GUIDE ON KAMBI YA TEMBO IN WEST KILIMANJARO
Kambi Ya Tembo, translated as “camp of elephants” is a welcoming and comfortable tented accommodation not far from the entrance to Kilimanjaro National Park. Sited on a private and unrestricted concessionary area – Sinya, the camp is not bounded by any park restrictions. Set on a small crest with spectacular views of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, the extensive lightly wooded South Amboseli plains and the cone of Mount Meru and other dormant volcanoes, Kambi Ya Tembo is off-the-beaten tourist track by a bouncy transfer journey with your AfricanMecca guide, but well worth the discomfort for the wonderful African nature safari welcome that awaits.
Bordering the camp’s shared ecology of Sinya concession is Amboseli National Park in Kenya, famed for its lumbering old tuskers, bull elephants over half a century old, with massive ivory tusks who have survived the depredations of poachers due largely to the research and conservation initiatives conducted there by Cynthia Moss over the last 25 years.
As their migration paths became more challenging between Amboseli and Sinya, some of the tuskers have settled largely around the area with large herds of matriarchs and youngsters, comprising an unusually healthy and well-balanced African elephant population thus the name of the camp.
Unpretentious, yet generously and considerately comfortable, a Kambi Ya Tembo tour offers options of guided walks in the immediate vicinity or a hike on the Kilimanjaro from Londorossi Gate – the start point of the Lemosho route (view map of Kilimanjaro), or off-road safaris on the private concessionary area, as well as informative and thrilling interactions with the Maasai people in their own small villages in Sinya.
Accommodation At Kambi Ya TemboKambi Ya Tembo has 14 large and airy guest tents set far apart for privacy on a hillside overlooking the plains and mountains of Tanzania and Kenya. All the tented suites have king size or twin beds, adequate furnishings, dressing table and storage space, with fresh, roomy en-suite bathroom areas with solar heated shower (read more on where else to stay in west of Kilimanjaro National Park).
Each has a viewing patio with cane or safari chairs where, looking towards east on a clear morning, you can watch sunrise over the Amboseli plains and the Shining Mountain, as Kilimanjaro can be rendered in Swahili, or, facing back to Tanzania, enjoy sunset over the volcanic ranges of the Great African Rift Valley.
A central charging point is available for camera batteries, but there are no power points in the tents but are lit by solar panels, like the rest of the camp, and also by romantic lanterns, conveying a magical African travel atmosphere as you walk to and fro along gravel paths. Wild animals share the paths. Monkeys, bush babies and even a warthog have been seen close to the camp.
Some AfricanMecca visitors value this contact with the natural world far more than any sophisticated standards of decor or self-indulgence. Amenities are uncomplicated, with neither telephone nor internet, but the people are friendly, amusing and considerate, providing room service, laundry, and hot water bottles for cool nights, and doing everything possible to ensure your safety and comfort on your mountainous vacation in Tanzania.
Safari At Kambi Ya TemboIf you plan to spend only a day or two of your Tanzanian safari at Kambi Ya Tembo, you will be spoiled for choice of activities. A popular game drive by customized 4-WD to see the elephants of west Kilimanjaro – part of the South Amboseli ecosystem, or to explore the diversity of other plains game, may take half a day, or a whole day if a walking tour is preferred. You will need walking boats and warm clothing as you ascend hundreds of feet of this complex and varied ecological system.
A more ambitious Mount Kilimanjaro trek trip with AfricanMecca would take months of preparation and less-specialized equipment for a more challenging ascent taking several days. For many visitors, the fascinating variety of birds to be found around Kambi Ya Tembo and Sinya concession will provide hours of interest, especially the intricate basket nests of brightly colored weaver birds hanging from acacia branches.
A late afternoon tour of a Maasai village is a moving experience, where the people are not accustomed to the pressures of tourism in more easily accessible locations. You may impromptu be invited to enter a traditional boma, in which a man houses his several wives separately within the same stockade, so they can they work together amicably as sisters, sharing domestic tasks, crafts and child care.
Your cultural vacation in Tanzania will give you an unrivalled opportunity to appreciate the importance of traditions in a social structure which is very different to your own. You may want take anthropology class or read up appropriate material to diminish the opportunity of a culture-shock!
Dining At Kambi Ya TemboFood at Kambi Ya Tembo is fresh, tasty and generously supplied. Staff will offer you second and even third helpings. Unlimited drinks are generally inclusive with meals. Bread is baked fresh each morning in a large tray over a charcoal burning stove. Dishes are imaginative, well-cooked and nicely presented.
You may eat in camp or take packed lunches on day long game driving tours in the western sector of Kilimanjaro. Or you could take lunch in the mess tent. A late afternoon visit to a Maasai village may end with a roast goat, cooked over a campfire, or AfricanMecca lodgers could return to camp in time for sundowners, which are a distinctive cocktail ritual on personalized safari in Africa.
The sun descends with amazing rapidity, turning golden plains into silver wildernesses with deep black shadows cast by an African moon, or blanketing the plains in darkness under a glittering canopy of stars. There is a spacious, open-sided mess tent with eye-catching cloth panels decorated with ethnic shield and jewelry emblems. It adjoins a large, raised viewing deck with a sand pit for a campfire, overlooking a small waterhole where zebras and other wildlife gather in the evening.
Dinner in the mess can extend late into the evening. Obliging, tireless staff ply you with drinks as you exchange yarns with other guests who also appreciate the budget conscious simplicity and friendliness of this particular African tour base (read more on when is the best time to visit west Kilimanjaro for an off-beat African safari).
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Loretta and I had a great time on our honeymoon. Simiton, your safari guide in Tanzania was awesome! He was very professional, very accommodating and very knowledgeable. We are already talking about our next trip to Africa!
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We have returned from our African adventure and would like to thank you very much for your part in making this such a wonderful experience. We were lucky enough to time the Great Migration from the Serengeti, which was amazing.
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Jambo Raza, It was a wonderful experience in Tanzania. Rogers, our guide was superb; knowledgeable, helpful and very friendly. We were treated very well by all your ground team and everything ran smoothly. I enjoyed it all.
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AfricanMecca's professionalism and care understands that what distinguishes Africa is its authenticity, the land, people and wildlife who do not share our world of fashion and fanfare that distinguish so many travel companies today.
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AfricanMecca Safaris created a remarkable honeymoon tailored to our interests and desires. The quality of service and delivery of experience was unsurpassed. I highly recommend AfricanMecca Safaris to honeymooners, families, or any traveler.
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EAST AFRICA SAFARI BOOKING TRIP IDEA FOR KAMBI YA TEMBO IN WEST MOUNT KILIMANJARO TANZANIA
When staying at Kambi Ya Tembo on the western side of Kilimanjaro, we recommend combining it with your Northern Tanzania safari to Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti (wildebeest migration). End your trip with a Swahili cultural tour and beach holiday in Zanzibar.
You may optionally extend out to offbeat parks in Southern and Western Tanzania such as Nyerere (Selous), Ruaha or Katavi ending with a chimpanzee trekking safari at Gombe or Mahale by the relaxing Lake Tanganyika.
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