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“Just Superb” 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
Weston super mare
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Just Superb”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2009

Kitchwa Tembo lodge is superb. The food and service were second to none. We booked throught JT Safaris and thought we were getting Fig Tree Lodge. However, the brilliant Julius (who we booked Tsavo east/West with last year) gave us a wonderful surprise and booked us Kitchwa Tembo. The lodges are wonderful and the pool (fresh water) is VERY refreshing!! (some might call it bloody cold but after a hot safari it's lovely!!). It's only 5 mins from the Mara and the 5.30 start is made very bareable by the early morning wake up call with fresh coffee served in your tent. Food is superb and you even got at hot water bottle at night!! We had a lovely surprise on the last night and had our meal served outside our lodge - candles, lanterns, the lot!! Had breakfast out on the Mara every day and saw just about everything - Elephants and lions galore, a baby Zebra being born, Wildebeest getting shredded by Crocs on the big migration (Wildebeest as far as the eye could see) and two Lions bonking were just three of the many highlights!!! Cant recommend this lodge or JT Safaris highly enough!!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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Poole
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2009

We stayed at Kichwa Tembo for 3 days and 2 nights at the end of October 09. We did an air safari from Mombassa arranged with JT safaris( who, by the way, are also brilliant) We were in tents 3&4. The tents are fabulous , and have the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in. The view from the tent over the Masai Mara is stunning - especially at 6 in the morning as the sunrise glows through the mist on the plain, and warthogs, antelope and giraffe can be seen slowly walking across. As a hot air ballon gently glided over the plain, and a masai warrior in full regalia wandered past, we were treated to hot tea of chocolate in our tent by our helpful steward. A memory that will stay with me forever.

The wildlife in the Mara is abundant and stunning. The open jeeps give fantastic viewing, and get you through some pretty rough terrain. the were never more than 6 in our jeep, and our guide, Benidict, was very skilled at getting us to some of the more interesting sites and animals. We saw so many animals that it is impossible to list them all! Seeing Lions chasing down a baby water buffalo was amazing.

The service at Kichwa Tembo is perhaps a little OTT - we had really pushed the boat out for this trip, and we are not used to luxury. There were so many staff, who were unfailingly welcoming and friendly, but it felt a little too much at times, as were were welcomed to everywhere constantly. Maybe the management have overdone their staff training in this area - but maybe this is just me, not being used to such a high standard of service?

I read with some suprise that others have criticised the food on occassions at this camp. All I can say is that whilst we were there, the food was first class. There was evening entertainment one of the nights we were there, - some Masai Warriors performing a dance, this was fun. However, by Ten in the evening, all is very quiet and peaceful - very welcome when you have such early starts. We attended the talk given by Lapore or 'John' in the afternoon - this was very interesting, and well done. We did not have time to visit the local Masai village, which I suspect will be a lifelong regret for me. However, the safari drives were the main reason for our trip, and these were outstanding.

The hotel pool is small but beautiful, with fantastic views over the Mara plain, however, we did not have much time to use it - I wish we could have afforded to stay at Kichwa Tembo longer!

The camp has its own airstrip nearby - this is handy as there are no long transfers. It was fun on the return leg to watch Benidict chase off the zebra from the runway - not something you see everyday! ( well, maybe Benidict does!).
Generally we had an amazing stay here, and would recommened it highly to anyone who can afford to treat themselves to this unforgetable all round expereince.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2009

We stayed here from 7th to 9th of October & had an amazing time! We had booked this from the UK with Doc from Kenyan Adventures & Beyond (please see separate review on him & his company - will not bother using again).

Our flight from Mombasa took just over 2 hours & landing on the small dirt strip was an experience, especially with all the wildebeest strolling around. Our guide Sammy asked if we all wanted to have a small game drive on the way to the camp, which we all agreed to.

Once we arrived, we were shown to our tent. Wow, it was amazing & certainly not my idea of roughing it. It had everything you could need, a great shower with plenty of hot water each day, comfy beds & a proper toilet.

On our first afternoon, we had lunch then went out for a proper game drive, where we saw all the big 5 on our first day - incredible! Sammy is incredibly knowledgeable & has eyes like a hawk when it came to spotting the animals.

The camp was very quiet, so for the whole time we were there, it was just the 2 of us & Sammy in our 4x4, which meant we had more time to spend looking for the animals we wanted to see & could go out on drives at a time that suited us.
It was great waking up to fresh coffee & biscuits each morning & sitting watching the wildlife go by out on the Mara. The resident warthogs & mongeese were very cute!

The food was great & there was so much of it you were spoilt for choice. All of our meals were served alfresco by the bar & the drinks were very reasonably priced. After dinner each evening, we went back to our tent with a nightcap & sat outside listening to the sounds of the animals, it was so peaceful. Emmanuel our room steward made up our beds each evening with hot water bottles & turned our bedside lights on so we didn't have to stumble around in the dark. He also left little notes on our pillows for us with things like sleep tight on them:)

All of the staff were really helpful & friendly & couldn't do enough for you to make sure your stay was a truly memorable one.

The highlight of our trip was Sammy finding a pride of lions that had a 7 week old lion cub with them & the leopard. & Francis arranging dinner outside our tent on our last night & decorating the tent with flowers & kerosene lamps.

Overall, this was the highlight of our holiday to Kenya & when we return to Kichwa Tembo, we will book directly with them & arrange our own air transfer from Mombasa.
A big thank you to Sammy our fantastic driver / guide, Francis our waiter, Emmanuel our room steward, Esther the ever smiling hostess & all the other staff there for such a warm & friendly welcome to a fantastic camp in the Mara. We will return!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
usa
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2009

killer pool here, and the manager Niall is a great guy. he let us use his camera because ours broke, and we still cannot thank him enough for it. the bar, campfires at night, hanging by the pool, our guide Erick, were all wonderful. Frederick, our helper was also a sweet guy who wanted to make us so happy he set up a romantic dinner on our stoop the last night there with lanterns and roses. it was great.

my only tip for this place is to maybe speed up the meals a little. it would be nice to come back and have a brunch where all the food was ready when you got there so you could eat and go back to your room and crash instead of waiting for a 5 course meal. sometimes its nice to just have a quick bite, but I know that your heart was in the right place.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2009

We stayed here for 3 nights at the first of October. We were booked here by our safari operatoe, Eastern & Southern Safaris, Nairobi. We had two luxury tents and loved it. All service was of the highest order. The hot water bottles in the bed at night were an indulgent touch.

Food was very good and the setting for lunch was just superb, tables spread around on the grass under shade trees with a magnificent view of the Mara complete with warthogs walking around keeping the grass trimed.

Our game driver/guide, Elley, was excellent and our vehicle was the high, open Landrover type, perfect. The wildebeest migration was going on and we saw tons of animals. One of the best things that we did was have a breakfast picnic a little way up the escarpment, by a big rock formation, over looking the Mara, just beautiful.

One issue, we were in tent #33, one of the "luxury" tents, and it was very nice, but it may be the very furthest one from the dining room, game drive embarkation area. It was approximately an 8 minute walk, one way, with part up hill. A real hike, and had no view. I commented to our daughter, who was in the tent next door, that I would have preferred a closer tent and she said she liked it just where we were because of the total privacy, no one walking beside or behind our tents.

We thoroughly enjoyed Kichwa Tembo and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2009

Have stayed at safari camps before but Kichwa Tembo was beyond my wildest dreams. The safari tents were amazing with views directly over the savanah. The best tents to get are 1 - 14 as they all open onto the deck with views from sunrise to sunset.

My tent was serviced by Simon and Carol who couldn't do enough to make my stay more enjoyable. From the morning wake up calls with hot chocolate/coffee delivered to my tent to the hot water bottle that was placed in my bed each night to warm the bed before retiring.

Was there during the annual migration of the animals. Unfortunately didn't see any direct kills, however saw all the left overs. Managed to see all big 5 animals. And even managed some private time with a pride of lions on the way to the airport strip on the final day. Also managed to spend time watching some lions mating, which was a unforgetable experience. If you ever go ask for Akutch for a driver, he sat down with us on the first day to establish exactly what we wanted to see and do and planned each day to include as many of these as possible. By the end crossed all of our To-Do list with time to spare to go back over a few.

The river crossings are truely something not to miss.

Could spend another week at the camp. Read the recent review about the food and have to say that my experience couldnt have been further from the last review. Yes some meals were served outside under one of the big trees but it gives you a better view of the animals that we have all paid so much $$ to see. Also allows you the chance to see the resident warthog and their babies up close. Never had/saw any flies on the food and always had good variety, well enough to satisfy me anyway. Each to their own on that point, but would say that you are in the middle of the Mara and no local 7-11 down the street so occassionally the chef may have to double up to use produce up or short before the next truck arrives with supplies.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Phillip Island AUSTRALIA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2009

The camp tent & bathroom in our LUXURY tent was quite nice, private, romantic & with an incredible view (noticed the standard tents were very close together & many with no views) when I asked our room steward Joshua for a fan it appeared instantly! Service from Joshua was excellent with many thoughtful touches throughout our 5 day stay.

Perhaps we were spoilt coming from both Sabi Sabi in South Africa and Sambaru Intrepids because at both of those camps the food was simply stunning.

Kichwa Tembo Masai Mara Tented camp chefs were severely lacking in imagination, inspiration and perhaps budget for food
The food consisted of thin soups & watery stews + salads which were always visited by huge numbers of flies, nothing covered adequately, numerous meals served in the open under the trees many times with no salad covers at all …. seeing the outdoor eating area was home for the warthog families flies came directly from their faeces to the food display. The same dreary foods were served meal after meal and to be honest it spoilt an otherwise great location, in all fairness had we not had something to compare at the other camps it may not have been so dramatic BUT it was dreadful. We note none of the old reviews complain about the food - is this a new phenomenon with the global down turn perhaps?

We would not stay at Kichwa Tembo again based purely on their cheap, monotonous, boring food.

We went to Masai Mara to see the crossing & we did …. Thousands of animals crossed so we were delighted, the big 5 in the first day! Cheetah & leopard almost as frequent as lions & elephant! Our driver/guide retires at the end of the month which we are sure will be a great loss to Kichwa Tembo as he was excellent in all respects.

Of the 3 camps the Mara had the most healthy well watered, well fed animals, in HUGE numbers that you could hope to see anywhere, unlike Sambaru where they were dying from lack of both food & water.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
SamanthaOnSafari, Guest Relations at andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, responded to this review, September 29, 2009
Ooh flip! we messed up – and we are devastated!

Hello AussieCouple,
We are so sorry that we let you down. We usually get great feedback on our food at Kichwa Tembo Masai Mara Tented Camp and have no idea how this happened. We are definitely not cutting back on costs or guest delight because of the downturn – if anything we are doing more. Thanks so much for letting us know. We have put our training team onto it immediately. Thankfully the rest of your stay was great.
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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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