The Elewana Collection
Tortilis Camp was designed and built by Stefano Cheli in 1993, the first “eco-lodge” in Kenya, it won the coveted Tourism for Tomorrow award. The Cheli’s were invited to build a small tented camp on the site by the Masai community. The site had been earmarked for a 200 bed lodge and Kenya Wildlife Service (under the direction of Dr. Richard Leakey at the time), insisted the project was scaled down to a more eco-friendly size and design, so the perfect project for Stefano.
Tortilis joined the Elewana Collection in 2015, a group of 16 boutique lodges and camps in some of the most iconic sites in Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar, and Stefano and Liz Cheli continue to participate in conservation work for Tortilis – specifically with the Kitirua Concession and Big Life.
Tortilis Camp guides are based in camp in Amboseli, and know their backyard intimately. More than half are Masai, and have combined Tortilis Camp guiding experience of 80 years, the head guide has been at Tortilis Camp since it opened. All the guides are Gold, Bronze or Silver level Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association certified. Amboseli is famous for its magnificent elephants, which have been studied for over 20 years by Cynthia Moss. Tortilis guides know the individual elephants, and their family relationships – plus the territory of resident lions and other local fauna. They have exclusive access to the 30,000 acre Kitirua conservancy and know every hyena den, the seasonal flowers, migratory birds .. Tortilis Camp walking guides are Masai from the area, and have been walking in this wilderness since they were very young. They enjoy sharing their knowledge of the small things, tracks, traditional uses of herbs and the Masai way of life.
Managers – Johan & Lori
Johan and Lori are originally from Southern Africa, they came to East Africa in 2013 to manage Elewana Collection’s unique tree lodge Tarangire Treetops, and fell in love with our wild open spaces. Johan and Lori are experienced “old hands” in the safari world having guided and managed luxury safari lodges in some of Southern Africa’s most iconic wildlife reserves. Passionate about wildlife, eco-systems and safari, Johan writes wildlife articles, and has done work on game capture stress.