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“You can't go wrong here!”
Review of Tortilis Camp

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Tortilis Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Markham, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“You can't go wrong here!”
Reviewed 25 March 2012

I spent two wonderful days at Tortillis in early March. I was met at the Amboseli airstrip by Alex who would be my guide for the next two days. Alex was great and took great care of me during the game drives. I immediately set off on a game drive before going to the camp with two other guests who had been on the same plane from Nairobi.

We were met on arrival at the camp by the managers Andrea and Manuela who took incredible care of us during our stay. Tortillis is beautiful with a number of tents around the property. My tent, #1 was down the hill from the public areas and had a view of Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro is not always visible due to haze and cloud but I was fortunate for the two days I was there and she was showing off her snow capped peaks which became more visible as the haze lifted during the day. My tent was very comfortable and I was able to charge my batteries for my camera equipment. There is wifi in the bar area if needed. I was trying to keep up a travel blog so I found it very useful. The walk from my tent to the main lodge up the hill in the hot mid afternoon sun was not fun, but I needed the exercise! The swimming pool is very refreshing and you can have enjoy a drink while you are there.

My morning started off with coffee and biscuits being delivered to my tent and shortly after that we were heading out for our morning game drive. Our guide Alex was very knowledgable and made the game drive very informative. Amboseli is known for elephants and I was not disappointed. The elephants are very tolerant of the jeeps and we got very close. It was wonderful to see the moms with their babies.

Later in the morning we were treated to an amazing bush breakfast. It was quite an experience to be served amazing fruit, omelettes, bacon and sausage, miles from the camp in the middle of Amboseli.

That afternoon we elected for a walking safari in the care of our guide Alex and Jack (Jumping Jack), a Maasai warrior. It was a lovely ninety minute walk with Jack and Alex pointing out various animal hoof prints and droppings along with various shrubs used for medicinal purposes. Only the last ten minutes of the walk was a mild challenge, having to walk up an incline to the top of the mountain. We were rewarded for our efforts as we were met by camp jeeps to provide sundowners and snacks while we watched the sunset. Luckily, we did not have to walk back to camp!

The food and service at Tortillis was great. As the managers are Italian, we were treated to some amazing pastas. Tortillis has its own one acre vegetable garden from which they produce amazing salads.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
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2 Thank lwdem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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San Juan Islands
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2012

My husband and I were fortunate enough to spend 41 days in Africa. We did safaris at Sabi Sands in South Africa, the Serengeti, the Selous, and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, and Amboseli and the Mara in Kenya. Tanzania was our least favorite place...but that is a whole other story. This is our story of Tortilis and so I will stick with it. Tortilis Camp, in particular, and Amboseli and Kenya, in general, were our favorites! At Tortilis, we loved the setting. (We woke up to Mt. Kilimanjaro every morning.) We loved the food and we have spent a month in Italy. We loved our bed and our tent (#1). We loved the service. We loved our massages. Most of all, we loved our guide (Alex was THE BEST!). We loved the ellies. And we loved our safaris...so what's left? Nothing!!!

Tortilis was the place to go. We had a private dinner next to the firepit one evening because this was my husband's birthday trip. It was so romantic! The firepit was about 1/2 way up the hill between the tents and the restaurant. We had a breakfast in the bush (with white linen) and sundowners on a hill!!!

It sounds like we are people who just love everything...but not so. When we got to the Serengeti, we hated the place we stayed at...so much so we left 2 nights early. When we left Tortilis, our hearts ached as we knew we would miss it.

Alex was our best guide in Africa so when you go, I would strongly recommend you ask for him. He was both a great guide and a gentleman...just a fine human being. We felt very lucky to have spent time with him.

Sue was the temporary manager and she was great but I can't pass judgment on the regular managers since we did not meet them. I will say we were so impressed we want to go back to Kenya and do about 12 days of safaris at a few of the Cheli & Peacock safari camps. If the rest are llike Tortilis, it will be heaven!

Thanks to everyone for making our time there so special!

Room Tip: We had tent #1 and it was great! Very private and fantastic views of Killy.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank moabhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

My husband and I were in Africa for 4 weeks traveling across 6 countries, and out of the many hotels we stayed at, we love Tortilis Camp most.

On clear days, you can have an unobstructed view of the Kilimanjaro from the restaurant and bar area, which are perfect places to relax. The camp also has its own water hole outside the property, and we saw giraffes, zebras and antelopes coming by regularly. Viewing these animals was a delightful entertainment during our dinners.

The food at the camp was amazing and creative. They used their home-grown vegetables which were fresh and lovely. The home-made banana split and ice cream were just superb. They also checked our dietary requirements at the time of check in, and cooked special meals for me given my dietary preference.

The property is also kept amazingly clean despite the frequent dust storm in Amboseli. At most other places we expected to have insects within our tents/lodges, we were in National Parks afterall. However, at Tortilis we barely encountered any insects in our tent.

The service was also excellent. As far as I am aware the camp employs Masaai villagers to be its staff, and we were well looked after by them. They were all very courteous and at night, they would escort us back into our tent.

Lastly, the camp uses organic shampoo, conditioner and bath gel, and it was a real treat after our hair and bodies endured many days of standard hotel shampoo/conditioner or in some cases, no conditioner at all.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Yiubi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doha
Level Contributor
46 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2012

Acacia tortilis is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree or shrub. ‘Acacia,’ from the Greek word ‘akis’, means a point or a barb. ‘Tortilis’ means twisted and refers to the pod structure. Amboseli means salty dust in the Masai language. Literally, we chose to stay for 3 nights in a twisted, barbed, salty and dusty place named the Tortilis in Amboseli in Nov’ 11 and simply fell in love with it. Though expensive, it was probably the best decision of our life when it came to choosing a holiday home.

We drove from Nairobi starting at about 7:30AM and reached Tortilis at lunch time around 1PM. It was pretty warm and we were wondering whether it would have been better to visit the Mara where it would have been cooler and where we had been twice before. Tortilis is well hidden from view on the approach which is via sand tracks. But as soon as our vehicle swung into the porch, we were surprised by the beauty, greenery and the location. Andrea and Stefan made the perfect hosts, and we have seen no better ones spanning our trips to over 40 countries. They make the difference with their personal touch and warmth. They interacted with us every day before and after our daily safari trips asking how the day was. They took so much pride in the property showing us around and even taking pains to explain the miniature thumb-size frogs hidden in tall plants close to the reception area, which used to puzzle everyone with their loud bellowing.

After the usual check-in with refreshing cool towels and drinks, we were shown to our tent no 1. It was superb. We had a large double bed and an extra one for our daughter. Outside our tent was a lovely sitting area with sofa and chairs, and a view, straight of Mount Kilimanjaro. We were so lucky to have clear views of Kili several times over the next 3 days. The tent itself is of high quality with very comfortable and clean bedding. The toilet also was very clean and quite big. We slept very well.

The walk upto the restaurant is slightly steep and good exercise. The breakfast and lunch buffet spreads are not large like you see in other lodges, but are definitely tastier and varied – you won’t get some of the dishes that are served here. The dinners were a la carte and wonderful. Once, at dinner, my wife and daughter, who do not eat beef which was in the menu, expressed regret not having informed previously, were surprised when chicken was cooked and served very swiftly, that they hardly had to wait! The lounge in the bar is excellent with lovely seating and both the restaurant and the lounge overlook a waterhole where you can see baboons, antelope, Mara storks and a horde of other birds visiting.

The service is excellent. Any time of the day, anywhere in Tortilis. Be it at the restaurant or at the bar or while walking towards your camp at night. If you leave the tent anytime, its done up like magic, before you return. We were also lucky to experience cool weather when there was a thunderstorm on the 3rd day. We felt sorry that the furniture and soft furnishings outside the tent got soiled, but were surprised when Andrea said that she felt so happy for the natives in Amboseli who must have stayed outside during the rain and thanked the gods. The clean-up was as fast as the thunderstorm itself. The morning personal wake-up at our time with hot tea / coffee/ chocolate and cookies served in our tent was so so welcome. We were truly impressed.

Amboseli is not like the Mara where you see lots of cats especially lions. This is elephant country and here can you seen them roming in the swamps below you. But we were again lucky. On the last day as we thanked Stefan and Andrea for their warm hospitality and left, we were rewarded by a kill the lions had just made, 10 minutes drive out of Tortilis. The battleground with 4 lionesses, 4 cubs, 7 hyenas and the fallen zebra was a sight to be seen.

Truly, Tortilis is the oasis and the toast of Amboseli, We came to see Amboseli and left with indelible memories of Tortilis.

Room Tip: Ask for Tent nr. 1 for stunning views of Kili
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank sunkool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fareham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2012

We had a brilliant stay at Tortilis Camp - it has a relaxed atmosphere and the staff are all lovely. The tents were very comfortable and there was always plenty of hot water and also good facilities for charging camera batteries. The pool is also a real bonus as it was extremely hot when we were there. The only downside was the walk up the hill but I think it would not have bothered us if it hadn't been quite so hot. The food is excellent and there is always a good choice. The game viewing was also excellent with cheetah, lion and plenty of lovely elephants. We definitely hope to return.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Sue06_Rich05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vail, CO
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2012

If you wish to see the Big Game of Africa, this is the place. Great safari camp with excellent guides. We stayed here for three nights and slept in a delightful hut. This hotel was arranged for us by Simon Gluckman of Intrepid Expeditions.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank HerbR673
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woking, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2012

We stayed 2 nights at Tortilis having had 3 nights at Porini Camp in the adjacent Conservancy (excellent). The location, facilities, staff and game drives were all excellent. The only 'below average' item was the food - particularly dinner which was unimaginative and a bit institutional - the other tented camps we stayed in had much better planned, prepared and presented food.
Would recommend this as a great place to stay for visits to the Amboseli National Park but also benefits by being in a Conservancy.

Room Tip: Luxury tents that are all in excellent locations
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jeremy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tortilis Camp

Property: 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 #5 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Amboseli Eco-system
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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