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Kenya

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I have just returned from Kenya and wanted to share some ideas and comments about the trip. Having been to Kenya on my first trip to Africa in 1998, I was anxious to get back and see how it had changed and visit different areas/accommodations that I could recommend to clients. This time my intinerary included Lake Nakuru, Sweetwaters, Masa Mara and Lake Naivasha.

Nairobi Properties:

Karen Blixen Garden Cottages and House of Waine. What a nice alternative than using the standard Norfolk, and Serena properties in the heart of Nairobi. Both properties are located in Karen, a nice little upscale area not far from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi. Karen has entertainment in the restaurant/bar which brings out many locals in the area. Property is nice and well manicured. Rooms are quite nice and well maintained, and very good size. House of Waine is an immaculate, well manicured, impeccable service and food. Both are good alternatives and well worth staying a couple of extra nights and doing a safari at Nairobi National Park.

Lake Nakuru - world renowned for the millions of pink flamingoes that abound here on this soda lake. Stayed at Mbweha, which is great for camping, but otherwise not much to do. Game drive to Lake Nakuru National Park, however, gave us a spectacular leopard viewing....the only one on this trip. Lake Nakuru is a long long ride from Nairobi, on a road that is constantly being repaired and is in disrepair. Rainy season - expect lengthy delays. Still a great visit though

Sweetwaters - Great Tented Camp, and one of the few offering night drives. Be sure and visit Morani the tame rhino for an up close and personal experience.

Lake Naivasha - stayed at Kiangazi House, another accommodation on the order of House of Waine. Wonderful service, grounds, food and accommodations. Has it's only Wildlife Sanctuary (Oserian). Also the largest rose grower in the world - shipping to Holland and other parts of Europe. Well worth a tour. The alternative to this property is Chui Lodge, located also in the Sanctuary.

Masa Mara, of course everyone who goes to Kenya knows of the Mara ecosystem. Here, we stayed at Serian, a new tented camp, located just outside the park itself. Serian offered the best food of the entire trip. It is a small camp run by Alex Walker, a former hunter, and Kenyan. He is very flexible and takes you on out of the way game drives. If you like to camp, or want something different, you must go. Bathrooms are just outside the tent, not ensuite. Just a stone's throw away, so not inconvenient.

This is the area where we saw tree climbing lions, that many of the guides had never seen. Not only were four on one tree, four on another of the thorny acacia trees, they were alseep on the branches. What a sight. I'd post a picture if I could, but I think you can go to my sight www.kayscreativecards.com and see one of them.

I'll be making a sight just for pictures to use as a link, but don't have them yet.

By the way, the tour company which I'd highly recommend is Luxury Trips based in Florida (Sunit is the owner), and the ground operator in Kenya is Travel Wild (Anjalai is the Director). I can't say enough about them - as a travel agent I would highly recommend them for reasonable rates, personalized service and for that ' comfortable and at home' feeling.

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