• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Kenya Railways – Nairobi to Mombasa or Vice Versa

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Vicki Tester

 

Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, launched the revitalised/ new Standard Gauged Railway between Nairobi and Mombasa last week. This has cut the travelling time to just over 4 hours for the trip and with prices set at US$9-00 for economy class and US$30 for First Class this has become a real alternative to flying or buses.

There are plans to include a Business class carriage as well but these have yet to be delivered from China.

 

Kenya Lion

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

This gives travellers another option for travel between thee two popular cities but you could also use the train for access to Tsavo East and West National Parks and the Taita Hills with the train stopping at Voi and Mtito Andei. Providing the service is maintained this is another way to see this beautiful country without the experience of some of the rough roads.

For expert advice on your tailor made holiday to Kenya call us on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

 

Kenya

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Country: Kenya

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Despite recent troubles, Kenya has an unique experience to offer everyone. Yes it is the most popular country for first time “Africa” visitors but it is also a favoured destination for the seasoned safari hand. It lends itself to the “Bush and Beach” holiday and is very popular with honeymooners.

Its Lodges and hotels vary widely in size and there is the added offer of staying on ranches – many of which have reverted to acting as wildlife sanctuaries. A chance to see and get close to wildlife from the back of a horse or on foot makes for an adrenalin making experience second to none.

Kenya is blessed with stunning backdrops – Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, The Rift Valley and the wide plains of the Masai Mara. Add in a huge variety of wildlife from the semi deserts of the northern frontier to the lush highlands and down to the tropical coast. Nowhere else can you see a million flamingos feeding in the Lake (Nakuru), herds of red dusted elephants (Tsavo), clouds of butterflies in the forest Parks (Aberdares) and the tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra (Masai Mara).

Finish your holiday on the Kenyan beaches, which are rightly famous for their silver sand, great snorkelling, diving and a wonderful place to unwind after the excitement of your safari.

The people are welcoming and appreciate their need for tourism and the benefits it can bring. With over 50 tribes, diversity is a given.

This is an ideal destination for the first time in sub Saharan Africa or for those discerning adventurers willing to seek out what the country has to offer beyond the usual.

All photographs by kind permission of Kenya Tourist Board

Beachbikedow      Hot Air Balloon      Wildebeast Crossing River

 

Kenya, East Africa

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Kenya is the most popular country for first time “Africa” visitors but it is also a favoured destination for the seasoned safari hand. It lends itself to the “Bush and Beach” holiday and is very popular with honeymooners.

Summary

Kenya, East Africa

It is the most popular country for first time “Africa” visitors but it is also a favoured destination for the seasoned safari hand. It lends itself to the “Bush and Beach” holiday and is very popular with honeymooners.

Day 1: Nairobi

Day 3: Samburu National Park

Day 5: Mount Kenya/Aberdare Mountains

Day 6: Rift Valley

Day 7: Masai Mara

Day 9: Amboseli

Day 11: Tsavo West

Day 13: Beach

Day 17: Depart Kenya

 

Kenya - Lion

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Description

Description

 

This is the land that spawned the safari, drawing such luminaries as Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway. But they were here for the trophies to hang on their walls. After the war came the change in emphasis to using the camera and making safaris more accessible to others. Some would say that it went too far with too many tourists around a pride of lion or any other spectacle. But the truth is that Kenya is huge, the wildlife abundant and the safari experience can be as individual and as private as it ever was.

It is the most popular country for first time “Africa” visitors but it is also a favoured destination for the seasoned safari hand. It lends itself to the “Bush and Beach” holiday and is very popular with honeymooners.

For this suggested itinerary you have the option of being driven between locations or taking light aircraft flights. Or perhaps a mixture of both.

Day 1: Nairobi

Arrive in the capital, Nairobi. Visit the National Park, the only one in the world in a city boundary, which has all of the plains animals and the Big 5 apart from elephant. Consider a trip to Karen Blixen Museum (colonial past), the Elephant Orphanage, the National Museum of Kenya and Snake Park.

2 nights Nairobi

Day 3: Samburu National Park

Today drive north to Samburu National Park. Alternatively catch a small plane for a quick flight to the Park. Samburu is fascinating in that it is on the edge of two types of terrain – the dry semi desert of the Northern Frontier District and the lusher country around Mount Kenya. Because of this, it is home to some rare and different animals, such as Grevy’s Zebra, Gerenuk and Reticulated Giraffe. The Uaso Nyiro River runs through the Park supporting the wildlife and home to pods of hippo and good sized crocodiles.

2 nights Samburu

Day 5: Mount Kenya/Aberdare Mountains

Drive back to Mount Kenya or Aberdare Mountains for a different type of wildlife experience. Hopefully Mount Kenya will be clear making an excellent backdrop for your photos. The afternoon and evening will be spent checking the wildlife that comes out of the forest to drink and feed in the open area. After a good meal you can either continue watching the floodlit waterhole or retire to bed and ask the night watchman to give you a knock if something you particularly want to see (leopard, wild bush pig or elephant for example).

1 night Mount Kenya

 Day 6: Rift Valley

Today you will drive in to the Rift Valley with your destination being a lodge close to Lake Nakuru National Park or Lake Elementaita. The lakes here are famous for the number of greater and lesser flamingos feeding around their edge at different times of the year. Lake Nakuru has another 450 species of birds in the Park, this is a bird enthusiast’s dream. However there are plenty of mammal species to be found here, with good numbers of white rhino and the much more rare black rhino.

1 night Rift Valley

Day 7: Masai Mara

On to the world famous Masai Mara with its open plains and riverine woods. At the right time of the year, the plains are teeming with wildebeest and zebra as they migrate from one part of the Serengeti to the Mara and back again. If you are here for the migration, you will have the chance of watching the hectic and traumatic river crossing by the ungulates. You have a great chance of seeing the big cats here and also good numbers of elephant. Over 450 species of birds have been recorded here with almost 60 raptors included in this number. A wonderful way of seeing the wildlife here is to take an early morning balloon ride across the plains and finish the experience with a champagne breakfast when you land.

2 nights at Masai Mara

 Day 9: Amboseli

Amboseli is the second most popular Park in Kenya after the Masai Mara and is at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro making for the perfect backdrop for your animal photos. The rain and snow melt from the Mountain, and then permeate down to Amboseli into five swamps, two of which are now protected in the National Park. This water source is relied upon by the wild animals of the Park. All of the Big 5 are found here (although the number of rhino is much depleted due to poaching) as are good numbers of the plains animals.

Take morning and late afternoon game drives out over the plains through the Acacia forests and in to the swamps looking for those animals that are high on your wish list. Ensure you drive to the top of Observation Hill which gives you an excellent view of the Park. Take time to look at the bird life here which is prolific, colourful and in abundance. As the Park is within the Masai homeland, you will have the opportunity to visit them in their manyata and learn about their nomadic way of living.

2 nights Amboseli

Day 11: Tsavo West

Your trip today takes you in to Tsavo West National Park and you will be able to see wildlife along most of the journey. Tsavo East and West National Parks account for 4% of Kenya’s landmass and are not as busy as some of the other Parks in Kenya. However the amount and diversity of wildlife and birds (over 500 species have been recorded here) are second to none.

 Tsavo West is a mixture of plains, wooded grassland, mountains and riverine forests. There is also the spectacular volcanic mountain range of the Chyulu Hills which are well worth a visit. The Park is huge and your game drives will take you to these different areas. All of the Big 5 are represented here and the elephants are renowned for their red/brown colour. This is from their taking dust baths in the very red soil.

Drive to the top of Poacher’s Lookout for an all round viewpoint and ensure that you see the crystal clear water at Mzima Springs. Here you have the opportunity to go in to an underwater viewing chamber to see the tilapia fish and, if you are lucky, hippo walking along the bottom of the spring.

2 nights Tsavo West

Day 13: Beach

Now down to the Indian Ocean and time to relax on a silver sand beach in warm sea water. You can be as active or as lazy as you like here. For those wanting to see places, then Fort Jesus in Mombasa, the Gedi Ruins and Shimba Hills National Park are well worth considering. The water activities include snorkelling, diving, sailing and deep sea fishing.

4 nights Beach

Day 17: Depart Kenya

Today depart Kenya for the onward or homeward journey.

Kenya - Peter Ellis

Peter growing up in Kenya – Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kenya - Giraffe

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kenya - Cheetah

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kenya - Leopard

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

Watch a line of elephant trooping towards the swamp in Amboseli with cattle egrets flying over and Mount Kilimanjaro as the final back ground.

What our clients say

Client Feedback

Coming soon.

 

Why not visit Ol Malo, Kenya

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Vicki Tester

 

Last October Angie visited Kenya and one of the places included on her travels was Ol Malo.  In Angie’s opinion this is one place that should be part of everyone’s bespoke itinerary to Kenya and this is why..

 

1. By Helicopter, through the eyes of a bird
Nothing beats soaring above beautiful Kenya. Within minutes you could be enjoying a view too staggering to imagine and only the winds of gods whispering around you. Or with a morning to explore, you could be miles from civilization passing over awe inspiring scenery, catching Nile perch for lunch, watching pink flamingos swarming below you and even if you were to take the same trip over and over – every day is different. On the last day of 2016 guests saw a melanistic serval cat leaping across a river.

Picture courtesy of Ol Malo

 

2. Between two ears
All levels of riders from kids on leading rein, beginner adults, happy hackers to 3-day eventers enjoy moving un-noticed among the wild herds. Gently, or at speed enjoying the sure footed-ness of a Kenyan homebred, guests can watch towering giraffe browsing above you or elephant through two pricked ears. Horseback has to be one of the best ways to explore Kenya. Add in an Ol Malo Nomad horse safari and you’re alone in the wilderness, your belongings on a camel, traveling by trusty steed and living life as a Nomad.

Picture courtesy of Ol Malo 

 

3. On foot, through the eyes of a Samburu
Work off those 3 course meals… follow a bouncing Samburu stride! Stop tripping over those rocks like a town clown and learn to weave in and out of ‘wait a bit’ bushes like a London-er walking down Oxford street in rush hour. Feel that adrenaline rush as you climb a rock and watch peaceful elephant families rumbling below you. Learn about stitching ants and the tracks of last nights’ visitors on the path.

Picture courtesy of Ol Malo 

 

4. Sitting treetop height – riding a camel!
Swaying at treetop height, no need to concentrate on your footing on the back of a camel. Appreciate their character and hardiness and get close to the game. You can even see lion’s from camels!

Picture courtesy of Ol Malo 

 

5. 4 x 4
Of course vehicle is always an option, but lets do them Ol Malo style viewing from the roof seats and add in a night drive…Lately lots of aardvark have been spotted!

Picture courtesy of Ol Malo 

 

6. From your balcony or lounging by the pool
Take a break, whilst sipping your morning tea or an evening sundowner scan below you … You can see all sorts from our vantage point on the cliffs, standoffs between elephant and wild dog, cattle and elephant sharing the water trough, good things come to those who wait.

Picture courtesy of Ol Malo 

 

Picture courtesy of Ol Malo 

 

 

 

 

 

If this sounds like a place you would like to add to your own bespoke Kenya holiday then contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk 

We are here to offer you first hand knowledge and expert advice.

 

 

Destinations Show, Olympia

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Vicki Tester

 


Photograph by kind permission of UnCruise Adventures

Don’t forget we will be at Destinations Show at Olympia, London, on February 02, 03, 04 and 05. Find us on Stand AC32 which we are sharing with the American company Uncruise Adventures. Most of the team will be there over the 4 days and would love to see a friendly face or two. This is one of the biggest travel shows in the U.K and a great place to find new destinations and experiences that would suit you. If you have a particular place in mind for your holiday next year (or the year after) give us a call to book an appointment with our team expert for that part of the world. However we will be very pleased to see you as and when you are free.

For your free tickets to Destinations Show, please go to: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration  and then type in MSC97 in the appropriate place.

We look forward to seeing you at either event.

World Lion Day

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

August 10 was World Lion Day and it is worth taking stock on how these magnificent animals are doing in the wild.  With Cecil the lion, and his untimely death showed, many people around the world hold lion in deep affection.

The current situation is a mixture of good and bad news.  To deal with the bad first, the number of  lion in Western, Central and East Africa have decreased by 60% over the past 21 years. However the better news is that their numbers have  increased by 12% over the same period in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

It is encouraging that Rwanda realises the value of having lion in its National Parks and has re-introduced 15 lion to their Akagera National Park – the last time lion were seen here was 15 years ago. 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

The King of the Jungle needs all the friends it can get.  If you want to discuss seeing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat just get in touch.

 We have lots of ideas on how to incorporate this into your own bespoke, tailor made holiday and many other places/parks that are a must visit on your trip.  We will also advise on the best time of year to visit and the length of time you need in each place therefore making the most of your time and money, whilst making the best memories!

Please contact us on Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Wildebeest Migration

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Vicki Tester

 

For all of you that loved and marvelled at Ben Fogle’s ITV programme on the wildebeest migration and would like to find out more about seeing this amazing event, then please get in touch.

Whether you see the herds in Kenya or Tanzania it does depend upon when you can get away and for how long. Both countries have much to offer relating to the migration and all that happens around it and also with other wonderful Game Parks and scenery.

Certain parts of the migration are very popular to watch, particularly the river crossings, so finding accommodation and/or places can be difficult and expensive.

As always try to plan in advance to ensure your seat at this spectacle and to minimise costs.

Please contact us for more information and advice on building your own bespoke, tailor made holiday to see this spectacular – Tel: 01323 446 550 or email: info@experinceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Kenya Safari and Beach

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For those people experiencing a safari for the first time and who are not sure how they will like it or those that know that a few days of game viewing are enough for them, the following suggested itinerary should give food for thought…

Summary

Kenya Safari and Beach

This itinerary offers a lovely combination of bush and beach and is ideal for those not too sure if the safari element will be to their taste or not.  But be warned, hardened safari-goers will tell you that Africa gets under your skin, encouraging you to return again and again:

Day 1: Mombasa, Shanzu Beach
Day 2: Tsavo
Day 3: Tsavo East
Day 4: Tsavo East
Day 5: Mombasa, Diani Beach
Day 6 to 11: Mombasa
Day 12: Depart Kenya

Description

Description

 

Kenya: Safari and Beach
For those people experiencing a safari for the first time and who are not sure how they will like it or those that know that a few days of game viewing are enough for them, the following suggested itinerary should give food for thought…

Day 1: Mombasa, Shanzu Beach
Begin with an overnight stay to the north of Mombasa on the Shanzu beach, considered one of the best on this coast. Time to unwind after the journey and to dip into the Indian Ocean.

Day 2: Tsavo
Today begin a private safari by driving inland to the Taita Hills. Take an afternoon game drive in the Taita Hills Game Sanctuary. Tsavo Park and this sanctuary are famous for their red elephants; the animals cover themselves with the red earth to act as a deterrent to insects and as a cooling agent.

Day 3: Tsavo East
After breakfast, continue the safari with a morning game drive in Taita Hills and then continue to Tsavo East. The aim will be to arrive in time for lunch at a Tented Camp. After time to settle in and let the heat of the day dissipate (watching whatever animals visit the waterhole here), head out for an afternoon game drive in Tsavo East. This whole area has good numbers of all the Big 5 but finding them is the task. Back to the camp in time for sundowners while watching the activities at the waterhole.

Day 4: Tsavo East
Today take morning and afternoon game drives in Tsavo East. It is probably worth returning to Camp to relax during the heat of the afternoon.

Day 5: Mombasa, Diani Beach
Today, return to Mombasa with the chance of game viewing en route. Your destination is to the south of Mombasa for a stay on the Diani Beach. The hotels here vary in size and cost and it does depend upon the kind of holiday that you want while staying on the coast. For the more pampered and quieter holiday, then the smaller hotels will suit. The beach is silver sand and the reef not far from the shore. Plenty of swimming, snorkelling, sailing and other water sports are available. Or just chill out.

Day 6 to 11: Mombasa
There is plenty to do here.  Mombasa is worth a visit both from the shopping point of view and also a visit to Jesus Fort in the Harbour (for the history of the place). Another trip to consider, if you have not had enough wildlife experiences, would be a day trip to Shimba Hills National Park. A different experience to your safari as this is a forested park with different animals to be seen and a greater abundance of butterflies.

Day 12: Depart Kenya
Depart Mombasa today for the onward or homeward journey.

All photographs courtesy Kenya Tourist Board

Kenya - beach camel      Kenya - Boy with Wood

Kenya - lions      Kenya - Mombasa Beach

Little Gems

Little Gems

Many safari lodges offer tented accommodation, but in most cases, this is not camping as we knew it in our youth.  These tents have comfortable furniture and en suite bathrooms – this is camping in style!

What our clients say

Client Feedback

Content coming soon

Free Safaris for children under the age of 12

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

SkySafari, one of the companies that we love booking with, provides once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences, for the young as well as for the young-at-heart.

Families find their 8-day SkySafari the perfect solution to avoid long transfers as their direct flights between the lodges & camps of the Elewana Collection allow you and your family to spend more time searching for The Big Five.

With the Easter Holidays just around the corner, why not take your children on an 8-day SkySafari in either Tanzania or Kenya?  And what’s more, children under 12 years of age will travel free of charge until mid-June 2016.

SKYSAFARI HIGHLIGHTS

  • Each of the Elewana Collection lodges & camps is geared for family groups and offers a unique perspective and diverse activities specific to each age group
  • Our passionate and informative guides will explain all about the flora & fauna encountered 
  • Your children (and you) have the opportunity to learn about the traditional values of some of East Africa’s oldest tribes
  • Small lodges or camps in private reserves – away from the crowds

ITINERARY IN BRIEF

  • KENYA – 1 night Hemingways Nairobi | 2 nights Tortilis Camp Amboseli  |  2 nights Elsa’s Kopje Meru  |  2 nights Sand River Masai Mara
  • TANZANIA – 1 night Arusha Coffee Lodge | 2 nights Tarangire Treetops | 2 nights The Manor at Ngorongoro | 2 nights either Serengeti Pioneer or Migration Camp
Elsa's Kopje Meru - Luxury Open Cottage - Courtesy of SkySafaris

Elsa’s Kopje Meru – Luxury Open Cottage – Courtesy of SkySafari

 

Tortillis Camp - Courtesy of SkySafaris

Tortillis Camp – Courtesy of SkySafari

 

 

 

 

 

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • No charge for children’s accommodation, meals, drinks, activities and transfers in our luxurious Executive-Class Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft
  • Park & Concession fees for children are payable (USD 155 in Tanzania and USD 370 in Kenya)
  • Only applicable to the 8-day Classic SkySafari itineraries. SkySafari Plus extensions are excluded. 
  • Valid for bookings made from today to the date of travel
  • Valid for any SkySafari  departures between today and 15 June 2016
  • Maximum 2 children under 12 years sharing a room with 2 adults

 Truly an exceptional offer and a wonderful introduction to Africa for the children.

Serengeti Migration Camp - Bedroom Tent - Courtesy of Skysafaris

Serengeti Migration Camp – Bedroom Tent – Courtesy of Skysafari

 

Tarangire Treetops - Courtesy of Skysafaris

Tarangire Treetops – Courtesy of Skysafari

Family Holidays to Kenya just got a little bit cheaper

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Vicki Tester

 

There are many reasons to head to Kenya for a holiday – fantastic, wildlife, beautiful silver sand beaches, friendly people, history that goes back to the dawn of man and only 7/8 hours flying time away.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Now the Kenya Government has announced that it is waiving visa fees for children under 16. This will not make a huge difference but it certainly helps.

Kenya has always been a great family holiday destination and one of the best places for your first safari. It offers a mixture of experiences and children are always made a fuss of by the Kenyans. There is something magical in watching your youngster being taught about the nature around them by a tall Masai warrior.

There are still deals on offer for holidays to Kenya this year so give us a call to discuss your bespoke, tailor made safari and/or beach holiday.

Contact us on Tel: 01323 446550 or Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

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