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“Fantastic Start to a Great Safari”
Review of Tortilis Camp

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Tortilis Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 August 2008

We stayed at Amboseli Tortilis Camp for two nights in August and it was absolutely fantastic. After taking a couple of hour game drive from the Amboseli airstrip we were greeted at our arrival by the camp manager Bart.
Accomodations are in luxurious "tents" that are a downhill walk from the lounge/dining areas. The walk back up could be quite a challenge if you have trouble walking, however a 73 year old we met handled it easily.
There is an electric fence to keep out animals, but it probably wouldn't do too much to stop an elephant he you got him mad.
As with most Kenyan tent camps, the generators are tuned off at night so you don't have any lights from around midnight to 5am. We were too tired to do anything other than sleep anyway.
Your wake-up call for the 630am game drive is a pleasant tone from one of the workers who brings you coffee, tea or hot chocolate. The tents each have a safe. Battery charging is at the bar, so bring your own 3-prong British style adaptor if you are traveling from the USA.
At lunch we saw Yellow baboons, Grant's Gazelles and impalas around the watering hole. Later in the day elephants made their daily visit to the water.
We saw 23 different animals on our first day of game drives -common zebra, Wildebeest, Warthog, Spotted hyena, Hippos, Masai giraffe, African Cape Buffalo, African elephant, Egyptian Geese, Impala, Thompson Gazelle, Cattle Egrit, ostrich, Reedbuck, Blacksmith Plover, Grants gazelle, Superb starling, White Headed Buffalo Weaver, Vulture, Yellow Baboon, Dwarf Mongoose, African Jacana and Yellow Necked Spurfowl.
Mt Kilimanjaro provided awesome views at dawn on our first morning.
On our second day we saw more new animals - Maribou Stork, Common Water Buck, Sacred Ibis, a pregnant Cheetah and Golden Jackel.
Our favorite sight at Amboseli was close-up viewing of a lion family - one male, two females and 3 cubs.
We visited a nearby Masai village and paid 1500 shillings ($20) each to enter, take all the pictures we wanted and ask questions. It was well worth it. The Masai danced for us and with us, took us into their village and sold us their goods.
It was very chilly on our morning game drive. I wore a t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt and a jacket. They were peeled off layer by layer as the day warmed up.
The camp did a delicious breakfast of omelets, cereal, fruit, bread, etc. in the bush for us. The girls were thrilled that they brought a Port-A-Potty out to the bush too.
Amboseli Tortilis is fantastic.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank PapaJerryW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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302 - 306 of 354 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2008

We booked our honeymoon in October 2007 and were alarmed when all the trouble over the presidential elections erupted! We watched the news closely and considered cancelling, but in the end we decided to go with it and hope for the best!

Thank god we did! We spent 1 night in Nairobi and 4 nights in Tortilis before heading off to the Masai Mara. From the second we arrived to the second we left we had the most amazing time!
Overall we found the Kenya people warm, polite and very friendly!

Tortilis Camp is a high end camp, but we thought it was worth paying that bit extra and they really did justify their worth. The staff were great, a real pleasure to be around. The food was fantastic, to the point I was in danger of making myself ill from overeating! They have their own vegetable and herb gardens so the taste and freshness blew you away. The camp itself was extremely well maintained, amazing views, and you wanted for nothing. We saw the little ants in the camp someone else commented on (tiny compared to what you get in the UK!), we also saw zebra, hyena, dik-dik, vervet monkeys, Marabou stalk, etc... this is Africa... this is why we came here! Yet none of these were in your tent or anything ...well except for 1 vervet monkey who stole a biscuit! ;-)

The game drives were the reason we chose this camp, all the above were added bonuses! With Tortilis you are not stuck with 10 other people in a mini bus with a sun roof, you are in an open Landrover... just you, your guide, and at most 1 other couple (though we generally had it to outselves). Our guide Chege (or Joseph) was knowledgable, patient and accomodating. He was happy to stop as many times as we want for as long as we wanted when we came across wildlife. He was our guide for our entire stay and he really made the trip special! With him we saw pretty much the entire park and most of the wildlife! We saw elephant, lion, zebra, buffalo, hyena, cheetah, hippo's, baboons, fish eagles, ostrich, a large variety of birds and antelope to name just a few!

The manager Bart and his wife Mary were lovelly...Mary would chat to us at breakfast and bart would join us for a drink or 2 in the evening. All in all every member of staff from the management down made us feel relaxed and at home. We were sad to leave and we will be going back!

One thing though did stand out... both here and in the Masai Mara... the camps and national parks are deserted of tourists.
Fear of the violence portraid in the media is keeping people away. and this is hurting the people here. It is highly likely some camps will close... they are already having to let staff go... this is very sad. No tourists were ever involved in the violence and even at its worst there was never any trouble in the South in the lands of the Masai, where these parks lie. So now is the best time to go, because like us, you will have the whole place to yourself!!

Our only travel advise, for peace of mind, is arrange transfers between the airports, it makes everything so much easier!

PS. hope to add photo's soon.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Draavig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2008

Serena Safari Lodge is part of Amboseli National Park in Kenya. We were there in October 2007 and were lucky enough to see the Kilimanjaro with snow and without clouds three days in a row! Wow.
The lodge itself is wonderful situated, has a nice drinking pool where during the day a lot of zebra's and birds come. The restaurant has a nice view over the drinking pool and an award winning Italian cook. The food in Serena is really one of the best parts of the lodge (the cook grows all vegetables and herbs in his own garden!). Our Dutch and Canadian hosts were more than friendly and warm and provided us will all services wanted. The tents are clean, well decorated and nicely situated with a more or less free view of the Kilimanjaro.
Have a look yourself at tortilis.com.

Because the tents are situated lower than the reception and restaurant area the climb between those 2 areas can be a hassle for older people.

We have only one remark about this lodge and that is that the drivers are not rangers. They drive you trough the park, but do not have a feeling for photography, light, position etcetera. they seem to have a standard program with which they service you. Special whishes are tough to fulfil for them.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank bredero5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2008

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank HaHa1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2008

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank Hornet22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 #3 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Amboseli Eco-system
Price Range: ₹ 30,000 - ₹ 1,45,669 (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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