The booking process:
From my first email enquiring about the itinerary and availability, to your last welcome home email I can say that Captured In Africa were incredibly responsive - often replying immediately (pretty awesome considering the time difference!). All my questions were answered, and any concerns were addressed immediately. I was very grateful to both Paul and Drew for their photographic tips (to a novice!!) and for the practical suggestions from Paul on what to take, what to leave at home - and especially the recommendations to do the walking safari at Naboisho. It was incredible - I took the opportunity to also do an evening walking safari at Sayari - which ended with a glass of champagne at a surprise pop up bar at the Hippo Pools on the banks of the Mara - absolutely magic!!
Above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you for your patience in answering my seemingly relentless questions promptly! I also appreciate you facilitating the unexpected accommodation change after Ubuntu was damaged in the storm! Everything went smoothly.
Camps and Lodges:
Ololo Lodge (Nairobi National Park) - was lovely, great hosts, great staff, great location.
Naboisho Camp (Mara Naboisho Conservancy) - was incredible, Moses and Jenny were excellent - I loved the meals, the fireplace/lounge in the evening, the staff were all lovely. I somehow scored the family tent (7) - it was huge! Loved the bucket shower and hearing the lions through the night My two guides, Benjamin and Evaline were wonderful. Benjamin and I experienced some incredible sightings including a lion kill (2 lionesses and a male) - more special to me as we were the only jeep to witness it, including the male dragging the carcass into a gully. Wonderful conversations with Ben over sundowners witnessing electrical storms on the 360 degree Mara horizon is something I will never forget.
Sayari Camp (Northern Serengeti) - The tent was incredible - the view out to the table mountains was beautiful - and the herd of elephants walking past my tent was pretty awesome. The staff were great, the meals fantastic. My guide Alex was a beautiful person, very funny, very knowledgable and a great Swahili teacher! I thoroughly enjoyed our bonnet breakfasts and two crossings (after a four hour and two hour wait!) We had incredible sightings - three leopards, (no other jeeps around) a serval cat, day old ostrich chicks…. I think I enjoyed our last evening drive the best - we drove in between some kopjes and found a pride of at least 15 lions including cubs, sleeping on the rocks. We decided to just park up and listen and watch which we did for over an hour - on our own. It was beautiful.
Namiri Plains (Eastern Serengeti) - This place is incredible. I love the remoteness, the staff (Epimark and Diana and all the kitchen and wait staff were professional and great fun), my tent was great - wonderful view, and I loved the outdoor shower. Loved the firepit, outside dining etc. On our last night we sat around the fire, listening to lions roaring, watching lightning arcing inside storm clouds - I can’t explain how absolutely incredible this was!! Ngamba and Patena were fantastic guides - wonderful sightings including leopards (a cheetah chasing off a leopard from her tiny cub), a mother cheetah teaching her cubs how to kill a baby gazelle 🙁 and of course the cheetah cub on the bonnet and the lion strolling past my tent on my last morning! I am so glad I stayed here - away from the other camps - it really felt like we had the whole of the eastern Serengeti to ourselves. Just a wonderful, special place.
I certainly feel that I have chosen an ethical and responsible company that truly values conservation and the importance of protecting our natural world, as I do. I know that the wildlife and communities within the conservancies I visited have benefited. I will definitely be in contact to book my next Africa trip - I am so tempted to just repeat what I have just experienced - especially Namiri - I think about it every day (I took an audio recording of the lions roaring near my tent - I play it every night!!).
Nairobi & Mara-Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya and North & Eastern Serengeti, Tanzania (October 2016)