Amboseli National Park, Kenya
Splendidly set right on the border of Amboseli, one of Africa’s greatest national parks, Tortilis is a small gem of a tented camp that honors old safari traditions while keeping current with the latest in modern conveniences and thoughtful luxuries, a combination Micato seeks in all its camps and lodges, and here, in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, is brilliantly showcased.
We’ll talk about Tortilis’ serenely superb accommodations and its many activities a little below, but here let’s highlight two notable features of this forward-looking, backward-inspired camp. First, it’s one of the first camps its size to be 100% solar-powered (with its solar panels cleverly hidden from view). Second, even more importantly, Tortilis is a leader of the burgeoning East African conservancy movement; it pays substantial rents to the local Maasai, who own the land, and is in constant partnership with them in insuring the health of the Kitirua Conservancy, a vital 30,000 acre wildlife corridor bridging Amboseli with the Tanzania gamelands to the south. Our Tortilis guests are very much part of African solutions, one more source of the camp’s deep appeal.
Tortilis’ 15 tents are bright, airy, blessed with grand views of peacefully looming Kilimanjaro —and each is out of view of the others, adding to the camp’s intimate aura. We’re fond of saying that these very permanent and modern tents resemble the tents of our youth like a Piper Cub resembles the latest Gulfstream jet, and this is resoundingly true here at Tortilis. Each tent has a thatched roof veranda from which we can gaze out at the huge mountain and the animals who frequent the plains that lie below. We should also give a satisfied shout-out to Tortilis’ exceptionally fresh and exuberantly prepared cuisine.
Game viewing out of (and from) Tortilis is quite simply magnificent. Amboseli National Park’s 3,000 plus square miles of varied and animal-rich terrains is right at hand, and we have another 30,000 acres of the Kitirua Conservancy to search for Africa’s signature animals. As always, we’re accompanied on our drives by our Mictao Safari Director, who not only knows the habits and personalities of the elephants (Amboseli’s population is one of the world’s largest), zebras, balletic antelopes, Cape buffalos, leopards, and, amongst exhilarating etceteras, lions, the sight of which, Isak Dinesen wrote, “goes straight to the heart.” Our Safari Director is on hearty terms with the local Maasai people, whose villages we can visit in rich, respectful cultural and mutual fun. Tortilis’ swimming pool is always handy for post-game drive refreshment, and bush breakfasts, massages, and idyllic sundowners round out a robust but relaxing African experience.