Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs K & 5 from Maryland


My Aug 2019 trip

On this trip, I visited Kenya between 10-Aug-2019 and 26-Aug-2019 and I travelled with 6 other people.

Overall my trip experience was:

ExcellentExcellent

Fantastic - we've been singing the praises of Expert Africa since we returned. Everything was seamless and we didn't worry about a thing from the moment we arrived in Kenya. We had no idea what to expect on our first trip to Africa and this was the perfect introduction. I don't think we would have done anything differently.

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.

Feedback response

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.

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Four Points by Sheraton, Kenya
12-Aug-2019 review: Four Points by Sheraton review
ExcellentExcellent
Selenkay Adventure Camp, Kenya
13-Aug-2019 review: Loved Selenkay and the staff
ExcellentExcellent
Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp, Kenya
16-Aug-2019 review: Ol Kinyei Adventure Camp review
ExcellentExcellent
Macushla House, Kenya
19-Aug-2019 review: Macushla House review
ExcellentExcellent
Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge, Kenya
20-Aug-2019 review: Very special place
ExcellentExcellent
Excursion Overall rating
Nairobi Elephant Orphanage visit, Kenya
12-Aug-2019 review: Nairobi Elephant Orphanage visit review
ExcellentExcellent
Nairobi excursion
19-Aug-2019 review: Nairobi day
ExcellentExcellent