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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs H from Warwickshire

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

2

Excursions taken

0

Big Adventure

Kenya between 6 Sep 2014 and 12 Sep 2014

Trip rating: Excellent
"Excellent. It was an intense experience that really did exceed our expectations; it was just like the documentaries and films that you have seen over the years. We saw everything we hoped to... and animals and birds that we never knew existed.

I'd like to mention our transfer driver, John, who looked after us between the 2 Nairobi airports. He took great pride in looking after us at all times as we asked to be taken on quite a few detours and his friendly attitude and "mother hen" nature really put us at our ease in what for us was a very different environment from anything we'd experienced before.

For the entire holiday it was strange, but good, to be able to mentally sit back and be completely managed by others, leaving us to enjoy the moment without having to worry about how to achieve the next steps."

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Satao Elerai

Satao Elerai

"Atmospheric introduction to Africa"

2 nights Arrived 7 Sep 2014
"Satao Elerai is in a wonderful location; a very long way up a very rutted drive, but in return we got great views of Kilimanjaro and across the plains to the west, a well-populated water-hole, elephants and giraffes visiting the tents at night and genets, geckos and all sorts of birds close to the restaurant, friendly and helpful staff, a very good driver/guide (Benson), a loo with a view and an interesting menu.

Satao Elerai is described as a luxury camp, but our tent (T10) was lacking a few simple things which would have made it a lot more comfortable – a bedside table on each side of the bed rather than just on one side, mats on either side of the bed so you don’t have to put your bare feet straight onto a cold floor, and at least one light which could be switched on/off without having to get out of bed (there were power sockets on the floor either side the head of the bed, clearly for bedside table lights... of which there were none). Our hot water bottles were virtually cold on the second night of our stay (but it was nice to have 1 each and in knitted covers!) and no menu was available at breakfast so we didn’t know what could be ordered.

At Little Governors we got a wake-up call with Tea / Coffee / Hot Chocolate which was a good, relaxing way to be woken up - and this would have been good to have here too.

It was very enjoyable to experience a sundowner with cocktails, nibbles and sparkling wine on our second evening, watching the sunset from the bar/restaurant area with elephants and giraffes at the water-hole; and in spite of our booking stating that drinks were not included, we were not charged for any during our stay (which was nice!).

Amboseli park has so many elephants, zebras, ostriches, giraffes etc; that there are no rhino and not many cats was not important to us as we were moving on to another camp "famous" for them, but it could be significant for other visitors. Yet we did see both lions and a cheetah (with four nearly-grown cubs), although they were at a distance.

After being on our feet for over 24 hours, cramming in multiple flights, Giraffe Centre & Elephant Orphanage, Game Drive and a 5KM drive down an un-made road, dinner and then bed - it was disappointing to listen to the drone of a generator until circa 11pm and starting again circa 5am... man-made sounds were louder than we have in suburbia! - we do appreciate it's a "necessity" but a bit of screening / re-location would have made a massive improvement to the experience of the "remote" location.

The efficiency of the waiting staff is to be admired but no time (and this is also true of Little Governors) was ever given to study a food menu / wine list; a decision was required immediately upon presentation - it was exhausting! I appreciate that it was a "fixed" menu, but really it was not a relaxing experience.

The Amboseli National Park experience was just how we imagined it from our pre-conceived ideas from documentaries and films seen over the years. It had a higher density of animals than we were expecting and indeed the Maasai Mara felt positively empty in comparison when we first arrived there (and a bit brown and barren compared to the "lushness" of Amboseli); particularly with regards to the numbers of elephant and giraffe - from what we experienced the Maasai Mara did not come close!

Our guide, Benson, with no prompting at all, always considered game viewing angles, positioning us such that the sun (wherever possible) was in the right place for our viewing and photography needs. He had real nuggets of information, delivered in a style that was informative but not a lecture - it could so easily have been a boring process but it wasn't; we learnt a lot, without trying."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Little Governors' Camp

Little Governors' Camp

"Smooth Operation"

2 nights Arrived 9 Sep 2014
"Little Governors’ is a very slick, well-oiled operation and much more obviously luxurious than Satao Elerai. It doesn’t have the views, but it does have a marshy area directly in front of the tents, which attracts elephant, hippo, buffalo, warthogs and giraffe to wander around the camp day and night. To sit outside your tent and watch them amble very close by is a true experience; as is being woken up by a hippo munching directly outside the tent at 1:30am, with an adult giraffe & youngster sauntering by and again by elephants & buffalo (rubbing up against the tent) at 4:30am...

The food was slightly more elegant than at Satao Elerai, and we did have to pay for all drinks apart from water and the (very welcome) morning wake-up coffee and hot chocolate delivered to the tent. Unlike Satao Elerai we had only 1 hot water bottle between 2 (and no knitted cover!). Again, the efficiency of the waiting staff was to be admired but again no time was ever given to study a food menu / wine list; a decision was required immediately upon presentation.

The number of guards and other staff on duty at all times was very reassuring, and again we had a very good driver/guide in Bernard. In one day we saw all "The Big 5" (which was not actually on our list of things to do, it was an accident!), lion cubs, a cheetah up-close and the wildebeest migration... crossing a river (with crocodiles playing an active role!?!); a big success.

Tents were a little too close together so you could hear things you didn’t really want to hear… honeymooners beware!

We spent 50% of our time in the Masaai Mara (vast open plains) and 50% in the Mara Conservancy. This was on the other side of the camp; much more intimate, with a higher density and cross-section of animals, including Rhino... just not as many big cats (saying that, the Serval was really sweet). This worked very well, I strongly recommend spending time in this other part of the park for the contrast and variety.

It is an intense experience: to be woken up at 5:30am, in the 4x4 by 6:30am... have a picnic breakfast at say 9:30am then continue until lunchtime (approx. 1pm) then back out again 3:30pm until dusk (around 6:30pm). A long day, but the mission was to maximise the chances of seeing game and so a price worth paying."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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