Christine visits Leisure Lodge Beach & Golf Resort

Our Tour Consultant Christine recently had the opportunity to visit Leisure Lodge Beach & Golf Resort.

The hotel is located in Diani, South Coast less than 10 minutes’ drive from Ukunda Airstrip
These are her comments on her experience.

The Leisure Lodge Beach & Golf Resort has a of total 253 capacious rooms and suites

They have different room categories i.e.  Superior Garden View rooms, Superior Ocean View rooms, Bahari Superior Garden View rooms, Bahari Superior Ocean View rooms, Bahari Junior Suites and Bustani Suites

They have recently refurbished most of their Superior rooms.

Their meals are all buffet style in their main restaurants. They also have 4 specialty restaurants.

They have 7 conference rooms, the biggest with a capacity of up to 700 people (biggest in Ukunda)

They have a 18-hole golf course situated in close proximity to the Resort measuring 6,084 m. The Leisure Golf Club is one of the best golf courses in East Africa. Hotel residents can enjoy the golf facilities at special rates. The golf course is also open to the public.

The hotel is good for conferences, families with children and team building groups.

Rates start from KES 6,300 per person sharing per night in the Superior Garden View rooms.

Neeta visits Rwanda

Neeta, one of our management team, recently had the opportunity to visit Rwanda.
Rwanda is a small East African country that draws visitors from all over the world, primarily to see its critically endangered mountain gorillas.

The capital city, Kigali, is approximately one and a half hours flight from Nairobi on Kenya Airways or Rwandair. Alternatively, buses offer overland routes between Rwanda and its neighbouring countries.
Attractions in Rwanda: Lake Kivu, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe National Park, Virunga volcanos National Park. One can do biking, hiking, climbing, rainforest, volcano trekking, and much more.
Our itinerary – 4 nights/5 days
1st day, we went straight to Gisenyi town bordering Democratic Republic of Congo. From Kigali airport it took approximately 3 hrs.
Stayed at Lake Kivu Serena hotel, it is a great hotel and the staff generally friendly & helpful. Relaxed at hotel.
On the 2nd day, went to track Rwanda’s famous gorillas. Tracking can be done all year round, but the optimum time to do so is during the dry season (June to September), when the going is easier and the weather is more pleasant.
Set off early morning at 5.30am to reach the Volcanoes National Park gate by 7.00am from Gisenyi town. It takes approximately one and half hours to reach the gate. Need a 4WD vehicle to enter the park.

Most visitors spend the night before the tracking at one of the lodges inside or near to Volcanoes National Park. But some of the lodges (especially inside the park) can be quite pricey.

Hotels in Volcanoes National Park are Mountain Gorillas Nest Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique hotel, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Hotel Muhabara, Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel, Virunga Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Village, Garr Hotel, Villa Gorilla, La Palme Hotel & Kinigi Guest House.

One can also go to see the Gorillas from Kigali which takes approx. the same time. (2hrs)

At the gate morning tea is served with a performance by traditional dancers whilst the rangers and guides form groups of eight to go on various treks to see the Gorilla families.
Each day, groups are guided to spend an hour with one of the 10 habituated families used for ecotourism in Volcanoes National Park (habituated means they are used to short visits by humans). The other eight families are studied for research purposes. The age limit for gorilla trekking is over 15 years & you have to be fit enough to walk for 3 hours.

To find the gorillas, a team of trackers are out at 6 am looking for the families, then radio their whereabouts to the guides. We tracked the Mawoza Group, which has 10 members led by one male Silverback with five wives and four children, for one and half hours. Our guide instructed us to keep a seven-meter buffer zone from the gorillas, but there is nothing stopping them from coming close to us! We spent an hour with the family.
The trek from gate to gorillas depend how gorilla families move around. One can get to them after trekking for half hour to 3 hours.
The price of a Rwanda gorilla permit is USD 1500 per person & 30% discount (USD 1050) is applicable if visiting Rwanda national parks (Akagera & Nyungwe) for 3 days & more during the low season of November to May

After seeing the Gorillas, we visited a nearby village for a first-hand look at rural life in the region.
On the 3rd day we went by road to Kigali. It took us 3 hours. Stayed at Kigali Serena a nice hotel with good ambience. Relaxed at the hotel.
On our last day went to visit Kigali’s colourful markets, art galleries and the unforgettable Genocide Memorial to learn about a tragic period in Rwanda’s past. Took a walk through Nyamirambo Township and enjoy a local lunch at the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre, which provides local women with education and vocational training.

A great destination for couples and families with children over 15 years.

Janet Visits Mauritius

Janet, our tours consultant, recently had the opportunity to visit Mauritius courtesy of Air Mauritius. These are her comments on her experience.

Mauritius, is an approx. 4hrs flight from Nairobi.  The island boasts of its multicultural people, history, beaches, variety of hotels and quality cuisine.

We visited more than 10 hotels – Westin Turtlebay Hotel, Aanari Hotel, Anelia Resort, Leora Beach, La Belle Crique, Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort, Le Victoria, Le Meridian, Le Recif Attitude, Trou aux Biches, Seapoint Boutique Hotel, Domaine Les Alizees, Le Mauricia, Zilwa Attitude and Le Ravenala Attitude.

Apart from the beach hotels, we also visited some of the tourist attractions – City Tour of Port Louis, Pamplemousses Gardens, Rum distillery, Chamarel 7 colored earth, Grand Bassin sacred lake, and also had a chance to do some shopping.

Air Mauritius (in conjunction with Kenya Airways) operates direct flights to Port Louis on Tuesdays and Fridays only.  There is a wide range of Hotels and apartments to choose from – to suit all budgets.  They also have quality spas and kids clubs. The hotel prices offer excellent value for money.

A great destination for couples and families. No visa required for Kenya passport holders.

Chris visits Royal Mara Safari Club

Our Tour Consultant Chris recently had the opportunity to visit Royal Mara Safari Club. These are his comments on his experience.
The lodge is located in the Mara North Conservancy adjacent to the Masai Mara Reserve.
It is a luxury lodge situated on the banks of the Mara River.

Accommodation is in tents which are raised on wooden decks with wooden rooftops. The rooms are spacious with a large deck that overlooks the Mara River. There are 8 rooms (a mixture of twins and doubles with an extra bed in an extended room). The Lodge has one dining area but they also set tables at different locations during dinner and breakfast. Food was good, fresh and well presented. The staff were very friendly.

There is free wifi at the reception area and dining area. The camp runs on a generator which is switched on at 1800hrs until 2200hrs and in the morning at 0530hrs until 0700hrs.
For game drives the lodge has 3 open 4×4 landcruisers. Guests enjoy early morning and late afternoon game drives. At sunset after the game drive there is a sundowner.
There is plenty of game around. In the evening after dinner there is entertainment by Masai morans around the bonfire.

They currently have an offer of KES 16,000 per person per night and this includes full board accommodation, Mara North Conservancy fee, 2 game drives and airstrip transfers.

Christine’s experience on the Madaraka Express.

Our Tour Consultant, Christine, recently experienced the SGR train to and from Mombasa. These are some of her comments:
Seats are very comfortable, the train hostesses were very friendly and helpful – ever smilling
The security people at the check points were very friendly too and efficient.
The seat leg room was more than enough even for the tallest person.
No need to worry about your mobile phone running out of charge as there is a charging socket on every row!
The train is very punctual i.e at 0855hrs the check in gates close and at 0900hrs the train departs. Arrives between 1230 to 1240 hrs. (depending how long it stops at Mtito Andei station to allow the train from Mombasa to pass).
Passengers in the First class cabin can use the restaurant facility while for Economy class passengers a waiter offers snacks/beverages on a trolley.
Passengers are only allowed to move within their own coach i.e First class passengers within the First class coaches and Economy class passengers within the Economy class coaches.

Kavita on a 7 Night Arabian Gulf Cruise

Kavita, our travel supervisor, recently went on Royal Caribbean’s “Splendor of the Seas” cruise ship for a 7 night Arabian Gulf cruise, starting and ending in Dubai.

She shared the experience with us:

Cruising is a perfect holiday for many – people whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, lounge/chilling person or a bit of both, there is something for all tastes and ages. On a cruise you only need to unpack once. There are activities on board for whatever mood you’re in. Kids can make new friends & take part in fun & educational activities during the day while adults unwind by the pool, learn a new skill, hit the casino or enjoy great shows and talks.

Cruise value – meals & most onboard activities and sports are included in the cost. And it’s easy to budget for those extras such as alcoholic drinks, dining at specialty restaurants, spa treatments and onshore excursions.
Cruise Ships have several cabin types – interior staterooms, outside staterooms (ocean views), balcony staterooms and deluxe/suite staterooms. Cabins are located on various deck levels.

Cruises cater for all ages and are great for families, honeymooners, groups of friends etc.
There is a lot to do on the ship when at sea (games, sports, spa, onboard shopping, shows, movies, gym etc.). Cruise holidays give one an opportunity to explore several destinations in one trip.

Esther visits Bangkok

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Esther, our travel consultant, recently had the opportunity to visit Bangkok with Kenya Airways. These are her comments on her experience.

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital is a sprawling metropolis known for its ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals, flowing past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to the opulent Grand Palace and its sacred Emerald Buddha temple. Nearby is Wat Pho with its enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore, Wat Arun with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire.

Besides the shopping that it is well known for, Bangkok has several high class family attractions, as well as cultural sites and shows. A true “all round” destination.

We experienced   the spectacular Dream World Amusement Park. Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, there are linked paths, pools, legendary castles and more than 30 exciting rides e.g. Speedy mouse, Tornado, Hurricane, Cable car, Sky coaster, 4D movie watch, Alien etc. An exciting full day out.

We visited Madame Tussauds which is like a museum, showcasing wax models of famous people in the world from all areas of life like politics, sports, movies, music, writers etc. And went to Sea Life Bangkok which is a fascinating aquarium. It is the largest on South East Asia with hundreds of different species.

We also saw the Siam Niramit show, which has state-of-the-art cultural performances. It uses special techniques integrated with drama to depict the history of each region of Thailand including hell, heavens, and lands beyond imagination from Thai literature. There is also a spectacular performance of Thailand’s arts and cultural heritage. The show is staged by more than 150 performers in a luxurious theatre with a capacity of more than 2,000 seats.

Kenya Airways operates direct flights from Nairobi to Bangkok daily using the Dreamliner and, provided you book well in advance, they have some attractive fares starting from USD 799 inclusive. There is a wide range of Hotels and apartments to choose from – to suite all budgets.

A great destination for couples and families.

Chris visits Rhino Watch Lodge

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Our Chris recently visited Rhino Watch Lodge located on private land along Muiga – Nyahururu approximately 3.5 hours from Nairobi. The road to Rhino Watch is all tarmac, suitable for saloon cars. It is a small eco-friendly Lodge built on a hillside with awesome views of Mt Kenya and Solio Ranch.

Rooms

Accommodation is in tents or chalets. There are 8 tents (7 double and 1 family tent) all raised off the ground. There are 7 chalets (5 doubles + 2 family chalets). All the chalets have a private terrace overlooking glorious gardens. There is one honeymoon suite. The family chalets have interconnecting rooms and can fit up to 5 family members. The chalets have big front windows which offer wonderful views of Mount Kenya. There is no television in the room.

Dining

The lodge has an indoor and outdoor dining area. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is buffet. The food was good, fresh and well presented. The staff were very friendly and ready to help.

Other facilities

There is a Bar and a Spa offering a variety of massages. There is free Wi-Fi at the reception and dining area.

Excursions provided by the Lodge at an extra cost include game drives to Solio Ranch and Aberdare National Park. Fishing can also be done at a community dam in the vicinity. The lodge has their own vehicle for game drives and are in the process of constructing a swimming pool.

The lodge is ideal for families for a weekend getaway. And it offers good value for money.

Janet visits Enashipai Resort & Spa, Lake Naivasha

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Janet our senior Tour Consultant visits Enashipai Resort & Spa, Lake Naivasha
Lake Naivasha is home to over 400 different bird species, making it a true paradise for avid bird watchers and nature enthusiasts.
Enashipai has 40 luxurious executive rooms and 39 spacious cottages. The rooms are comfortable, spacious, luxurious and cozy, offering sweeping views of the surrounding hills while the spacious cottages are surrounded by lush tropical gardens. The Executive Rooms even have outdoor rain showers!

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The resort offers a relaxing and serene environment that allows one to switch off with or without children as they have a children’s section to keep them entertained. The common areas are stunning with use of Masai themed designs and plenty of stone and wood work.  The gym, pool and spa facilities were all excellent.

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The main restaurant serves a range of main course choices, plus starters, soup and desserts in a buffet style for lunch and dinner. At the pool is an a la carte menu available for a casual meal or a quick snack. The service compliments the well prepared dishes.

Enashipai is an ideal launch pad for exploring greater Naivasha and surrounding tourist circuits such as the Lake Nakuru National Park and Masai Mara. The resort is a high end yet affordable option when in Naivasha.
Rates from KES 12,000 per person sharing

Nimish goes from bush to beach

nimish_tsavo_safari_camp_405Nimish, our managing director, recently visited Tsavo Safari Camp in Tsavo East National Park before heading down the coast where he got to experience the Pilli Pipa dhow excursion. His comments……

Tsavo Safari Camp is located in Tsavo East on the remote side of the Athi River. The camp and most of the road to it is in Tsavo East National Park so you you get to have a game drive as you head to the camp. To reach the camp, guests are  ferried across the river in a small boat, leaving your vehicle on the other side.

The bandas are simple but give a nice sense of an authentic camping experience. There’s a lovely pool which is long enough to actually swim in.

You get to enjoy breakfast on the banks of the river and in the evenings, you can have sun downers on the plateau with wide sweeping views across Tsavo to the Chyulu Hills and far away in the distance Kilimanjaro.

The camp has its own safari vehicles for drives along the Athi River towards Lugard Falls for game viewing. Guided game walks with armed rangers along the river or up the Yatta Plateau can also be arranged.

The Pilli Pipa dhow safari operates on the southern end of Kenya’s coastal strip, Kisite’s Marine Park extensive reef sysnimish_pilli_pipa_424tem is home to dolphins, turtles, over 350 species of vibrantly colored tropical fish and an exciting variety of coral life.

As you cruise through the waters around Wasini and Kisite Marine Park, there are plenty of opportunities for snorkeling. And if it’s your first time, help is on hand to introduce you to the underwater world.

As the day continues, you are welcomed to Wasini Island to the sound of Swahili songs before enjoying a seafood lunch. The afternoon is free to spend as you like – wonder round the local village or soak up some sun before heading back to the mainland.

If you are interested in planning a trip, contact Nimish for a great itinerary