The Ultimate Off-the-Beaten Track, Multigenerational Adventure… in Kenya

A Real Off-the-Beaten Track, Adventurous Safari … a Christmas present to my parents, and the opportuity to spend the very best sort of quality time with them!!!

Christmas comes but once a year and after 45 years of buying my parents hit or miss gifts (mainly miss if you count the plastic knives, plastic jewellery or the ultimate … a gothic necklace), experience’s have taken over, and the poor things have to spend it with us … yes my husband & I and the wayward wee ones all jump on board!

2020’s Christmas adventure to Amboseli & Tsavo came true in February 2020, just before our lives changed forever.

After an easy & smooth-for-Kenya drive from Nairobi (Kenya’s capital city) to #AmboseliNationalPark (one of Kenya’s best known parks, known for its incredible views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and enormous amount of easy-to-see wildlife🐘🐂🦩🐆), we were collected by the lodge safari-vehicle to take us to the lodge. Now that was an experience 😲 possibly the worst road in Kenya we were NutriBulleted for an hour or so before we landed at the unique, interesting & rather beautiful #ElephantGorgeLodge; the kids in heaven after such an ‘adventurous adventure’, the adults … stiff … but happy!

The lodge itself is all about the views …. and what incredible views they are; Amboseli in one direction and Mt. Kilimanjaro in the other. The bedrooms, in my opinion were absolutely heavenly, comfortable, modern & with much glass walls the views made your eyes water (nb. if you travel here when there is a full moon, you can see the mountain all night too!!!); the team were absolutely exceptional …. and the activities …. well this is what made us even happier. Set on Noolarami Conservancy, a little conservancy just SE of Amboseli National Park, we were simply blown away by the incredible guided walks and sundowners on the conservancy (stretching our legs, letting the kids scream around without having to try to contain them, bush olympics, clambering on rocks, learning about local medicines etc. etc.) and the magnificent game drives into the very nearby national park, Amboseli. This gorgeous park goes from strength to strength in my opinion, it gets better & better; better views, the wildlife we saw was completely unbelievable, the birdlife next to nothing and the infrastructure was pretty dam good too!!!

After three days here, we were encouraged to drive the scenic-route to the next gorgeous lodge, Kipalo Hills, a little lodge bordering Tsavo West & East National Parks. A full day’s journey; if we felt we’d been nutribulleted before, we were in the commercial version now, toss in wining, winging, scrapping kids, a disgruntled husband who would have prefered the main road in his fast car and nearly Octagenerian grandparents with joint-stiffness … quite the cocktail-of-fun!!! But WOW what a journey, beautiful, incredible, diverse and indeed adventurous … with a surprise lunch on a river-bed on the way. I love an adventure!

Oh we loved #KipaloHills, we did, we did!!! A gorgeous little lodge perched on the side of the Mbulia Hills, again with fantastic views looking out across the 12,000 acre Mbulia Conservancy towards Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance. #Kipalo is just my sort of lodge, it is:

  • beautiful and has only 8-bedrooms,
  • is great value for money,
  • works closely with the community,
  • focuses on conservation,
  • is relaxed (didn’t have to worry too much about wayward children),
  • does a great job with their food
  • an incredible swimming pool overlooking miles & miles of Africa
  • and so many wonderful & unique activities!!! Ooooh I love an unique activity!!! Game drives, walks to see wildlife, bufferflies & birdlife close up; meeting the interesting conservancy guards and our highlight was meeting an ex-poacher (my father was a hunter so they had lots to talk about) who showed us around his cave where he lived in his days as a poacher.

We loved the local area though you are very able to go on game drives into Tsavo East & West …. as well as visit the DSWT Ithumba elephant sanctuary.

All in all, staying a little off-the-beaten-track and staying in little places when visiting two of Kenya’s most publicised national parks, Amboseli & Tsavo worked perfectly for us. Away from the crowds but oh so close to the action … and spending time with three generations whilst exploring this part of our beautiful country is completely priceless!!!

We cant thank these two incredible places enough for looking after us sooooo well!

My Final Thoughts:
Elephant Gorge – Perfect for those looking for beautiful accommodation, off the beaten track; our walk to ur sundowner, our sundowner & our breakfast overlooking Mt. Kiminjaro will live with me forever.
Kipalo Hills
 – Will forever remind me of truly uplifting natural beauty and a real experience amongst nature; kids swimming for hours in amongst millions of white bufferlies with views to make you cry ….. and the poacher, that was fascinating!

Price – the price for both places starts at USDD330 per person, per night which includes full board accommodation and meals, bottled water, tea & coffee, sodas, house wines, beer and non-luxury spirits, laundry, game drives (within the conservancy), night drives, bush walks, bush breakfasts … etc. a truly incredible rate for such intimate, special places. Contact Chania to book!

My advise – People go on holiday for very many different reasons, if you are looking to experience incredible natural beauty, off the beaten track, please do come here!

For more stories, specials, reveals, news & views on these gorgeous places and all other African travel deliciousness, please do follow us on FacebookInstagram & Twitter.

To Book – Looking for an enormously knowledgeable team 🤓 that will offer you 100% Personalized Safari Planning FREE of charge? Follow The SAFARI Company on FacebookInstagram & Twitter for irresistible safari & beach offers, news & reviews!

Find out more about our family safaris that we have put together, for you, as a result of our adventures.

A Perfect Family Adventure Safari, in Kenya

For adventure-seekers, nature-lovers, animal-lovers & those looking for memory-making family-time, this really is a Perfect Family Adventure … in Kenya.

It’s Brief This Time ;o)

I’m not going to bore you to death again with my endless adventure stories, my children not quite behaving as they should or my rather strong points of view of how the soft-furnishings should be; instead I’m going to present you with a photo collage of my new favourite Safari Adventure with Children, a handfull of days at Tumaren Camp (a fabulous little base camp for the fabulous Karisia walking Safaris), in Laikipia, Northern Kenya. I think this family safari is best summarized in the words of our children ‘that is my favourite and bestest camp we’ve ever stayed!’ Billy (our son), ‘me too’ exclaimed Zia (our daughter) … and we have stayed in 100’s folks, its what we do!! We truly had the most amazing time!!

Thank you!

Kerry, Jamie (the adventurous and super-fun owners) & the incredible Samburu guide that is Gabriel … & Tumaren Camp so very much for putting up with this mucky, mad, energetic, scalliwag family … you made our dreams come true!

Kenya, unlike Southern African countries, welcomes families travelling with young kids, with open arms. See more on this.

Practicalities:


Tumaren Camp – For those looking to experience a real safari, in comfort! Tumaren offers so many incredible, natural activities giving a family the most incredible opportunity to bond and to form life-long memories together.
The Area – is rugged, dry, dramatic and eye-poppingly beautiful. You’re here for arid lands, the unexplored territory, the real culture and real life, and that is indeed what you get.
For those travelling to Kenya with kids – Do it, if there’s one thing you should do in life, come here for at least 3 nights, with your kids. I would even suggest two or three families. No Ipads, no TV, no shopping …. instead you will have time … time to chat, to sing, to have your meals under an umbrella tree in the bush, to walk, to ride camels, to rock climb, to watch the sun go down, to swim in the river, to see wildlife, to witness real Samburu culture … ahhhh heaven!
Weather – warm days and mild nights.
What to Pack? – A good camera and binoculars (even for the kids, it’ll help them get into it more). Layers … jeans and a warm jumper / jacket for the evening and early mornings and shorts and a t-shirt for the day. High SPF sun cream, hats .. and a big smilie face!
Price – USD450 per adult, per night (before conservation fees) – this includes all accommodation, all food (really delicious food!!), all drinks, all fully guided activities (walks, camel safaris, rock climbing, river-swimming, cultural experiences … etc.).
My advise – People go on holiday for very many different reasons, if you are looking to experience a safari how it always was, at an agreeable rate, but with all the luxuries you need (comfy beds, beautiful tented rooms, cold drinks, yummy bush food, great hosting etc.) Tumaren will suit you perfectly.
How to Book it? Kenya is not a country gifted with ‘ease of booking via bookings.com or hotels.com’ its always best to use a trustworthy, knowledgeable company who can help you book. We suggest contacting either Chania who can organise your entire safari from the minute you touchdown to the minute you take off! Or one of the incredible magicians at The SAFARI Company, who daily turn adventure-dreams into real-adventures!! Fancy finding out more about this rather special company?

To book a Family Adventure Safari tailored to YOUR unique & dynamic bunch click here!

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Our Family-Friendly Guide to The World’s Most Impressive Wildlife Spectacle, The Annual Wildebeest Migration

If it’s the very best wildlife spectacle on earth that you’re looking to witness, with your family, the Annual Wildebeest Migration is indeed the World Cup of Wildlife, this is what you’re looking for. If it’s to get off the beaten track, away from the crowds, this guide is as helpful … just keep away😊!

What is the Annual Wildebeest Migration?

The annual wildebeest migration is the movement of over 1.5m wildebeest, 500,000 Burchell’s zebra, 200,000 Thompson’s gazelle and 18,000 eland antelope across 40,000 square kilometres; the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve & its surrounding conservancies in Kenya … these masses of wildlife are in search of green grass, they’re following the rain … hence the exact dates are not 100% predictable, but there is a continuous movement that generally takes place at the same time each year.

This movement is over expansive plains, accross crocodile infested rivers and through forests; it offers the viewer unbelievable experiences, both incredibly beautiful, awe inspiring, flabberghasting & brutal to the core.  Put your seat belts on!

Our Advise

First & foremost, we would like to inform you that the wildlife viewing in the Serengeti or the Maasai Mara is excellent all year round, so any time is a good time to travel to either places, you just need to know where to base yourselves, and this is where we come in handy (did we mention we also own a safari organisation company?). Please feel free to contact us and we will help! Being one of the 7th Wonders of the World, don’t expect to be here alone, you will be sharing this spectacle with many other cars … unless you know someone who knows something 😉 and we will book you in little private conservancies away from the traffic jams, but close enough to dip in and out as you like!

Our Guide

Please use this only as a guideline when planning your East African safari as it is indeed weather dependent…. We’ve had double migrations before, early ones and late ones of course! 

Map of Annual Wildebeest Migration Route

When & Where to view The Great Migration

    • January to March – The big herds are often in the South / South East Serengeti  (mainly Ndutu & Kusini). Calving often takes place in Jan / Feb, therefore there are loads of young, lots of predators and great visibility. A great time to travel here.
    • April & May – The herds are now generally moving towards central Serengeti (Seronera).  This is typically the time of the long rains in East Africa; generally rain appears in short bursts leaving dramatic skies and beautiful sunsets and game viewing is still excellent. NB. There are some great discounts available at lodges and camps throughout Kenya & Tanzania, and at The SAFARI Company, we love this time of year for photographers! 
    • June – The large herds of wildebeest are generally in central Serengeti (Seronera) as well as western Serengeti (Grumeti) in June.  We love this time of year, the grass is usually greet, lots of young, beautiful skies and low volumes of visitors.
    • July & AugustThey start to head north towards the Mara River (the river in between the Serengeti & the Maasai Mara). July is usually when the annual wildebeest migration all kicks off. River crossings may be seen in both the Western Corridor (Grumeti area) and the North (Mara River) within the Serengeti… as well as the northern Maasai Mara, The Mara Triangle and Musiara area.
    • September & OctoberThe herds have indeed filled up the Maasai Mara plains at this time of year as they move north and then east through the Masai Mara (from The Triangle, they move through Musiara, through Mara North Conservancy, Olare Orok Conservancy, Naboisho Conservancy and the Talek area, Siana and Olderkesi, starting to cross back to Tanzania in October / November.

Of course if this incredible experience is enticing you ….. have a little look at our other amazing itineraries, that are all reduced in price at the moment!!

For more stories, specials, reveals, news & views on The Great Migration and all other African travel deliciousness, please do follow The Safari Co Ltd on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

To keep up with our Family Adventures around Africa please do follow A Family Safari Blog on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Find out about our family safaris that we have put together, for you, as a result of our adventures.


The Pressure of Getting it Right!

The Pressure of Getting it Right! An affordable multigenerational beach holiday in Kenya … As someone who’s lived in Kenya all her life, someone who’s worked in the African travel industry for 26 years, who’s company specialises in family travel it’s up to me to book all our holidays …. this time it’s somewhere for my extended family’s summer beach holiday, again … again The Pressure of Getting it Right … is On!

Daily, I see more and more people looking to travel on a teeny, tiny budget, but expecting perfection in return. Trust me, some of my family (you knwo who you are 😉 is absolutely no different, ‘Chania let’s all go somewhere gorgeous on the beach; we have USD1 per night … how lovely, we can’t wait for amazing food and a beautiful place, with a gorgeous swimming pool, on the beach’ ….. seriously😳!

So on a mission I went, again. One of the lovely little Hidden Gems we use for our clients on a tight budget came up trumps! They offered my rather extreme family a wonderful rate … Diani Blue here we come.

The adventure begun before we even reached the airport in Nairobi (to fly on the affordable Silverstone to Ukunda, Diani Beach). My parents reached the airport in good time; my sister, myself and the three kids didn’t. Traffic was in a gridlock and we were about to miss our flight. After calling the incredibly helpful and understanding Silverstone airline on numerous occasions, they informed us they couldn’t wait for us any longer, so we jumped out of the taxi; 2 adults, 3 kids, 100 suitcases, 200 beachbags, swimming noodles, hand boards, surf-boards, cuddly toys, beach hats, flippers and snorkles and we ran, along the main Nairobi road, we ran, we ran .. screaming kids, flipflips breaking, noodles flying away; what a sight it must have been, especially when the gridlock was released and all the traffic drove past us, including our taxi!

Anyhow, stiff from all the intense activity before our flight, we arrived to the caramel-warm air of Diani beach. Our rather characterful taxi met us and off we bumbled, a 5 minute drive to Diani Blue. 1st impression of the Blue is a beautiful forested and ponded area spotted with butterflies, sleeping monkeys, and beautiful tweeting birds skipping from branch to branch… pheow something for the bored and sweaty kids to do whilst we checked in! Then the view!!! The view through the Lamu doors on the most beautiful little swimming pool in the foreground and the aqua-seas in the background … yeay.

Diani Blue is indeed a charmingly small and exclusive (only 6 rooms) place lapped by the waters of the Indian Ocean; the love-child of a little boutique hotel and a relaxed barefoot beach-family who run it; the structure is elegance personified, the décor and atmosphere homey, relaxed and welcoming, located bang-on Diani Beach, which was recently voted the ‘Best Beach in Africa’ by the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry: The 21st Annual Travel Awards.

We were shown our lovely little air-conditioned or fanned (the choice is yours) Swahili-style rooms, with lovely en-suite bathrooms (with showers) all overlooking the swimming pool; perfect, absolutely perfect! Kids leaping on the beds whilst you’re trying to find their swimming costumes, sun cream, hats etc. etc. and then we all leap in the pool…. That was it, we were at the beach, heaven!

Our 10 days at Diani Blue were filled properly bonding as a multi-generational family, my parents, my sister, her boy, our kids and me ….. time together, a true luxury.

  • We all sat chilling and chatting, bickering & winging 😉 by the pool whilst the kids screamed around it (sorry!);
  • We spent time walking along the gorgeous beach, making sandcastles, playing beach cricket … trying to provide enough entertainment to stop the youth from bickering;
  • Surfing the crazily huge waves on belly boards; my 78 year old father was in heaven … finally two grandsons to muck around with, not two sissy daughters! Mum got tumbled a few times too .. hilarious memories that will last forever;
  • We went on an Ngalawa, Diani Blue’s traditional dugout canoe, to the sand-reef to find shells and urchins, to snorkel, to play French cricket;
  • We had a little bumpy camel ride up the beach;
  • We went on a Glass Bottom boat with the legendary John, who loves having kids on board, and they love him .. he teaches them all about marine life, starfish, sea urchins etc. etc.;
  • We visited the Colobus Conservation Trust to show the kids what people do, the lengths they go to in order to conserve the wildlife around us; pretty impressive;
  • We went to a back-packer joint to see Bushbaby’s coming in for their evening meal of bananas.

We mainly ate delicious food at Diani Blue, the restaurant is called The Edge … delicious, simple and traditional crab, lobster, fish, fish & more fish, samosas, salads (I suggest the ginger crab, the feta samosas, the self-saucing chocolate pudding … oh and the fish fingers for the kids) .. the menu was amazing, we could eat when we wanted, overlooking the beach and lapping seas and it was so damn reasonable! The only advise I give, is to order an hour before you need to eat, to avoid tears from hungry tummies.  We also went out for some deliciousness:

  • We treated ourselves for my sisters birthday at the Sails Beach Bar & Restaurant – Our personal favourite for a special occasion. Located on the beach front within Almanara Boutique Hotel & Villas, the modernization of the sweeping sails and curving beams create an ambience unparalleled on the east coast of Africa. The waiting staff are professional, kind and friendly, the ambience is friendly. As well as delicious, delumptios and heavenly fresh seafood, a selection of meat, salads and scrumptious treats for those with a sweet tooth… as well as being child friendly!!
  • We went to The Sands at Nomad Beach Bar a few times,  a wonderful beach bar, on the white sands of Diani Beach which wonderful pizzas, great Japanese, other seafood and non-seafood choices and a great ice-cream bar. Super Child friendly with a lovely little natural play area for all ages .. huge Connect 4, huge Tumbledown etc. loved this.
  • We went to Piri Piries Bar & Restaurant – a really lovely little café, restaurant and bar, very popular with Diani expat residents. Their menu is wonderful, serving seafood specialities, delicious meat dishes, vegetarian options, I loved the ploughmans and the huge selection of salads! They also offer amazing coffees and cocktails. Plus they had a great little playground for littlies.
  • We even went to the Colobus Shade – is a proper local restaurant owned by some Diani fisherman… get brave!🐙 There is nothing fancy or chic, but a great experience. It is reasonable and the fish platter or the plain fish, calamari and crab is fresh & delicious!

What a time … what special, precious time. We loved our relaxing stay at Diani Blue, we had a perfect time. The food amazing, the service slow .. but once Coastitus sets in, you don’t notice. 

For value for money, you simply can’t beat it! Even if it may not have been as fun for them as it was us (Zia may have discovered some scissors … and a mosquito net and a bed-sheet and decided to see how they all worked together!!! The guilt to this day is unbearable, especially as they still haven’t sent me a bill! Sorry Diani Blue .. again!! I am waiting.

The guilt is still there, but I do believe Diani Blue & I pulled it off. It’s an awesome little place, a perfect place to bond with your family, it suits all generations and it doesnt empty your bank account. We had amazing food and a beautiful place, with a gorgeous swimming pool, on the beach ….. seriously!

Of course if this gorgeous place is enticing you ….. have a little look at this wonderful family itinerary or any of our other amazing itineraries, that are all reduced in price at the moment!!

Practicalities:
Diani Blue – Is a personal, relaxed little beach place …. rather more an AirBnB than a lodge, but with the luxury of a beach-side restaurant at your fingertips.
Diani Beach – Recently voted the ‘Best Beach in Africa’ by the ‘Oscars’ of the travel industry: The 21st Annual Travel Awards. A flawless, long stretch of white-sand beach hugged by lush forest and kissed by surfable waves, it’s no wonder Diani Beach is so popular. This town/stretch of beach scores points with a diverse crowd: party people, families, honeymooners, backpackers and water-sports enthusiasts. Only one warning here, beware of high, high season as the beach can become a little busy.
For those travelling to Kenya with kids, and grandparents – If you like to spend time with your kids, rather than palming them off onto a kids club; do it, it will be the best bonding experience, you can chill by the pool or do all the fun activities we did .. and they cater for kids perfectly here.
For those who live in East Africa – go as a family or get a couple of families together to fill up the place (6 rooms only) and GO!!! You’ll have an incredible time…. and their resident rates are appealing!
Weather – of course it depends on when you travel, but generally warm days and warm nights with a gorgeous sea-breeze … delicious.
What to Pack? – High SPF sun cream, hats, swimmers and light clothes to go for your excursions (respecting the coastal Arabic society)….. If you can why not squeeze in the odd body board?
Price – Between USD85 and USD115 per person per night, Bed & Breakfast. Contact us to book!
My advise – People go on holiday for very many different reasons, if you are looking to spend quality family time, relaxing but with something rather fun to do each day, please do come here!

For more stories, specials, reveals, news & views on Diani Blue and all other African travel deliciousness, please do follow The Safari Co Ltd on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

To keep up with our Family Adventures around Africa please do follow us on A Family Safari Blog on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Find out about our family safaris that we have put together, for you, as a result of our adventures.