Travel reviews by Mrs K & 5 from Maryland
Total number of trips
Lodges stayed in
My Aug 2019 trip
Kenya between 10 Aug 2019 and 26 Aug 2019
We did go to Karen Blixen's home and while interesting - it isn't worth a stop if under a time crunch.
One of the reasons we loved Il Ngwesi so much was because of the community involvement in the lodge. It meant a lot to us that the money was going back to the 7 villages, who sat on the board of the lodge. We spent a long time talking to the staff at Porini/Gamewatchers and while their arrangement with the company and the villages is better than most, it is still not owned by the Maasai. It would be wonderful if there were more lodges and guide services owned by native Kenyans.
We had mixed feelings about the village visits. The one at Il Ngwesi was better because it was presented as "traditional" while acknowledging that things had changed. Yes, they use matches and cell phones and dress in tshirts, etc. The one at Selenkay seemed a little more artificial. While it was really good for us to learn how the Maasai have lived traditionally, we were really interested in their lives today. How have things changed? What do they see for the future? Our guides were willing to discuss it, but it would have been nice to talk to some of the villagers about it as well. For instance - none of our guides had multiple wives and almost all of them chose their own. One didn't own any livestock. Quite a few lived in more modern homes. We felt like it was perpetuating a view of Africa that was not up to date.
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
Recommend some more trips for us!
Also, I didn't see any multi-country trips on the website. We asked everyone where to go next and some recommended Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls trip.
Would be lovely to see an itinerary for that."
We're delighted these travellers enjoyed their trip so much. To the best of our knowledge at Expert Africa, all our village visits in Kenya visit ordinary, inhabited village compounds. They can sometimes feel rather empty, especially if people are out during the day, with the livestock, or otherwise at work, but there's nothing artificial about them, and people with mobile phones often live in traditional dwellings, with a motorcycle parked outside. We asked the owners of the camp at Selenkay Conservancy – Porini Amboseli Camp – to confirm that their local Maasai village is indeed a normal village, and they confirmed that indeed it is. As these travellers noted, matches and t-shirts have been part of local life for many decades, but traditional clothing and cow-dung walls are still very much part of the mix. They also confirmed that villagers and Maasai staff would be very happy to discuss the way Maasai life is changing, and they would not wish in any way to perpetuate traditions that are naturally dying out. They also pointed out that in fact the Selenkay area is somewhat more traditional and rural than some of the Maasai communities in the Maasai Mara region.
On the subject of multi-country itineraries, we are delighted to book them, and often do so. An example itinerary, including 21 nights in Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls would be our Rock Hare self-drive trip, and there's an almost infinite number of other options. Please call Expert Africa to find out more.
Arranged By Richard Trillo
Four Points by Sheraton
"Four Points by Sheraton review"
Nairobi Elephant Orphanage visit
"Nairobi Elephant Orphanage visit review"
12 Aug 2019 • Afternoon excursion
Selenkay Adventure Camp
"Loved Selenkay and the staff"
Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp
"Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp review"
"Macushla House review"
Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge