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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr B from London

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

11

Excursions taken

0

Fantastic safari to Kenya!

Kenya between 13 Nov 2021 and 29 Nov 2021

Trip rating: Excellent
"What a really wonderful trip! After waiting almost two years to travel internationally because of the pandemic, it was so fantastic to be away on safari again.

Aside from a few extra bits of paperwork to organise before flying, everything on the ground felt very 'normal'. The camps felt very safe and were mindful of covid protocols (all staff were double vaccinated), without detracting from the experience. If anything, being outside in the fresh air all day is probably safer than being in a UK city anyway! It was also clear that all of the camps were so happy to be welcoming guests again.

A big thank you to Expert Africa for all of their help organising such a memorable trip."

Arranged By Jessica Plumb


Hemingways Nairobi

Hemingways Nairobi

"A perfect start to our trip"

1 night Arrived 13 Nov 2021
"We arrived very late and left very early, but really enjoyed our short stay at Hemingways.

Really beautiful hotel, huge room (and big luxurious bathroom!) and friendly attentive staff. After a relaxing night's sleep, we had coffee and pastries in the room before heading to Wilson Airport. The grounds looked amazing and we wish we could have had more time to explore.

A wonderful start to our trip!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Porini Amboseli Camp

Porini Amboseli Camp

"Great community ethos"

1 night Arrived 14 Nov 2021
"We loved our stay at Porini Amboseli, it is a fairly simple camp but what it lacks in luxury and frills it makes up for with a feeling of being fantastically close to nature and immersed in the bush. It has a great community run ethos and the staff are wonderful and particularly knowledgeable about the wildlife.

One really feels that as a tourist you are making a tangiable contribution to conservation by visiting the slightly lesser known Selenkay consession, just outside the main Amboseli National Park and supporting somewhere like Porini.

A real highlight was sundowners at their elephant observation platform (on a clear day you can see Kilimanjaro from here) by a waterhole near camp - we drank gin and tonics watching two huge tuskers."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Tawi Lodge

Tawi Lodge

"Wonderful lodge"

1 night Arrived 15 Nov 2021
"Tawi is a wonderful lodge with an amazing views overlooking Kilimanjaro. The staff were extremely friendly and professional. Food very good and nice little swimming pool overlooking the bush where you can see giraffe drinking. Our guide Wilson was really excellent, particularly knowledgeable on birds (we saw thousands of flamingo and a flock of >100 guineafowl) and we really enjoyed our game drives with him.

The lodge is located just outside of the National Park, but a short 15 mins drive to the gate. It felt like the Kilitome conservancy is quite young, but that Tawi's presence in the area has the potential to really benefit conservation in the long run. When we stayed the whole area was waiting for rain, so it was very dry and dusty. We got the impression that there is normally more wildlife closer to the lodge at other times of year, but nevertheless is seemed particularly good for Gerenuk and Grant's gazelle. The rooms were amazingly spacious, and ours had a fantastic and very private view of Kilimanjaro.

I also have to mention the beautiful gardens and ponds surrounding the reception area which were full of birds and amazing tropcial flowers."
Excellent
Location
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Excellent
Tortilis Camp

Tortilis Camp

"Great location and amazing food"

1 night Arrived 16 Nov 2021
"Tortilis is a bit larger in size, and I think it was fully booked, but although there were quite a few guests around, it didn't feel hectic. Great location, perched on a hill with a nice breeze, we had a wonderful view of Kilimanjaro from our tent - and there was a huge eagle owl in the tree next door!

We thought the food was excellent - probably the best food of our whole two week trip in Kenya, really impressive! We enjoyed sundowner drinks on the dry Amboseli lake, watching Wildebeest trail off into the distance. Our guide wasn't perhaps the most knowledgable compared to other camps, but I think he was quite new and finding his feet. We are sure he will settle in quickly.

The other great thing is that the Kitirua concession really feels part of the National Park, it's almost impossible to know which you're in most of the time. It's a great model for how tourism concessions can contribute to conservation and well worth supporting. We also saw some nice tree planting projects underway nearby.

The only thing we thought was a little strange was the tipping system here in comparison to other safari camps, waiters are tipped separately (in addition to guides, and lodge staff) at the end of the stay, which felt a little awkward."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Sand River Camp

Sand River Camp

"Such a gem!"

1 night Arrived 17 Nov 2021
"Our stay at Sand River Camp was fantastic, and exceeded expectations. When we were there in November, we hardly saw any other vehicles. It felt like there were very few camps in this part of the Mara.

Really top notch guiding from Anthony - we had a wonderful Leopard sighting. He was really good at sensing what we were most interested in and adapting, particularly pointing out amazing birds and wildflowers too. Really outstanding. Absolutely fantastic sundowner set up with other interesting guests from camp around a camp fire, a definite highlight.

Beautifully appointed tents, and very friendly staff. We enjoyed a dip in the pool after lunch, which overlooks the river. It would be amazing to be there during the migration."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Rekero

Rekero

"Wow! Hope to return one day!"

2 nights Arrived 18 Nov 2021
"Rekero was perhaps the highlight of our trip. Beautiful simple camp, immersed in the bush. Lovely staff, particularly the extremely friendly and knowledge managers Lewis and Becca.

Our guide Nick was absolutely one of the best guides we have ever had. What sets the Rekero guides apart is that they focus on using their skills and experience to find the wildlife themselves, rather than following other vehicles and ending up with the crowds around sightings. We were so lucky to have lion cubs just a few minutes from camp, all to ourselves!

The food was outstanding, and it really felt like nothing was too much trouble - just ask. We loved the bush breakfasts - one day we stopped on the open plains and ate under a lone acacia tree, while watching topi and wildebeest in the distance.

We also particularly enjoyed the fact that the wifi tent was set apart from the main dining area, which really makes sure everyone relaxes. The little tiny souvenir tent is was very reasonably priced.

In short, we can't recommend Rekero enough!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Elephant Pepper Camp

Elephant Pepper Camp

"Great camp in Mara North"

1 night Arrived 20 Nov 2021
"A very nice peaceful camp, set in a long glade of trees overlooking grassland. Mara North has quite a different feel to the main Masai Mara National Park, and makes a really nice combination.

The tents were well spaced and private, with a nice deck from which you can see Zebra, Eland and all sorts of other game. The main area was very nice and the food very good.

On game drives we saw some huge prides of lions, with lots of cubs and two enormous males with big manes. The bird life was probably a little less exciting in this area (but good for widow birds). Because it is outside of the National Park we were able to do a night drive, where we saw springhares, hyena, mongoose and even a zorilla!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Offbeat Ndoto

"Offbeat Ndoto review"

1 night Arrived 21 Nov 2021
"A very friendly new camp with really dynamic staff and just four tents. We arrived for lunch set beautifully in the bend of the river right by camp. Together with an ice cold beer it was perfect!

The tents are new, spacious and spotless! It has a lovely location, but would benefit from the vegetation growing up a little bit to give the tents a bit more privacy. We were in tent four on the end, furthest from the main area which was lovely. We were quite surpsied for a brand new camp that they were not making more use of solar (eg for heating showers), there is certainly a lot of sunshine!

Food was family-style dining - hearty and filling and we enjoyed dinner conversations with other guests.

The game drives here have a guide and a spotter, which must help maximise the chances of seeing wildlife. Ours were fantastic, they found several leopard and lions as well as fantastic birds too. A highlight was being among a group of 20+ hyena all whooping and cackling! This part of Mara North is really beautiful!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Ngare Serian

Ngare Serian

"Incredible camp"

2 nights Arrived 22 Nov 2021
"What an amazing setting! Set within a few meters of the Mara river, with an adventurous rope bridge to cross!

The tents at Ngare Serian (and the word tent barely does it justice) are simply spectacular. It's tempting to just spend the whole day sitting and relaxing, but then there are so many activities to do too!

We had a brilliant afternoon game drive, and were sent with a packed dinner before transitioning to a night drive. Wildlife highlights included watching the river pride (lions) feeding on a hippo and even spotting an Aardvark (quickly followed by a flat tyre - what an adenture!) While having dinner we turned the lights off and were surrounded by thousands and thousands of fireflys - so memorable! We also saw black coucal, several species of cuckoo around camp and lots of vultures if you like birds.

We also really enjoyed the walk - although it was hot, the trek up to the top of the hill was well worth the views of Mara North. On the way back down we saw a number of young giraffes, zebra and even a hippo (at a good distance!) .

Our hosts were wonderfully welcoming and made us feel like part of the family, rather than tourists. Guide George and Dennis, along with Charles and Alfred to name just a few - but all staff really were so wonderful. A very special and unique camp."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Saruni Wild

Saruni Wild

"Really peaceful with a beautiful setting"

1 night Arrived 24 Nov 2021
"Saruni Wild is set on the northern edge of the Mara conservancy system. Although it is in Lemek conservancy, they have access to several others - including Mara North and Ol Choro. This not only means that the guides have lots of options for finding wildlife, but also that Saruni are contributing conservation fees to lots of different local groups which is really fantastic. If anything, it felt like they could make a bigger deal of the work they are doing with the local area.

The camp is very small (just 3 tents) and really peaceful with a beautiful setting. There were almost always wildebeest in view from our tent. The tents are spacious and very well separated, so they feel very private. It did feel like they could do with one or two more pieces of furniture, perhaps somewhere to put your bags.

The guiding was to a very high standard, and even in November there were huge numbers of resident wildebeest, zebra and lions in the area (we very nearly saw a hunt!). The landscape was also quite different to the rest of Mara North. If communities in these newer conservancies continue to benefit, this could be a really up and coming part of the Mara ecosystem!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Kinondo Kwetu

Kinondo Kwetu

"Wow. What a beautiful place!"

3 nights Arrived 25 Nov 2021
"Wow. What a beautiful place. Rustic but luxurious rooms, a choice of two pools and when we visited the sea was 32 degrees! Yes, really!

Fantastic food and extremely friendly and kind staff (who are very good at making cocktails!) They move the location of dinner to a different beautiful spot every evening!

We were really pleased to see that the whole lodge was in the process of switching to solar power, and it really felt like an environmental theme was quite prominent. It's also worth noting that the lodge is quite far out of town, and as a result it is extremely private - you can walk out on the beach and often have it all to yourself.

We did two dives while staying at Kinondo Kwetu, and the boat picked us up right from the beach. We were lucky to see turtles, anglefish, trumpet fish, crocodile fish and even huge shoals of sardines. Having dived in both, I would say the reefs are in substantially better condition than down the coast in Zanzibar.

We also took a visit to the nearby sacred forest. If you do one thing (in between eating and relaxing), you must visit the incredible forest just a few hundred meters away. We were shown around by a local student who was a fountain of knowledge about the wildlife, trees , medicinal plants and indignous groups that lived in this area. There are so few patches of coastal forest left, do take the opportunity to see one - and the very modest $10 entrance fee is a worthy contribution to its preservation. If you like birds, ask to go early in the morning!

Next time, I think we would start our trip at the beach to relax and unwind, before then setting off on our safari. That way around might be even better!"
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent

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