Awards and Press

Gold Eco-rating Certification – Ecotourism Kenya 2015-2016

gold-eco-ratingTortilis Camp has been awarded the Gold-level Eco-rating Certificate by Ecotourism Kenya in recognition of its high level of environmental responsibility and its dedication to the support and integration of local communities. (Silver Eco-Rated 2011/12/13/14)

Virgin HIP Hotel – 2010/11/12/13

virgin hip

Tortilis Camp was hand-picked as one of Virgin’s HIP Hotels, which combine to bring you luxury breaks in the most stunning of settings. Locations that are as unique as they are exclusive. Hotels so stylish, they’re destinations in their own right.

Best Small Lodge – Kenya Tourism Awards, 2012

ktf awardOn behalf of the tourism industry, Kenya Tourism Federation introduced the Kenya Tourism Awards in 2011. The goal of the awards is to recognize and encourage excellence and good practice in responsible tourism.

Nominee Kenya’s Leading Safari Lodge - World Travel Awards, 2008/09/10/11/12

world travel awards nomineeThe World Travel Awards scheme serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

Finalist Best Eco Property, Best Safari Cuisine & Best Safari Guiding Team – The Good Safari Guide, 2011

good safari guideWith nominations from over a thousand luxury travel professionals, hundreds of readers of Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, Brides and Travel Africa Magazine you can rest assured that any safari business nominated for a Safari Award is amongst the best in its genre.

Finalists are amongst the top 3% in Africa and the Safari Award Winners are unquestionably the best, their reputation earned through excellence recognised by people who know what they are talking about.

World’s Best Awards Top 100 – Travel & Leisure Magazine – 2007/08/09/10/12

travel and leisure 2010The T&L World’s Best Awards highlight the World’s 100 top-ranked hotels as voted by thousands of Travel & Leisure readers on an annual basis.

500 World’s Best Hotels – Travel & Leisure Magazine – 2008/09/10/11/12

travel and leisure 500The T&L 500 Best Hotels List is a compendium of the 500 top-ranked hotels worldwide, voted by thousands of Travel & Leisure readers on an annual basis.

Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2005/06/08 – Best for Service in Africa

cone nast traveller 2008When it comes to those crucial choices in travel, there is only one thing that literally sets the gold standard, and it’s Condé Nast Traveler. The Gold List is truly a global representation of real quality, no matter how far-flung. It’s newsy, too, highlighting impressive newcomers and discerning trends.

Tourism for Tomorrow Award – British Airways, 1996

british airways tourism for tomorrowThe Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are one of the world’s highest accolades in the Travel & Tourism industry. They are aimed at recognising best practice in sustainable tourism within the industry worldwide.

 

 

Location and Wildlife

Amboseli National Park covers 392 sq kms, only a small portion of the surrounding 3000 sq km of the Amboseli ecosystem. Tortilis Camp is on the south western edge of the park, facing the mountain and is accessed from within the National Park. It overlooks its own private wildlife conservancy, Kitirua, 30,000 acres. Away from the busy eastern side of Amboseli, and with its own private conservancy, guests experience a wild and private

Amboseli.

The area is famous for the dramatic views of Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world, and the highest peak on the African continent. Kilimanjaro at 19,340ft or 5,894m rises dramatically out of the 4000ft (1,200m) Amboseli plains. An extinct volcano with two peaks, rocky Mwenzi and Kibo a crater rim. The glaciers on the mountain are slowly disappearing with global warming, but it remains snow capped as any precipitation on the mountain settles as snow. Despite being in Tanzania, the best views of the mountain are from Amboseli, with Tortilis Camp on a south-west hillside facing the mountain, having the most dramatic views of all.

Amboseli is also famous for its elephant herds, which have been followed and documented by world renowned researcher Cynthia Moss. Amboseli has some of the largest elephants in Africa, and the guides at Tortilis Camp know the individual elephants, their family history, and are able to get very close to the habituated herds.
Much of Amboseli incorporates the dried up bed of a Pleistocene lake, with lush deep fresh water springs in the middle of the park a haven for hippos and birdlife and a playground for elephants. As well as plentiful plains game and their predators, the area hosts its own eastern white bearded wildebeest migration, a population that is genetically separate from the Masai Mara/Serengeti population.

Climate

The days are warm, rising to maximum of 30 deg C, but comfortable with minimum humidity, and the evenings are cool with cosy blankets on the beds. Rainfall is mostly in November with an average of 220mm per year.

 

Safari Dining

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 lavish 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.
General mealtimes are as follows:

  • Breakfast 06.30-09.30
  • Lunch 13.00-14.30
  • Afternoon tea and homemade cakes and biscuits are served during the afternoon
  • Dinner 20.00 – 21.30
  • Canapes ‘bitings’ are served in the bar and lounge before dinner.

Tortilis Camp is happy to cater for special diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc. Please make sure your travel agent informs us well in advance though, so that the camp managers can prepare for your arrival.

 

Community & Conservation

Community

Tortilis employs around 60% of its staff from the local community, training them from scratch to become professional guides, barman and waiters. With each employed individual in Kenya supporting an average of 8 dependants, our 40 local staff members potentially support between 300 and 400 members of the community.

Walking safaris with local Maasai guides are encouraged at Tortilis so that guests have the oppotunity to find out, first hand, about the intricacies of Maasai culture, stimulating a pride and desire among the community to preserve their traditions.

In 2010, Tortilis Camp donated KES 1,000,000 towards the building of Esiteti Primary School, which opened its doors with great ceremony in August 2011. Since the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust was launched in March 2011, Tortilis clients have donated nearly US$11,000 for sports equipment, books, stationary and construction work for Esiteti Primary School.

Conservation

Without fences demarcating National Park boundaries, Kenya’s wildlife roam freely between protected areas and surrounding privately owned land where their security largely falls into the hands of the community. To promote wildlife protection and conservation among these communties, it is becoming increasingly recognised that they should receive tangible long term benefits from wildlife-based tourism.
In full partnership with the community, Tortilis Camp is one of two tourism operators paying fixed rent to local Maasai landowners to preserve the Kitirua Conservancy, a 30,000 acre wildlife corridor bridging Amboseli and Tanzania. In 2011 alone, Tortilis paid US$ 36,145 in fixed rent for the Conservancy, 70% of which was paid directly to the community, while the remaining 30% was allocated to funding conservancy management.

Conservancy fees of US$30 per person per day paid by most guests at Tortilis fund conservancy management, anti-poaching and wildlife protection within Kitirua Conservancy. To achieve our conservation goals, we are working in partnership with the Big Life Foundation, whose efforts are widespread across the 2 million acre Amboseli ecosystem and are crucial to securing a successful future for Amboseli’s wildlife.  We would like to encourage you to visit the Big Life Foundation website to find out more about their conservation efforts and additional operational funding requirements.
Prior to their involvement with Big Life, Tortilis supported the Amboseli Tsavo Game Scouts Association for many years, donating US$0.50 per person per night towards their community training and anti-poaching work. ATGSA recruits its Game Scouts from the local Maasai community, training them to provide wildlife security and conservation awareness within the vast Amboseli and Tsavo ecosystems.

If you would like to contribute further to the conservation of the greater Amboseli ecosystem by supporting Big Life’s efforts, you may make your donation via the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust. Contact us to find out how.

An African elephant is second only to man in changing its environment. During the 1970’s, poaching and drought encouraged elephants to seek refuge in unnatural numbers within the core of Amboseli National Park, devastating the woodlands.

Observing the rapid depletion of the elephant habitat, the internationally renowned African Conervation Centre, together with the Kenya Wildlife Service, have created fenced “elephant exclosures” to allow woodland wetlands to naturally rejuvinate in the absence of these immense mammals. In support of their efforts, Tortilis Camp rehabilitated and maintains the 2.2km squared Olengaiya Swamp elephant exclosure just 15 minutes from camp.

Get Involved

The Olengaiya Swamp Enclosure

In the long-term, the ultimate objective is to install a series of exclosures within Amboseli to allow sufficient habitat rehabilitation in accordance with a sustainable rotational elephant grazing plan. However, we first need to verify whether those who travel far and wide to see the elephants of Amboseli will contribute to the restoration of Amboseli’s elephant habitat, ensuring elephant populations have a safe feeding ground for decades to come.

US$200-300 is sufficient to fund the maintenance of the fence for one month. If you are interested in helping us conserve this vital elephant habitat, please donate generously to the Elephant Habitat Conservation Project. Contact us to find out how.

Pack for a Purpose and the Esiteti Primary School

On your safari, through the Land & Life Foundation you can really make a difference to the communities you are travelling near by donating stationary, text books, uniforms, food and sports equipment in person, directly to the staff and pupils of a school. We work closely with the Committees of each school to make sure that each donation addresses a genuine need highlighted specifically by the school staff and parents.

Tortilis supports the Esiteti Primary School just 20 minutes’ drive from camp, where you have the opportunity to donate vital supplies directly to the school in person. Contact Chania Frost, CEO of Land & Life Foundation, to find out exactly what Esiteti Primary School currently requires and ensure that you provide a genuinely needed contribution and have a meaningful interaction with Kenyan communities during your safari.

If you are considering bringing donations from abroad, visit the Pack for a Purpose website for very specific advice on what is needed. Please do note that when flying within Kenya, the internal flight weight restriction is 15kg and may therefore limit what you can carry with you to the camps and donate to the rural communities in person. We can always, however, donate anything over and above your weight limit on your behalf at a later date.

 

Accommodation

Tents

With Mt. Kilimanjaro peering down over the entire camp, each of Tortilis Camp’s 16 tents has a glorious view of the mountain.
Each makuti-covered tent consists of a main bedroom with twin or double beds, en-suite bathroom and a spacious verandah. Let us know if you require twin beds or double bed.
[All tents can fit one extra bed, for children under the age of 16 yrs only]

Family Tent

With outstanding views of Mt Kilimanjaro, enjoyed from the comfort of your own private family verandah, Tortilis Camp’s new Family Tent is another great addition to this child-friendly safari camp in Amboseli.
The Family Tent consists of one double en suite bedroom, one twin en suite bedroom, and a spacious private verandah. Featuring a brand new swimming pool shared with the Private House.
[Both bedrooms can fit one extra bed for children under the age of 16 years only]

Private House

With Mt. Kilimanjaro peering down over the entire camp, Tortilis Camp’s Private House has a glorious view of the mountain.
The Private House consists of one en-suite double bedroom, one en-suite twin bedroom, and a spacious sitting / dining room with verandah. Featuring a brand new swimming pool shared with the Family Tent.
[Both bedrooms can fit one extra bed, for children under the age of 16 yrs]