Trip Report Kenya 9 Days With Family


Aug 19th, 2017, 08:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23
Trip Report Kenya 9 Days With Family

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!
cmtravels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 19th, 2017, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,167
Thank you for the trip report. We will visit Kenya and Egypt in Feb/Mar 2018. Glad to hear about all the animal sightings. The packing list is also helpful. Glad you had a great time.
michele_d is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 20th, 2017, 12:52 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,232
Great report, CM--thank you!

THREE river crossings??!! I felt lucky to see an "almost" crossing 5 yrs ago In August, when as often happens, the animals changed their minds at the riverbank and back-tracked; then the real thing a few yrs later in June. Amazing!!!!! To see herds of thousands of animals saturating the plains in the Mara during the Great Migration, and then to see one of the river crossings, are the highlights for me of trips there.

Glad to read of someone else enjoyed the Southern Sun Mayfair--a great, lovely, local-feel place! It has a very interesting history as well. (Personal said ,--first stayed there many incarnations ago --for both me and the Mayfair!--in January 1971, when its locations was out in the boondocks and there was little else around. Quite different today!)

I also enjoyed your planning for the two grandkids. As soon as my youngest grandchild, now 2, was born, i started calculating the year i could return to Kenya, this time with him!

Question: did you consider staying in Samburu at Intrepids, instead of Samburu Game Lodge? I ask because at Samburu Intrepids three yrs ago with a teenaged grandson, we noticed lots of child-oriented activities, including a separate activity room for kids.

Terrific that you had excellent guides at both your Mara accommodation! Th Thanks again for all the detail, as well as your wise last sentence.
CaliNurse is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 24th, 2017, 04:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23
Thanks, Calinurse. It was a special trip for us with our grandsons! We first looked at Samburu Intrepids but the rooms got away from us when a group of 40 reserved! We stayed on their waiting list, but to no avail. Larsens was also a great camp from our 2007 trip.
cmtravels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 13th, 2017, 01:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 796
Lovely to read about your adventures. We will be leaving for Kenya and Tanzania in about ten days so it is very timely. We also will be taking malaria medication although you are not the first person I’ve heard say they saw next to no mosquitos in their travels. The travel clinic we went to, as well as our physician daughter, were quite clear that contracting malaria is not a chance you want to take.

We are travelling in a group of 12 with Road Scholar, in much the same area you were but not the same camps. I know with wildlife you can never be sure of anything, but I do hope to see giraffes in the wild.

Everyone who goes to Africa seems to be addicted and is planning a return trip before they are back home from the first one. We too are well into our 70’s and although we have not run out of energy for long distance and frequent travel, I fear we may run out of money. The cost of this trip may make it a truly 'once in a lifetime' experience. Or perhaps we will cash in our assets and leave our debts to our heirs! ;-) A lot of pages left in that book I want to read.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 17th, 2017, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 584
Great fun reading the trip report and subsequent responses. I am reading my book now along with my three girls who are now 15, 13, and 9. First safari in South Africa when the first two were 2 and 4. Now we have been to Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia and back to South Africa many times. I will not have grandkids for a while, but travel has changed my kids world perspective and I cannot wait to take the next generation in the future. What exciting sightings you had -- really once in a lifetime viewing. Thrilled it happened with your grandchildren! And your lodge choices sound perfect. Thanks for sharing!
Lolazahra is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 22nd, 2017, 05:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23
Thanks for your responses. My daughter had my two grandsons make detailed journals, writing in them at the end of every day, to have as a keepsake. She took their writings and made a wonderful 12 x 12 photo book of so many of her great photographs, inserting anecdotes from my grandsons' journals. She made us a copy and we were thrilled. They are already planning to go back one day! My biggest suggestion, if you can swing the extra cost, is to fly between camps. The roads with heavy traffic are rough and you lose so much time when you could be seeing beautiful animals in different game parks. In 2007, we visited six game parks, and they were all completely unique from one another.
cmtravels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 23rd, 2017, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 234
Cmtravels, this sounds like a wonderful trip. Thank you for sharing the details. Don't stop at 70! I'm with eliztravels2 there! We are 72 and plan to visit Tanzania next September at 73. This will be our 5th trip to Africa -- hopefully not our last. It is definitely addicting.
samcat is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:58 AM.