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“Lovely resort” 4 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

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andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
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4.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   C12 Keekorok, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Lovely resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We stayed at Kichwa Tembo for two nights / 3 days. We flew into the Masai Mara from Nairobi. As we landed we saw our ranger (Meme) and our jeep waiting for us in isolation plus elephants, zebra etc which was simply breathtaking. A lovely touch was that Meme had set up a table with tea/coffee and some snacks in the middle of the Mara before we drove to the camp which was a short 10 minute drive away.

The Kichwa Tembo camp is very comfortable. We had one of the tents which was very comfortable with an ensuite shower and toilet. Meals were served at a central restaurant and bar area. There is also a nice pool.

Our ranger, Meme was simply great and very professional and experienced. We managed to see the Big4 but the leopard remained elusive....an excuse to go back I guess!

The camp was very comfortable and is going through significant refurbishment and will become even better.

We went to a local Masai village which was OK but a little commercialised in truth.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tiwana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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460 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
Date | Rating
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English first
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013 via mobile

I have experienced &Beyond before, in South Africa and India, so the quality of the propery and their service didn't come as a surprise to me. It was predictably exceptional, if you know what I mean.

We were part of a large corporate group that occupied all of Kichwa Tembo and more for three nights. And what fun it was.

The great thing about the property is that they have so much of their private reserve that one can have an extensive game drive even without entering the national park. This enables very early morning or night drives in the dark. In fact some of our best "moments" occurred outside the Park area.

The &Beyond properties are best in class but what sets them apart is the people. Right from the lodge manager to every person who had to take care of us, we only experienced warmth. A smile here, a song there to celebrate a birthday, an unexpected twist in your itinerary -- Kichwa had all that for us.

We had two wonderful rangers Benson and Alice who took us around over 6 safari drives. Their knowledge of the Mara is intimate and they can customise the drives to suit your viewing goals. We had the most amazing experience - watching a couple of lionesses stalking a dazzle of zebras, then eventually the lead lioness killed a zebra and the entire pride feasted on the kill before a pack of hyenas threatened and drove the lions away.

There is no doubt that Kichwa Tembo is expensive but there isn't also any doubt that it's worth the money you spend. Go for it.

  • Stayed June 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
Helpful?
1 Thank SriniSRA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Botucatu, SP
Level Contributor
64 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

The hotel is well runned by &beyond. The tents were very nice. The food was not very good. All meals were ok. But, besides that everything was great. Our ranger was perfect! I would recomend this hotel

  • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Deborah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

This summer was our second stay at Kichwa and as usual, it was fantastic. We now almost can't imagine a summer *without* a stay at Kichwa. Daniel N., our guide for the second year in a row, has eyes like an eagle and an endless store of knowledge about the Mara; Mildred and Joseph were both fantastically helpful within the camp as well--Joseph helped organize an amazing picnic that we took on an all-day drive down to the Sand River to catch the end of the migration. We didn't do a balloon safari this year, but we did last year, and it was worth every single dime. An unbelievable way to see the Mara. We've stayed in the "luxury" tents and the "standard" tents and they're all excellent: we loved the adventure of walking through the forest to the luxury tents, and we liked staying nearer to camp in the standard tents. Kichwa is magical. We'll be back.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Helpful?
2 Thank deborahw157
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

The service at this place sets it beyond even some of the apparently best hotels in the world: all staff were attentive and seemed genuinely interested in making our stay as comfortable as possible. Maggie, the manager there, leads a brilliant team. Food there is very good, and they provide for dietary needs, although breakfast out on safari is not near the standard the restaurant provides. Our guide was evidently very knowledgable and seemed to have the uncanny power to see animals from miles away, even when camouflaged in the grass. The only slight issue is having to share the safari truck with others, but this really wasn't a major inconvenience. Some lovely touches that made our stay so personable were: the provision of tea, coffee and biscuits at every opportunity, including when you arrive at the airstrip; the gentle wake-up calls in the morning; he turn-down service with hot-water bottles; but most touching of all was a little note my friend received on her bed wishing her a better night's sleep (someone must have overheard us at breakfast). I want to go back.

Room Tip: Get a tent with electricity, although the ones facing the open savannah have the most beautiful sett...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tom L L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
milwaukee, wisconsin
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We were camp hopping in the Mara this August and found Kichwa Tembo to be above average. We had to walk a mile to our tent, which was on the end of the line, but they were all pretty secluded, which was a plus - so we didn't mind walking so far. You just start out sooner to get back to the main area! We had 7 or 8 giraffes browsing right in front of our secluded tent, and we went on a walking safari there, which was interesting. At night, a big fire is started, and the Masai come to sing and dance. We had a very nice time here.

Room Tip: If you have walking problems, request a tent closer to reception. It's a good 10-minute walk to...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank burtoninarabia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Overall, we had a great stay at Kichwa Tembo! The staff was friendly and welcoming, our driver/guide was fantastic, and the food was very good.

One of the best features of Kichwa Tembo is the presence of Maasai naturalist guides - when we were there it was Johnathan and Erik, who are just fantastic. They are available every day to talk about the Maasai culture, and they lead daily walks in the areas surrounding the camp. We loved talking with them, and they were so nice to our 10 year old son. They made a bow and arrows for him and spent a lot of time teaching him how to use it. They also bring in other Maasai warriors for a little show and jumping competition every few nights. One night they brought our son some Maasai clothes to wear had him participate in the jumping competition with them. What a fabulous experience for him! We've been to other camps and have visited Maasai villages, but we feel like we learned much more about the culture and way of life by just chatting with Johnathan and Erik after lunch a couple of times.

Our driver/guide Jackson was amazing as well. He always did a great job of positioning us perfectly for taking great pictures. He had a knack for getting to the good animal sightings early so that we always had a great view. He really went out of his way to make sure we had a good experience.

Food is served buffet style and is quite good. There is always a meat and a vegetarian option and plenty of fresh salads, and the desserts are great. We stayed 4 nights and found there to be a very nice variety in the meals. You also have the option of taking a picnic breakfast or lunch on game drives, which makes for a nice change of pace and lets you stay out on the drives longer.

The staff is very attentive. Someone from the office stopped by our table each night to make sure that everything was going well. We had no problems during our stay, but I'm sure if there had been any issues they would have been addressed promptly. They had a great surprise for us during our last dinner - they brought by a "going-away" cake, saying they hoped we would come back soon. Our son absolutely loved that little impromptu celebration, and we were very touched by that kindness.

The classic tents are clean and well-appointed, with plenty of space for an extra bed for our son. The room steward even puts hot water bottles in the beds at night, which is a very nice touch. We followed a TripAdvisor suggestion to request a tent with a view over the Mara plains, but as it turned out the view is obstructed by trees. Our tent overlooked a nice lawn but we couldn't see much of the actual park and we were quite close to other tents. When we sat on our porch we could see all of the neighboring tents and guests - it felt kind of like being in a busy campground rather than a luxury tented camp. It would have been better to be in one of the tents that was more concealed by trees, and get our views of the plains by sitting at the pool. Some reviews have recommended staying in the tents closer to the main lodge so you don't have to walk as far, but I would recommend the farther tents. It really isn't that long of a walk unless you have mobility problems, and you will get more privacy. Note that there are two types of tents - classic and luxury. The luxury tents are slightly larger and have hairdryers and a plug for charging batteries. If you stay in the classic tents, you'll have to charge your things at the charging stations in the bar area (get there early in the evenings!). Luxury tents are farther away from the main lodge.

The one downside is that this is a very large camp (over 40 tents), so it can feel pretty crowded, especially when large groups come through. Some travelers don't seem to understand the concept that tents don't have actual walls, so other guests can easily hear all the noise you're making. Most of the time things quieted down by 10:30 pm (which isn't all that early when you're getting up for early morning game drives!). But on our last night we were kept up by loud talking well into the night. The next morning we discovered that the loudest of the voices belonged to the leader of a large tour group, who also liked to discuss plans with his group loudly in the middle of the restaurant during meals - I would expect more considerate behavior from a travel professional. I don't think the Kichwa Tembo staff can do much to mitigate the effect of people like him, but it certainly left a poor impression in an otherwise excellent stay. Maybe some gentle reminders to guests (and tour leaders!) to be considerate of others would help. We were staying in the classic tents, which were very close to each other. It might be a bit quieter in the luxury tents? I'm not sure if they have any more distance between them. I suspect in order to guarantee a bit more quiet one would have to pay a whole lot more and stay in the Bateleur Camp, where you probably would be buying more considerate neighbors.

Really though, you can't go wrong with Kichwa Tembo. We would definitely recommend it and hope to come back again sometime!

Room Tip: Classic tents #1-14 are closest to the main area and theoretically overlook the Mara grasslands (but...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank B R
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

Property: 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 #5 of 135 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp 4*
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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