My family of 5 just returned less than 48 hours ago from a 17 day journey through Kenya and Tanzania. I would like to say it was a safari, but it was so, so much more. Our agents made sure my husband and I, as well as our kids aged 10, 12 and 13 had a top notch safari, covering all of my African bucket list items, as well as a cultural experience that will leave all 5 of our lives forever changed. I had expectations of a fabulous safari, but really didn't know the massive cultural impact we would all 5 experience. My representatives listened to me, understood me and followed through to make this trip nothing less than perfect for all of us. They then executed flawlessly for us. From the transfers, to the guides, to the lodging and experiences, it was far more than a five star experience. Every detail was covered exquisitely. I must make note of the monthly communications that were sent to us left us with no questions of exactly what to pack and how to prepare. It's a bit of a daunting task to prepare 5 people for almost 3 weeks on the other side of the world. I wish this allowed me to give our agents 1,000 stars. From the bottom of my heart, they made this experience better than I could have ever dreamed.
Every part was enjoyable and memorable! We absolutely loved the Ololo Lodge in Nairobi National Park. Our hots and her staff have built a paradise in this spectacular lodge. The David Sheldrick Wildlife trust is not to be missed with all those caring handlers to the sweet, precious baby elephants. I got to kiss a giraffe at the Giraffe Center in Nairobi (bucket list check). Our Tanzania hotel was as charming as could be. The manager was so attentive, the food delicious and the hotel staff was wonderful. Our fabulous and sweet guide then took us to visit St. Jude's School in Arusha. It was life changing for all of us, as was the visit to one of the students homes at the end of the school day. Life changing. The lodge outside of Tarangire National Park is luxury "camping" at it's finest. The site is beautiful beyond words nestled next to Lake Mantra. The staff, food and scenery were wonderful. Our guide did a fabulous job in Arusha and Tarangire. River Camp in the northern Serengeti will forever stand out on our hearts. Our hosts made us feel as if we were family from the moment we arrived. The migration was beyond my dreams, thanks to our wonderful guide. Same Camp in the central Serengeti was just as fabulous, with the only thing that was better was better than River Camp was the Sametu family tent had TWO bathrooms! Sure makes bathing 5 dusty travelers much easier. Our hosts were so charming and warm and wonderful! All of our big cat sightings were wonderful and we were able to round out our big 5 experience with the leopards in the central Serengeti. The lions came through camp one of the nights we were there and the sounds were remarkable! We laughed and laughed the next morning because our hosts were worried we had noticed there had been a power outage during the night (which we had not) because a hyena chewed through one of the camp generator cords! Only in Africa do you have hyenas eating your cords! I do need to state clearly though, that we were never afraid and ALWAYS were made to feel safe and BE safe by the camp staff. Lion's Paw Camp on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater had the same luxury tented accommodations and the views were out of this world. The visit to the Masai Boma was eye opening to say the least and was absolutely fascinating. Oldupai Gorge is a place every human should get to stand in. It is where the human race began and was a very powerful experience for my husband and I, but especially for the lessons it teaches to our young children. The last place I want to mention is the end of our trip at Gibbs Farm. Gibbs Farm is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The family house we stayed in was beyond compare and a lovely bit of walled in luxury after 10+ days in tents. Indoor AND outdoor showers, flawless amenities, coffee plantations, fruit and vegetable gardens, farm animals, flowers, flowers, flowers, guided forest hikes, bush baby feedings, 90% of all the gourmet food grown on site.... Gibbs Farm IS heaven on earth. Do not miss this place. My husband was wishing he could bring home all of the staff to work for him here! And the massages were to die for! This company did a great job all the way through. We returned home feeling like we really had had the trip of a lifetime. The people of Tanzania and Kenya are generous, warm and welcoming. Our trip was priceless thanks to our safari tour operators~ We are forever grateful~
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