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    Tortilis Camp Amboseli Kenya | Tortilis Safari Camp Amboseli

    Tortilis Camp lies in the heart of Amboseli National Park and faces the foothills of Africa’s highest mountain, the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Though it hasn't exactly been around as long as the snows of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tortilis Camp Amboseli is every bit as much an East African icon. As you arrive at the safari camp, the view of its snow-capped peak and the surrounding plains will simply take your breath away. This award-winning eco-tourism Tortilis Camp Amboseli Kenya has a well earned reputation for its commitment to the environment because of its rustic simplicity, unobtrusive design and attention to detail and comfort. The warm service and cozy, simply furnished tents make Tortilis Camp Kenya one of the more welcoming safari camps in Kenya. Travelers gather around the crackling campfire or over excellent Italian cuisine to swap Kenya safari tales, and you can watch elephant’s zebras and gazelles belly up to the neighboring watering hole for a drink. Because the Tortillis Camp shares a private area with the local Masai, your game drives are free of the logjams on Amboseli's notoriously crowded roads. Afterward, you can enjoy a gin and tonic as the sun sets on Kilimanjaro—or, if you've checked into the Tortillis Camp Amboseli "family tent," splash about in the rustic, handmade tub (reason enough to bring the kids along). Named after the Umbrella Thorn Tree [Acacia Tortilis] the Amboseli Tortilis Camp lies on the edge of Amboseli National Park in the shadow, Amboseli National Park is a fascinating game viewing safari destination, home to prolific big game and abundant birdlife. The Tortilis Safari Camp is run as a conservation project and the owners work hand in hand with the local massai community and the KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service).


    The main building at Tortilis Lodge is open-sided and gazes out onto the soaring snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. You will see the Mount Kilimanjaro from both bar and dining room. What nicer way to enjoy the delicious Italian food, in which Tortilis specializes, and simultaneously to watch Mount "Kili" slowly reveal itself from behind the clouds - food for body and soul. Within Amboseli Game Park the elephant are very habituated to people (it is the site of the longest running elephant study in the world) and visitors may observe them for long periods in order to see the interaction of the herd. The Amboseli herds are famous for the size of both elephants and their tusks. There are also lion, a high concentration of hyena, Cape buffalo, waterbuck and serval, among many others. The Tortilis Lodge Amboseli, however, is electric-fenced and so you may walk alone at night without feeling anxious! Excellent birding safaris are on offer. There are around four hundred species, including flamingo, a variety of waders and one weaver bird particular to Amboseli. Despite the huge range of birdlife, perhaps the favorite bird at Amboseli Tortilis Lodge is the barn own that lives in the rafters of the high, pitched roof of the bar, and swoops out on his nightly forays just as the guests are sipping their sundowners. At Tortilis you really are close to nature. Tortilis Camp is located 250 kilometers from Nairobi and about 45 minutes flight South East of Nairobi. You can get to Amboseli Tortilis Camp either by road or by flight. There is one morning flight schedule departure daily from Nairobi and from Amboseli. By road, it will take you approximately 2 hours to the Namanga border point and a further 2 hours to the Tortilis Hotel from Namanga. Tortilis Hotel is one of the oldest lodges in Amboseli and while it is under canvas, it is permanent enough to be considered a safari lodge, with a stone plinth under each tent and a large lounge and dining area under a thatch roof. Tortilis Hotel is tucked away from civilization and yet benefits the deserving traveler in every way that you could hope and wish for during your Safari to Kenya. The spacious safari tents at Totilis Camp are raised on wooden platforms and sheltered from the heat of the day by a makuti (thatched) roof. Each tent has a large comfortable bed and en-suite bathroom with pressurized hot shower and flushing toilet. The stone veranda offers privacy for those wanting to read a book or enjoy a siesta on the traditional lamu day bed.


    Tortilis is a family friendly camp and the expert guides know how to make a bush walk or game drive ’come alive’ for young guests. Early mealtimes and a baby listening service are also available. Tortilis is perfect if you want to take a bush breakfast, watch the elephant herds following their ancient rituals, go on game drives, visit the local Maasai village, sip an evening sundowner or just lie by the pool. There are over 1000 elephants in the parks eco-system, featuring some of the largest in Africa. Social responsibility in tourism is as important to Tortilis Safari Camp as sundowners overlooking the wilderness and Mount Kilimanjaro. And that’s really important! The luxurious Kenyan camp supports a local primary school as one of their initiatives which gives back to the local Masai community and has a massive impact on the lives and education of the children there. A mere 20 minutes’ drive from Tortilis Camp Kenia is Esiteti Primary School where many guests have visited and made a difference to numerous young lives.


    Through the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust and Tortilis Camp’s guests have donated funds for books, uniforms, and school fees as well as sports equipment. All Tortilis Camp Aboseli guests can make their Amboseli safari experience more meaningful by getting involved and giving back to the community that lives close by. At least 60% of the permanent staff at the Kenya safari camp is from the surrounding community as well as many of casual staff. Several began as working when the safaris camp was being constructed and have since been continuously trained to become superb waiters, barmen and safari guides. Some members of staff left the camp, having had long careers at Totilis Camp, to start up their own safaris company. Tortilis camp Quenia was designed and built by Stefano Cheli, opening in 1994. A magnificent site, that belongs to a Masai family from the local community and was promised to a big hotel developer that was struggling to get the Kenya Wildlife Service, at the time under the management of Dr Richard Leakey, to give permission to build a large 200 bed hotel. The Masai family came to Stefano and asked him if he would like the site, Dr Leakey approved the plans for a small environmentally friendly camp; and Tortilis was born. (The original plans for Tortilis were in Dr Leakey’s briefcase when he was involved in a plane crash that lost him both legs; and the plans had to be resubmitted!). The first of its kind, Tortilis Camp was the first “boutique eco-lodge” in Kenya. Being a professional Kenya safari guide, and with a passion for the wilderness, Stefano designed a lodge that blends into the hillside, deliberately difficult to see, small generators and invertors, built using local materials and most importantly of all – employing the majority of its staff from the local Masai community, the first and still the only camp in Amboseli to do so. Tortilis Camp won the prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow award for its ground breaking eco-design and ethos in 1996. Tortilis still is a leader in conservation, (a link to the conservation section), working with African Conservation Centre on maintaining exclosures, preserving the Kitirua conservancy, and the leader in Amboseli for social responsibility. But Tortilis is not all about “eco” and “conservation”; having guided Kenya luxury safaris for many years, combined with his natural Italian flair, Stefano designed a camp that takes advantage of the truly spectacular views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the best views in Amboseli; he knew that clients don’t just want to lie on their bed in a tent, but to also enjoy an elegant, spacious, and comfortable verandah.


    First class guiding in comfortable open vehicles, Tortilis Camp was the first to use open vehicles within a National Park; and of course, after an early morning in the fresh air, delicious home cooked cuisine! The Tortilis Camp guides are based at camp in Amboseli and know their backyard intimately. They know the individual elephants and their family histories. More than half of the guides at Tortilis are Masai, and have between them 80 years of guiding at Tortilis! All the guides are Bronze or Silver level Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association certified. Tortilis Camp has open gamedrive vehicles, the first camp to use open vehicles in a National Park. The current fleet are new, specially fitted, 4×4 Toyota Landcruisers. The vehicles are unrivalled with feature enhancements specifically designed for comfort and photography – open sided with 3 rows of seats, photographic equipment stands, and charging sockets. Clients will share game drives unless “exclusive use of vehicle” has been precooked at an extra charge from us. With only 10% of Amboseli National Park utilized by most safari vehicles, combined with Tortilis Camp’s unique location on the western edge of the park (most lodges are outside of the eastern gate of the park), guests can enjoy an almost private Amboseli. We also have private gamedriving within our own 30,000 acre Kitirua Conservancy, which is the western part of the Amboseli ecosystem.


    Tortilis Camp Accommodation


    The 17 spacious tents (twin or doubles) are raised up on a wooden deck and are sheltered by a thatched roof, which overhangs the large verandah. Inside, the tents are beautifully furnished with tasteful safari style décor. They each have their own dressing room and a modern bathroom with flush toilet and pressurized hot shower. The tents are well spaced out, and care has taken to ensure that guests enjoy a private and relaxing time with no hindrance to their enjoyment of the great wilderness of the African plains. Nothing can surely beat the amazing view you get as you unzip your tent flaps early in the morning, to see Kilimanjaro and the misty morning sunrise. In addition to the luxury tents, there is also a spacious family house with one double and one twin room both with en-suite bathrooms and a private sitting room. All tents can fit in an extra bed, for children under the age of 16 years. Tortilis Camp welcomes children and there are specific childcare facilities. Food can be tailored to suit children and earlier meal times can be arranged where necessary. Babysitting can also be organized for those that require it. There is a two bedroom family house as well as a two bedroom family tent. Tortilis safari Lodge has am inviting, large swimming pool nestled in between the trees with comfy sun beds on which to relax between Amboseli safaris. There is also the option of a massage from a trained therapist and the camp has a curio shop selling local arts and crafts.


    Tortilis Camp Restaurant


    The food at Tortilis luxury Camp is a real highlight, and attention to detail is evident in the consistently tasty delicacies served at mealtimes, with an invitingly lush and healthy vegetable garden, Tortilis Camp prides itself in serving up its fresh homegrown salads and vegetables with every meal. From impressive Bush Breakfast out in the middle of the plains, to fresh homemade pastas and breads at the camp, the Tortilis chefs excel themselves with every meal. Tortilis Camp has a spacious dining room overlooking Mt Kilimanjaro, where guests eat at their own individual tables (i.e. not communally, like at some of the other camps). The camp has a daily set menu. The food tends to be very popular with guests, with traditional Italian recipes being served, straight from the owner’s family cookbook. These are complimented by delicious salads and herbs grown in the camp’s own garden. Bush breakfasts out on the plains can be arranged if you want to try something a little different. The main thatch-roof open bar, lounge, and dining room overlook a water hole and have superb views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru in neighboring Tanzania. If you want to catch up on your journal or bird and mammal lists, then relax on the comfortable furniture on your personal sitting area, or laze by the pool in between activities (such as game drives or guided bush walks, which the lodge provides at an extra cost).


    Tortilis Camp List of Awards


    Theirs a Feeling of disbelief and awe hit you as you arrive at Tortilis Camp, facing the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro as the sun dazzles the white snowcap. The luxury 5 star camp won the British Airways Regional Travel Award for ecotourism and has earned an international reputation for its commitment to the environment with its rustic simplicity, unobtrusive design and attention to comfort without compromising the ecosystem. At the Tortilis Camp hotel above on the hill there is a relaxing lounge area with lots of interesting coffee table wildlife books, Travel & Leisure Worlds Best Awards 2007.Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2006 Awards – Best for Service in Africa, Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2005 - Readers Choice Awards 2005 – Tortilis Camp Came 9th in Africa, The British Airways Regional Award For Ecotourism, Tortilis Holds A "Certificate Of Merit & Recognition" From The Friends Of Conservation (Kenya). Certificate of Accreditation from the Ecotourism Society of Kenya 2004, 2005, 2006 (pending audit for 2007).


    Tortilis Camp Information


    There have been lots of exciting new updates at Kenya safari camp, Tortilis Camp, but perhaps the most exciting development is the newly built family tent. With two en-suite bedrooms the new tent is perfect for families of four looking for their ideal Kenya family safari holiday. A second swimming pool is being planned to accompany the tent and will exclusively for family use only! The original pool house has also been renovated and the vegetable garden has been enlarged to provide even fresher, organic vegetables and salads for meals at the camp. Wireless internet is now available in the main areas of camp which makes things a lot easier if guests want to contact family or business back home. Tortilis is a great area for game viewing. Out on your drives you are likely to see zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and lion but perhaps the most exciting animals here are the large elephant herds. A wide range of activities and facilities plus the wonderful Kenyan setting, Tortilis Camp is a fantastic choice for family safari holiday.


    Amboseli National Park Information


    Amboseli National Park, at the foot of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is one of Kenya’s most popular national parks. It lies 150 miles south-east of Nairobi, very close to the Tanzania border. The snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the clouds dominates every aspect of Amboseli. Established as a national park in 1974 it covers 150sq miles and supports a wide range of mammals (well over 50 of the larger species) and birds (over 400 species).Years ago this was the locale around which such famous writers as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark spun their stories of big game hunting in the wilds of Africa. The park encompasses dry lake beds, savannah woodland and extensive swamps constantly fed by springs emanating from the mountain. The water and seasonal lakes attract a wide variety of bird and animal life, in particular herds of elephant. Amboseli is one of the best parks in Africa to observe family groups of elephants and large bull elephants at close quarters. Amboseli is a very fragile ecosystem, submitted to great seasonal variations. The overall sensation is of a dry land, in fact annual rainfalls are scarce, in the range of 350-400 mm. The northwestern area is occupied by the dry bed of the Amboseli Lake, which for a large part of the year is nothing but a huge frying pan covered with shattered saline earth populated with dusty whirlwinds. The mirages blend with the herds of zebra and wildebeest that traverse the scalding plain one after one, crestfallen and with a weary and lost look. During the wet season, the rains flood the lake bed and the surrounding area.


    Though, this plentiful water does not sustain a rich vegetal variety. The cause is the high salt deposits in the lake bed, which the flood dilute and disperse hindering plant growth. For this reason few trees grow in the park, only small patches of acacia and some palm trees far off the lake. Contrariwise, salt-rich pastures grow and are very appreciated by the herbivores. Despite the first impression of a dusty and arid land, actually Amboseli is overflowing with water all the year round, but under the ground. The snows of Kilimanjaro melt and flow downhill, soaking the porous subsoil layers of volcanic rocks. Waters converge into various underground streams, that rise in two clear water springs in the center of the park and ooze from down under in several points giving birth to large marshes like the Loginya Swamp, in which papyrus grow and elephants, hippos and buffalos find their particular spas, together with their accompanying cattle egrets. Amboseli's geography is so simple that its description brings to mind the pirates' treasures maps. The vast plain starts in the dry bed of Amboseli Lake, that welcomes the visitor with its desolating image. Southward and eastward the area named Ol Tukai shows up, a patch of luxuriant green that hides some of the park's lodges. Following southward there is a palm tree forest, a cool oasis that supplies shade, water and shelter for plenty of wildlife. To both sides of the forest it's the swamps' reign, and at the western part raises the Observation Hill, the only height in the park, a smooth hill to be climbed on foot that displays a magnificent view of the whole park and beyond. Southward, the layers of volcanic rocks expelled by Kilimanjaro some hundreds of years back rise to the surface, giving the landscape a lunar aspect. Right at the edge of the lava flow there is another lodge, the Amboseli Serena. Finally, at the south border of the park lay several Maasai villages next to the Tortilis Camp.


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