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 Real Thing, A Safari at Offbeat Mara, Kenya

What are you looking for in a safari? I’m looking for The Real Thing! A safari, staying at Offbeat Mara; a real tented camp on an outstandingly beautiful, private conservancy bordering The Masai Mara Reserve, where kids … and adults can be kids. This ticks my boxes!

What do you mean by the ‘Real Thing’ you ask? and what boxes? Do let me explain:

  1. The Place – The Masai Mara reserve in the most incredible wildlife spectacle in the world, which sadly means at some times of the year it’s hotter than Oxford Circus/5th Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. Offbeat Mara is situated within the 74,000 acre Mara North Conservancy which borders the Masai Mara reserve; the scenery, the animals and the culture is all the same; the area is full of wildlife yet open to a few member camps only and has a strict policy on game viewing etiquette… loads of game, no lodges on every corner, no bustling within cars to see animals.  For these reasons you get a properly exclusive wildlife experience that is otherwise becoming impossible to find … for those looking to experience the migration in the heart of the reserve; crack on, you can dip in and out of the circus to your hearts desire.
  2. The Camp – a small, traditional safari camp, with only seven tented rooms, Offbeat Mara is a simple, cosy, private homely feel (in the good way that the English use, not the American version!) in the bush. Each tent is en suite with flush loos and traditional hot safari showers, privately scattered within the beautiful riverine forest encouraging privacy and offering a gorgeous view. The heart of the camp is a simple main ‘mess’ tent, on wooden decking, which has a sitting room , dining room and bar/library area.
  3. The People – well, in my opinion this is exactly what the Masai Mara is all about. The wildlife is here, there and everywhere, the scenery is mind boggling, it’s a great guide that make The Mara a trip of a lifetime or not … and Offbeat have good guides, of yes they do! Kind, caring, thoughtful, amusing and dam they know their stuff!
  4. The Experience – your 1st game drive in Africa makes tears come to your eyes, wild animals living in their natural habitat, happily roaming around the Savannah, the incredible views that await you around every corner, the beautiful Maasai people living at one with nature, striding across the African plains …. you don’t want 3 days of only game drives though, nope you don’t. By then the kids are screaming for their IPads and if you see another lion, you’re going to scream (us humans are weird) …. what you wanna do is:
    1. Walk, get out on that African soil with your own feet, see nature, real nature with your own eyes. Learn about the little stuff, the bugs and beetles, the grasses and what poo belongs to who .. why not?
    2. A surprise bush dinner party, under the stars.
    3. A sundowner. Not a lot beats a Kenyan sundowner; set up under a lone acacia tree, overlooking miles and miles of Bloody Africa with a G&T in hand.
    4. Go and see how the Maasai people live. It’s bright, cheerful, interesting … and quite shocking … it will stop you complaining about how your new Farrow & Ball paint which doesn’t quite match the Racing Car green on your chaise longues .. for a while.
    5. Hell, why not hop on a hot air balloon for the morning … this is how to see the Mara, the peace, quiet of floating above the best wildlife spactacle on earth.

My little family are so very lucky. We stayed at Offbeat Mara, with 3 other families, all with small kids, for a long weekend. I simply cannot express what an incredible time we had. We stayed in an amazing little double tent, a family tent; the camp is indestructible so you’re not on the edge, terrified that your mini-terrorist is about to break the family crystal; the food was absolutely delicious, the G&T’s better; there was always something amazing to do, something amazing for the kids and adults .. walks, sundowners, picnics, nature walks, game drives … we literally couldnt fit in everything; the Offbeat team are out of this world with the adults, and kids .. and the best part is once the kids go to bed, a friendly Maasai guard sits on your tent verandah watching over sleeping beauty … whilst you can have a scream with your friends not far away.

Practicalities:
Offbeat Mara – Will forever remind me of a natural, happy, homely time, spent with family, and friends. A simple tented camp, with everything you should want.
Mara North Conservancy, The Maasai Mara – as I mentioned above, this is literally the best place to stay when visiting the Masai Mara, especially over the annual wildebeest migration, it gets you away from the crowds, but in the action.
For those travelling to Kenya with kids – Do it, stay at Offbeat Mara. It’s simple, comfortable and offers them a ‘real’ safari experience, but with all the comforts you need.
For those who live in East Africa – get a couple of families together and GO!!! You’ll have a scream.
Weather – warm days and a little bit chilly nights.
What to Pack? – A good camera and binoculars. 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.
Price – From USD460 per person per night which includes it all; all your meals, all your drinks (apart from champers), your game drives, walks, bush meals, amazing guiding etc. etc. BUT they have a tonne of amazing special offers for honeymooners, families, groups, early bird bookings etc. you can get this price down by 25%!! Contact Ray to make the most of these!
My advise – People go on holiday for very many different reasons, if you are looking to experience safari how it always was, but with all the luxuries you need, Offbeat Mara will suit you perfectly.

Find out more about Africa’s Hidden Gems here!