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“TENTED CAMPS ARE JUST SWEET.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tipilikwani Masai Mara Camp

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Tipilikwani Masai Mara Camp
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C14 Keekorok -Masai Mara Reserve- | Parklands Road off Waiyaki Way, PO Box 42475, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00100, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Nairobi, Kenya
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“TENTED CAMPS ARE JUST SWEET.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

After a whole year working we felt we needed abreak far away from the city and that how we ended up in Tipilikwani. The place is so peacefull and cool, we really got the rest that we really needed, the room were very nice and welcoming, like the room we were in was facing the waterfull we enjoyed the stay.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 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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110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    73
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
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English first
Midland, Texas
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

Our group of 9 was treated exceptionally well. Jonathan and Dee were our drivers and knew exactly where to find the wildlife. Our vehicle saw leopards, cheetahs, lions, hippos, giraffe, warthogs, hyenas, water buffalo, cape buffalo, crocodiles and of course, wildebeest! Our other vehicle also saw elephants and a wildebeest crossing. And the LandCruisers were fantastic safari vehicles!
The accomodations were near luxury! My daughter and I shared a "tent" but easily had room for 2 more guests. We had 2 double beds, a dressing table, sofa and chairs and a large bathroom. We loved our Massai robes that were available to us. The bathrooms are permanant structures made out of cinder block. The "tents" are on a raised wooden platform with the canvas hung on metal framing. We loved the zippered windows and doors and never felt unsafe. The hot water bottles in our beds was also nice to come back to and warm our feet on chilly nights. Our Massai guard was always available to escort us after dark. Our meals were buffet style with a good selection of Western and African food. There is a small bar but well stocked. I ordered a Kahlua and Cream and received a shot of Kahlua with some nice, fresh, homemade "whipped" cream on top. I taught them what an "American" Kahlua and Cream was and we all had a good laugh! We will be returning this August and plan to stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

Excellent service, nice tents and great people. Your guaranteed to have a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

We stayed at tipilikwani for one night, it is a really nice hotel, with some of the best rooms in the masai mara, large luxurious tents with excellent bedding. The staff were friendly and the setting is lovely, with a brilliant view of the national park. Ideal for a nice sundowner.

Would definetly recommend anyone to stay there.

Room Tip: All the rooms are excellent
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dubai
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2011

Based on our expectations we were utterly disappointed upon arrival. The reception
was underwhelming, very basic and run down. Not the sort of impression we were
expecting of a “luxurious tented camp”.

We basically had no choice to stay at Tipilikwani Tented Camp from the negligence of our tour planner, Madukha Tours & Safari’s, we were told we would not b disappointed at the it was luxury & a lot better than other camps. This turned out to be the joke of the year.

On first appearances, the tented room interior was of a nice design, spacious and
well laid out, but that’s where it ended. For the duration of our stay, our room was not
cleaned properly. The basins or counter were not cleaned once, the WC and shower
had permanent stains and the rugs or carpets appeared to have not been cleaned in
some time. There were no face clothes provided, the hand towel was never cleaned
or replaced and one day we even had to go without. The towels in general were only
changed once.

In addition to this, the toiletries that were provided were disgusting. Some of the soap
was recycled, the shampoo & conditioner was recycled with grubby hand written
labels on the bottles, with one bottle even having a used wine bottle cork as its lid as
its original glass stopper was obviously lost or broken.

The grassed area to the front of the tented room was overgrown and also it was not
possible to see through to the landscaped edge of the river, but this may have been
for security reasons.

Daily questioning about our room from the staff was fine, but hanging around waiting for a tip was a bit disappointing. I know they earn extra dollars from tips, but it should not be pushed upon the guest.

The restaurant bar areas were large & open but provided no atmosphere
whatsoever. There was no music playing etc to provide any ambience. It was dark
and dismal most of the time.

Similarly, the grassed area to the front of the main building was overgrown and also it
was not possible to see through to the landscaped edge of the river, but this may
have been for security reasons.

There was no pool or wellness facility to use between game drives, which was available at majority of the other similarly priced luxury camps.

Food at Tipilikwani was below average, actually embarrassing, and nothing like what
was indicated on their website ever turned up at our table. They were creative with
what they had to work with for lunches and dinners, but being served the same food
types in different ways or even repeating the menu within the 4 days we were there is
not really acceptable. Some of it was inedible and/or stale. When asked what snack
options were available between the main meals, we were told there were none. Self
service tea and coffee was available.

The food at Tipilikwani was the worst we received at any of the accommodations we
stayed at during our holiday in Kenya & Tanzania. Breakfasts were fine and picnic lunches were okay.

Additional drinks were also added to our bill at Tipilikwani, extra beers and bottles
of water, and when questioned they confirmed that these were consumed, but I still
dispute this issue. This sort of behaviour was the final straw for us at Tipilikwani, and
it left us both feeling angry and frustrated about our stay.

The general service of the staff was good, they were friendly and tried hard, but we
did find it a bit strange that they were in hooded jerseys or sweaters for most of the
time when serving guests.
Most of them were not wearing any sort of branded uniform, at least at meal time.

We seemed to be the only people who were staying for more than two days at
Tipilikwani, and we know why that was. We also got the feeling from other guests that
they were also disappointed with what they had paid for.

From the huge amount of money that we spent, it was NOT value for money at all.

We will not recommend the Tipilikwani Tented Camp in Maasai Mara or Madukha Tours & Safari’s.

Thankfully the experiences with the animals was unforgettable!!!

Room Tip: animals & game drives were amazing! fly in or only do the drive in once.. it's a bone rattle...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Patrick K, Manager at Tipilikwani Masai Mara Camp, responded to this review, February 6, 2012
Dear Esteemed guest,

Please accept my apology for not responding to your letter earlier. I am the sole person tasked with responding to complaints and I have been in and out of the office, mainly out for the last three or so months hence this monumental lapse, for which I take full responsibility.

First of all we are very concerned about your less positive experience at our Tipilikwani Camp.
Most of our guests have nothing but praise for the camp, having said that, I would like to address some of the issues that you raised about the camp.

Complaint: “The reception was underwhelming, very basic and run down. Not the sort of
impression we were expecting of a “luxurious tented camp”.”
Response: We must admit that first impressions are usually very important and as a camp we maintain a rustic luxury look that has worked well for us with most of our guests. We do however appreciate your comment and have made a few minor but effective changes to our reception.

Complaint: “The basins or counter were not cleaned once, the WC and shower
had permanent stains and the rugs or carpets appeared to have not been cleaned in
some time. There were no face clothes provided, the hand towel was never cleaned
or replaced and one day we even had to go without. The towels in general were only
changed once”.
Response: We are shocked to hear that your room was not cleaned properly during your stay and that no face towels were provided and the hand towel and other towels were not changed regularly. As a camp, we have a house keeping department staffed by trained personnel, we also have a schedule for the changing of room towels and linen and if the towels and linens are dirty or stained, they are changed regardless of the schedule.

Complaint: “the toiletries that were provided were disgusting. Some of the soap
was recycled, the shampoo & conditioner was recycled with grubby hand written
labels on the bottles, with one bottle even having a used wine bottle cork as its lid as
its original glass stopper was obviously lost or broken”.
Response: We never recycle soap or shower shampoo, we do however admit that the shower jell and shampoo bottles did have hand written signs. This has never before been a source of complaint, we did take your advice have changed the signage to something that is more esthetically pleasing.

Complaint: “The grassed area to the front of the tented room was overgrown and also it was not possible to see through to the landscaped edge of the river, but this may have been for security reasons”.
Response: Our policy when it comes to the landscape is to interfere as little as possible with the natural local vegetation, but the area around the tents and buildings is always well trimmed

Complaint: “Daily questioning about our room from the staff was a bit disappointing. I know they earn extra dollars from tips, but it should not be pushed upon the guest”.
Response: If our staff at any solicited gratuities from the guests, this is wrong as they are all trained and they understand this.

Complaint: “The restaurant bar areas were large & open but provided no atmosphere
whatsoever. There was no music playing etc to provide any ambience. It was dark
and dismal most of the time”.
Response: We are disappointed to hear that you did not like our restaurant, however most of our guests are happy to listen to the sounds of nature while dining. We do however welcome your suggestion on music in the bar and restaurant areas and are working on how best to implement it.

Complaint: “There was no pool or wellness facility to use between game drives, which was available at other similar priced “luxury tented camps”.
Response: Though we have no swimming pool at the camp, this is part of our medium term plans. We do however now offer spa services within the camp.

Complaint: Food at Tipilikwani was below average, actually embarrassing, and nothing like what was indicated on the website ever turned up at our table. They were creative with what they had to work with for lunches and dinners, but being served the same food
types in different ways or even repeating the menu within the 4 days we were there is
not really acceptable. Some of it was inedible and/or stale…”
Response: Your comments on the food at Tipilikwani are surprising to say the least. We always receive favourable comments on the food quality and variety at the camp. Our Chef and camp kitchen staff are very flexible and always accommodate any request. One only has to ask. We are distressed to hear about the matter of stale food, and we are seriously looking into it.

Complaint: “Additional drinks were also added to our bill at Tipilikwani, 4 extra beers and bottles of water, and when questioned they confirmed that these were consumed, but I still dispute this issue. This sort of behaviour was the final straw for us at Tipilikwani, and it left us both feeling angry and frustrated about our stay”.
Response: If there was a discrepancy with your bar bills we must express our disappointment. Our service staff are trained to present the day’s bills for signature by the guest before the guests leave for bed, in order to avoid disputes, perceived or real at the point of check out.

Complaint: “The general service of the staff was good, they were friendly and tried hard, but we did find it a bit strange that they were in hooded jerseys or sweaters for most of the time when serving guests. Most of them were not wearing any sort of branded
uniform, at least at meal time”.
Response: The camp manager has addressed the issue of the staff wearing non uniform sweaters on top of their uniforms, while serving the guests and we have sent additional uniforms as well as branded uniform fleeces for use by all staff.

Complaint: “We seemed to be the only people who were staying for more than two days at Tipilikwani, and we now know why. We also got the feeling from other guests that
they were also disappointed with what they had paid for”.
Response: Having gone through your letter and addressed the points that you raised in our comments above, we would like to conclude by stating that we are truly sorry if your experiences at Tipilikwani Mara camp were not to your expectation. Our camp manager is authorized to address all complaints arising from guests at the camp. We normally try to address guest dissatisfaction within the shortest possible time and this can only be done if it is communicated to the camp manager. Unfortunately in this case, neither the camp manager nor any of the camp staff were made aware of your dissatisfaction. If you did however complain at the camp, we would really appreciate knowing whom you complained to and how they reacted to this.

After all is said and done, we appreciate the fact that you took the time to enlighten us on your experiences. We shall definitely take corrective action where necessary.

Sincerely

Operations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2011

We chose Tipilikwani after we stayed at Elephant Bedroom in Samburu which we liked very much. But this was no comparison. The place is not well run, rather run down and the people who work there are friendly but not what you would expect from an expensive and supposedly luxurious campsite. The so called tents have a stone covered concrete annex for the facilities but none of the tents has a view or anything attractive to it althou they are clean and have a tasteful furnishing. The food is ok but overall the place does not leave the impression of being well run and managed.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Pays de la Loire, France
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2011

We spent 2 nights here and had a lovely stay. The tents are very big and very well equipped and stylish. There were lovely extras like a 'Masai" dressing gown and hottie bottle in your bed at night. The tents are quietly situated and well cared for. The food at lunch and dinner was served at the table which was a welcome change from the usual buffet 'scrum'. Having said that the breakfast buffet was lovely.
The dining room come bar is a huge banda, with fabulous furniture, huge sofas and lovely local art. Many of the staff are Masai, including the Chef with his ears politely tucked away!
I went on a bird walk which was magical and saw lots of birds that were new to me as well as 2 yellow bats!
There's no pool which might be a minus for some but it was a very relaxing few days.
The camp has a far more 'African' feel than the usual Serena's and Sarova's but there was no afternoon tea served which again was a pity but not tragic as the G and T's were very good!
Another downside was the short drive into the Mara, as the rubbish and mess around the small settlement at the gates was very disheartening and disgusting to see in such a beautiful place. I certainly would not take first time visitors in at this particular Mara gate again...there are other, much nicer places to get into the Mara!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Tipilikwani Masai Mara Camp

Address: C14 Keekorok -Masai Mara Reserve- | Parklands Road off Waiyaki Way, PO Box 42475, Maasai Mara National Reserve 00100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #65 of 117 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Tipilikwani Masai Mara Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
Tipilikwani Masai Mara Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve

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