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“One of best in Mara Triangle” 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
Highland, Utah
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“One of best in Mara Triangle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

Kichwa Tembo is a delightful property in the Mara of Kenya. A short flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi. The tented camp has well appointed "tents" with hardwood floors, hit water, and flush toilets. Comfortable beds. I loved the hot water bottles for warm they tucked into the covers each night. Meals are great. Safari experience is top notch. I have stayed at Kichwa twice and both times were excellent. The cost is competitive. Bateuler camp is high end and for those who need extra room and full service. Pool on property was refreshing. The walking tour was worthwhile and a way to observe nature in more detail. It is best to stay more than one night; good chance to see lion, cheetah, rhino, and many other animals. Leopards are elusive but can be seen rarely. Watch out for the monkeys that wait for careless visitors to leave their tents unsecured :).

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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294 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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Darwin
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

This camp was recommended by a family member who had stayed there and we were certainly very happy with it. In fact I was quite shocked to read it's not Trip Advisor's #1 Masai Mara camp and can't see why not.

From the moment you are collected at the Kichwa Tembo airstrip, the welcome begins. Freshly plunged coffee and biscuits, and the freeze-dried banana pieces were on offer as we were welcomed by the Kichwa Tembo guides and chatted to other guests.

As you leave the airstrip you start your first game drive and before we knew it we'd seen zebra, topi, impala and a hippo. Also from the start your guide knows, and remembers, your names. I thought this was quite remarkable given how many people they meet in the course of a season. Our guide was Albert and he was absolutely fantastic! Knowledgeable, intelligent, informative and with eyes like a hawk for spotting game where those less experienced are wondering "where?". Albert made our stay at Kichwa Tembo!

After your arrival game drive you are again welcomed, this time in the main lodge, with a fresh drink and info on the place. We noticed that some who arrived for a special event, like a birthday or wedding, had the added bonus of an all singing and dancing welcome....icing on the cake, so to speak.

Our tent was one of the distant ones without a view over the plains but that didn't matter too much as we were rarely there. It was also a little more private. The tent itself is definitely glamping not camping with all mod cons except power points. We've lived without 24/7 power and also go camping, so having restricted times for power in the tent (when people are most likely to be in camp), was no bother to us. Torches are also provided so there's no hassle with that. Each night the security guide was there with his bow and arrow, and torch, to walk us to our tent so we never felt unsafe.

We had one night in the tents overlooking the pool and the plains and the different view was nice to experience. It wasn't really hot enough for us to be keen on swimming but the pool was delightful to look at.

In fact I think the absence of power to the tents is an advantage because it means people migrate to the public areas to charge their technology and get to chatting to other guests rather than disappearing into their own space.

The bar area was very friendly and we coffee-holics were thrilled to find that coffee was "on tap" and free. Not that there wasn't beer or wine when it was time for sundowners ;-)

We also had great massages with Esther to erase those kinks from long-distance flights.

Henry was our room butler, bringing us our coffees in the morning along with some fresh biscuits so we could get up and on the road for balloon flights or safaris. Love the little note he left on our pillows too :)

Others have commented that the food wasn't great which I found strange as there was so much choice it's hard to imagine how anyone could be unhappy. I had told them in advance of my food allergies and they made sure I was alerted to any problem foods and special dishes offered to me (half a chicken anyone?). The cakes and biscuits (always the way to my heart) were delicious and the influence of a former chef, an Aussie, was evident in the lamingtons and Anzac biscuits. Each table generally has an allocated service person and Kosen was so attentive to our needs and such a friendly presence. Each night during dinner one of the managers would come to each table and check if there were any issues that needed sorting (thanks James!).

If I had one quibble I would ask that "&Beyond" make their tipping policy more explicit, in advance as well as in the tent compendium. It's disconcerting to not know who you should be tipping, worrying that the behind-the-scenes people might get left out, and also frustrating that you may find you haven't brought as much cash with you as you need.

Of course none of us go to Africa for just the food and the service. It's all about the animals and what a great time we had! Albert was superb, as I've mentioned, and so patient with the clicking cameras, trying to help us find that perfect shot and explaining the animal behaviour we were seeing. It was also his patience that helped us to see an amazing Wildebeest migration across the Mara River -some 3000 animals. Thank you Albert...we'll be talking about you and our experiences for years to come.

The &Beyond part of the Kichwa Tembo name refers to their company's intention of going beyond the norm, and that each staff member is part of the "secret ingredient". Albert, you are one of KT's secret ingredients!

Thanks to all the staff for giving us such a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Rooms closer to the pool and dining room have a better view but may be more public.
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp was our wedding venue Dec 2012. We had around 45 guests flying in from all over the world and we needed to pick a place that could welcome everyone to Kenya the best way possible. Kichwa provided us with much more than expected; everyone working there was so kind and helpful, food was to die for and the safari experience was magical. Every single guest had only positive comments by the end of the 3night trip and mentioned that they will definitely come back one day.

My wedding was really a dream come true. Combined with a safari tour, we had masai dancers to take us to the escarpment for a ceremony and cocktails, reception at the lodge with the kitchen staff singing and dancing for us. I have never felt so close to the staff at any other hotel before, and I do travel quite a lot. We woke up every morning with a beautiful view of the Mara plains with hippos and hyenas, zebras and gazelles walking in front of the tent. Hot cup of coco and coffee was served in our rooms to get us ready for the early morning safari. We got upgraded to Bateleur Camp next door which made our trip extra luxurious.

I have been to the mara many times and I think they provide one of the best lodge experiences here, with great value for money and ever lasting memories. I recommend it to anyone! James, the man who was the lodge manager at that time was always there to help and his team did an excellent job with the wedding preparations. Thank you all for the amazing experiences!

Room Tip: Try to get a room that has a great view of the Mara plains.
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  • Stayed December 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013 via mobile

Have been to Kichwa Tembo 10 times now! Would not go anywhere else. They treat us like family. The food is outstanding. The grounds are serene and picturesque. We have stayed in the regular tents and the luxury tents. We love staying in the regular tents and looking over the savannah. The luxury tents were very nice - wood floors, separate shower room, electric outlets, full-length mirror, plenty of wardrobe space, very comfy beds. They are nestled back in the woods. When walking to your tent at night, they will send one of their guys with you with a flashlight to make sure you make it safely. Would be glad to give more details to anyone interested.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

If you have experienced the &beyond camps in Tanzania you may be slightly disappointed with this camp. Not being totally inclusive you miss the sundown drinks and the size of the camp makes it less personal. Having said that!

Tent: 10/10
We had a standard tent this was really nicely decorated and large! A really big bed and a really good shower and flushing toilet. As there is not electricity all day and night you are supplied with a torch and candles - this makes it an experience in itself! You can recharge your batteries or other equipment in the bar – or bring a solar charger!

Food: 10/10
Even though we did prefer the table service of the other &beyond camps we experienced – the breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets where of excellent quality. Don’t expect “ restaurant” food or you will be disappointed – the food is fresh, good for you – home made food with plenty of well-cooked vegetables. We are not buffet types but this is superb food typical of the &beyond group.

General look and feel of the place: 8/10
Because of the size we didn’t get the exclusive experience we had in other &beyond camps. Even thought the pool is wonderful with spectacular views – you only need a couple of screaming kids to ruin the romance and tranquillity of the place.

Staff: 8/10
The staff although correct where also not as smiley and happy as the staff at the other less expensive camp we stayed at in the Masai Mari.

Safari experience: 10/10
Even though we were there at the end of the great migration we still saw an amazing amount of different animals and managed to make some memorable photo’s .

I think this camp would appeal more to families or (small) groups rather than people looking for romance - We give this camp - staying as a couple- a 8/10. – we had a great time and it is very professionally run but we missed the exclusivity of the other &beyond camps we have stayed at.

Room Tip: The standard tents are wonderful - bring a solar charger and do without your hairdryer for a couple...
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  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

this was my 20+ safari in Africa and I must say - certainly one of the best!! we were lucky that the migration was on because that is why we had a REAL abundance of animals! but even outside the migration times there are lot's of animals and especially the unbelievable Masai Mara!!! if you want to see Africa the way it truly is - GO TO KICHWA TEMBO!!! you will not regret a penny you spend!!

the &Beyond (owner of the camp) camps are all superb and the staff always goes THE EXTRA MILE!!! Our driver Joseph (Sigei) was extremely pleasant and knowledgeable - his (almost) instinct of the area and the animals made sure we saw what we wanted to see!! UNBELIEVABLE!!

all the other arrangement worked out perfectly, NO wait, very friendly people and certainly exceeded expectations……

so if you lucky enough to get the opportunity to go - TAKE IT!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013 via mobile

Visited on honeymoon last week. 3 nights. Food was brilliant. All inclusive drinks more than good in terms of choice and availability.

The wildlife was excellent.

The open top land cruiser we had was very comfortable.

The staff at the camp are all so lovely and friendly. Wry helpful.

The 'tents' were beautiful. We took the luxury option and were very impressed. Lovely bed. Hot shower at all times.

The pool area is out of this world in the afternoon. You am sunbathe and see giraffes, buffalo, zebra and more. The resident warthog drinks from the pool! So cool!

All meals we felt brilliant.

Only nag is that you are out in a group for your game drives and then the plans are discussed. The loudest couple were then able to choose get up times etc. felt there should be a structure that is in place and we follow it. We would have liked to get out early an have breakfast after the game drive, where as we had breakfast at 0630 and left at 0700.

Little unorganised at times especially the departure but have noted this with company and don't think it was the norm.

All in all a brilliant 3 days in a beautiful setting.

We jut read they are having a renovation! Wow! Can't see at all why it's fantastic!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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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 #49 of 127 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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