BookcaseHat
Master July 2017

BAH!! Kenya Safari Honeymoon -- lots of pics & advice

BookcaseHat, on August 14, 2017 at 11:10 AM Posted in Honeymoon

H and I got back from our safari honeymoon in Kenya a week ago and I’ve finally sorted through my photos. A number of WW users have asked me to post a recap of our trip, so I’m going into detail here in case it’s helpful for anyone else thinking about a safari.

Our trip was just under two weeks and we saw three parks: we spent two nights at the Samburu National Reserve, one night at Lake Nakuru in the Rift Valley, and then three nights in the Masai Mara. From there, we flew to the coast and spent four days on a private island off the coast in the Indian Ocean.

This is going to be long, so skip ahead if you just want animal pictures!!

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  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·

    We booked our trip through a travel agent. I’m normally very do-it-yourself when it comes to planning trips, but for something SO different and also coming right after the wedding, I just wanted to have to show up and not worry about anything. We used Extraordinary Journeys (ejafrica.com) and I cannot say enough good things. They were SO easy to work with and really made sure we got exactly what we wanted. You can do safari on a whole range of budgets, but we went balls to the wall; our trip was not cheap.

    We decided on Kenya for a variety of reasons. South Africa and Tanzania are both popular safari destinations. I knew I wanted some time at the beach, which eliminated SA (July is winter there) and then it came down to flights – flying from NYC to Nairobi simply was faster than flying into Tanzania.

    The trip itself could not have gone more smoothly. We had a driver pick us up at the Nairobi airport and bring us to our hotel. The next day, our safari guide (who would stay with us throughout the safari) picked us up at the hotel and off we went.

    There was a LOT of driving. We drove about 6 hours to get to the first park, then two days later another 6 hours to the second park. Then the very next day ANOTHER 7 hour drive to get to the third park. If I were going to do it over, I would have skipped the second park and simply flown from Samburu to the Masai Mara.

    The camps we stayed at were all very nice. We slept in tents, but it was really glamping. The tents were permanent structures with electricity and running water. Two of the camps had private plunge pools at each tent (like a hot tub, but cold water – just to cool off). All of the camps where we stayed were totally unfenced, so at night, we had to be escorted back to our tent by a guard lest we run into any animals.

    (In case anyone is curious, the three camps we stayed at were the Elephant Bedroom in Samburu, Mbweha Camp at Lake Nakuru, and Mara Ngenche in the Masai Mara. Would highly recommend all three.)

    Each day we’d get up around 5:45 (the camp staff would bring us coffee and cookies at our tent) and then meet our driver at 6:15 for the morning game drive. He drove us around the reserve until around 9/9:30, and then we’d have a picnic breakfast (packed by the camp staff). Breakfast was huge – usually hard boiled eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, cooked mushrooms, cheese-and-tomato sandwiches, watermelon, pancakes, juice, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. After breakfast, we’d continue our drive until around 11:30 or 12, then return to camp.

    Back at camp, we could shower and relax. Lunch was usually around 1, and then we’d go back out for the afternoon drive at 3:30 or 4, until sunset at 6:30. Then dinner at 8ish.

    After our week of safari, we took a VERY small airplane (seriously, I could see out the windshield, it was terrifying) to the coast, where we spent a few days on Chale Island in the Indian Ocean. The resort was amazing, I would 10000000% go back there for a relaxing vacation.

    Finally, we made it back to Nairobi where we had a day of sight-seeing. Nairobi was honestly the low point of the trip. There’s so much poverty, which was sad to see obviously, and we were there only a few days before a huge very contentious election. There were a number of political protests and it was truthfully a little scary. The whole city seemed to be bracing itself for violence with the election. BUT before we went to the airport, we got to go to the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and play with some baby elephants!!!!! They were SO cute and it was amazing.

  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·

    On to pictures! Our first park was Samburu, which is about 6 hours north of Nairobi, in central Kenya. It's very dry and hot there (it was in the low 80s when we were there).



  • FME
    Master March 2018
    FME ·

    F5 f5 f5

  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·

    In Samburu, we saw two animals that are unique to that park -- the Grevy Zebra and the Reticulated Giraffe. The Grevy zebra has more vertical stripes and also a white belly, which helps keep the animal cool in hot weather. The Reticulated giraffe has very distinctive patterning, different from the Rothchilde giraffe, which is what most people think of when you say "giraffe."




  • Bemyguest
    Master April 2017
    Bemyguest ·

    F5 F5 F5

  • Katie
    Master October 2016
    Katie ·

    This is so exciting!! Can't wait to read the rest! Glad you had a great/safe trip!

  • OG Dianna
    Master March 2017
    OG Dianna ·

    OMG THESE PICS ARE AMAZING!!!!!

  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·

    We saw this group of elephants on the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro river (which means "brown water" in Swahili) and then the group crossed the river, which was fun to see.



  • Amber
    Super September 2017
    Amber ·

    Wow these are amazing! That last picture of the giraffe looks like it came straight out of a magazine. What a really cool honeymoon!

  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·

    In Samburu, we also got to see a leopard (the only park where we saw one). He walked right by our car! And then fell asleep on a big rock. We probably sat there for 45 minutes hoping he'd get up again, but no dice.



  • TreeShade
    Master September 2016
    TreeShade ·

    I am loving every picture...MORE!

  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·

    These two were from our camp at Samburu. These little birds (Superb Starlings) were everywhere -- ESPECIALLY at lunchtime. They'd get really close to the tables hoping somebody would drop some bread.

    And then there were a lot of Vervet Monkeys in camp. You actually had to lock your tent when you weren't there because the monkeys have learned how to unzip the tents! This guy is sitting near the stairs to our tent (the tents were elevated, on stilts).



  • TXBride
    Expert September 2017
    TXBride ·

    OMG amazinggggggg photos, and what a fun honeymoon!! Congrats!

  • NatHam
    VIP October 2017
    NatHam ·

    This is the coolest honeymoon ever!

  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·

    The next park we went to was Lake Nakuru. I might skip this one if I were going to do another Kenyan safari. We were only there for one night, which meant we only got to do one game drive. The park itself is a lot smaller than the others, so it felt like there was a lot more traffic inside the park, and also less to see.

    BUT we did see a couple rhinos (the only rhinos we saw on our trip) which means we did get to see the Big Five (lion, rhino, buffalo, elephant, leopard).

    We were in the park around dusk, so most of my pictures from Nakuru weren't that great.



  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·

    Also at Nakuru, here's the Rothschild Giraffe (the second of three types of giraffes we saw on the trip):


  • mmbrake28
    Expert August 2018
    mmbrake28 ·

    This is amazing!

  • Kallie
    Super November 2017
    Kallie ·

    This looks so amazing! I'm loving these pictures!

  • GymRat
    Master May 2017
    GymRat ·

    I love these pictures!!!! So amazing!!!

  • Keisha
    Master September 2018
    Keisha ·

    LOVE IT!!!! Your pictures are amazing and the trip sounds like a dream

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