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Trip Report Trip Report Kenya 9 Days With Family

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I have read a lot on this Forum, especially when my husband and I took our first photo safari in 2007 for 18 days and visited six game parks, using internal Air Kenya flights. I have posted very few times to this Forum, but wanted to share our experiences. We decided then we wanted to take our two grandsons, then 2 and 4, to Africa when they got older. Well, 2017 was the year as they are now 12 and 14! They are great outdoor adventurers and have looked forward to this trip a long time. We also took our daughter and son-in-law, so there were six of us. I arranged the trip with Naked Wilderness Afrika, as I had done in 2007, and again, was not disappointed. They have provided excellent service in planning and executing both trips.

We arrived 8/2 in Nairobi at 9pm and were picked up and taken to Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi, a great hotel for a one night stopover. We were greeted with cold hand towels and welcome drinks. Our rooms were not fancy, but perfect for our sleepy heads! They had a wonderful buffet breakfast served in their lovely tropical courtyard. Our driver picked us up early and we were off to Samburu! He also served as our guide while in the park. We stayed at Samburu Game Lodge for 3 nights. I didn't realize Samburu was experiencing such a bad drought. I must say we did not enjoy the long drive (about 6 hours) and would fly if done over. But our three days were wonderful. Our lodge room was very nice and the food was good and plentiful. Our guide had over 26 years experience, and knew his stuff. We saw just about every animal one could see there, including leopards 3 times! The reticulated giraffes were so fascinating as well as Grevy's zebras, the gerenuk, the Somali ostrich, and oryx, plus the other assortment of lions, elephants, warthogs, and the list goes on and on.

We flew to Masai Mara on Air Kenya (the one hour was a lot better than the driving!) and landed at Kichwa Tembo airstrip. We were picked up by a driver from Olonana Game Camp. What a fantastic place! The tents were huge, divine, and looked over the Mara River with our own private hippos! The camp was just outside Oloololo Gate and up on a hill looking out over the Masai Mara! The service was impeccable as was the food! We did not want for anything. I highly recommend this place! We were on our first game drive in just a couple hours and, boy, it did not disappoint! We were 3 feet from a sleeping male lion and then our driver got a call about a rhino! We took off in a hurry and found a mother with her 2 year old baby! Our guide was so excited as he had just been with a couple for 4 days and they tried so hard to find a rhino. We saw a lion kill the next day, and two crossings while we were there with crocs in the water! It was prime crossing time and it was fantastic! We left after two nights and went to Little Governor's Camp. (I made reservations in January, but it was difficult to find 4 straight nights for six in our budget range - Book early!) Our Olonana guide just drove us to Little Governor's Camp so it was very convenient. Little Governor's was wonderful! We also got to experience the other side of the Mara River for the next two days. Our guide was excellent and we found out he had worked for both National Geographic as a cheetah spotter and for Disney also. It was amazing what all we saw. We saw one more unbelievable crossing; a mating and dance of the male ostrich, giraffes courting, and of course, millions of wildebeests! We lost count on how many lions we saw; and our guide was great at finding cheetahs.

I used packing lists I had downloaded from 2007 and wore everything I brought (3 zip pants, 1 long sleeve shirt, 2 short sleeve shirt, 2 sleeveless, 2 pair of shoes). We used zip duffels, not expensive, but durable and weighed in at about 26 lbs. We only used mosquito spray twice, for flies mainly, took generic Malarone with no side effects, and had only a couple of tiny stomach issues (brought cipro but didn't take it, just Immodium) I think we saw two mosquitoes!

We broke up the trip home by stopping in London for 3 nights. It was fun but way too crowded! London has changed a lot in terms of crowds and buses since we were last there around 1999.

I would love to go back, but we have both hit 70 and the trip across is getting harder to endure! Africa is such a special place and I urge you to go. I know my grandsons will be returning one day! Remember...The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page!

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