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“Beautiful tented camp”
Review of Tortilis Camp

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Tortilis Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

We spent two nights here on our African Safari and really enjoyed it. The facility has a Safari feel, but doesn't lack in comfort or service. The managers were very hospitable and the staff couldn't be more helpful. At the end of a day of game drives, it was the perfect place to relax with a number of comfortable seating areas, both covered and open to the beautiful view.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElewanaCollection, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you for your lovely review of our lodge and delighted that you enjoyed your time here. We all thoroughly enjoyed hosting you and look forward to welcoming you back here in the future!

Best Wishes,
Graeme, Candy and the Tortilis Camp Team

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9 - 13 of 345 reviews

Reviewed 11 September 2017

First , let me thank Graeme and Candy for the beginning of a perfect stay. This camp is perfect and Graeme and Candy the managers and the hosts could not have done anything to make it better. The camp is located in a perfect place, The tented units are lovely and very private. The camp is fenced so you can walk at anytime by yourself within the fenced area. They have a pool if you choose to swim and they have a family accommodation if you come with a big family. ..The eating area is beautiful and overlooks a watering hole so you can see the animals gather. Our guide was great and went over the top to help us see it all. Loved the safaris.... It was our anniversary and they had a surprise private dinner for us and with beautiful ceremonial singing and a beautiful cake. We were so touched. I recommend this camp if you want to have an experience you will enjoy....

Room Tip: this is not a hotel, but a tented camp..we loved our tent but I think they are all the same
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  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Kebjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElewanaCollection, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

It is so wonderful to read your great review and all of our team are delighted that you had a perfect stay with us. We very much enjoyed hosting you and were happy that we could make your anniversary that little bit more special.

Thank you and it would be our pleasure to welcome you back someday
Graeme, Candy and The Tortilis Camp Team

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Reviewed 2 September 2017

My m-in-law, SMY, and myself flew down to Amboseli for three nights, staying at Totilis Camp which is actually situated outside the reserve. Our booking had been arranged by Southern Cross Safaris who I have used regularly and find extremely reliable and knowledgeable. We boarded our flight at Wilson Airport and after 35 minutes were landing at Amboseli. An uneventful flight with lots of cloud and fleeting, but stunning views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and it snow covered peak.

We were met by our driver Alex who then gave us the obligatory run-down on the park, the eco-system and the wildlife. He also asked what we were interested in and what we wanted to see in particular. All of this was lovely and appreciated except that it all took place at the airfield. Planes were landing and taking off, cars driving up and leaving and the place was dusty to the extreme. Not a pleasant environment to be having this sort of chat. Alex then went off and took an age to sort out our park tickets at the rangers' office. By the time we got going I was thoroughly fed up and grumpy. In retrospect, I now understand that he was eating up time so that when we flew out of the reserve, we were not in any danger of overstaying our 24 hour period that we purchased tickets for. Apparently our flight was slightly early arriving and if our departure flight was slightly delayed then there was a chance that that the park wardens would charge us for an extra 24-hour period. It speaks volumes that, firstly he did not think that he should explain this issue to us, and secondly, that the park wardens would really consider doing such a mean and unethical act. On the positive side, the toilets at the airfield were clean, tidy and pleasant to use - in distinct contrast to the toilets at the Masai Mara Musiara Airfield or the Mara North airfield where the toilets were quite indescribably bad and disgusting.

We did a game drive of sorts before arriving at the tented camp at around 11.45 am. They have 16 tents in all that are situated at the base of our hill under a lovely glade of acacia thorn trees. The public areas were all situated half way up the hill.

Our tents were pretty standard with a queen sized bed in the middle of a spacious tent set on a raised wooden platform. Behind the bed is storage space, hanging for clothes and then the bathroom. The bathroom is essentially a proper room as opposed to a tent. It has a shower and a loo on the one side and a double basin on the other. It also had the standard complement of shower gel, shampoo, body lotion, hair conditioner etc The bathroom worked and the showers were the best I had experienced in any safari camp I had been at - in terms of pressure, temperature, water flow, easy to control temperature and seemingly plenty of hot and cold water. The outlook was lovely with stunning views of Mt. Kilimanjaro when it was out.

The public areas were really a bar/lounge area and a restaurant with the reception area as well. They were situated about 250 metres from out tents half way up this hill.
We were admittedly about the furthest away tents but it was quite a hike for my poor old octogenarian mother-in-law. Not only was it quite far but the incline was significant once you got near the top. Certainly SMY had to stop a couple of times for a breather and to give her poor old knees a rest. The food was excellent in my view with lots of fresh salads, light and delicious meals and I had nothing to complain about other than the condiments, Tea was served as a tea bag in a cup which for a country like Kenya, whose major export is high quality leaf tea, I find totally ridiculous. surely a teapot would have been in order for an establishment of this level. The other minor gripe was the lack of a decent standard whisky. Red Label is not a reasonable offer in my view. The next offer was black label at a significant price.

The staff were super-friendly and service were excellent. The camp has an electric fence around it so is completely safe. There is a small waterhole outside the fence which had a constant stream of plains game visiting it. There was a swimming pool for residents. The camp had a very active and lively eco-system inside the fence with fantastic bird life, dik dik, pythons (I promise you are all totally safe and in no danger from them), pearl-spotted owlets and Verreaux Eagle-owls.

Amboseli Reserve is really about its swamps in my view and these are quite indescribably interesting, absolutely full of life. The more you look, the more you see. There is so much stuff going on at every level from large elephants, hippos and buffaloes to small stuff like snipe, waders, dragon flies, fish all actively living their lives in this rich water world. I have never seen anything quite like it before and my only regret is that I did not take my telescope.

Outstanding sightings for me include two in particular. Firstly, fantastic views of striped hyena. Not a common animal in my experience and hard to see really well. The other memorable experience was seeing pelicans catching and struggling to swallow relatively large catfish. The swamps were seething with catfish and so they were relatively easy for the pelican to catch but swallowing your catfish was clearly a different proposition all together. The bird would spend considerable time positioning the catfish in its "mouth"/ beak before trying to swallow it. At this point the catfish would simply put out its spines and wedge itself immovably until the bird gave up and tried to rearrange its potential meal again. I was amazed that the spines did not pierce the gullets of the pelicans as they applied considerable force. In quite a few hours of watching we only saw about three successful swallows and the rest had to give up and try and find a more co-operative potential meal. Clearly the benefit when you do get to swallow is worth the failure rate.

Our game drives were all very rewarding with a wealth of stuff to see - especially if you were prepared to look at and appreciate the small things around. I was distinctly unimpressed by the standard of the vehicles, and in particular, their ability to withstand rain. We had a bit of rain but our vehicle was so badly set up for rain that we were absolutely soaked to the skin on both occasions. Eventually our driver got a different vehicle that was totally enclosed and therefor waterproof and we were very grateful. However it does not get away from the question of why they cannot have vehicles that are designed to withstand a bit of wet weather - there are numerous examples around the country to look at,

The negatives about the Amboseli Reserve in my view include:
1. Major roads all very badly corrugated - and I mean VERY corrugated. quite unacceptable in my view.
2. Surprising number of vehicles considering how quiet the camp was and how few guests apparently were in the park.
3. Very strict policy to stop vehicles going off road. I never saw a single vehicle go even a mm off the road. Rather irritating at times not to be able to go a little bit off the roads but I also quite understood the reason - soils were very fragile, volcanic and so very friable and dusty.
4. Amboseli Lodge was closed down a long time ago but the place has been left to deteriorate and fall apart. Really quite unnecessary and poor management by KWS who should have it dismantled and taken away. Extremely unsightly.
5. There was considerable evidence of cattle herds in the reserve despite the lack of much grass and the badly eroded landscape due to over-grazing.
6. The attitude of the rangers to the 24 -hour ticket periods with visitors arriving and leaving on scheduled flights.

Negatives about Tortilis include:
1. Really quite a long hike to the room we were in. They had given us a room which allowed us to be dropped off and picked up by vehicle but it also meant that we had the furthest room away from the public areas, office. Etc about 250 m maybe
2. A very steep incline at the end of the path heading towards the public areas. Shirley generally had to stop to catch her breath and it was difficult for her with her bad knees.
3. There was no bird list, mammal list or map of the park available which was very disappointing. Even a list of common camp birds would have been welcome.
4. The poor setup of the vehicles in case of rain was a surprise. It cannot be rocket science and there are plenty of good examples to copy around the country.
5. The poor promotion of nature in the camp was surprising. There were slender mongoose, dik dik pythons, but no bird tables or bird baths. I can understand that there is a balance to be had but really think it would have been good.

Having said all that, it was a fantastic experience and I have no hesitation in recommending both Tortilis and Amboseli to any visitor to Kenya - you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: I imagine all the rooms are of a similar standard and they are all private with good aspects
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  • Stayed: November 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ben A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElewanaCollection, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago


Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review on our Lodge and also the amazing swamps of Amboseli…truly a wonderful experience.

Alex is happy to hear that you enjoyed your game drives with him and you did see some rare and unusual sightings. As a lodge, we have to strictly adhere to the rules of Kenya Wildlife Services and those of the park. We also have to give our guests a briefing at the airstrip to ensure their safety and also to ensure we conserve the environment and respect the local culture and communities.

Delighted that you enjoyed the service, accommodation, meals and of course the magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro. As with all guests who have any issues with mobility, we always offer transport to and from the rooms and the rooms furthest from the lounge bar and restaurant.

We have taken onboard your feedback and have shared it with the Director of Operations. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention- we strive to provide our guests with the highest guest experience at all times and therefore appreciate your comments.

All the team here enjoyed hosting you at Tortilis Camp and are very happy that you had a fantastic stay with us. We all welcome you back someday soon.

Best Wishes,
Graeme, Candy and the Team at Elewana Tortilis Camp

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Reviewed 31 August 2017

Graeme and Candy were excellent hosts greeting us as we arrived. The tents were very, very nice, food was excellent, and service was great. The woman who took care of our tent did a marvelous job and our steward (Jackson) took great care of us at meals. We were lucky enough to see elephants at the watering hole when we arrived and Kilimanjaro made an appearance on the morning that we left.

Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank aebida2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElewanaCollection, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

It was a pleasure to meet and host you here at Tortilis and are delighted that you very much enjoyed your stay with us.

We have shared your review with Peris in housekeeping and also with Jackson who are both so happy.

It is always a bonus to see Mount Kilimanjaro as well as the Amboseli elephants. We appreciate and thank you for giving us this lovely review. Karibu

Best Wishes,
Graeme, Candy and the Tortilis Camp Team

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Reviewed 28 August 2017

Tortilis is in a beautiful location, with the common areas overlooking a watering hole that was very often frequented by elephants. Staff was very friendly and accommodating - even providing a birthday cake for one of our traveling companions!
The tent had all of the amenities we needed, including comfortable bed, safe, water, clean bathroom, and coffee/tea and cookies in the morning.
The food was good, though I can't say it was the best that we had on our Kenya trip.
We really appreciated the bush breakfast one morning - including the outdoor toilet, which was a lot simpler for us women than going behind the jeep!
Our driver and guide, Jonathan, was truly excellent - very knowledgeable and friendly, and willing to put up with my husband's jokes. Over two days, and with Jonathan's guidance, we saw wildebeest, giraffe, gazelle, hyena, elephant, hippo, zebra, impala, gerenuk, lion, waterbuck, baboon, jackal, hartebeest, civet, and mongoose - AND over 50 species of (new to us) birds.
Our visit to the nearby Masai village was very interesting and informative. We learned a lot and my husband was inspired to learn more. The only downside is that we felt pressure to buy trinkets following the visit - and by pressure, I mean that we felt guilty not buying something from every single person sitting by their wares.
On our last night at Tortilis, we met Graeme and discovered that he is from the same town near Edinburgh that my husband's family is from - and that his wife grew up on the same street as my husband's great-grandfather. Small world indeed - in the bush in Kenya.
We had a spectacular time.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank broddin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElewanaCollection, Manager at Tortilis Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you for giving us such a lovely review!

We appreciate the views here each and every day and enjoy the variety of wildlife which comes to our waterhole. Our outdoor toilet is a talking point and is often a welcome sight for our guests. We call it our loo with a view!!

Jonathon very much enjoyed guiding you and he tells us that he also enjoyed the jokes you shared with him!!

The Maasai village truly does fascinate people as they learn about a totally different culture and way of life.

We are so happy that we returned from our vacation in time to meet you. Isn’t it amazing how small the world can be. We hope you can come back someday soon.

Best Wishes,
Graeme, Candy and the Tortilis Camp Team

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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: ₹ 36,033 - ₹ 58,839 (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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