We had an amazing trip with our 8 and 9-year-old kids, who were the perfect age for this trip--their mix of wonder, inquisitiveness, and attention were perfectly timed, and the places that our travel planners at this tour company guided us to were a great match.
We spent 9 nights on safari across 3 camps with a night in Nairobi before and a full day in Nairobi after. Our camps--Tortilis Camp, Lewa Safari Camp, and Kichwa Tembo, were each unique and our time at each was ideal for taking advantage of each location--both the game drives and the extras like a forest hike at Lewa and a chance to interact with the kids and staff at a local camp-supported primary school at Kichwa Tembo.
As for the animals, we saw everything one could want to see: elephants and buffalos by the hundreds, giraffes by the score, lions, hippos, and rhinos by the dozen (including lion hunts and kills), and plenty of everything else--even the elusive leopards and cheetahs. The conservancy experiences--being able to go off-road and to truly get mind-blowingly close to animals without other cars around were extraordinarily special experiences--breakfasts at a watering hole elephants, (a few) feet from lions feeding on a kill, and even a cheetah playing with our vehicle.
Our travel planners at the tour company were amazingly helpful. We're very well traveled and very hands-on travel planners, and we hesitantly decided to turn the planning for this trip over to someone with insider knowledge and connections, and we're glad we did. Their proposed mix of camps to give us unique experiences and see all the animals, their flexibility to craft the right trip for our family's needs, the logistics management, and seamless transfers, the birthday celebrations they set up for our kids--all was perfect. And their level of service before and throughout was exceptional, including our mistake on a visa that they were helpful to navigate even in the wee hours local time for them. We're grateful for all they did to make this a really special trip.
We might do one less day at Lewa Safari Camp, but that 3rd day we had there allowed us to do a forest walk that I think we all needed (18 game drives is a lot...that day was a helpful way to break it up!). And we might have made out fine with one less day at Kichwa Tembo, but that last drive allowed us to see two elusive cats that had been ungettable to that point. So all in, it was a pretty perfect plan.
Our last day was particularly long, owing to leaving camp, connecting to Nairobi, and a 11:35p flight out of Nairobi--we would probably take an earlier connecting departure from Nairobi over a full day in Nairobi.
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