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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Dr Z from USA

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

1

Trip of a lifetime

Kenya between 29 Nov 2019 and 11 Dec 2019

Trip rating: Excellent
"Incredible, unforgettable family vacation. If we had known how miraculous a safari trip would be, we would have found a way to scrape the money together decades ago.

My eleven year old daughter and my parents in their seventies were equally delighted and astonished. We visited Kenya during the short rains in early December and felt it was a perfect time of year to go. Incredible wildlife!!!!!"

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Macushla House

Macushla House

"Macushla comes with monkeys!"

2 nights Arrived 29 Nov 2019
"Macushla House is a funky B&B with monkeys in the yard and a great location.

Breakfast was quite good, we felt pressured into dinner which was far less good and rather expensive. Location is excellent for visiting Giraffe Center.

It was raining when we were there, so we didn’t get to use the pool and patio, which looked lovely."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Image alt

Porini Cheetah Camp

"Porini Cheetah Camp is Paradise!"

4 nights Arrived 1 Dec 2019
"Our family stayed at Porini Cheetah Camp for four nights during the short rains in early December. It’s low season for tourism but was an ideal time to visit this camp. The hospitality is warm and the wildlife density unparalleled.

Pictures can’t show you how the wildlife are in abundance all around you, almost everywhere you look. At one point my daughter said, “It’s been a while since we saw any animals,” and we started laughing because it had been only three minutes.

The ecosystem in this conservancy supports a denser-and-easier-to-see abundance of wildlife than in other areas, at least in the green season.

First, acacias are everywhere, bringing towers of giraffes and bringing herds of elephants to knock them over and dine on them, creating a surreal, dystopian landscape. The knocked-over acacias bring herds of Thompson’s gazelles to snack on the berries. The gazelles bring an abundance of cats—cheetahs and lions (and hyenas, though I guess they don’t count as cats.)

Second, the grass must be tastier here than in the Maasai Mara reserve, because so many wildebeest, Grant’s gazelles, elands, dik diks, buffalos, bushbucks and waterbucks are munching it that they’ve trimmed the grass short like a on a golf course, making it easy to spot animals far away even in the green season. (In contrast, grass in the Mara was tall, making sightings difficult.)

Third, there are oodles of termite mounds, making homes for dwarf mongoose families and food for aardwolves. (We didn’t see one but other guests at the camp did.)

The warthogs are plentiful everywhere, and their comical body language made them one of our favorite creatures to watch.

We got to do a night safari, which was as exciting as a daytime safari. Many of the same animals we saw in the day, but also more, like bush babies, baby bat eared foxes, and a spring hare hopping next to our vehicle like a tiny kangaroo.

We spent one day in the Mara, which was rather far away and had far fewer animals—but totally worth it for the leopard, rhino, lions, hippos, and crocodile we saw.

The warm and interesting host family (sorry I would misspell your names egregiously if I try to write them), were absolutely delightful. Young “retired” Indian expats from the Nairobi telecom world who had been such ardent fans of conservation, and the Mara region, and Porini camps, that they decided to open a camp in partnership with Porini and lead the safari life full-time. We loved talking with them at meals and they made us feel quite at home. We were the only non-Indian guests when we were there, which didn’t feel weird for even a moment.

Porini Cheetah Camp is an eco camp. So if you compared the tents and food to the luxury tented camps in Kenya, you would find it basic. But if you compared it to camping on your own in your home county, you’d find it quite luxurious. Flush toilets, sinks, hot (short) showers, wake up calls with coffee and cookies brought to your tent, and beds and furniture like a cottage. And miraculously, we didn’t see any mosquitoes.

If an eco safari suits your preferences, I can’t imagine a better camp than this one."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

"Wildlife hard to see but still great!"

3 Dec 2019 • All-day excursion

We were staying in the nearby(ish) Porini Cheetah Camp in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy where wildlife was so dense it felt like Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Very different in the Park, we drove for long stretches without seeing wildlife at all. But on the day we were there, we saw a lion hunt, a leopard in a tree, hippos and a crocodile at the river, and an elusive black rhino. And a dung beetle couple doing their dung ball thing, which was cool.

We were very glad to spend one day at the Park, and very glad to have three days in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy.
Excellent
Aero Club of East Africa

Aero Club of East Africa

"Funky place with character near Wilson"

1 night Arrived 5 Dec 2019
"This is a private club for pilots that has some rooms and a restaurant, very close to Wilson Airport. Pilots rooms wing is two stars, Captains wing room is three stars, and the restaurant isn’t fancy but perfectly good.

The history and ambience are interesting, and we received excellent service.

Definitely an unusual place to stay in Nairobi, and we were glad our agent recommended it."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Rooms
Average
Food
Good
Sirikoi

Sirikoi

"Absolutely astonishing"

4 nights Arrived 6 Dec 2019
"My family are seasoned global travelers, fortunate to have experienced luxury hotels and resorts across the globe. But never has hospitality come close to what we experienced at Sirikoi. They fully deserve Conde Nast‘s Reader’s Choice Award for #1 Luxury Resort in the World.

We were there during the short rains period in early December, which is low season for the resort, but a spectacular time to go. Everything was green, food was in abundance for all animals, and many of them had babies in tow. The grass was tall, so it wasn’t as easy to spot animals as it would be during the dry season, and we couldn’t drive off-road, but our guides Onesmus and Peter spotted so many animals anyway that it didn’t matter.

Onesmus was a supremely knowledgeable guide, enthusiastic about everything in the natural world, and a great teacher. When you ask him a question like what kind of bird is that, he doesn’t just answer but gives you a education. What’s unique about the bird, why it’s doing what it’s doing, maybe how it got its name, folk wisdom or previous misconceptions, etc. The two times we stumped him with a question, he researched the question in detail and shared the compete answer the next time we saw him. Onesmus was as excited about insects, birds, and poop (yep) as about the big mammals, which made us more excited about all those things too. Peter was our official spotter, sitting in the back with us and providing camaraderie and comic relief. He was a great source of information too, happy to answer all our animal questions. We all adored both these men.

The camp host and manager, Alistair, served up unparalleled hospitality and service with a side of dry wit that made us feel at home. He came by our house multiple times per day to check in and make arrangements for us. We were always glad to see him, though I can’t imagine how he put up with our party of six people with diverse and changing preferences. Alistair’s passion for termites was contagious, and you should definitely ask him about his colorful life.

Sirikoi has more options for things to do than any other safari camp we’ve heard of, and we availed ourselves of many during our four-night stay. (If you go when it rains, staying at least three nights would be strongly recommended, since it could be too rainy for safari drives during part of your trip.)

We took a bush walk, went horseback riding (go!), toured the Edenic garden that provides all the delicious produce you’ll be served at Sirikoi (George is a master permaculturist who was training 26 gardeners from around the world when we visited), got a massage, visited the ops center for the anti-poaching unit at the conservancy (unfortunately the dogs were out doing their job), met the habituated giraffe who’s being encouraged back to the wild but still visits, and bought some beautiful gifts at the shop. And of course we took many safari rides, all different. My favorite encounter was watching a male ostrich wooing a female with a funny dance (she was not impressed), and there are white and black rhinos in abundance including a famous one named Sonja.

Sue, who founded and owns Sirikoi, lives in a tent on the property and was so gracious to join us for lunch and then later to invite us over to view the bush babies we were keen on. Her life and her family are fascinating. The details are hers to share, and you’ll be fortunate if you get to talk with her. Sue is a kind and graceful force of nature.

We stayed in the house, which is a compound of three private buildings, the common space being a huge lodge open on one side and spectacularly gorgeous. Lounge overlooking the wetlands, breakfast area, living room with a fireplace, full bar, and dining room with another fireplace. It was chilly in December, but the fireplaces, Masai blankets, fresh mint tea, and hot water bottles in our beds kept us warm. The claw foot tubs and abundant hot water for baths are the cherry on top of a huge pile of cherries.

The whole resort sleeps 18 and has a full time staff of 70. You get a private guide and vehicle even if you come by yourself. If you stay in the house, your meals are served privately in the house or on the luncheon deck in the wetlands area, and you have a whole staff to serve you and keep you clean, safe, and happy. Martin and Josephine served us food and drinks all day, it seemed, and they were consistently kind, inviting us to request absolutely anything. The food during our first two days was more delicious than any Michelin star restaurant we’ve been to, and when we requested to try Kenyan foods the chef put together a whole day of local dishes we really enjoyed.

I could go on and on—but I already have. If you stay at Sirikoi, you won’t regret it, and you will remember it forever."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Four Points by Sheraton

Four Points by Sheraton

"Convenient but don’t eat here"

1 night Arrived 10 Dec 2019
"Very convenient to Nairobi international airport, so we stayed here on our last night.

The rooms were nice and the food awful. So don’t make our mistake, eat out."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Poor

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