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“Good enough, but big and lacking character”
Review of Kilima Safari Camp

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Kilima Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 10, 2012

Kilima was the only place with vacancy around Amboseli when we booked our trip on rather short notice. I am trying to review objectively, but it really just wasn't our kind of place and we wouldn't return if other choices were available.
+ Good service standard throughout: at reception, restaurant, bar and on the grounds, we were always made to feel welcome
+ Hair dryer available upon request at the desk -- my companion was thrilled about this!
+ Good variety of food, though all meals are served buffet style. They seem to have lots of Indian and Chinese guests and we were grateful to see great Indian and Chinese choices on the spread.
+ Huge (and frankly, kind of ridiculous) outdoor pool complex. It's set off a bit from the main lodge, but we were amazed to see a true resort-style pool setup here. It wasn't getting much use though and I had a hard time imagining zoning out by the pool when you've come all the way to Amboseli.
+ The restaurant has an observation deck. It's a treat to head up there with a drink at sunset or get up early to watch sunrise

- The complex is huge, sprawling and without much character. It's clearly catering to very large package tours with a mostly older clientele.
- It was lacking the outdoor common areas that other properties seemed to have. It was the only place we stayed on our entire trip where we saw zero wildlife on the grounds or from the grounds.
- The tent was what I'd call faux-luxury, much like you can see in newer hotels across China. The shower door is frosted glass, but it doesn't close correctly so water spills out onto the floor. The toilet is in its own closet, but the door doesn’t close all the way -- not so private after all. At first glance, the shower stall appears to be tiled, but when you look closely it's actually large panels of plastic sheeting made to appear as tile. The list goes on and on.
- Location is nice, right at gate into Amboseli, but it's also surrounded by Masai villages. Every time we exited in our vehicle, we had groups of Masai women surround us in attempt to sell trinkets.

Generally, this place is certainly serviceable, but we would have been happier to spend much less money and stay at a place with more character.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jt1929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 28, 2012

Your very own cottage-tent facing Mt. Kilimanjaro with its little patio. What more could a nature-lover want ?

Beautiful tents, superb location, Tasty food ~ the hotel was simply put a haven.

The hotel is also half a km away from the entrance gate to the park which is a huge plus point since the other hotels were quite far and the roads were bad.

We started our trip to Kenya in Amboseli, and an awesome start in a perfect location.

Room Tip: Room no 14 is directly facing Kilimanjaro with no obstruction.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank bombay_dan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madahotels_11, Public Relations Manager at Kilima Safari Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2016

Hi Dan,

Thank you for your kind reviews and choosing to stay with us. We hope to get to host you again at Kilima Safari Camp for a much better experience.

Ahsante sana.

Regards
Paul

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

The Kilima Safari Camp was the first stop for us, our 19 year old son and the 2 of us, during our weeklong tour of Kenya. The camp, reached after a long drive from Nairobi airport, was deceptively luxurious. We spent two nights there and enjoyed every moment of it, in spite of the fact that electricity was only available during scheduled hours. The accommodation was extremely comfortable, but at the same time suited to the the environment. The food quality (as well as the quantity) was excellent and we really used to look forward to the dinner hours. The staff were helpful, without being intrusive and the facilities at the Camp perfect for our needs. The occupancy during our visit time was quite high, but, in spite of it, there was no compromise on the service.

Room Tip: We stayed in a triple occupancy tent. But I presume that all the tents would be equally comfortable...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Abc123Mumbai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

We really had a very good experience here in Kilima Camp. The fact that it's facing towards the mighty Kilimanjaro is fantastic. The hotel itself is very well maintained and the rooms and buildings seem quite new and modern. I don't really know why but the time we went, we were almost the only hotel guests. The staff was very friendly and helpful, however, this might be due to the fact that they didn't have any more guests to serve, but overall, we were very pleased. For me it was a little too luxurious, but on the other hand, it's nice to be able to rest and take a good shower in luxury once we get home from a safari. The only thing that we didn't like was the masaai traditional dances and such. It's pretty obvious, but after visiting a few hotels, we have seen the same thing over and over. They could try to think if some more originality is possible, However, that's not a major thing. The thing that annoyed us a little more was one of the Maasai, trying to convince us to pay his studies. (actually directly asking us if we could pay him a few thousand of dollars which we wisely refused) Then he asked if he could have our flashlight, which we gave to him as it was the least we could do. It's not nice to have people asking you these things directly, you feel like forced to give something and if not, you feel guilty. However, we quickly forgot about that little thing as the hotel was just too nice to start making a point of it.

As a final conclusion, i can really recommend this hotel to anyone visiting the Amboseli National Park. (Except for the real adventurers, you will find this too luxurious)

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Dennis G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

It was absolutely wonderful! The combination of nature and luxury! Beautiful tents, with spacy. luxurious bathrooms, in the middle of savanna!
It was a new experience for us, but very enjoyable. We felt as we were in adventure movie- these spacious, nicely furnished tents allowed us to have close contact with nature and yet- the spirit of travelling with style, like in "Out of Africa" Unforgettable!
Very nice restaurant with a very good food. Stunning views. I would love to spent there at least two weeks! I would like to come back!

Room Tip: I think that all the tents are more or less the same. Always choose the one with a better (undisturb...
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MagdaCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2012

The entrance of the resort does no do it justice. It was beautiful. If you told me there was such a thing as luxury tents, I would not have been able to picture that before arriving at Kilima Safari Camp. Our "tent' rooms were magnificent.
The bedding should have come with a order form, because we all wanted a set of the bedding to home. (Sorry imported)

The decor of the hotel authentic. The dramatic sculptures and art lent to hours of admiration. Everything was grand, including a 6 or 7 story staircase in the middle of the dining room that led to a lookout of the camp and Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was an oasis and far more similar in scale to a resort then a hotel. I had never traveled to Africa or out of the states aside from Mexico and Puerto Rico so I did not know what to expect. The food simply amazing and everyone in our party always found healthy and sinful indulgences. (They made my husband white scrambled eggs.) I could hardly complain about a thing when I was constantly being served tea and cookies upon request. We spent very little on extras. The pool was cool and refreshing. My older daughters enjoyed massages by the pool a real highlight for them.

We were just outside Amboseli National Park and went on 3 game drives. I have to admit the game drives were tough. The weather was hot and the terrain was rough, but to see trees full of elephants, entire generations of elephants, was worth a little discomfort. We would return from the bumpy trail breathless and dusty only to be greeted with hot towels and cool water.
Very Important...
My daughters we free to roam the camp freely. We felt very protected and safe. It was hard to imagine needing to go elsewhere so outside of game drives we remained on site. The New Year celebration was the second night at Kilima. The Mada Hotel family was in town and the entire resort was full of guests who were as friendly as cousins. New Years Eve was a multi cultural experience. The music was disco, the outfits were from around the world. Our entire family ages 20, 17, 10, my husband and I danced until very late and the toast was inspired!

Finally, what really impressed me and my husband was how sustainable the entire operation was. Each tent was equipped with its own solar panel for heating hot water, bottled water was plentiful and bottled in house and there was not a bit of waste to be found. Many of the staff lived on site saving on transportation and the gardens and live stock were on site as well. I am often frustrated when I travel and see places offering styrofoam cups for coffee and blasting air conditioning to cool the outdoors, this resort was very efficient, right down to ceiling fans in every room. It was an amazing operation.

Room Tip: One far away from your children, they will be fine a few tents away. All rooms had breathtaking vie...
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Miriam G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2012

The tents were well done, the wildlife was right in front of us, felt very safe there.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank Richard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kilima Safari Camp

Address: Kilma Gate, Amboseli National Park, 00100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Amboseli Eco-system
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Amboseli Eco-system
Price Range: $358 - $420 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Kilima Safari Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
Kilima Safari Camp Hotel Amboseli Eco-System

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