Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is an awesome option if are keen to experience all the magic of the Maasai Mara from a sumptuous sort of base! Its name means ‘Head of the Elephant’ in Swahili and visitors can certainly expect to see plenty of elephant while staying here! Many other wildlife species may be viewed too, not least the hundred thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes that make up the famous Great Migration, as the Camp in fact lies along the Great Migration route!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Set up along the Sabaringo River on the edge of the Oloololo escarpment, overlooking the plains of the Maasai Mara.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The Camp has a fabulous location, in lush riverine forest bordering sprawling plains. A track leads you through the trees to the communal buildings. Each has a thatched roof and is very elegant in its design. The lounge contains loads of comfortable chairs and sofas positioned around coffee tables. It also has a long bar and plenty of bar stools, while just outside there is a deck equipped with further comfy seating – this is the perfect place for relaxing and taking in amazing vistas across the plains! The dining room is situated in the second building. Here you will find chic separate tables flanked by classic director’s chairs and another deck with spectacular views. Both the lounge/bar and dining room use a neutral palette, allowing the vibrant hues of nature to take centre stage! Other communal facilities include an interactive kitchen and a safari shop selling some beautiful Kenyan handicrafts. You can also enjoy a dip in the Camp’s rim-flow swimming pool, while gazing out across the plains and spotting the local wildlife – warthog often come right up to camp!
Guest accommodation at Kichwa Tembo consists of 40 tents – 20 superior tents including 3 family suites, 8 superior view tents, and 12 classic tents. The superior tents are situated to the right of the communal buildings, spaced along a line that roughly resembles an arrow. The superior view tents are also in a line, starting from just beyond the swimming pool, while the classic tents are at a greater distance from the main areas. All types of accommodation are very well appointed, with the same neutral palette as the lounge/bar and dining room. Features include oversized beds, stained cypress furniture mingling with tribal décor, spacious en-suite bathrooms, and private verandas. The superior view tents boast panoramic views of the Maasai Mara, whereas the superior tents offer glimpses of the plains through the forest or of a neighbouring escarpment. Each family unit comprises two superior tents. Finally, the classic tents benefit from views of the Sabaringo River and have a really adventurous feel!
Kichwa Tembo provides an excellent range of activities. Game drives are available by day and by night within the wildlife-rich concession. All Big Five are frequently viewed and other highlights include cheetah, hyena, serval, jackal, wildebeest, zebra, kongoni, and topi! If you are here during the Great Migration season, from July to October, you will be treated to the sight of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes thundering into the area in search of good grazing. The Mara River is home to immense crocodiles and huge hippos throughout the year, but the crocs really come into their own during the Migration months, eager to snatch a snack as the herds of herbivores hurtle through the water! The region’s birdlife is seriously impressive too – at last count, there were over 450 species. The Camp’s guided walks present great opportunities to check out the feathery friends, as well as all the plants and insects that you might miss while in the 4×4. Another way to view the Mara is from a hot air balloon! Launching at dawn, balloonists drift over the plains and all their inhabitants before descending to a delicious champagne breakfast. We also recommend a village visit, in which you will be introduced to local living by an English-speaking Maasai and invited to the Maasai Craft Centre to purchase some gorgeous souvenirs! Kichwa Tembo provides a number of walking trails too, featuring hippos and the Oloololo Escarpment, plus half- or full-day photographic safaris! The latter, a seasonal activity, is excellent for honing your skills.
Children of all ages are welcome, though there are a few restrictions – for example, those aged 5 years and under are not permitted to go on game drives, while youngsters aged 6–12 can take part at the manager’s discretion. There is a childminding service and a programme of children’s activities, both at additional cost. Things to do for the little ones include tracking, painting, and making bows-and-arrows!