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“For the second time, its 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
Safwa, Saudi Arabia
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“For the second time, its amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

I am a returning guest to KT, I understand that they are currently going through a total renovation for the whole camp, so my review will be as per the other things I've seen and which I liked even better than the first time I was there which was in August 2012. The staff is just super super friendly without any exception, "welcoming you home" is the first thing you will get, a nice gesture! Although I was so reluctant to visit during this time of the year being low season and all, but just don't be fooled, business in the wild is as usual!! except you don't get to see wildebeests all over, which is even better, you get to see predators searching for food all the time, we saw just right in front of the camp two lionesses attempting to hunt three time in one game drive, we didn't even need to go inside the reserve, just hang around the camp on the first game drive, just so many game and animals like you can never imagine, specially if you are there for the first time!

Now, again that I know this is a temporary main area for the camp, it was still very nice, one of the managers there, James even took me in a small tour around the new camp while its being built, showed me what is going and it all seemed to even get better by the time they open the new place in June/July 2014.

Kipiko (or James), our guide was super wonderful, and I am saying while I've been with tens of other guides in many previous game drives in both South Africa and Kenya! All I wanted was a guide who really loved what he was doing and so knowledgeable and not someone who would make you feel he's bored and only doing it for the money, James was the one, really loved being out there with him and how keen he was tracking animals.

KT would surely be one of first choice while I am planning to go back again during the migration season.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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Rockville, MD
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

I recently stayed for 2 nights with my husband and other friends and family members. I have to say I have mixed feelings about Kichwa Tembo. I was a bit sad to find out the pool was closed for renovation.

First the positive things:
I loved the tents and overall ambiance of the place. This makes for an authentic experience at the Masai Mara.
The night drives and guides and vehicles were absolutely amazing.
The room attendant was very helpful and had very nice touches added every evening.

What I liked less:
The bossy attitude of some of the reception staff and massage lady.
The lack of variety in the meals, especially for myself as a vegetarian. I ate the same food both evenings.
The way our wonderful driver guides are treated here, as if they are not important and welcome.

I would consider staying here again due to the ambiance and tents and for the possibility of going on an evening safari as this is one of the only places where it can be done.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Torquay
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

Kichwa Tembo is a wonderful place with comfortable tents, attentive staff, wonderful meals and a swimming pool which is refreshing after being out on safari. We saw loads of animals (including pygmy rhinos) and the driver |(Luke) was very knowledgable. We met some lovely truck and camp mates, the two laides from Michigan - please get in touch, Pat and Enrique. We did laugh a lot. We arranged this trip from the Diani beach area through Julius safaris (as we have done previously), as he recommended it and we were not disappointed. In fact we are going in February 2014 and intend to use Julius and Kichwa Tembo again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Highland, Utah
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
36 helpful votes 36 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
10 helpful votes 10 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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