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“Best tented camp I have ever stayed at”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Kikoti Safari Camp

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Kikoti Safari Camp
Spruce Grove, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“Best tented camp I have ever stayed at”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

This was the most unique and purposeful tented camps that I have stayed at in over 30 years. the food and accomodations were perfect. Very cool with Masaii walking you to your stilted tents in the dark. This is a not for profit lodge where all proceeds go to preserve the elephant population in Tarangire National Park through antipoaching measures and other means. We loved are stay there and would recommend to all. Huge amount of wildlife in the park.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maisha_Kikoti, Manager at Kikoti Safari Camp, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Wow, what a fabulous review! thank you so much for taking the time to leave us your thoughts, we are so pleased you enjoyed your stay at Kikoti camp.
Karibu tena - welcome again!
Alice
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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151 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013

Four of recently stayed here. First, I have to say that the food here is great. Even though it's generally served buffet style it is just excellent. Some friends of ours stayed here last year and weren't impressed with the food so maybe there's been a change of chefs since then.

This camp is different from many camps in that the camp is not fenced in, meaning that the animals can wander through the grounds if they decide to do so. While you're free to walk the paths during the day, at night a Masai has to accompany you to your cabin. The cabins are located on stilts and generally seem to have a very nice view. The cabins have a thatched roof but the interior is canvas. There are no electrical outlets in the cabins but there is a "charging station" up by reception where you're free to leave things charging. Electric lights are available in the cabins at night starting around dark; supposedly the power goes off sometimes during the night but we never had a problem with this, probably because we were fast asleep.

The staff seemed interested in their work and their guests. Dinners are served in the dining area which is open air but has a thatched roof. Sometimes the tables are moved out onto the patio/fire pit area for meals, which is really very nice.

We generally really enjoyed our time here. While here we really felt that we were "on safari". However, there are some things you need to know about the camp:
One thing is that the hot water is supplied to the cabins by someone going to the back of each cabin twice a day and building a small fire in the contraption they have. It heats the water up and it seems to stay hot all day. We never ran out of hot water (there were two of us in the cabin). However, sometimes when the wind was right, some of the smoke from the fire would blow into the cabin for periods of time. It certainly wasn't strong but if smoke bothers you then you need to be aware of it.

Secondly, some of the cabins have a problem with birds and bats living in the area between the thatched and canvas roofs. Our cabin seemed to have a lot of them; our friends next door said that, at most, they might have had a few bats. Let me be clear, they are not in the cabin at all but between the thatched and canvas ceiling; we were able to hear them moving around and making noises during the night and sometimes during the day. Danny, the manager, said that they are in the process of addressing this and already have a plan.

We had planned on a night game drive but this was cancelled because their vehicle was broken. My understanding is that for the night drives they have to have a vehicle with a seat mounted on the front bumper for a spotter. We were told they have three of these but two were out for servicing and the third one developed a problem.

This isn't too big a deal but for those of us who use a safety razor to shave, there is no hot water at the lavatories; cold only. You can shave in the shower but there is no mirror.

The drive from the camp to one of the park entrances is about 20 minutes, depending on how your guide drives. The area between the camp and the park is an area that is used for legal hunting so the game there isn't particularly plentiful though we saw some.

At the time we were there there was no internet access which also meant that they could not take credit cards for anything (i.e. drinks with dinner, special activities). Danny told us an elephant had taken out their satellite dish. So, be prepared with extra cash just in case. There are optional activities (such as the night drive) that may or may not be included in your package stay.

They do offer laundry service but it is hand washed and sun dried. Do take note if you're planning on throwing away some clothes that it's probably best to do it as you're leaving. One of our number threw away some things only to find them washed, dried and folded the next day.
There is a bar in the dining area. Wine tends to be expensive here; the "house red" was $10/glass.

As with all the camps, if you are there in the dry season, be prepared for lots of dust when you're out on the game drives.

Note to other gay travelers: During our time in Africa we stayed at three camps and two hotel or hotel-type places. It was always interesting at check-in orientation as to how the manager would handle the fact that the reservation for two men had requested one bed. Now keeping in mind that we were traveling with a sister and brother-in-law, at orientation Danny, the manager, simply announced that one of our reserved cabins had one bed and one had two beds. Before I could suggest that this wasn't going to work the couple we were traveling with said that they wanted the cabin with the twin beds, so it all worked out. This was the only place we stayed where we weren't asked if we really wanted just one bed in our cabin. At the time we were there the camp was mostly empty.

Bottom line: taking note of the things I've mention above, I would certainly recommend this camp . It's an interesting experience and is rather unique. Again, we found the food to be great, the staff to be welcoming and the accommodations to be rustic in an interesting way.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelman1370
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maisha_Kikoti, Manager at Kikoti Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
Wow! Thank you so much for your thorough review!
As Im sure my husband explained to you, we recently had some major work done to our rooms at Kikoti, unfortunately due to an unprecedented amount of rainfall at the time of renovating, some of the work was unable to be completed. While most of our rooms now boast a fabulous 'bat and beasties-proof' roof and ceiling there are still a few rooms that will need to be addressed in our next 'low season'. During the renovations we have also added hot water to our sinks, and plug sockets in the rooms.
Regrettably the camp does not accept card payments. Although we do have a wireless internet facility it is not reliable enough to accept payments from our guests, therefore all payments made in camp must be made in cash.
It is extremely important to us that all our guests feel welcome throughout their stay, and we do our absolute best to accommodate all rooming requests. We will confirm, on arrival your room allocations to ensure you have the facilities requested, and that you are happy and comfortable.
I can only apologise that we were unable to offer your our night game drive experience during your stay. Im sure you will appreciate that the vehicles in camp can really take a beating on the African roads and from time to time need a thorough service!!
We really hope to welcome you back again soon!
Alice
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

Great setting with very friendly staff. A wonderful feeling of being surrounded by nature and wild life combined with modern comfort such as free WIFI access. The tents are well decorated and nicely done. All the hotel profits go to the elephant conservation efforts. We had a wonderful time and recommend to anyone that appreciates staying in a beautiful hotel in touch with nature.

Room Tip: No swimming pool or fitness centre.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fatima W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maisha_Kikoti, Manager at Kikoti Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
Thank you so much for your lovely review of our camp! We are delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay with us here.
I see in your 'room tip' you mention that there is currently no pool or fitness centre...we are excited to announce that we will be adding our pool facility very soon!! We are also researching the practicalities of a fitness circuit within a camp environment - so stay tuned...!!
In the meantime Karibu tena! (welcome again!)
Alice
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Axbridge
Level Contributor
157 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

After a dusty drive from Arusha we were warmly welcomed with cold towels and drink, given a safety talk by Danny and shown to our "tent" . This happened to be a large wooden structure raised off the ground on poles. The bathroom facilities were excellent, plenty of hot water, flush toilet, 2 washbasins and plenty of hanging space. The bed was very comfortable, came with mosquito net as did all the places we stayed in Tanzania. There was also a large veranda with table and chairs and a fantastic view of the sunset.
It is a small camp so service was personal and very good, the Maasai lit the fire each evening in their traditional way, served our food then escorted us back to our tent by torchlight.
One small point, there are no curtains so we undressed in the shower area!!
The food was adequate but the whole ambience of the camp was perfect. Often Tarangire is passed by in a rush to get to the Serengeti but this place is a must on anyone`s itinerary.

Room Tip: We had room 1 which was nearest the main dining and bar areas but far enough away not to have too mu...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LadyGAxbridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maisha_Kikoti, Manager at Kikoti Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
Thank you for leaving us a review on trip advisor!
We do not have curtains in our tents-but please be assured that other guests can not see in! I appreciate it may feel a little strange not to have curtains in your rooms, but here in the African bush' this really isn't an issue. Our tents are generously spaced and each room has an overhanging roof, which means although you can see out of your windows, others cannot see directly in!!
We agree, Tarangire should certainly not be bypassed, and we hope to welcome you here again in the near future!!
Alice
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
48 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013

My tour group/family stayed here on the 3rd and 4th nights of our stay in Tanzania. When I first heard of these "tented camps," I was scared--I'm not exactly outdoorsy! In the end, I couldn't have imagined a better stay in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The rooms are amazing. The views from the bedroom are spectacular--each bed faces out toward the Terengeti National Park. My boyfriend and I could hear animals wandering around our tents through the night---it was unreal! The rest of the tent was perfect from the wood carvings on the shower to the animal skin bathroom and shower "doors." On top of the accommodations, the food at the restaurant was excellent. There was a lot of variety to choose from although I would eat the soup there everyday if I could! The Manager Danny is wonderful as well. He acted as though we were all his houseguests, not just his hotel guests. He took the time to explain facts about the area to us and to make sure we all had a perfect stay.

I thought I'd be sad that the internet was not working but after finding out that the reason was that elephants tripped on the cables somewhere on the campgrounds, I was more than happy being disconnected for a few days.

Now if I can only get back there next year when the pool is installed!

Room Tip: They are all great!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rachel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maisha_Kikoti, Manager at Kikoti Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Yes, you will simply have to find a way to return next year- so you can enjoy our brand new pool that we have arriving soon!!
Thank you so much for your glowing write up, we are so pleased you enjoyed your stay, and ecstatic to be your favourite! Its important to us that you get the most from your stay, and we love talking to all our guests about the park, the animals, and the massai people.
We hope to welcome you back again in the future!!
Alice
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

This was our first stop on our safari. We spent 2 nights here. Of all the places we stayed, this was our favorite! The people here were so kind, so welcoming and so charming. Maybe because it's a smaller camp? The touches were fabulous: a real wakeup "call" with coffee on our porch at 6am, watching the African dawn. A hot water bottle buried in our bed. Lovely sheets and amenities. Your hot water is heated, at least in the AM, by firewood, so to smell that wafting over you while in bed or drinking coffee was sublime. The food was excellent - a mix of "American" and Indian cuisine, perhaps? There was plenty of it, too - buffet style dining. Lastly, this place is now non-profit. All proceeds go to the African Wildlife Trust - an organization, that among many things, strives to protect the last few elephants. Come here, stay here! You won't regret it. It's charming. It's Africa!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maisha_Kikoti, Manager at Kikoti Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Thank you for such a lovely review! We are so proud to be your favourite! It certainly is a charming place to stay and we agree that by being a slightly smaller property, the feel here is very intimate and unique. We have spent alot of time working with our chefs on a new menu, and are thrilled that you agree it is 'excellent'!
Karibu tena - you're welcome again!
Alice
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holderness
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

After a long drive from Arusha on very rutted roads & seeing our first elephants up close, we arrived at Kikoti with a warm welcome, refreshing wet face cloth, & yummy juice. Danny gave us a thorough overview of the camp as well as safety tips. The very friendly & smiling Maasai brought our luggage up into our lodge - roughing it? I don't think so. An "Out of Africa" feel with satin throw pillows, warm colors, great linens, draped mosquito netting set up at night, 2 sinks, shower "stall", & separate toilet. Night sounds were enchanting. Meals were freshly prepared with quality ingredients & breakfast was complete with an omelette station! So picturesque with covered open air lounge/bar area. Being close to Tarangire was wonderful & we saw many elephants - these magnificent animals must be protected from the ivory poachers. As our t-shirt says, "ivory only belongs on elephants." It's a wonderful park & having water year round assures good populations of animals. We also saw many zebras, impalas, giraffes, leopard with 2 cubs, buffalo, & many birds. Danny, the new manager, has many exciting plans & is passionate about protecting the elephants' habitat & future. This became our favorite lodge during our 11 day Roy Safari trip! Please consider donating to the non-profit African Wildlife Trust.

Room Tip: All locations are easily accessible to the main lodge.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bebenh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maisha_Kikoti, Manager at Kikoti Safari Camp, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
wow, we are delighted to hear Kikoti was your favourite lodge on safari! We know we're biased, but it truly is a very special place, with all the profits going straight back into helping the conservation of the animals you come to see! We certainly are passionate about protecting what we have here, and we are so pleased that by staying here with us you were able to help us too!
Alice
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kikoti Safari Camp

Property: Kikoti Safari Camp
Address: PO Box 284 | Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kikoti Safari Camp 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Kikoti Tented Camp Hotel Tarangire National Park

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