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Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

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Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
14,079 posts
53 reviews
Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

It has been suggested that having a single thread where people can post their trip reports will make it easier for people to access information when doing the research for their own trips.

239 replies to this topic
Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
14,079 posts
53 reviews
1. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

If you are accessing TripAdvisor from a mobile device it seems that you can not post to pinned threads like this one directly. You have to select 'Request desktop site' first and post using the full version of the page.

Torrington...
Level Contributor
39 posts
2. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

Thanks! Your very helpful :)

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
4,375 posts
105 reviews
3. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

A tip... the best TITLE for a trip report gives four key pieces of information - What, Where, When, and with whom... makes it most useful for readers...

example

Great (month) safari to (locations) with (tour operator)!

People are most often looking for inforation on particular operators and descriptions of travel at particularplaces at particular times of year...

about the mobile tip from doffcocker... I believe that may also apply to being able to see the "Top Questions" FAQ section... I believe I've read that...

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
14,079 posts
53 reviews
4. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

IA,

You are correct that applies to the Top Questions (FAQs) and other facilities that aren't available on the mobile site.

Bize-Minervois...
Level Contributor
407 posts
42 reviews
5. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

Are we allowed to mention another site where the trip reports are comprehensive and include superb photography?

Brussels, Belgium
1 post
1 review
6. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

Last year, I went on an 8-day safari in Kenya with my 14-year-old son, who was visiting the country for the first time. After identifying three Kenya-based tour operators on the Internet and corresponding with them, we chose Right Choice Safaris. Our itinerary was: Samburu-the Aberdares (Treetops)-Nakuru-Maasai Mara. The company owner and director, George, was very helpful in answering all our questions and, unlike the other operators that we contacted, he was most willing to organise the trip in accordance with our wishes. A few days to our safari, we met George and most of his staff in their office in Nairobi. They were all very welcoming and professional, which reassured us even more! Our accommodation – a mix of lodges, hotels and tents – was very good: the rooms were spacious and clean, the food was fresh and delicious, and staff made us feel very much at home. The tour guide/driver, Amos, with whom we naturally spent most of the time, was always punctual, professional and helpful. As a good storyteller, he shared his deep knowledge of the wildlife, geography and people of the areas that we visited, and answered our many questions patiently. We saw the "big five" and many other creatures great and small. And in the parks, he did not always follow the well-trodden path, so we often spotted an animal or situation that everyone was hoping for. Amos would then radio the information to his fellow tour guides/drivers to share it with the other tourists. We are thankful to Right Choice Safaris for enabling us to experience a most amazing safari! For my son, it was a life-changing introduction to the wild: from being extremely scared as we walked to our cottage from our lodge's dining area on our first evening in Samburu, to struggling to get back to his routine several weeks after the safari – because of all the wonderful memories! We are pleased to recommend this company to anyone wanting to go on a meaningful safari in Kenya.

Jean

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
14,079 posts
53 reviews
7. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

Newgranny,

If you are referring to Safaritalk. it was referred to and links posted to it in the threads that lead to this 'sticky' being set up.

But the point of this thread as also discussed in those threads is not refer people elsewhere but to provide a place where TA member's can easily find fellow members trip reports'without searching through the forums

Bize-Minervois...
Level Contributor
407 posts
42 reviews
8. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

Fair enough D you will have a copy of my Trip Report in November

Sydney, Australia
1 post
9. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

ADAMSON LEGACY SAFARI, KENYA - SEPTEMBER 2013

Having set up an awareness page on Facebook called George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust Australia ( llnk below ) a tour ( independent of the Trust ) was arranged by a company called Bush and Events Africa in Nairobi. Their site is www.bushandevents.com. It took in all the places of the Adamsons and the Adamson Legacy Tour happened on 10 September 2013.

George Adamson, also known as Baba ya Simba ("Father of Lions" in Kiswahili ) was a British wildlife conservationist and author. He and his wife Joy Adamson are best known through the movie ‘Born Free’ and best selling book with the same title, which is based on the true story of Elsa the lioness, an orphan

they raised and later successfully released into the wild. Several other films have been made based on Adamson's life. George also played the vital role of rehabilitating ''Christian the Lion'' which

turned into a Youtube sensation.

Wow !! What a tour. The tour visited Kampi ya Simba in Kora National Park ( where George lived ) which for me was the highlight of the whole trip in that we trod in his footsteps. We then visited Meru National Park in which Elsa the lioness was raised. We stayed at the magnificent Elsa's Kopje. We visited Elsa's grave in the park too. This was followed by a trip to Shaba National Park, staying in Joy's Camp.. She raised Penny the leopard in this park too. The scenery here is magnificent.

The tour concluded at Elsamere by Lake Naivasha, the home of the Adamsons now housing a great informative museum. A truly wonderful setting.

The whole tour went like clockwork and I cannot recommend it enough. It exceeded all my expectations and our tour leader Zoe is a wealth of information on Kenya. The driver was a true professional and we all felt very safe with him behind the wheel. Our cook was amazing and his meals are on a par with top quality resorts !

The next trip is scheduled for June 2014 and my advice is - Go !!! Send Zoe an email at zoe@bushandevents.com and she will be quick in her response too.

For details on my George Adamson page go to https://www.facebook.com/GeorgeAdamsonWildli…

For me it was a dream trip come true !

Aidan Basnett

Edited: 6:07 am, September 30, 2013
London
Level Contributor
77 posts
13 reviews
10. Re: Kenya Trip Reports - post your trip report here

KENYA TRIP REPORT - 10 Days, Maasai Mara Safari, Lake Bogoria & Mt. Kenya Climb (Pt. Lenana)

Hi All,

My girlfriend & I have recently returned from a breathtaking holiday in Kenya which wouldn’t have been possible without you guys answering my relentless stream of questions. I owe you for that & thought that I would do a quick write up for fellow travellers to refer to. FYI, we were on an absolute back-to-basics budget holiday.

The tour operator which we used was Kenya Budget Safaris (http://www.kenyabudgetsafaris.com). We spent a great deal of time trying to find the best tour operator who understood our requirements & we settled with them due to their excellent customer service & invaluable advice which they imparted to us during the holiday planning period. Esther was the consultant who dealt with us & she was friendly, patient, extremely knowledgeable & flexible. She literally arranged our entire holiday from the time we stepped out of the airport & all at a very reasonable cost when compared to their competitors. I lost count of the amount of emails which we exchanged where I was asking hundreds of questions, making requests to change our itinerary etc.

My final package included 2 days of game drives in the Maasai Mara, 1 day at Lake Bogoria & 5-6 days on Mt. Kenya with breakfast, lunch & dinner included for all days. My itinerary is stated below –

Day 1: Arrival & Maasai Game Drive - We arrived at the airport three hours late due to bad weather. We got our visas in London prior to the trip, but looking back it might have been wiser to get them on arrival as it seemed to take the same amount of time. The airport was functioning smoothly even though it had been reduced to a few large tents due to the fire last month. We were greeted outside by Esther & Patrick, who was our driver & guide for the next few days. We were extremely lucky that Patrick was assigned to us as we couldn’t have asked for a better guide. He was an exceptionally good driver & extremely knowledgeable & passionate about his job & we had a fantastic time hanging out with him. Due to our delay, we were driven straight to the Maasai Mara in order to have a late afternoon/evening game drive. The van was comfortable & reliable, albeit a bit old, but that was not a cause for concern. Luckily the two of us had the van all to ourselves as we went in the off season (mid to end September). It took us a few hours to get there, including a quick lunch break, but the sheer beauty of the game reserve made it all worth it. We saw quite a few animals, but nothing compared to the following day when we were in the reserve for the entire day. We checked in to our budget tented accommodation in the evening – The Mara Sidai camp. The camp wasn’t luxurious, but it was clean enough & met with our requirements & expectations, given what we were paying. We did experience some minor problems in our tent, but these were all promptly fixed by the friendly & helpful staff. The dinner provided at the camp was tasty & wholesome & there was a friendly atmosphere in the dining area.

Day 2: Maasai Mara Game Drive - We set off early for an all day game drive in the Maasai Mara. It was only the two of us in the van plus Patrick & we had a fabulous day. We lost count of how many lions we saw, in addition to Hippos, elephants, deer (too many different types), zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, crocodiles & a leopard (we were lucky). All of them were barely a few feet away from the van. Patrick seemed to be the best guide as he was always the one to spot the animals & then radio in the rest of the vans so we always managed to get the best views. We ate a packed lunch in the Mara at around noon & spent the rest of the day driving around looking for animals, which turned out to be hugely successful considering that we only had 1.5 days.

Day 3: Lake Bogoria - Another early start & off to Lake Bogoria. It was a long drive but well worth the view. There were hundreds of thousands of flamingos & the area was isolated as it was off season. We stayed the night in a lodge close by (apologies but I don’t recall the name of this place).

Day 4: Nanyuki - An early start once again & off to Nanyuki (town at the base of Mt. Kenya), where Patrick handed us over to our mountain guide (Wilson) & one of our porters (Gamby), both of whom were extremely professional & friendly, with a massive amount of experience. We were put up in a basic but clean accommodation for the night - Simbas lodge. The rooms were particularly large over here & the food was delicious. After a quick briefing of the days to follow, Gamby took us for a walking tour of Nanyuki which turned out to be a lot of fun. The locals were all friendly & we had a great time.

Day 5: Old Moses Camp - We were introduced to the team that was to accompany us up the mountain right after breakfast & our last proper shower for the next few days – Wilson (Guide who would accompany us all the way to the top), Gamby (porter), Joseph (chef) & Danny (porter). All of these guys were really cool & a lot of fun to hang out with. They all seemed to be near superhuman as we couldn’t even imagine walking while carrying the amount they were. I was quite baffled at the way they could scale a 5000 meter mountain carrying such a massive load without even the tiniest complaint or even breaking in to a sweat. I felt pretty inadequate when I tried to pick up Joseph’s 85 litre backpack & couldn’t lift it more than a few inches off the ground. We were driven to a point at about 2400 meters after which we hiked up to the Old Moses camp at 3300 meters (about 3-4 hours at a very slow pace). Joseph made us a delicious hot lunch along the way. The camp was a great place & we made many new friends with like minded climbers. Everyone was really friendly & encouraging & it was a great atmosphere. We all ate in the same room with a large table set across the room. After that we had to grab a bunk in one of the rooms & sleep in our sleeping bag. The camp had functioning toilets & a washbasin.

Day 6: Acclimatisation Walk - We started at 06:00, right after a hot breakfast, for a 5 hour acclimatisation walk where we ascended up to 4000 meters & then back to Old Moses camp for the night. This walk proved to be extremely useful as everyone else in the camp who went straight to Shiptons without acclimatising seemed to be having symptoms the following day & were unable to summit until the day after that as they had to go for unscheduled acclimatisation walks around Shiptons.

Day 7: Shiptons Camp - Another early start & a very long hike up to Shiptons camp at 4200 meters with a packed lunch along the way. This hike was pretty demanding & we were absolutely knackered by the time we arrived. It took us 8-9 hours to get there, but we were moving at a very slow pace given the high altitude. You do see some breathtaking views along the way. Like old Moses, Shiptons was a great place with a great crowd. All the climbers were hanging out together & it was a bit like a party where hot tea substituted beer. We had a great time there.

Day 8: Pt. Lenana (Summit) - We set off at 02:00 after a quick bite to eat & were lucky to have a clear sky with moonlight so bright that we didn’t even need our head torches. Wilson & Gamby took us to the top & they knew exactly what pace we were comfortable with & stuck to that throughout. It is on this section that you will see the most spectacular views. We were constantly stopping to take pictures & the guides would patiently wait as we setup our camera & tripod. Be aware that this section is relatively steep & does require a certain degree of scrambling at some points. We hit the top at exactly 06:29 & witnessed the sunrise at 06:30. We spent about half an hour on the summit taking pictures & appreciating the scenery & were lucky because on that day there was only one other guy summiting so we had the top all to ourselves for most of the time. We descended back down to Shiptons & stayed the night there.

Day 9: Back to Nanyuki – We walked back down to 2400 meters, bypassing old Moses along the way. It was a long walk & we were knackered by the end of it even though most of it was downhill. My feet & toes were feeling a bit battered by the end of it, but the hot shower at Nanyuki was a heavenly experience.

Day 10: Flight Home - We were driven to Nairobi airport & got an afternoon flight back to London.

Conclusion - This may have been one of the most hectic holidays I have ever taken, but it was worth it. I was overly impressed by the level of service & friendliness which we received from Kenya Budget Safaris & would highly recommend them to anyone planning a holiday to Kenya. If possible, I would strongly suggest that you request to be assigned to the individuals who made our trip so amazingly memorable - Esther, Patrick, Wilson etc. They were responsible for our holiday & our safety the whole time & they exceeded all our expectations. There might have been the rare occasion when we had reason to complain, but the fact that we were in such good company with Patrick, Wilson etc. would completely cancel out any feelings of discontent which we might have had.

I have listed out a few points that I think should be taken in to account if you are planning a similar trip –

• Carry some Kenyan shillings with you in addition to USD. This comes in handy.

• Read up on mountain sickness – symptoms, causes & prevention. Diamox tablets are definitely worth keeping. We would have one per day (half in the morning & half in the night). Be aware that the pills are NOT a cure, but only hide the symptoms & hence shouldn’t be taken irresponsibly. Read up on this & definitely consult a doctor. For those of you living in the UK, Dr. Fox (http://www.doctorfox.co.uk/altitude-sickness/) is able to provide the pills via an online prescription as NHS was reluctant to do so. Although I would definitely advise you to consult a doctor or someone from Dr. Fox to understand the causes, types & symptoms of altitude sickness.

• Tank up on at least 3-4 litres of water per day per person when on the mountain (more if possible). This will reduce the chances of getting altitude sickness. Your guides are able to provide boiled water at the camps. We would fill up 4 litres worth of bottles in the night & then stick them in our sleeping bags to keep warm. By morning they would be cool enough for the climb. If you run out of water then there are countless streams on the mountain where you can fill up, but you should carry the purifying tablets with you & follow the usage instructions carefully. Always walk about 300 feet upstream & back down again before filling your bottles in the stream in order to ensure that there is nothing dodgy in the water like a dead animal etc.

• If someone in your vicinity appears to be suffering or feeling symptoms then always be reassuring as a large part of it is psychological.

• Always be extremely vocal & open with your guides. Tell them if you are feeling even slightly off. They are extremely knowledgeable & are able to deal with most circumstances. It is important to develop a sense of trust with them & ensure that they understand your capabilities & limitations.

• Do not take the mountain for granted & do not try to go faster than your guide. It takes only a second to get breathless at that altitude & it is a pretty horrible feeling. Go as slow as possible & be safe.

• It’s worth getting one of those cheap non-smart phones for which the battery can last for days without a charge as there are no charging points in the camps. You can pick up a cheap sim card from Safari-com at the airport when you land.

• Take spare batteries for your head torch as you will be using it a lot in the camps. The sleeping areas have no lights & the dining areas aren’t lit up after dinner. You will need your head torch when you use the toilets or want to read etc. For the latter, although I am opposed to it in everyday life, a backlit kindle would have been quite useful.

• A tripod & polarising filter really makes all the difference in whatever pictures you may take. If possible, buy or borrow a zoom lens for the safari. Binoculars are also pretty handy.

• A walking pole is a must, especially while going downhill as the terrain is extremely uneven with loose rocks/scree at times.

That’s it from me. I would have uploaded some photos but we are still in the process of sifting through about 800 of them.

Thank you again for all the insight & I hope that my review is helpful for others.

Cheers,

Rusty

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