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“Luxury in the Masai Mara”

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andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 5, 2009

We stayed at Kichwa Tembo for our 2 night/3 day safari, booked via JT Safaris. The hotel came highly recommended by Julius and certainly did not disappoint.

The accommodation was fantastic. Beds were extremely comfortable. The tents were spacious and spotlessly clean. Shower was great (In fact the bed and the shower were much better here, than they were at our Beach Hotel!) Also, we had great views across the Masai Mara from our tent.

We were very well looked after. The level of service was exceptional. The Kenyan people are so friendly and happy. Special mention to Joshua,Ibrahim and Moses

The food was excellent. I am a vegetarian and so I was a bit worried about mealtimes. Our waiter Ibrahim was great. The soups here are delicious and when I mentioned how much I enjoyed the soups - he kindly brought me copies of the recipes!! There was plenty of choice and we all loved the food

We went on 4 game drives. Saw the BIG 5!! Our driver Moses was THE BEST! He even managed to find us a Leopard. We saw lions , 4 Black Rhino, Cheetahs, Elephants. etc etc. It was truly amazing. I could not believe just how much wildlife there is in the Mara. We spoke to several people back at the Beach Hotel who had been on safari to other game reserves (Tsavo East/West, Shimba Hills) and they saw animals there, but not on the scale of the Mara. If you want to see the BIG 5, then the Mara is the place to go.

We also did the balloon ride which was the experience of a lifetime. It was expensive, but well worth it......

Overall, I would highly recommend safari to the Mara and the Kichwa Tembo. It was the most amazing 3 days. Book with JT Safaris - very reasonable price compared to First Choice and other companies.

I cannot wait to return to this wonderful place.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Merbee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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552 - 558 of 622 reviews

Reviewed November 29, 2009

We booked our 3 day 2 night safari with JT Safaris in Ukunda. He was brilliant from start to finish and provided excellent all round service. He recommended Kichwa Tembo as he said we would see the end of the migration. We were a little worried as we had read a couple of dodgy reports about the food. How glad we were that we took no notice!! The food was fabulous; served by your own personal waiter. There was lots of choice and the quality was superb. Eating outside under the trees, looking out over the Mara was something very special.
Sammy our fabulous driver was simply the best! He could not do enough for us and ensured we got the very most out of each day and made certain we saw everything we had hoped for. The sight of wildebeest crossing the river whilst being hunted and eaten by enormous crocodiles will remain with me for the rest of my life......simply awesome!
The sheer volume of animals in the Mara is just amazing. We saw lots of lions - male and female. We even saw a pair of courting lions on their honeymoon...... WOW!!
Our tent was beautiful...spacious and spotlessly clean with a wonderful power shower built from stone. The early morning wake up call was made much more bearable by the hot drinks and biscuits brought by the friendly waiter to the tent and a happy, smiling face beaming JAMBO! The hot water bottle placed in the bed before retiring for the night was also a wonderful touch and very welcome.
The resident warthogs and their piglets ran freely around the camp and were so funny to watch; playing chase and generally enjoying the space and freedom.
Evening entertainment was fantastic with a visit from the Masai Villagers who performed their local pogo style jumping for us round the campfire.
The whole Kichwa Tembo experience was wonderful. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Yes, it's expensive but worth every single penny! We will definitely return. I cannot wait!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank kyle9205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2009

We stayed here at the end of October on a 3day - 2 night trip from Mombassa which we booked through Julius JT safaris - who we thoroughly recommend.
Kichwa Tembo is suitable for all - great but unobtrusive service - the food was wonderful - the position of the camp with views across the Mara is perfect we could not fault anything.
Sammy - our guide - was fantastic, he was highly knowledgeable and worked so hard to make sure we saw as much as possible.
We had planned this once in a lifetime trip ' to do Kenya' - but rest assured we will go back - thank you Kwicha Tembo - Sammy and Julius Tours

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank traveladdicts007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank tpearle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank yummymummyPoole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank gobofraggle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank bdoggiedog
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 #11 of 142 Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Price Range: $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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