Dear Michael & Natalie,
We are now back, after our very successful 9 day safari in Kenya taking in Samburu National Reserve, Olpejeta Conservancy, Lake Nakuru National Park and the Masai Mara.
I am writing to thank you for making the arrangements, and to give you some feedback.
Travel Arrangements. These all worked exactly as programmed by your agent in Kenya, Chameleon Tours, which proved most reliable. The internal flights worked well : the small planes were 12 seaters and exciting, although their time tables were a bit flexible and depended on the number of passengers and stops. We were very happy also to travel by road between camps. Apart from the cost savings, we experienced Africa and felt more a part of it rather than just tourists. But– the journeys were long and a lot of the roads were very basic!
Drivers and guides. Throughout, except on one occasion, we had our own personal driver and guides. Chameleon provided us with a driver/ guide, Davis, who accompanied and looked after us up until the Karen Blixen Camp. He proved a good traveling companion and was keen to discuss Kenya generally. The Laikipia Camp and Karen Blixen Camp (Masai Mara ), insisted on using their own guides who were both very good.
Accommodation. All camps had very good facilities and food. They were different in their styles.
Elephants Bedroom (Samburu) was probably the most like camping in the bush as it used to be (elephants round the tent at night) and we managed to see leopard – very exciting!!
Kicheche Laikipia Camp was small, and very personal, like staying in someone’s home, with great attention to detail and particularly excellent food- a throwback to colonial entertaining- game came very close, coming across the dam next to the camp.
Mweha Camp ( Nakuru) was quiet and a long way from the game park. It was large and well appointed; The accommodation was in huts rather than tents. Good, but perhaps the least attractive.
Karen Blixen Camp (Masai Mara) was probably the best organised AND located of the camps, with masses of hippos across the river. The facilities and services are modern and excellent, although we found our “personal waiter” rather over enthusiastic.
Conservancies v National Park. Conservancies are better because, frankly, they are more exclusive and have restrictions on the number of vehicles that can chase after each other when an animal is spotted. Also the National Parks are expensive for a 24 hour ticket, which you have to buy, and which is not consistent with the pointlessness of driving around mid- day. We found early morning drives the best in every way.
Animals. We saw all the game we could wish for, up close (a bit too close on one occasion when a large baboon got into our vehicle!). We were able to watch animal behaviour, especially elephants, lions and leopard, as well as ticking off our “I spy” lists.
Peter & Linnet Brown – London