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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr & Mrs R from Berkshire

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

3

Excursions taken

0

A wonderful adventure that we'll never forget

Kenya and 1 other country between 18 Jul 2016 and 2 Aug 2016

Trip rating: Excellent
"Our honeymoon was many months in the planning but boy, was it worth it.

We had an absolutely epic adventure in Kenya and Zanzibar - we saw and experienced so much. We are truly fortunate to have been able to visit such extraordinary places and wouldn't hesitate to recommend to others any of the places we visited. The trip of a lifetime!"

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Borana

Borana

"Understated luxury at Borana Lodge"

4 nights Arrived 19 Jul 2016
"We feel immensely lucky to have been guests at Borana - what a fabulous place to begin our honeymoon. The thatched cottage we stayed in was heavenly, we loved the fire in the room in evenings and the hot water bottles at night!

The staff were excellent - we only met Flick once but she left a great impression and we were very well looked after by Hunter and all the staff. Our guides: Patrick and John, were wonderful (and I think Patrick is going for his silver imminently).

The food was a high point - very impressive that all the produce is locally and sustainably sourced and the chef is superb. The huevos rancheros for breakfast deserve a special mention - and a piece of carrot cake with frozen yoghurt had all the guests waxing lyrical one lunchtime! We liked it that the settings (locations) for breakfast, lunch and dinner were all different - and equally stunning!

The activities were brilliant. I rode every day and thought the stables and horses were fantastic. It was great to be able to enjoy rides on some forward-going horses - and it was good to be able to spend some time with Nicky Dyer, who went above and beyond to welcome both myself and Ollie (who doesn't ride!). We also very much enjoyed rhino tracking one morning and feel very lucky to have been able to get pretty close to these fascinating creatures. We saw both black and white rhino (we saw a couple of whites as we were passing through Lewa Conservancy en route to Borana). The work Borana Conservancy does to protect its rhinos is humbling.

Additionally, we enjoyed a couple of walking safaris, including a yomp to Pride Rock for sundowners. Special! A daytime excursion to the Ngare Ndare forest was great fun also. And we were lucky enough to see cheetah but the lions proved elusive (other guests spied them but we prioritised rhino as we were pretty confident we'd see lots of lion in the Mara). The game drives were fantastic and it was excellent to have the flexibility to go out whenever we fancied, including at night.

The only very minor negative was finding myself booked on an 'intermediate' ride (rather than 'experienced') for the second day, seemingly in order to accommodate one of the youngsters (a 20-year-old English girl) who was working at Borana for a few weeks over the summer. Given that it was just myself, the guides and the girl in question, I was a bit miffed that the pace of my ride had to be tempered to suit her (she wasn't very experienced and did not have good control of her horse) - a non-paying customer! I feel a bit churlish bringing this up because we had a lovely ride and I feel privileged to have been on horseback in such a stunning location at all - but I did feel it was a bit of an own goal.

Overall - we had an absolutely fantastic (and jam-packed!) time at Borana and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Offbeat Mara

Offbeat Mara

"Fantastic stay at Offbeat Mara"

4 nights Arrived 23 Jul 2016
"We had a wonderful time at Offbeat - staying in this tented camp was a great contrast to the lodge accommodation we'd enjoyed at Borana. It's a fabulous little camp and very well run by Jesse (who, for 19-years-old, has a ridiculously old head on his shoulders and obviously commands the respect of the staff). We thought it was very cool to have two Maasai for guides - Josphat and Komani - and liked it that they sported Maasai dress rather than 'corporate'/lodge-branded attire. Josphat was a mine of information (going for his gold soon, I think) and we had a thoroughly brilliant time with the pair of them.

Activity-wise it was all about the drives (although we loved our visit to a local Maasai village one afternoon/evening) - I believe Jesse is waiting on his rifle licence, which will mean he can offer walking safaris which I think would be a good addition. But the drives were amazing and we loved it that one day we got back to camp after a whole day out - and Jesse said 'jump in the jeep, a leopard's been spotted close to camp'. And we found her! So lucky and so glorious to have a local resident leopard - we saw her a couple of times after that, including one incident when she dispatched an infant warthog (cue lots of noise!). We really appreciated that genuine want on the part of the management to ensure we had the best possible experience.

Seeing a crossing was epic (our all-day excursion into the National Reserve was just brilliant) and the guides seemed to know place after wonderful place for breakfast stops. Having bacon and eggs - and a coffee - by a watering hole for zebra in the sunshine and by a hippo and croc-infested river was really special.

We also did an AMAZING night drive with our fellow seriously good fun guests... tearing around the plains on the roof of a Landcruiser with a couple of bottles of wine in tow was absolutely brilliant (though I don't want to get anyone into trouble!).

I feel a bit unfair marking the food and activities 'good' rather than 'excellent' - but that's just because I'm comparing them with Borana (which had a full-service kitchen whereas of course Offbeat doesn't!)... I thought it was all seriously good.

Overall - the Mara is in a league of its own in terms of the sheer abundance of game. Offbeat Mara was a fabulous base and we'd love to go back some day. Special mention to Jesse, Sam, Josphat and Komani for the laughs, attention to detail and general marvellousness!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Pongwe Beach Hotel

Pongwe Beach Hotel

"Azure sea, powder white sand and cocktails"

5 nights Arrived 27 Jul 2016
"We were ready for a rest by the time we reached Pongwe - especially given the long journey there from the Mara. But we think it was worth it. It's an absolutely stunning place.

We loved the personal plunge pool and day beds we had outside our villa; and the fact that it's a reasonably small place so doesn't feel 'resort-y'. There were always sunloungers to relax on by the pool and on the beach - and having a library is a nice touch, which we took advantage of.

Heidi the manageress was excellent and we really liked the rest of the staff ('hakuna matata' being the name of the game). The food was good and the service was pleasant if sometimes entertainingly idiosyncratic - the language barrier meant that it was necessary to point to things on menus otherwise random things turned up (e.g. ordering 1 x tea and 2 x coffees turning up). The cocktails were good - the fresh pineapple in the pina coladas was welcome!

We enjoyed a day's trip to Stonetown via the Spice Farm - but wouldn't have headed into town more than once because it was over 100 USD for the car alone. Also the massage facilities nextdoor seemed overpriced to me (140 USD for a massage... more than London!) but maybe that was because of the need for a car.

Overall we loved it - pure relaxation in an idyllic setting. The azure sea and powder white beach were spectacular - and the fact that you can get away without wearing shoes while you're there (the path to the bar is sand) means you can't help but kick back and relax. Brilliant spot to end our honeymoon."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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