One lovely week on a private safari in Kenya was a great way to escape a miserable January back home. It's amazing how many animals you are able to see in the parks and how close you can get.
by lslay78 on April 25, 2004
Upon arrival in Nairobi, we were whisked to the Nairobi Serena Hotel. As they readied our room, we sat in a pleasant lounge sipping real coffee (after 2 weeks in Egypt, this was a luxury!). The hotel staff was very attentive, making sure we had extra water bottles and towels. The dining room served a great buffet for lunch and breakfast.
We enjoyed a day room at this "all-suite hotel" in downtown Nairobi. Our room had a good view of the city and the staff was very helpful. The dining room was pretty high class, but the staff made us feel at home. There is also a nice outdoor swimming pool where you can get yummy fruity beverages.
This was our favorite lodge on the trip. The rooms were cute, the staff very helpful. The landscaping alone will amaze - there was a babbling brook outside the window by our dining room table. The lodge seemed to be overstaffed with people falling all over to help us out! Make sure to wear your bug repellent and long sleeves to dinner, as the mosquitoes are out in droves. Take a dip in the pool, then lounge in the sun and sip fruity drinks. Watch out for the monkeys, they'll try to steal your fruit.
by lslay78 on April 27, 2004
If it weren't for a giant rainstorm, we probably would have been able to enjoy our stay more. As soon as we pulled up to the Lodge it began raining cats and dogs! We ran to our room under big umbrellas but we still got wet. The rooms were situated individually along the hillside, positioned for an incredible view of the lake (and the flamingos), each with a porch and big windows. Unfortunately, we couldn't see it! Our only complaint with our stay was the dining hall. It was a bit too much like a school cafeteria and the service was virtually nonexistent. After being pampered too much at Amboseli, that was surprising.
by lslay78 on July 17, 2004
The road to the Masai Mara is falling apart. That said, DO go to the Sarova Mara Tented Camp and enjoy the amazing wildlife surrounding it! The hotel is a grouping of permanent "tents" in a beautifully landscaped forest within the Masai Mara Reserve. Each tent has a permanent roof and bathroom and is equipped with beds, closets, and a desk. Plus, a nice little patio out front to enjoy the out-of-doors even more. Remember your DEET when you go to dinner in the evening, those skeeters are nasty! The buffet was always tasty and the service was alright. I don't think anything can quite compare to our service in Amboseli. The pool was also nice and hanging almost above it was a tree filled with weaver birds hard at work and very noisy. The bar was also nice, there was always fresh coffee available and lovely fruity beverages upon request.
by lslay78 on July 21, 2004
The Carnivore is truly a unique dining experience! Ask your tour company or at your hotel and they will know where it is - this place is quite well known for tourists. We were shown to our table looking out into a jungle courtyard and our waiter explained the eating process. We had drinks and soup and were given a large tray of sauces to try with our dinner. Once the little flag is put up on the table, waiters begin arriving with a spit of meat hot off the fire. They'll say, "This is zebra, you should try it with this sauce," and point at something on your tray. Then if you give them the nod, they'll slice off a piece of meat onto your plate and bon appetit! Different meats come around quite frequently, and you can have regular things like chicken, beef, pork, etc. The game meat is the most interesting - we had zebra, hartebeest, crocodile... They serve a different selection each night. If you have the chance to try a warthog meatball, don't pass it up! Yum!
Amboseli is set in a stunning location at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. When the mountain puts in an appearance from behind the clouds, you won't believe how beautiful it is! Despite the heavy rains just before our arrival, we did see quite a few elephants in the swamps, munching away and staying cool all day. When it rains near Amboseli the animals leave the park because water is plentiful, so it is actually better to come when there hasn't been rain. Besides elephants, we saw numerous birds, as well as cheetahs, lions, zebras, gazelles, hyenas, and much more. Just a warning - the road conditions getting to this park are very poor, so be prepared for a bumpy ride.
by lslay78 on July 6, 2004
After a long and bumpy ride from Amboseli to Nairobi for lunch, and then on to Nakuru, we headed straight for the water! We could drive right down and walked around on the shore of the lake to visit with the flamingos. I've never seen anything like it--the lake was filled with beautiful pink birds. After we'd had our fill, we headed away from the shore and immediately came upon two rhinos munching away in the grass. We were able to get incredibly close to the animals in this park. We saw another rhino walking along and managed to position our van so that he walked within a few feet of us. We also enjoyed seeing Thomson's gazelles and zebra on our way up to the lodge. We made it to the lodge just as the rain began, and enjoyed the most incredible downpour ever! Thunder and lightening filled the sky as the rain poured down.
After we'd had our fill, we headed away from the shore and immediately came upon two rhinos munching away in the grass. We were able to get incredibly close to the animals in this park. We saw another rhino walking along and managed to position our van so that he walked within a few feet of us.
We also enjoyed seeing Thomson's gazelles and zebra on our way up to the lodge. We made it to the lodge just as the rain began, and enjoyed the most incredible downpour ever! Thunder and lightening filled the sky as the rain poured down.
The Masai Mara Reserve was different from other parks in that we didn't have to stick to roads as much. Unfortunately for us, it had recently rained in the park so we had to be careful because of the mud. In fact, we got stuck, along with about 8 other vans in the mud our first night out. At least we were all in it together. The rumor was that there were lions on the other side of a creek so a van full of Chinese tourists drove down and promptly got stuck. Everyone else was lined up behind them in the mud and it took quite a while to get everyone out, but it makes for a good story. On the way back to the lodge our driver spotted the lion and barreled off the road towards the large male. The lion didn't seem to care that we were all there snapping away, he just yawned! While in the park, we saw just about every animal you can think of, baby zebras and buffalo, giraffes just five feet away, hippos and crocodiles at the river. The only thing we missed was a leopard, but I guess that means we'll have to go back!
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