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“A fantastic experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Kikoti Safari Camp

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Kikoti Safari Camp
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A fantastic experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2010

Kikoti Tented Camp was fantastic. The accommodation was lovely and the staff really made us feel genuinely welcome. We stayed here for 2 nights and cant wait to go back.
We would recommend this to everyone.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank michelleaussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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Switzerland
Level Contributor
58 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2010

We stayed in 5 lodges/camps in our 10-day safari and Kikoti was the lowlight.

The tents are located on top of a hill in the eastern side of the Tarangire NP, thus offering a very nice view of the Silale swamp and the sunset.

The energy in each tent is generated by solar cells, however the capacity was not enough. Even saving energy at night, there was no energy available in the following early morning before dawn. This also happened in a neighboring tent, where one guest kept shouting for a long time before the staff brought her a flashlight (there is no walkie-talkie inside the tent as it was the case in another tented camp that we stayed).

Although the staff was as friendly and nice as in all the other places that we stayed, their English skills and training were sub-par. Just as an example, I requested to be woken-up at 5:50 AM for an early game drive. One guy came at 4:15 AM. I asked him to come back at 5:50, and he returned at 5:15 !! The phrase "You are welcome" was used out of context all the time.

Our agent chose the Kikoti because we were interested in a night game drive, after a very interesting experience in South Africa. The drive was very frustating. It took less than one hour, and only a dik-dik and a chameleon were seen. At least the skill of the ranger to spot a tiny green chameleon in a green shrub in the darkness was amazing. Or was it a fixed rubber chameleon toy made in China ?

Whoever is interested to stay at Kikoti has to weight its distance from the central area of the NP. Kikoti is located outside the park, and it is a 30'-45´ drive from the camp until one starts seeing animals in large numbers.

On the positive side, the tent was very clean and confortable. The proximity to the Silale swamp offered a chance to spot many acquatic birds that were not seen at the other sites.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank FromAuw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2010

Kikoti was definitely our favourite accommodation of a 10 day safari around the northern circuit (Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Manyara, Arusha). It may not have been the most luxurious of the places we stayed at, and it may not have been in as idyllic a setting a some of the others, but there was something about the friendliness of the people there coupled with the great accommodation, food and setting that made this place special.
Arrival and checkin was simple and pleasant, all the meals we had including the packed lunch during our game drive were excellent, and a good mix of local and western cuisine which was good as there is no point going to a country and not sampling the local offerings. Accommodations were really pleasant and comfortable.............the large tents raised ten feet above the ground are both aesthetically pleasing on the outside and inside and give you everything you would need. Because the camp is not fenced you also have the added bonus of some of the local wildlife making their way close to where you are.................we were woken one morning by some jackals, and had the enjoyable sounds of hyenas and lions sending us to sleep at night.
The staff were definitely the highlight though, from the moment we arrived they were friendly without being over bearing, and as helpful and informative as any guide would have been.
Kikoti's location whilst not in the immediate area that your going to go for drives, is still in a beautiful location that is full of wildlife of many varieties, albeit not as much of the big tourist attracting types.
Definitely somewhere we would recommend and return to.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brookson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2010

We were in east Africa for a month, and among other things, stayed in about 5 tented camps. For a number of reasons, we enjoyed Kikoti the least. Having said that, it also was the least expensive place we stayed, so perhaps there is a correlation there.

As with previous accommodations, there was someone there to greet us with towels and juice, much appreciated after a long drive. We went to the reception/lounge for an orientation and offered soft drinks. Then, during the orientation, I was informed that no soft drinks were included in our package and that I’d be paying for the ones we’d just ordered! My misunderstanding, I suppose, but I assumed Full Board included non alcoholic beverages, as it had at our other camps. It did not. Not even water with meals. Juice and instant coffee at breakfast, that’s it. During the orientation I also let them know that I’d really like to do the walking safari, as sitting in vehicles every day was really wearing on us. They said they’d look into it and get back to us.

We settled into our room, and promptly found a scorpion... black, and quite a bit larger than the last one (at a previous camp). Are we cursed, or does this happen to everybody? :) The rooms are pleasant, large and comfortable. Two very small bottles of water are provided for brushing your teeth. Our netting had a few small holes, which I repaired with tape brought for that purpose.

Kikoti has great people that seem genuinely interested in making you happy. The staff are awesome. The common areas have amazing wood furniture, wood bar and walls that defy description, they’re truly remarkable. The food is fairly average... they have really good soups, but main courses kind of blah. Coffee is gross.

There is only one other group of people here, a big German family that seems very uninterested in meeting us, so my son and I just kept to ourselves. It’s a huge camp, where is everybody?

Our game drive (with out driver, not a Kikoti guide) was pleasant. Tarangire is a beautiful park, and it’s nice to see so much GREEN after being in Amboseli. The elephants here are the best we have seen on our trip, so many. The herds are huge, and like the giraffes, they seem unintimidated by vehicles, coming right up beside the cars and crossing the road in front of you. Amazing. Our driver doesn’t have much to say, and on some of the less eventful stretches my son and I actually fell asleep on the game drive (we've had a lot of game drives on this vacation!).

We arrive back at Kikoti for lunch, and for the news that we will not be receiving a walking safari as there is no one available to provide it. Great. So we spent the afternoon reading our books and hanging out. We were not offered any other activities, no sundowners, invites to the campfire, nothing.

Kikoti had the best deal on laundry of anywhere we stayed: as much as you could cram into a big straw basket for $20. They also did underwear, which most places do not.

Overall, Kikoti was the most disappointing place we stayed at during our entire trip. There was nothing to do. The itinerary describes it as FBA: Full Board and Activities. Well, I don’t think they provided full board (no soft drinks! No water!) and absolutely there weren’t any activities. With the exception of our game drive, it was dull. We loved the people and the service... but with so many choices of places to stay, this camp would have had to do a lot more to get us to come back. Please look up some of my reviews of other camps in east africa for comparison.

  • Stayed December 2009
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank anonymouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State College, Pa
Level Contributor
123 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2009

Located a few kilometers outside Tarangire Park, Kikoti Camp undoubtedly became our favorite of the tented camps we have used in Tanzania. Each unit, more like an a-frame, is on a permanent raised platform with attractive thatched roofs over a spacious canvas tent. The huge bed with mosquito netting had plenty of walking room around it. Twin stone wash basins, a nice size shower stall and toilet area made for a great three night stay. A separate lounge/dining/bar pavilion was located mid-camp and was attractively done with wooden decos including excellent carved logs and the like. One could sit on a spacious veranda with two comfy chairs and watch critters in the woodland immediately before the tent. The camp is not fenced and old dung around the area suggested the presence of large herbivores (including elephant and Cape Buffalo) when vegetation is in abundance. Birdlife abounds! Staff (ie, the bow and arrow armed escorts, the servers, house keeper, barman, etc) could not have been any more friendly or helpful. On more than one night we heard lions and hyena in the distance. Food was excellent! Our first meal was cream celery soup, lamb kabob, stuffed chicken breast, chick peas in tomato sauce, vegetable salad, potatoes, cheese cake, rolls, tea and coffee. Soda was $2 per bottle, beer at $4 and for our laundry we paid $20 for all we could cram in a rather good size basket. In the evening we had plenty of hot water but on at least one morning not so much. Given our stay was in November, occupancy was on the low side with only a few other travelers in camp. The one “downside” of Kikoti Camp, if you will, is the distance from the park itself. But, since the park is not fenced, game is free to roam and more and more animals will frequent the area as vegetation responds to seasonal rains. Should we return to Tarangire National Park we would definitely consider staying at Kikoti Camp again.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank wegoustay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2009

I spent two weeks roaming around Tanzania (safari & zanzibar) and Kikoti was most probably the best camp where we stayed...great rooms, great staff, great food...excellent value!
Unfortunately, during the dinner we left some money on top of the room´s desk and part of it was stolen. When we exited the room for dinner we had 4 men waiting on the bottom of the stairs. Two of them escorted us to the dinning room and two stayed there and were still there when we got back to our room. On the next night, already in an hotel in Serengeti, when we counted our money we noticed that there was a 100 dolar bill missing and four 10.000 TZN Xillings bills also missing. The only time where our money was not with us was during the dinner in Kikoti, so we are positively sure that we were stolen in your camp. Although we were not carefull as we should be (not carrying our money to dinner), it is a shame that in such a lovely camp one cannot feel safe.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DGomes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2009

My brother and I are backpackers and photographers and we stayed two nights at Kikoti Tented Camp during a twelve-day safari.We booked through Journey to Africa and their Tanzanian counterparts Asilia Tours and Sokwe Tours.

Staying here should be on your list of 100-things-to-do-before-you-die. Kikoti is definitely a camp, though it is not tented. The rooms are A-frame buildings on stilts. They are open-air but protected with mosquito netting. There is a shower, toilet, and wash basins in every room. However, there are no charging outlets in the rooms. You must take your re-chargers to the main office.

The experience is rustic - it is glorified camping with limitations on water usage and electricity, but it is comfortable and memorable. At night there are armed watchmen who must escort you between your room and the restaurant/bar area because of the danger of wild animals.

The food is very good. The chef is Indian (from Delhi) and so was the food: curry, chickpea soup, lamb, chicken, vegetables. Of the places we stayed on this trip, I think Kikoti had the best food. Strangely, the only coffee that was available was instant, which came up really short in my opinion. I left a comment to that effect and I know another couple commented, too, so presumably Kikoti will change this soon.

The manager Zoltan is Hungarian. He seems a little uptight, but soon you realize it is only because he is so eager to please. There is a tip box and the tips are split evenly between all the workers - seen and unseen. Of the places we stayed on this trip we left the largest tip here.

If you are offered a 1km "Sun-downer" nature hike to nearby Kikoti Rock, I highly recommend that you do it. The hike is escorted by Steve (one of the bartenders) who is very knowledgeable on the local flora and fauna. The hike ends with a climb of Kikoti Rock and cocktails at the summit. The view is staggering. If you are a photographer, bring your wide angle lens and a graduated neutral density filter and you may capture the best African sunset of your trip.

  • Liked — The location, view, and unique experience.
  • Disliked — Instant coffee
  • Stayed January 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BoulderWorldTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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