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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Miss G. from Newark

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

1

My Aug 2018 trip

Kenya between 21 Aug 2018 and 6 Sep 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"We are really happy that we booked with Expert Africa. Richard is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. I think our first phone call must have been at least an hr long as we discussed every option.

We were really happy with the places he recommend and with the final trip schedule. He gave us good advice about not paying extra to have a freight seat on the planes. We were a little over the max bag weight but we were not asked to pay anything.

We were grateful that he let everywhere know about Sarah's leg injury in advance as it meant all the camps were prepared for us.

We had an amazing holiday and would love to travel with Expert Africa to Kenya again."

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport

"Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport review"

1 night Arrived 21 Aug 2018
"Really close to the airport. Felt safe and secure.

Rooms/ bathrooms were nicely decorated and clean.

Staff were all very friendly and helpful.

Breakfast buffet was very good with lots to chose from.

Large dinner/room service menu with lots of stuff for vegetarians."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor

"Amazing - Must visit!"

2 nights Arrived 22 Aug 2018
"We stayed for two night and were glad we did so as it meant we could spend lots of time with the Giraffes but also visit other places nearby.

The building itself was beautiful, we stayed in Jocks room and were very happy with it. It was well furnished, clean and we liked that they lit the fire for us whilst at dinner so when we returned to our room it was warm. All the little touches were very nice and much appreciated; the hot water bottles and little notes about Giraffes on our bed every night, the hand written welcome note on arrival and the Wine and flowers left in our room to help celebrate our honeymoon.

All the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, probably the best of any hotel we stayed in Kenya, we liked that each room was given a specific staff member to look after you so he got to know us and us him. Peter was exceptionally good to us. Before we travelled we read that the rooms don't have locks on which we thought might be a bit disconcerting but once we were there it didn't bother us at all.

All the food was amazing, I don't think we were given anything we didn't like and they catered very well for vegetarians.

The giraffe interaction was phenomenal and well worth every penny to experience. One morning whilst we were at breakfast I went up to the room to find Eddie patiently standing at the window waiting to be fed.

George the driver was very nice and helpful, we had him for our whole stay and he took us to many places, DSWT, Karen shopping mall, the local craft market and Nairobi museum and was happy to answer our questions as we travelled from place to place. As guests at the manor we were given a private guide around the Giraffe centre which was a nice touch.

We both had treatments while staying at Giraffe manor and they were only okay.

We stayed at 6 places whilst in Kenya and I think this would be our favourite, we will definitely be back."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Elephant Bedroom

Elephant Bedroom

"Elephant Bedroom review"

3 nights Arrived 24 Aug 2018
"Our tent at Elephant Bedroom was very large and well furnished with a massive bed and the adjoining bathroom was also large and functional. The location was perfect, right on the river bank and we had many Elephants wander by our tent during the day eating the shrubbery in front of it. In fact one day we spent a lovely couple of hours "trapped" on our decking watching a bull elephant eat a leisurely lunch.

The communal area was nice, we enjoyed eating lunch by the river and on the main decking at dinner time. They had a good range of drinks available to purchase. All the staff were very friendly and helpful.

This was one of only two places we stayed where we had a choice at meal times which was a nice treat. Unfortunately I wouldn't say the food is amazing. As a vegetarian I was quite disappointed with the options for the evening meal. Lunch and breakfast were better but not great. The meat main meals were slightly better but nothing to write home about.

We were really happy with our guide Julius, who seemed very experienced and knowledgeable. He was very friendly and easy to get along with. We really enjoyed our safaris with him and even saw the only leopard of the trip. Compared with Kicheche camp where we stayed next you get a lot less jeep time here as you only go out in the morning for a short while as they bring you back to camp for breakfast. The sundowner was great, at a really nice location. We were given the option of a double double or triple triple shot in our pina colada. It seems they do one every second night so depending on when you arrive you get either one or two sundowners.

We've been told that Samburu isn't as good as other place in Kenya for game viewing which may be true (although we did see a leopard here) but we would definitely visit Samburu and Elephant Bedroom again for the proximity and amount of elephants in the area. They are everywhere you turn!"
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
Kicheche Mara

Kicheche Mara

"Kicheche Mara review"

3 nights Arrived 27 Aug 2018
"Our tent here wasn't particularly large but was well furnished and clean. The bathroom was better than expect as they have recently gotten rid of the bucket showers and replaced them with real running water. All the staff were really friendly and helpful and tried to make you feel at home.

We loved how the emphasis here is on game drives and  everything else is secondary, well it was in our jeep anyway (I'm sure you can chose to be out for less time if you want to?). Most days we left at 6am and didn't return until just before lunch, taking breakfast with us. In the afternoon we went out from 4pm until just before dinner, enjoying a sundowner every night wherever the viewing was at its best. The first night we spend it next to a pride of 20 lions.

Our guide George was brilliant, he made sure we saw everything we wanted. He was an expert at predicting where the animals would go next so whilst everyone else were chasing the animals getting pictures of their backside, George had us positioned perfectly to watch the animal come to us. This happened on numerous occasions and it meant we got great pics.  Not only was he a great guide but a very nice person who was a pleasure to spend so much time around and very knowledgeable.

We spend one full day in the reserve and surprisingly actually saw less animals than we had in the conservancy. It was also very very busy with Jeeps. We did manage after waiting patiently for 3 hrs to see a river crossing which was fab although a bit brutal. After visiting the reserve we were glad that we had chosen to stay in the conservancy and do most of our game drives there.

We enjoyed sitting around the camp fire for a pre dinner drink before enjoyable evening meals. The only small issue was no pre warning on what you were going to have for dinner so if you didn't like it tough luck. We had an enjoyable but slightly cringe worthy experience at dinner on our last night where all the staff came out singing and dancing to celebrate our recent nuptials. We all then enjoyed a glass of bubbly which was great."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

"Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve review"

29 Aug 2018 • All-day excursion

We spend one full day in the reserve and surprisingly actually saw less animals than we had in the conservancy. It was also very very busy with Jeeps. We did manage after waiting patiently for 3 hrs to see a river crossing which was fab although a bit brutal. 

After visiting the reserve we were glad that we had chosen to stay in the conservancy and do most of our game driver their.
Good
Kinondo Kwetu

Kinondo Kwetu

"Kinondo Kwetu review"

4 nights Arrived 30 Aug 2018
"Kinondo Kwetu is beautiful. All the outside areas, the beach, the pools and the bar/restaurant area are really lovely. Our rustic beach cottage was in a great location, we could see the beach from our outside decking. 

It was very quiet when we were there with only around 5 other rooms taken which meant we had the beach and the pools to ourselves most of the stay, however there are loads of sun beds and the main pool is very big so I don't think space would be a problem even when it's full.

The beach was lovely, it was great for a walk and a swim when the tide was in. They have discrete security staff on the grounds at all times so it felt quite safe and secure. All the staff were really helpful and friendly.

The breakfast was ample, however lunch and dinner were just okay. Their vegetarian options were limited. We stayed for 4 nights and on the 4th night they wanted to give me what I'd had on the first night for dinner. 

All the excursions they offered were mega expensive ie 600 us dollars to have a boat trip to the marine park. The next place we stayed in Diani did similar trips but for a lot less."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Good
The Sands at Chale Island

The Sands at Chale Island

"The Sands at Chale Island review"

2 nights Arrived 3 Sep 2018
"The island is beautiful. It's great fun taking the boat or the tractor on the very short ride from the mainland to the island. We were booked to stay in the overwater suite which was amazing. Out of the 6 places we stayed in Kenya this room was the best. It was massive with a large walk in wardrobe, a living room with mini bar and the bedroom had air conditioning. It was all open plan with loads of windows from which you could see the sea and the mangroves. The decking was nice with a day bed and sun loungers and steps down into the sea.

The only draw back on the overwater suite is that it is situated on the other side of the island from the main resort and is a little isolated. The walk at night to the restaurant is quite dark although there are some lights our torch came in handy. As we were celebrating our honeymoon the gave us a complimentary upgrade to all inclusive, two free spa treatments and a bottle of wine in the room which was very kind and appreciated.

It is a big resort so the main buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner can be quite busy. The food was good and there was a wide variety of choice.  We also tried the a la carte restaurant which was practically empty the whole time. The food was nice but the menu small.  All the staff were very friendly and helpful.

The beach was very pretty and the pools good. We used the saltwater pool a lot as it's the closest to the overwater suite. We loved the daily activities around the island that they provide like the mangrove tours. If we had been staying for longer we would have taken more advantage of them. The phone app they have is really handy as it has a map of the island and details of what activities are on for the next few days.

I had read reviews online that Chale had a different time zone and it seemed to be causing a lot of confusion, luckily they seem to have done away with it. The spa was beautiful. The rooms are open-air dotted around the mangroves. We tried 4 treatments in total and really enjoyed all of them. The beauticians were really good.

The only thing that would have enhanced our stay would have been if they hadn't removed the plunge pool from our decking. On their website they have youtube videos of all the rooms and ours showed a plunge pool. It would have been handy to take a dip when the tide is out to save you walking up to the pool if you are sun bathing in the room. Put it back please for the next time we stay."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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