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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs B from Kent

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

6

Excursions taken

2

3 weeks in July: city, beach, rural, safari.

Kenya between 11 Jul 2022 and 2 Aug 2022

Trip rating: Excellent
"A wonderful experience from start to finish. Richard's advice was excellent; he got to know what we would like and found accommodation and travel that suited our needs, soon gaining my confidence. At no point was I frustrated by the process, despite all that covid threw our way and the delay of a year that it caused."

Arranged By Richard Trillo


Macushla House

Macushla House

"Macushla House review; Welcoming to kenya!"

4 nights Arrived 11 Jul 2022
"Our Welcome by the lovely Stephen and Peter made me so glad to be back in Kenya. After a long & delayed flight we arrived from the airport very late and yet were still greeted warmly. A full dinner was cooked freshly (we were very hungry!).

The food was always excellent. We ate one evening at the Talisman restaurant which, although was a nice change in environment, we found the food was just as good at Macushla. When we went out early for Safari one day, it was no trouble for our breakfast to be made early and we could package it up for our picnic. Morning tea was brought out to us at the cottage at our request; heavenly.

The main house was comfortably furnished with interesting books on the coffee table and some interesting things to admire. There was a roaring fire (much needed as it was really chilly) with comfy sofas. The resident cats and monkeys were a complete delight. The garden was attractive; too cold to use the pool.

The cottage was cute, with a comfortable day bed on the verandah and lamu-style daybed in the lounge area. Our main criticism is the showers and bathroom temperature. A heated towel rail would make a big difference to take the edge off the chill when taking a shower. The showers could do with a bit more pressure. Perhaps a small log burner could be installed in the cottage lounge. The air was very chilly and damp down that end (it took 3 days for a t-shirt I rinsed some coffee from to dry). I don't remember it being quite so cold in July before. The chill did impact our enjoyment of our stay a little.

All in all we would definitely return to Macushla and would hope that the wonderful Peter and Stephen would still be there."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Rooms
Good
Activities
Good
Nairobi Giraffe Centre visit

Nairobi Giraffe Centre visit

"Great close-ups of the giraffes"

13 Jul 2022 • All-day excursion

Seeing the giraffes so close and being able to feed them was a very enjoyable experience. We spent around half an hour here. I think we were lucky in that we went at a quiet time in the morning. It was very busy when we past later in the afternoons (apparently it is popular to go there after the Sheldrick elephant orphanage).
Image alt

Nairobi National Park

"First Safari!"

14 Jul 2022 • All-day excursion

A great place to enjoy our first safari. We saw one female lion and plenty of grazers, birds, hippos, crocodile and rhino. Driving through the dry ravines was a fun off-roading experience! The new railway looks very dramatic cutting across the park. Stopping for picnic breakfast by the lake was a good choice of location. We were pleased we took the time to visit the ivory burning site.
Excellent
Pinewood Beach Resort

Pinewood Beach Resort

"Peaceful family stay"

7 nights Arrived 15 Jul 2022
"Lovely big rooms and large balconies. Excellent showers, would be good to have a toilet brush. Beds are very comfortable with super nets. A quiet location beyond where the tarmac stops. Staff are very kind, helpful and friendly. Special mention to Walter in the dining room, Theresa/Telesea the cleaner, Fakari and Idd the barmen, and Evans and Pamela in charge. It would be useful to have name badges. Evening food was excellent; always something cooked in front of you and tasty and fresh, for both breakfast and dinner. The pizza oven is quite something and pizzas excellent for lunch. The weather was a bit cooler and wetter than ideal for July, and the sea not the bath-warm clear blue I remember. The watersports centre was closed (we could see kite surfing at Diani). Volleyball arranged every day at 4 went down really well with my two older teenagers and husband and was very inclusive. Beach boules also appreciated. It would be nice to have even more fun activities. There was a special DJ evening on the beach (we did know this before booking) which was interesting for people -watching but did disturb sleep until 5am. The beach was almost deserted with beautiful white sand. The beach sellers were fairly low key and polite and once you have spent some money ( put some money directly in the local economy) they respectfully let you be. Flying to Ukunda was a great way to get there. All in all we would definitely come back."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Good
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Image alt

Sarova Saltlick Lodge

"Elephants galore!"

2 nights Arrived 22 Jul 2022
"Upon arrival, we were greeted by a massive bull elephant that we had seen walking across the plain to the watering hole. It was drinking at the pond at the edge of reception as we checked in! So many more families of elephants visited day and night almost continuously. You could simply stay at the lodge all day and see so many animals; heards of zebra and buffalo and various gazelles. The building design is very special. The lodge staff were very friendly and helpful. The buffet food was plentiful and good. It was chilly with a keen and constant wind, so a heated towel rail would have been really appreciated in the bathroom, and a hairdryer. The lovely wool rugs I remember from years ago are no longer there, and this would help give the rooms a more cosy feel. Some personalisation of the rooms with interesting things to see on the walls would also be appreciated. It would be good to have some information about the animals, the area, and the conservation work on the viewing deck. The night game drive was great as we saw a civet cat and lioness calling to her pride, though there was some disagreement between our driver and the lodge as to whose vehicle would be used for this."
Good
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Good

Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Aero Club of East Africa

Aero Club of East Africa

"Oasis of familiarity and comfort"

1 night Arrived 26 Jul 2022
"An oasis of UK-style food and accommodation as a breather after our local Taita adventure & before il Ngwesi.
Aeroclub was comfortable and warm (Nairobi was chilly!) with hot, strong showers. The staff were friendly and accommodating. The boys enjoyed the familiar food (excellently prepared) and the pool table as well as the gym and watching the planes. It was interesting to people-watch at the bar in the evening, and I was pleased to see a mixture of nationalities including black Kenyans."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge

Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge

"Favourite stay"

3 nights Arrived 27 Jul 2022
"The staff were wonderful. The building is wonderful. The location is magical. What a fabulous place!
Stephen and Peter (in their Maasai splendour) met us at Lewa airstrip (got to be the best 'airport' toilets in the world). We sat on the Landcruiser roof (love the mods) to travel through Lewa conservancy where we saw many rhino, elephant and grazers near the swamp. The views coming over the hills down to il Ngwesi were breathtaking. It was VERY dry, having had no proper rains for 2 years. On arrival at the lodge we were greeted by the Maasai staff doing their greeting dance/song (very impressive). The Main House has spectacular views to the horizon, and after settling in to our incredible thatched rooms with quirky facilities (shame one of the toilets was smelly , shower water was a bit cool, ropes on the bridge falling off), we were served a delicious lunch by the pool (which is lovely but could do with cleaning more regularly and skimming the numerous insects out at lunch time). There was a large extended family gathering (the widow of the designer of the lodge) and it was very interesting to meet them, and the staff made sure that we had our space. The bush breakfast (in gorgeous location) and bush sundowners were highlights. Massage by Jackie was expert. We saw many giraffe, numerous dik-dik, geranuk, ostriches, eland, and many birds (loads of vulturine guinea fowl, eagles, hornbills, vultures). Stephen was very knowledgeable., and we enjoyed spending time with him and Peter (who was learning his trade). The trip to the traditional village was interesting, to see the boma and huts, and some traditional hunting methods, making fire, and mancala game. There were lots of beaded items etc to buy, and had to haggle for them; prices were as high as the shops, but it did feel good about putting the cash directly in the hands that made them. We heard Lion and Leopard at night, and saw prints in the dust, but no sightings. Guided walks were lovely; I am not sure that being accompanied by Maasai in red shuka and jingly jewellery is the most likely way to spot wildlife! (we and the ranger dressed in drabs). As there wasn't a blade of grass to be seen at il Ngwesi, most of the grazers had moved on, leaving just the browsers that can survive on the still-green trees and bushes. The Maasai had also moved on with their cattle. The food was very good (chef was Francis), especially the fish pie, but our large voracious teenagers could have done with some extra bread/ chapatis/ rice on offer to fill them up each meal. Joseph looked after us diligently and gracefully. We ate in several locations which was nice to ring the changes. The boys were delighted to be addressed as 'young warriors' and enjoyed being dressed up for the village visit. Our departure was really quite emotional; we had an extraordinary send-off in the evening with dancing/ singing/ jumping by the WHOLE team around the pool area after dinner. Both boys joined in. Stephen, Francis and Peter took us to Lewa gate to pass us on for our travel to Meru, and we all felt such fondness for them after a short visit it was really touching (tearing up now!)."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Elsa's Kopje

Elsa's Kopje

"High Quality"

2 nights Arrived 30 Jul 2022
"The transfer from il Ngwesi had been long (via Isiolo) and bumpy, in a cool Landrover, and not very enjoyable. The family cottage at Elsa's is stunning. The finishes and furniture are all top notch and the way it is designed with the rooms built into the rocks is very special. It all feels luxurious, pared-back colonial style, which after il Ngwesi felt a little stuffy and cold to me. It was heartwarming to meet the brother of Peter from il Ngwesi who made us feel at home. The pool is both beautiful and spotlessly clean. The loungers are a little uncomfortable. The rock hyraxes are fun to watch by day, but have become too numerous and make an awful racket at night (think they need a natural predator!). The food was superb, and presented beautifully; evening meals were both on the lawn. It would be nice to have bird feeders/baths for entertainment whilst eating. Masks were worn by staff, which I found a bit tiresome as it is difficult to understand and make connection. The champagne bush breakfast by the river and the sundowners were perfection. On game drives we felt like we were the only ones there, despite being a national park. We saw a lone female lion very close up, a pair of lions on the roadside, and another male resting under a tree. The lone female called to the others whilst we were right next to her (wow!). Moses, our guide, was very knowledgable. He took us for a walk to see the sunrise at the top of the Kopje on the last morning. lovely 360 views & quite a challenging climb in places. Our flight back to Nairobi was delayed, and Elsa's were very accommodating providing lunch and a game drive."
Excellent
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

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