considering anyone else please contact Julius!!! EVERYTHING that you will read about him is true……….100% trustworthy…..works VERY hard to ensure that you get the safari experience that you want…..VERY patient in providing advice for what suits YOU rather than the convenience of the various camps/lodges…….Julius ALWAYS gives more than expected. We have recommended him to many and without exception he has always come up trumps. Please read our review and that of others. ….search on tripadviser for some reviews and on his new website http://www.julius-safaris.com/

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

We recently stayed at the &Beyond Kichwa Tembo tented camp. Having stayed at an &Beyond property in South Africa previously, we were comfortable with the &Beyond brand and had such a good time previously that we did not consider any other companies.

We camp itself is large, with around 40+ tents. "Tents" is a misleading description for the accommodations, as aside from the "tent" structure, everything inside was like real lodging - from the fully functioning toilet, to the shower with lots of water, to the excellent toiletries, and the king size comfortable bed. There was plenty of closet space as well. We stayed in a luxury tent, which included power outlets. It was a 5-7 minute walk to the main dining area. However, considering this is pretty much your only exercise while on safari (it's not like you're out walking in the bush with the animals), we didn't mind at all. From our porch, we could see hippos, elephants and zebras grazing just past the camp's fence.

The food was very good. At breakfast and lunch, it was buffet style, with plenty of selection and a mix of protein, veggies, fruit, dessert, etc. Each table had a butler who took care of your drinks, etc. At dinner, the salad course was buffet, but the main course was served by your butler. I was unsure as to how the food would be as it's hard to do buffet style well, but the food surpassed my expectations. The nightly soups were particularly delightful.

Finally, and most importantly. . . the game drives. We had an excellent guide named Benedict. He was excellent at spotting animals and answered questions patiently. Although the migration moved early this year, we did 2 daylong safaris to the border with safari. During our four days on safari, we saw the big 5, plus cheetahs with freshly caught prey, hyenas with pups, two separate lionesses with 4-6 cubs each and lions and freshly caught prey. We also saw a leopard hunt a meerkat! In addition, we saw TWO river crossings, which was exceptional given that there were only a few thousand wildebeest left.

While you may not get the same level of luxury / service as some other smaller &Beyond camps, Kichwa Tembo still deserves 5 stars. The level of service was excellent, and its location in proximity to the migration is unsurpassed. The guides are excellent and will get you to see the most exceptional animals. I would recommend this camp without hesitation.

Room Tip: We didn't mind the 5-7 minute walk to the luxury tents, though if you are older or less able to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Very friendly and helpful staff, good food, lots of animal viewing in close vicinity to the camp, beautiful area, good vehicles, comfortable beds, good shower. Only drawback can be if you have a noisy neighbour as tents are very close to each other.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penicuik, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

A beautifully appointed camp. We were in the luxury tents which as has been mentioned before is a long long way from everything, best to have company when going back to the tent at night ! Once at your tent though the feeling of peace and quiet is wonderful. The rooms are beautiful and have all the good quality toiletries you could wish for and for the ladies a hair dryer which not all camps have. The dining and bar area are relaxing and comfortable. The food here was the best of our trip , well presented and very tasty. As for location I have been used to staying in the Mara Triangle and wondered what this area would be like for game .It was interesting and certainly no shortage of animals. We definitely got the feeling that the staff were there to make your experience the best it possibly could be. Our driver was called Daniel and he was fantastic . I would highly recommend staying here.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 #44 of 117 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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