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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr D from Ilfracombe

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

0

Holiday of a lifetime

Kenya between 4 Aug 2018 and 14 Aug 2018

Trip rating: Excellent
"This holiday was planned as a retirement trip for my wife and actually exceeded the high expectations that we had for it.

All the arrangements went incredibly smoothly and although we weren’t carrying countless vouchers ( the only 1 was for Safarilink) we didn’t need them as everyone on our itinerary had been clearly informed of our plans and were there on time to make it happen. Prior to travelling I had a number of useful conversations with firstly James and the Richard at Expert Africa to help clarify the itinerary. Richard in particular helped us immensely by getting an early entry to Giraffe Manor as well as a late departure from Mahali Mzuri, which really put the icing on the cake.

Going to Little Governors before Mahali Mzuri proved to be a very wise decision. At Little Governors we were close enough and lucky enough to see the Wildebeest cross the Mara river so it took the pressure off when we were at Mahali Mzuri. People staying there and wanting to see the crossing had about a 3 hour drive each way!

Planning a trip involving several stopovers, it is very useful to have the expertise of a knowledgeable safari operator to call on to make sure you get it right and clearly the author of the Rough Guide to Kenya is just that! A big thank you to Expert Africa for helping our planned trip of a lifetime come to fruition.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

I really think that what you offer is an excellent service.

I lost count of how many hours I spent looking at the very detailed information on your website, which is a fantastic planning tool and well supported by the Rough Guide which I delved into on numerous occasions."

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Macushla House

Macushla House

"Colonial comfort at Macushla House"

1 night Arrived 4 Aug 2018
"We arrived at Macushla house late at night from JK airport and were greeted with the broadest possible smile. We were offered a cooked meal which we thought was good considering it was around 11.00 pm, we went for a hot drink and then to bed.

The room was a very good size and comfortable. In the morning we had a lovely breakfast and strolled around the house and grounds. It was beautifully decorated in an old colonial style which was very appealing.

In the grounds we walked over a long wooden bridge to be greeted by an inquisitive troop of monkeys that ushered us back to the house. Only an overnight stay to get us close to our next destination of Giraffe Manor, which was literally just up the road.

Would definitely use this place again and recommend it as an overnight stop."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor

"Giraffe in the house!"

1 night Arrived 5 Aug 2018
"If Disney did ainimal experience hotels, then Giraffe Manor would fit in very nicely. The girafffes are wild but clearly habitualised and have a well defined routine, which is breakfast at the Manor then stroll to the Giraffe Sanctuary ( which you can see from the lawn) and back to the Manor for afternoon tea!

The Manor is a fabulous building and our room ( Daisy) was immaculate. It had a huge on suite and it’s own balcony for viewing and feeding the giraffes in the morning, but note it is so high up that only the tallest giraffes can reach and you have to kneel down to feed them, but it is still a great experience. The staff here are excellent and make absolutely sure that you get a perfect giraffe experience. At breakfast the giraffes do come through the windows of the dining room and consume huge amounts of pellets which are given to you in abundance by the attentive staff and at afternoon tea the experience is the same, even ‘kissing’ a giraffe with a pellet in your mouth is easily achieved.

The food here is nothing short of fine dining at its best. It was a bit chilly in the evening when we were there in August, but that didn’t stop you eating out in the courtyard as individual charcoal braziers were placed by the table and provided a lovely ambient warmth. Perhaps the only strange thing is having to order your desert at the same time as starter and main course, but this is a very minor issue and didn’t detract from the experience.

Giraffe Manor is definitely a unique experience which I would highly recommend for a visit, although for me 1 night was sufficient to gain the full benefit of this experience."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Nairobi Tented Camp

Nairobi Tented Camp

"Nairobi Tented Camp - a work in progress"

1 night Arrived 6 Aug 2018
"We stayed here 1 night in order to visit the Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary, where we had sponsored an orphaned elephant. The camp is perfectly situated for this as you can drive through the park to get to the sanctuary rather than use the main road, which was very busy at 5.00 pm when we were visiting. The camp itself is very well situated with the tents being very comfortable with a bush shower and a hot water bottle at night.

However the staff were clearly very willing and pleasant but didn’t really know how to run the camp in a polished way. For example I asked for another glass of water and they realised that they had run out. There was a look of panic and one of them then ran to the kitchen to find some.

Our driver who took us to the Sanctuary was clearly new to that route because he took a wrong turning and had to stop and phone for help. On the way back to camp we saw 3 rhinos running in the distance, but instead of slowing for us to try and engage with this encounter he drove at pace and left them behind. I said to him that “you are the driver that is given to people in a hurry”.

This camp has potential and the chance of seeing the endangered black rhino is an obvious attraction but at the moment I wouldn’t recommend that you included it in your itinerary unless, like us, the main reason is to visit the Sheldricks"
Average
Location
Good
Service
Average
Activities
Poor
Rooms
Good
Food
Average
Facilities
Average
Little Governors' Camp

Little Governors' Camp

"Magical Safari at Little Governors Camp"

3 nights Arrived 7 Aug 2018
"Little Governors was even better than I had anticipated. The little boat crossing to get to the camp is a great start to the experience and when we walked into camp we were blown away with the panoramic view over the marsh which is literally in the camp and where there were hippos wallowing and buffalo wading and grazing. Sat in a directors chair overlooking this marsh baboons also come and go as well as waterbuck and zebra, so you can have a ‘game drive’ from the comfort of camp.

The staff are very attentive and can’t do enough for you, including an armed guard to take you back and forward from your tent at night. This is really important as we had tent 17 and going back to it one night we were less than 20 metres from a huge hippo that was at the side of our tent so I was really glad that Phillip ( and his rifle) was present. It was also comforting at night when you can hear animals rustling up against the tent to know that Philip was stationed at the tree opposite us!

The game drives here are in an excellent location and or driver, Jackson, was outstanding. Although we were only here for 3 days we developed an incredible rapport with him and his knowledge, consideration and skilful driving reinforced the fact that he was an accredited silver guide. He showed us a leopard ( which we hadn’t seen on our previous Safari) as well as a Wildebeest crossing of the Mara river of at least 100,000 animals, which was a once in a lifetime experience. Jackson really is an amazing guide and a credit to Little Governors.

The meals in camp were of a very good standard and to have them with such a wonderful view and attentive staff was a real treat.

The tents are ‘glamping’ of a very high standard, with a fantastic en suite and the hot water bottles at night are a lovely touch as is the insect spray covered in its own Safari jacket, which is incredibly effective at killing the mosquitos such that we were not bitten at all. The wake up call with a hot drink is also a very nice touch.

The only negative point is that the morning game drive starts at 06.30 and you get back in camp after breakfast is finished and so you have to take a packed breakfast with you. Whilst breakfast in the savanna may sound appealing the quality leaves much to be desired. After 1 day the four of us had the vehicle to ourselves and so arranged with Jackson to leave at 7.30 after breakfast in camp, which was much better.

The Maasai Mara is busy in August but the stay at Little Governors is quiet and relaxed with it only having 17 tents. I would recommend this camp to anyone as a base in the Mara and if you get Jackson as well you really will have an unbelievable time."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Mahali Mzuri

Mahali Mzuri

"Total Luxury at Mahali Mzuri"

3 nights Arrived 10 Aug 2018
"From the time we were picked up at the entrance to the Olare Motorogi Conservancy by our driver John, we knew we were going to be spoilt! We were immediately given a Maasai blanket and the Champagne was opened. The journey to camp takes you through numerous Maasai homesteads and is testament to the working relationship between the camp owners and the native people, which people like us who are keen on conservation are encouraged to see.

At the camp you are welcomed with the traditional warm flannel and drink but also with the very unusual neck massage from the therapists, which is another lovely touch.

You are allocated a waiter for your time in the camp. The term waiter doesn’t do justice to the level of service and attention that you are given during your stay, it is more like being provided with a personal butler. Ours was called David ( Shieni) and words cannot describe how amazing this man is. He took personal service to another level, the like of which I haven’t experience anywhere else in the world, even coming to your tent if you forgot something or to change the biscuits on offer there because one of our friends had a peanut allergy.

The ‘tents’ may not be in keeping with the Safari purist’s expectation, but personally I loved them and the luxury that they afforded. There was a front door which led into a very spacious bedroom and en suite, which was clearly made of fabric as it can be quite breezy at this altitude and you could hear the tent rustling in the night. My wife thought that the shower was the best she had ever experienced on holiday and the bath is positioned so that you can sit in it and admire the view across the valley. Torches are provided because you need to be escorted at night by a Maasai.The mini bar is replenished daily including the half bottle of chilled champagne.

The food is of a very high standard and you will find 3 bottles of good red wine and 3 white on offer to enhance the dining experience. David quickly got to know what we liked and was always one step ahead of us, including when the camp arranged for us to have dinner in the bush to celebrate the birthday of one of our party. David was there with our favourite wines on offer and a log fire to keep us warm, oh yes and the mandatory Maasai warrior for safety.

Game drives here offer a different experience to those in the Maasai Mara. Overall there are fewer animals, especially if the Wildebeest migration has taken place, but there does seem to be a very good population of predators whose locations are fairly well known. We regularly saw a number of lionesses and cubs as well as two large male lion brothers who were magnificent. There were also 2 cheetah mothers in the area with cubs of different ages and whilst the elephants were fewer in number their calves seemed particularly playful and gave us a lot of entertainment. The vehicles used here seemed more comfortable than I have experienced elsewhere and were kitted out with quilted ponchos and hot water bottles for added comfort as well as sundowners of your choice, including G&T, Champagne or whisky - in fact whatever you requested. There were also on board binoculars to help view the game.The timing of game drives was also much better. The early morning drive started by meeting just after 6.00 am for a hot drink and a nibble if you fancied it and then returning to camp around 10.00 for breakfast, but even this was flexible if something out of the ordinary was taking place.

This place was pure luxury and at the end of our safari trip was just what we needed and some of our party stayed in camp for much of the time enjoying the facilities, sun and fantastic views.

I cannot praise this experience too highly and the minor issue of water not holding in the sinks didn’t detract from it at all. Whilst the camp and its location was spectacular it was the staff that made Mahali such a wonderful place to visit."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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