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“great camp in Amboseli”
Review of Tortilis Camp

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Tortilis Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 April 2014

We started our Kenya safari with a short stay in Amboseli and really enjoyed Tortilis Camp. Upon arrival at Tortilis we were greeted by the very friendly relieve management couple Allan and his wife, and introduced to our home for the night.
Unfortunately it was cloudy, so we could not see Kilimanjaro, but one can imagine how spectacular the views are of the highest mountain in Africa, from the restaurant and bar area of the camp.
The tents are rather basic, but spacious and very comfortable. The en suite bathroom with double basins and shower is just right. Electricity comes from a generator, hot water from solar geysers. all environmentally friendly and working perfectly.
The afternoon saw a big storm coming through, which blew away most of the clouds and allowed us partial views of the snow topped Kilimanjaro during our afternoon safari. Wonderful to see elephant, giraffe and zebra with “the mountain” as backdrop.
Generally I thought that the game viewing was very good; we saw plenty of elephant and plane's game, but also stacks of hyena and some lions. The terrain is very flat and barren, but then you get the lush areas they call swamps, full of hippos and water birds.

Meals at Tortilis were very good, with lots of fresh produce from the camp’s own vegetable garden, prepared in simple, but very tasty ways. Lunch was buffet, and dinner a plated 3-course meal.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Angela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2014

Thank you so much for taking time to write your review. We're delighted you enjoyed your stay with us & also that the mountain made an appearance - she's quite temperamental!

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Reviewed 17 April 2014

A friend and I recently spent three days at Tortilis Camp. It was the first camp of our first safari, and we couldn't have had a better introduction to the safari experience. Managers Manuela and Andrea extended the warmest of welcomes and were unfailingly gracious and helpful during our stay. Joel, our guide, was simply the best and filled our daily game drives with magical animal sightings. One day we watched spellbound as a herd of over two hundred elephants emerged from the woods and filed right past our safari truck in a seemingly endless line into the sunset. It was a primal and emotional experience. As for the camp itself, one of the things that distinguishes Tortilis is the meticulous attention to detail: In the elegantly appointed tents and spacious bathrooms all of the accessories are carefully and tastefully chosen. The wake-up breakfast trays come with delicious homemade cookies in beautiful beaded baskets and your beverage of choice kept piping hot in small thermoses. The chef at our surprise bush breakfast was attired in immaculate whites complete with tall chef's hat (and he whipped up an omelette of ethereal lightness - out in the middle of nowhere!). I could go on and on. On the last day of our stay, my friend and I looked at each other and said, "What else can go right?" As if to answer that question, the snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which had hitherto been stubbornly hiding in the clouds, made a dramatically lit appearance for our farewell sundowner. Tortilis Camp is an all-round winner!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Anne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2014

Dear Anne,

Thank you for your wonderful review.
It was a pleasure meeting you both and hope you decide to come back one day.
Big hug to you both!
Ciao! Manu and Andrea

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Reviewed 3 March 2014

Just few reasons why this is the best option in Amboseli: 1. Location - far away from the main entrance and big hotels, with access to private sanctuary allowing for less formal approach to animals; 2. size - smaller than other lodges, with better atmosphere and individual approach; 3. staff - friendly, constantly present, 4. facilities - the most comfortable accomodation (try the family tent!) and the most comfortable, open vehicles, 5. cuisine - perfect! Maybe not the cheapest, but woirth every penny! Thank you for all!

Room Tip: Family tent offers seclusion and the best view
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Ryszard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Thank you so much for your lovely review - very happy you enjoyed your stay with us!

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Reviewed 24 February 2014

After spending over 2 weeks in Kenya and Tanzania, it is very evident that Tortillis is something special. The staff was extremely welcoming from the start. The camp manager Pieter and his wife Daniella were amazing - really meant a lot how great they were. The bartender Freddy was great too, always smiling and after a couple of times just brought us what we liked. The food was surprising delicious; we really didn't have many expectations and we were blown away after the first meal. This Italian food was big city quality in the middle of the bush; you'll be very happy!

This is the only permanent camp that we stayed at and tent #9 was great as it had a great view of Mt Kilimanjaro where we were able to sit and have coffee that was delivered in the morning. Our guide Josep was one on our highlights. This camp has open vehicles which we LOVED and when we head to safari again, it will be a must. Josep is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and shows that he truly loves what he does and makes it his duty to make sure we had a great time. He is truly an asset to the camp!

Now, one of the most memorable things was that they have access to a conservancy that only Tortillis has access too. As this was our first safari and first camp, we didn't know what to expect, but after spending a week at two camps in the Serengeti with vehicles everywhere, you realize just how special this camp is.

And as many others said, the animals and mountain are breathtaking. Lastly, don't miss this camp, you will not regret it!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank pilsen18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2014

Thank you very much for your lovely review - & for coming to visit! We were so happy to read how much you enjoyed your stay. Our conservancy really is a gem!
With our best wishes
Daniella & Pieter

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Reviewed 17 February 2014

If you want to see elephants this is the place to go. We were lucky to get the best guide ever "LeParis" who took us up close and personal with the elephants, as well as a nice village visit.
The climate is a bit more arid than other areas in Kenya which makes the watering hole a predictable animal locale.
This camp has a spectacular setting and very gorgeous grounds. They grow many of their own vegetables and herbs. However both breakfast and lunch are buffet style. Dinner is full service, but the staff was lackluster about having to serve guests. The food is good, but not 5 star as advertised. it was average.
The staff was less personal than in some smaller camps; this felt more like a hotel stay.
We tried to sit outside by the fire near the bar at night, but were swarmed by ants. When we informed the manager, he seemed unconcerned as if ants are a normal part of your visit.
Weather was such that we never were able to see the mountain, but the lodge is in a truly fantasic setting.
And this camp offers the ability to go inside a well as outside the National Park which makes for better game variety.
One of the reasons we chose this camp was that is has a swimming pool. However, be warned the water is absolutely too frigid to swim in. ( in Septemeber )

Room Tip: The view from tent #1 is a great shot of the mountain if there are no clouds.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Michele B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. We apologise that you felt our staff was lacklustre - we normally receive rave reviews about our team as you'll see from previous reviews so are not sure what could have gone wrong.
With best wishes
Andrea & Manuela

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Reviewed 17 February 2014

We live since 3 year in Kenya and visited many places. It is our 3rd stay in Amboseli and our 2nd at Tortilis. I can assure you, do not hesitate, there is no better place to stay in Amboseli. The location and the view are fantastic, the tents very clean and comfortable and... the food is exceptional (italian type and they have their own vegetable garden). The guides for game drives are very professional, they give their best and... Tortilis has its own private conservancy so you will enjoy your sundowner very far away from the overcrowded classic "view point". The camp is about 1 hour from the gate but as soon as you enter the park it is already game drive and the way is really worth because of the location of the camp. You will not and cannot regret such a choice !

Room Tip: If you are a family and can afford, don't miss the private house or family tent who share a priv...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Laurence W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2014

Thank you so much for your great review - & for coming to visit us again. We look forward to seeing you again!
With best wishes
Andrea & Manuela

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Reviewed 10 February 2014

After doing extensive research for our honeymoon safari, I know we couldn't have chosen a better place to start off our trip. Amboseli's wildlife is not as dense as some other areas, but you still see plenty, especially elephants. To preface, we did a 10 day/9 night safari and stayed 3 nights each at Amboseli, Meru and Masai Mara, each at Cheli & Peacock properties and can't say anything but good things! If you are considering booking C&P, do it - top notch service, facility, accommodation, game drives, while caring and giving back to the environment and community.

Tortilis is beautiful. From picking you up from the airstrip, you already start on your first game drive. We were lucky to see Mt. Kilimanjaro right away and thankfully our guide for that drive pointed it out for us to take notice as apparently it often hides behind the clouds (such was the case for the rest of our trip except for the very last morning!).

Upon arriving at the camp we were greeted by the camp managers, Peter and Daniella with a welcome drink, and then intro to the amenities and how everything works - meal times, game drives, laundry, etc. To break it down for you...

Days start with a 6am 'wake up call'... at the dinner the night before, a server will come around and take your order for the next morning of tea or coffee, this will be delivered to your tent at 6am along with cookies (this camp had shortbread, yum!). It's a very nice way to start the morning! Then you will make your way to the camp entrance for your 6:30am game drive. Unless you have booked a private vehicle or if you have brought your own driver/guide, depending on occupancy, it could just be your party in the vehicle (it's a Toyota Land Cruiser) or it can sit up to 6 passengers. Each seat is comfortable as the seats are progressively raised so you get great views even from the back, albeit a little more bumpy. It was perfect for us as we were with one couple and a single traveler for the first 2 days and then since our stays overlapped differently, we had the vehicle and our guide to ourselves the last day.

Leparis (sorry, not sure of the spelling!) was our guide the whole time and he was excellent. He is from the Masai Mara but has been a guide in Amboseli for some time and definitely knows the area well. You can tell from talking with him that he really loves to show you the wildlife and gives you so much information about the surroundings and their habits. I feel like I learned so much on this trip!

After hearing from another couple who had done it, we decided to do the Masai village visit and also visited the school that Tortilis/C&P supports in the area. I would definitely recommend doing this. The head of the school met us and showed us the classrooms and explained what kind of classes they teach and it was really nice to meet people who do such good work and also the children. From there we drove to the Masai village where they greeted us with a dance, we got to (try to) jump with them and then they showed us how they build their homes and how they make fire. It does end with a market visit where the women display their crafts and beadwork. There is a community price list that they show you beforehand and although we had heard otherwise, we found them to be very low pressure on the sales and we didn't feel like anything was pushed on us at all. It was very nice to come away with souvenirs for friends and family and to contribute to their village in a small way. There is an entrance fee to the village and this was $20 USD per person. If you want any more info on this experience, feel free to message me!

Back to Tortilis... Food wise, it was excellent. Just to note, it's all Italian food so if you're expecting to eat local Kenyan food, this is not the case. Most breakfasts are done while on game drives but this doesn't mean you're missing out on anything... Tea, coffee, juice boxes, yogurt, fresh fruit, bacon, sausages, hard boiled eggs, bread. Just about anything you could want! For lunch it is a buffet with fresh salads, pastas, all sorts of items, really great. Dinner is a plated meal and it is delicious. The dining room seats you according to your tents so it isn't communal dining. The first night we were there only a few tables were seated so it felt empty, but it filled up the 2nd and 3rd nights and especially nice after we got to know some people. Our last night they surprised us by setting up a private table by the fire which we thought might get smokey but was actually a perfect way to dine under the stars and watching the watering hole. We loved it!

The length of game drives somewhat depends on you, but usually are from 6:30-10am, then you are back at Tortilis to rest, relax and enjoy, then head up for lunch at 1pm (very hot in the afternoon which makes the walk up the hill tiring!). Lunch is a buffet with the freshest salads! They have a large garden where they grow plenty of produce and even have avocado and papaya trees. All water is filtered and drinking water is double filtered so no worries there. They also provide you with refillable containers for you to use during your stay (eco-bags which are green, light and have a carabiner if you want to clip it to your bag). There is also refillable water during your game drives that your guide has in a cooler if you need it. Drinks here were in addition to the package price and that was the only thing you had to pay extra for. Laundry is included but limited to 6 pieces per person and they do not launder underwear, although detergent is provided in the tent washroom for you to do it yourself.

After lunch, it's more resting or you can take a dip in the pool (we never ended up doing this) and then your afternoon game drive starts around 4pm and ends with a sundowner, getting back to the camp by 7-7:30 in time to shower and get to dinner at 8pm. We didn't find this to be a super social camp and not many people took advantage of the 7-8pm canapes and drinks in the lounge as they did in the other camps we went to so we found it to be a little more private.

One thing to note is that Amboseli is very dusty. It might sound silly to say, but especially if you do a bush walk, you will get covered in dust! We chose to do this (our guide was Jackson, he is great!) and the dust even went through my shoes and my socks were covered in it! The bush walk was very safe and we didn't encounter any animals up close, it was mainly to get a tour of the garden, see animal tracks and dung up close and get a little exercise.

I could go on and on about Tortilis but I've already written quite an essay... if anyone has any questions about the services offered, the facilities, guides, the school or village visit or other, please feel free to private message me and I'll answer as best I can!

Room Tip: All tents are pretty much the same high standard. We were in tent 4 but heard that from tent 1 you c...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lemonie604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed review - we're sure many viewers will find it incredibly useful. So glad that Pieter & Daniella held the fort so capably in our absence!
With best wishes
Andrea & Manuela

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Additional Information about Tortilis Camp

Address: Amboseli National Park, 00517, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Amboseli Eco-system
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Amboseli Eco-system
Price Range: £325 - £1,563 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Tortilis Camp 5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amboseli is best known for its unrivaled views of Kilimanjaro and the local elephant population. There are over 1000 elephants in the park eco-system, featuring some of the largest elephants in Africa. Tortilis Camp is named after the flat-topped, umbrella thorn tree, the Acacia Tortilis, and is situated in one of Amboseli's areas of Acacia Tortilis woodland, with the majestic backdrop of Africa's highest mountain, and the World’s highest free-standing mountain, snow-capped Kilimanjaro. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tortilis Camp Hotel Amboseli Eco-System

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