419 Reviews of Kenya Tours
The trip exceeding all my expectations January 20175.0
Operator World Expeditions
Dean & Lynn Mitchell
Kenya Wildlife with Tanzania Ext. November 20165.0
The best safari yet! August 20165.0
This is tough but I can narrow it down to three:
First night, waiting for sundowners, Paul had tracked a cheetah and anticipated it would climb a Boscia tree. We positioned our vehicles so that the setting sun would be behind the tree and waited. Sure enough the cheetah climbed up and we were able to capture it as a silhouette against a stunning Mara sunset.
Cheetah kill: we spent the morning waiting for Malaika and her 3 sub-adult cubs to hunt. They eyed-up some wildebeest in the distance and we positioned the vehicles for the best vantage point, but in so doing, we disturbed a hare that ran off at speed. The cheetahs spotted this ‘amuse bouche’ on legs, made chase and executed a perfect kill right in front of our vehicle. Adrenalin overload!
Leopard with cubs: Bahati, a beautiful leopard, moved her 8-week-old cubs to a new den, carrying them one by one in her mouth. A very rare sight, and a privilege to watch.
And then there’s the Scotch egg that also deserves mention: voted Top Mara breakfast!
I’ve been on a few trips with Paul and know that he takes no prisoners. My two friends and I were called the ‘Sunshine Variety Club outing’ because we were so slow with our cameras; (which we thought hilarious). So if you’re too slow, or you don’t know how your camera works properly or you are not prepared to take risks with your photography then you may get an earful. However if you want to learn, then Paul will pass on hugely useful tips and advice so that you will never take just a plain old ‘record shot’ again (though of course we amateurs need at least one of those!). Paul is harder on himself than on his guests; if he calls it wrong (admittedly this is rare) or is himself too slow to get the correct lens on (it happens!), then the air will turn blue. His objective is for you to get the great shots, he works hard to make this happen and his good cop/bad cop approach pays dividends in the end. Wallflowers need not apply… But bring a thick skin with you, and throw a few filthy jokes into the mix and you’ll be fine, and what’s more, you’ll go home with a gallery of photographs that you will treasure.
Get to know your camera – not just ‘auto’ but all the other buttons too. Bring the best lens you can, and hire one if the eye-watering prices for new glass are beyond you. You will regret not doing so once you are in situ: lens envy is not good. I had a Canon 7D and a 1D with a 100-400 lens but was v envious of the 500mm lenses. However, I got some great shots once I’d got all the various bells and whistles on my camera sorted – and used the bean bag for stability (they are in all vehicles). Bring a wide lens too as the Mara skies are simply stunning. One of my favourite shots has no animals in it at all.
In addition to your usual pro-style camera bag for taking as hand-luggage, bring a softer day pack for using in the vehicles: these will get dusty and need to be crammed under the seat - big camera bags will be too bulky. Bring enough memory cards or a laptop/hard drive to download – you will take many more photographs than you could ever imagine. A laptop/tablet is also useful so you can review your photos at the end of each day; there are plenty of UK plug sockets in the mess tent for recharging but no sockets in the tents which are solar powered (no hairdryers required!).
Take note of the luggage weight limit and pack accordingly (though our luggage was not weighed for the internal flight). Ballgowns and tiaras not required as it is v casual in camp. Pack light and take advantage of the awesome laundry system (taken in the morning, washed and ironed by 5pm). Take a fleece for the early mornings as it is cold out before the sun rises, but the heat of the midday sun can be scorchio, so bring sunscreen.
I stashed an energy/nutty bar in my day-pack each morning, as there can be a long wait until breakfast if you are on a stake-out!
This is an expensive safari, but you get what you pay for. The brilliant guides at the Kicheche camps know every inch of the plains and can spot a big cat from a mile away. The vehicles are especially adapted for photographers and the guides are photographers themselves, so they know how to get you in the right place for the best shots. If you go on a trip with Paul, he will work you hard but your photography will improve and he is committed to finding the best wildlife, whatever it takes. Be prepared for long days, but they pay off. We stayed at Kicheche Bush Camp and were treated like royalty; the staff are fantastic and the food is amazing, but beware the scales when you get home!
Operator Exodus Travels
The guides were incredible and the trip was amazing March 20155.0
Operator G Adventures
The trip you planned for us was fantastic! June 20145.0
Operator Ker & Downey Africa
Great value tour, we really enjoyed ourselves March 20184.0
A few members of the tour seemed upset about having to make tents, help with cooking and cleaning for lunches and dinners, etc. But we thought that part of the tour was fine and it helped get to know the guide, cook and driver when we were working with them.
We would have liked to spend a bit more time with people in Tanzania and Kenya in order to get more of a feel for the countries. So, some free time in some local communities would have been nicer, the Maasai village seemed a bit too structured rather than just getting a chance to talk to the people for example. The way the orphanage visit was set up was great though, as we got some time with the kids during dinner and got to chat with them on our own.
The game drives were great, especially paying extra for the jeep in the Masai Mara. It was our highlight of the tour.
We came away loving Africa and wanting to come back. We will be considering On The Go for our next tour as well. Read more