As someone who had never been to Africa, the closest I’d come to an African safari was watching BBC documentaries. However earlier this year, I was lucky enough to go to Kenya with a group of travel agents. I went for 7 nights of savannahs, wild open plains and adorable elephants.
Naivasha- Great Plains And A Lodge With Hippos
After landing in Kenya, we spent one day in the capital, Nairobi. I’ll admit, Nairobi isn’t a city I’d choose to wander around. It’s insanely busy and built-up, but I still managed to see a lovely side of it. After feeding giraffes and visiting the Sheldrick Elephant & Rhino Orphanage, I got a tour of Ocean Sole- this organisation turns flip-flop pollution into art! It was amazing to see so much hard work go into preserving the environment.
I was excited to get to Naivasha for my first safari experience- chatting to our driver gave me an idea, but I had to see it for myself. I’d say the sheer space is definitely what hits your first. This national park and lake sit at an altitude of 8,181 feet, so you really get a feel for the Great Rift Valley. Getting up and close to zebras and wildebeest was pretty surreal.
Lake Naivasha and Crescent Island gave me the chance to see landscapes turn from flat grassland to green crater lakes and swamps filled with hippos. Crescent Island has more animals per acre than any other places you may visit in Kenya, so the boat trip and walking safari there was a huge eye-opener. I’ve also never stayed in a hotel where hippos and giraffes wander the grounds. You don’t need to be nervous though, as the staff at Lake Naivasha Spa Lodge escort you to your room for your own safety. The hotel itself is really relaxed with lots of lawns, great food, comfortable rooms and a pool that looked great (but I didn’t have time to use).
Amboseli- Where The Animals Just Seemed So Happy
Our next destination was Amboseli, which we reached by jeep, we each had a window seat so a perfect view. It’s still a safari setting, but Mount Kilimanjaro’s backdrop here just makes it so beautiful. It stretches across from neighbouring Tanzania, and the snow-capped horizons are stunning.
Poaching is still a massive problem on safaris, but the low poaching rate here may have had something to do with how relaxed the animals seemed to be. I saw birdlife and lions, but the standout feature was the herds of elephants. At one point, about 15 or 20 (and their babies) just marched right past us. We got a snapshot of them with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. Of all the places to visit in Kenya, I’d say this one wins. Even the pool at Amboseli Spa Lodge overlooks Kilimanjaro. Both our evening meals here were great and we slept really well.
Tsavo- Red-Dust Sands And Local Culture
It was about a 4 or 5-hour drive from Amboseli to our final Kenya wildlife opportunity- Tsavo National Park. One thing you can’t predict about wildlife? When they’ll pop their heads out. I’d say the fact that we saw less animals here was the only downer of the trip, but Tsavo definitely had its upsides.
This South-Western part of Kenya is known for its landscape. Red-dust sands here really ramp up the atmosphere, although it turns pretty adorable considering that the elephants roll around in it. I was only here for 2 nights, so I didn’t have time to visit the Mzima Springs or Lugard Falls, but you’ve got 10 million acres of safari here. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot buffalo, leopards, waterbucks and gazelles, but like I said, they seemed to be on their day off. The red elephants were definitely out, though. I’ll never forget the moment when this elephant just stared me down for what seemed like forever.
We also got a really insightful visit to a local school. The kids are really poor here. They’ve got nothing, but their smiles really warmed my heart. They put on a bit of a Britain’s Got Talent show for us and we got a tour of daily life for them.
Wrapping Up At The Crowne Plaza
We finished off with a return back to Nairobi for a stopover night- amazingly, with a super-advanced modern train system that I 100% didn’t expect from Kenya. The Crowne Plaza here is more generic than the lush lodges we’d stayed at (the Naivasha has circular conical huts, so you really feel at one with nature). To be honest though, I never felt that I wasn’t staying in comfort. The hotels were all 4-star, in good condition, and the people were really friendly.
I’d definitely go back. Kenya is beautiful in a raw and unspoiled way. The climate isn’t sizzling hot, so basically, it’s perfect for a wildlife safari. To craft your own safari experience, take a look over our or get in touch for a tailored quote.
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We have recently returned from a multi centre holiday in Thailand. Everything went smoothly as planned, the hotels were all lovely. We would definitely recommend eShores and would book through them in the future. Thanks to Laura who organised the trip for us.Posted 5 days ago
Been using eshore for several years,always come up with requirements we need.Always happy to rearrange. Staff are very knowledgeable and we always use Leanne as our point of contact. Experts for multi centre holidays.Posted 1 week ago
I booked two holidays in 4 months with Dave at eshores. First one a 16 day trip around Vietnam north to south which included numerous flights and taxis. My second holiday was in October traveling around Vietnam again and Cambodia. Every hotel in both countries was spot on, every transfer went smooth with no problems. I'll Definitely use eshores again and thanks to Dave who arranged everything, a fantastic experience 👍👍Posted 1 week ago
Recently booked a four centre holiday to Asia. The process was straightforward and seamless. Rob, the agent who dealt with our requirements was extremely helpful and not pushy. He was very easy to talk with and seemed genuinely interested in our plans. He managed to put together exactly what we wanted and at a great price.Posted 1 week ago
Andy at eshores has been great, he worked hard to meet all our needs and went the extra mile for us! We're looking forward to a great Honeymoon!Posted 2 weeks ago
As always Michelle mainly but with some help from Leanne have once again booked an hopefully (as not yet travelled) amazing customised trip to America next September with our family this time.Posted 2 weeks ago
First time I have used eshores and it won't be the last. Emma was so helpful in booking my 3 centre holiday to Portugal. Really pleased with accommodation selected and the overall cost. Emma was very quick to respond with different options and I'm looking forward to our holiday next year. I highly recommend this companyPosted 2 weeks ago
We have just booked a trip to the Far East having previously used this company twice, Vietnam/Cambodia and a Road Trip in the USA. Both trips were problem free with all aspects going to plan. Easy to talk to and never pushing for a decision. A lovely company , thank you Dave for your time and assistance.Posted 2 weeks ago
We booked what appeared to be a busy holiday to South Africa and Mauritius. This consisted of five different fights and hotels with the various transfers included. Rachael organised the holiday for us and every aspect of the trip went well. Took a lot of the stress out and allowed us to have a fantastic holiday. Friendly,Professional service with professional staff. Will use them again.Posted 2 weeks ago
All went well on our recent NY trip booked through Matt at EShores. Worth noting: -Newark Airport and Train Station great with transfers on the NYP Train (about 1 hour) to and from Penn Station/Airport Terminal (easy!) -Sanctuary Hotel great location and staff! Room and breakfast spot on. -Brooklyn Bridge walk back great, 1 stop over on subway as suggested. -United Airlines great - direct to and from Edinburgh! Recommended -weather spot on, temperatures just like here. Thanks for all your help and advice. Julie and Georgia (21st birthday girl!)Posted 2 weeks ago