Tortilis Camp is a charming, rustic tented camp, shaded by a natural forest of Acacia Tortilis thorn trees after which the camp is named. The trees and shrubs bustle with bird life, the views seem endless across the plains to Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru in Tanzania.
The camp won the British Airways regional 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. The tents are large, the emphasis is on service and comfort.
Each tent leads from a bedroom with expansive king-size or generous twin beds, through a dressing area into modern bathrooms with pressured hot showers and flush toilets.
Each tent is raised up on a wooden deck and sheltered by a makuti (thatched) roof overhanging a large verandah, ideal for an early afternoon siesta.
- 60 % of our staff needs to come from the local community. This will result in around 40 staff members (Maasai) being able to take care of around 400 to 500 family members and friends
- We supply the local community with drinking water and have a local shop for them
- We allow marketing of the cultural manyattas
- We lease land of the local group ranch so we can do game drives in a different area then the park which will relieve the current pressure on the park
- We organise walks, conducted by our local Maasai guides so guests can be educated on the local Maasai culture
- We try to educate the local community on human and wildlife conflict. Our means of trying to do that are:
Funding of the Amboseli Tsavo Game Scout Association.
ATSGA recruits and trains local Maasai to become Game Scouts. The goal for these game scouts is to have security over their own environment, educating their own people on human/wildlife conflict and securing their environment for future use.
The Mbarinkoi School Project
Tortilis has funds available to start building a new primary and clinic and maybe a secondary school in a later stage. The aim is to build this school further away from the park then the current schools so they might be able to relieve the current pressure on the park from the community. The biggest struggle today is the willingness of the Maasai themselves to help. There are around 5000 Maasai Warriors (Moran) in the area that do not have anything to do. Tortilis asked the community if some of these Moran could provide free labour. We provide funds, designs, materials and professional builders. The community provides free labourers whom will be trained in different building skill while working on the project. The end result will be a higher amount of educated Maasai and less pressure on the park which will ensure a more secure future for the greater Amboseli area. All the above was proposed to the community in April 2005. It is three months later now and we are still waiting for people to help build their own school.