Reviews of Tortilis Camp
Wildlife sightings and reviews
23 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Tortilis Camp and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
Guide - our guide was John who excelled in his knowledge of all= animals, geography and people. We had the luxury to having him to ourselves-no other people in truck. Went everywhere- excellent driver." See all these reviews: 16n in Kenya
"Tortilis Camp, busy but well managed."
Having access to the Kitirua conservancy is a great advantage here, we had the best elephant interactions in this section, whereas in the national park it was often a remote observation. Some activities felt a bit regimental, like the bush breakfast and the sundowner only on the last night, but I guess this is the only way to streamline the operation.
We stayed in the Private House, located at the same level as the main lodge on the hill, so no descending and climbing to the tent 4 times a day.
The house itself is very spacious with 2 cavernous bedrooms, furniture and decorations maybe a bit bland. The brochure pictures the private house with a manicured lawn where one could have breakfast or drinks served: in reality just a small rim of grass and much more scrubby bushes, the breakfast option was never mentioned.
The neigbouring Family Tent has a much more appealing setting under a mature acacia tree and a beautiful porch, that would be my choice in the future.
The main advantage of the Private House (and Family Tent) is having access to a private use vehicle and guide, making it a much more personal experience. Also having your own pool, shared with the family tent, is a nice bonus. Finally we must mention the excellent quality of the meals, a buffet for breakfast and lunch and a 3 course dinner menu with 2 options for every course. Tortilis Camp is a good place to stay when in Amboseli." See all these reviews: 14n in Kenya
"Tortilis Camp review"
Game drives and guide Patrick particular good. He understood the needs of a photographer.
Fabulous tents and lovely refreshing pool after hot game drive" See all these reviews: 11n in Kenya
"Tortilis Camp review"
The vehicles here are open-sided, instead of pop-hatch, which really helps with an expansive, low-angle perspective for wildlife viewing. Our guide, Patrick, was superb, and truly went out of his way to help us experience some unforgettable moments with elephants. The snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro even put in an appearance for us, though you’ll have to rely purely on Mother Nature to provide that treat." See all these reviews: 17n in Kenya
"Great location and amazing food"
We thought the food was excellent - probably the best food of our whole two week trip in Kenya, really impressive! We enjoyed sundowner drinks on the dry Amboseli lake, watching Wildebeest trail off into the distance. Our guide wasn't perhaps the most knowledgable compared to other camps, but I think he was quite new and finding his feet. We are sure he will settle in quickly.
The other great thing is that the Kitirua concession really feels part of the National Park, it's almost impossible to know which you're in most of the time. It's a great model for how tourism concessions can contribute to conservation and well worth supporting. We also saw some nice tree planting projects underway nearby.
The only thing we thought was a little strange was the tipping system here in comparison to other safari camps, waiters are tipped separately (in addition to guides, and lodge staff) at the end of the stay, which felt a little awkward." See all these reviews: 15n in Kenya
"Tortilis Camp review"
The lodge itself is larger than we would normally choose with big tour groups passing through for one or two nights. This did make it feel more commercial than our very intimate Elsa's Kopje experience. But I think this is a consequence of being in Amboseli which is a popular and easily accessible park. However, the camp was extremely well run by Moses and his team and coming from a sister property meant that we didn't need to sign additional paperwork et cetera. They had even called Elsa’s to find out what we were drinking for sundowners so they could suggest the same. And overall we were very well looked after by David and Jackson
Food was less compelling than Elsa's with a pre-prepared buffet lunch with a different theme (middle-East, Indian et cetera) and David was happy to provide excellent sandwiches as an alternative when asked.
By our fifth day we also found we were being offered the same food as day one but the camp explained that most guests were staying for a much shorter period than we were.
As with Elsa's there was a small pool (with lots of birds) and plenty of game to be seen from the room (tent) and from the bar area overlooking the floodlit waterhole. There were a few biting flies at night but nothing too bad.
We were in tent seven which was comfortable but showing some signs of wear and tear. And monkeys were an absolute menace, able to access the tent via the worn velcro flap even when the tent was fully zipped. So we made good use of the monkey proof chest. They took an especial liking to the blue Delft KLM houses we were given by KLM and the chewed wax seals on those houses is a nice souvenir of the trip :-)
This was also the first time we had been to Amboseli and the park itself was a revelation. A range of habitats (quasi-desert, lake bed, swamp and marsh, forest, rocky hills) and the variety of game was enormous. Huge herds of wildebeest and zebra, fantastic elephants and buffalos, plentiful bird life and some lovely cheetah (and in spite of our best efforts we also saw lions). The only downside was the park was very busy with lots of vehicles, especially over the long weekend at the end of our stay.
Our guide Soloman was excellent, again very respectful of our wish to avoid lions and happy to allow us to spend long periods simply watching the big herds of elephants and buffalo. At our request, he was adept at finding quiet areas of the park, away from other vehicles and we never felt rushed. And again it was great to have our own vehicle which maximized flexibility.
One observation about the location of Tortilis. It is quite a distance (45 minutes plus) from the marshy areas of the park which meant that it was almost impossible to get deep into that area in the afternoons. Instead the afternoon drives tended to be more cursory, staying close to the concession where it was possible to drive after 18h when the main park was closed. So the mornings started early with a long drive to the marsh area and lasted six hours or more. This was fine (indeed we had some amazing morning drives) but as a night owl it was a shame that the afternoon excursions were not able to be similarly epic. But lovers of morning drives will the very happy!
One benefit of the early start on our first morning was some jaw-dropping views of Kilimanjaro at sunrise. But be warned. If you see the mountain, be appreciative. We took that view slightly for granted and then never saw the mountain again during our stay." See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
"Amazing place in amazing location!"
Wonderfull camp, very professional and friendly staff, perfect service!" See all these reviews: 8n in Kenya
"First nights in Amboseli"
We loved our bush walk with the experienced guides and shared a great drive with Ben Stilet, a local Maasai guide who joined us in our vehicle. Since we had unintentionally strayed a bit off the beaten path on our first game drive (i.e. gotten lost at night in the deep, dark backside of Amboseli), we were happy to invite Ben to go with us the second time out.
We had wonderful viewings of elephants and hippos, sunk up to their bellies in the swampy grasslands, and all the gazelles, buffalos, flamingos, etc one could ever want to see, all backlit by rainbows." See all these reviews: 12n in Kenya
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