African Safari Diaries : The Gibson Family Safari Holiday in Kenya with a quest to see the Big Five
Ready to go on safari
Alison and her family had decided on Kenya for their family holiday as they really wanted to see the ‘big 5’ and so they went on their first ever safari followed by a relaxing beach break in Mombasa. Read about their experience.
Was this your first time visiting Kenya? What made you decide to visit?
It was our first time to Kenya and also our first safari. We decided on Kenya after researching the best places to see the ‘big 5’ and also because we were travelling as a family it was reasonably priced compared to other destinations.
How did you choose your itinerary?
We agreed that we wanted to keep the holiday simple with it being our first safari, and also travelling with our 2 daughters (aged 19 and 13) as we didn’t know what to expect.
We wanted to stay in one place for the safari (preferably a tent) and one place for a beach holiday afterward, rather than moving around.
We also agreed 4 days would be enough for our first safari, but in hindsight we definitely would have stayed longer as we loved every minute.
We decided on a fly in safari as we thought after a long flight to Kenya we didn’t want a long drive to the camp.
From this information our travel agent, Wardle Travel in Cheadle, and Somak provided an itinerary to suit our needs and budget perfectly.
Where did you stay whilst on your trip and what was your favourite property and place?
We stayed at the Ashnil Camp while in the Masai Mara, it was amazing. We found the staff very friendly, helpful and conscientious. It was a perfect location to go on the game drives. The rooms were comfortable and the grounds were beautiful. A very quiet camp with not many guests which made our stay personal, which was wonderful.
Having a wonderful time
We went onto the Neptune Village Beach Resort. Again this was a beautiful hotel with lots of activities to enjoy and really nice food. The grounds were lovely and there were monkeys roaming round which were very funny to watch.
What were the highlights and special memories from your trip?
I have so many highlights and special memories from our time in Kenya.
Firstly, Somak themselves made it special, from the minute we boarded the plane to the minute we landed back in the UK the organisation of our trip was fantastic, everything ran so smoothly we didn’t have any stress or concerns which was so important.
Every minute in the Masai Mara was special, the camp was magnificent and the animals were amazing.
A moment we will never forget is seeing a group of elephants protecting a tiny baby until he woke, then all walking across the Masai together, a truly spectacular sight.
Elephants walking with a baby elephant
Our daughter turned 13 while in camp and the dance/cake she got was brilliant, certainly a birthday she will never forget.
We will also hold special memories of our driver Kerore, when he collected us from the airstrip he asked what we wanted to see and experience then tailored our safari perfectly. His knowledge and patience was outstanding.
Going into a Masai village was great too, it was really educational for our girls and made them realise how fortunate they are.
Giving out colouring books and crayons to the children, the smiles on their faces I will never forget.
In the hotel in Mombasa we will always remember laughing at the monkeys, especially when one pinned my daughter’s arm down to drink her Fanta!
Also another highlight from my time at the hotel was talking to the entertainment team, who were happy to talk about traditional Kenyan life and their experiences. Learning and appreciating different cultures is important to us.
The most important special memory I will hold in my heart forever is my children’s faces, the look of delight and amazement for the whole of the safari was worth every penny.
Do you have any advice or tips for anyone thinking of going to Kenya for a holiday?
My advise to anyone thinking of going to Kenya, do your research, decide on what aspects of the trip are important e.g. lodges or tents, if you want to see the migration of wildebeest and zebras.
A good camera with a decent lens to zoom in and lots of space on your memory card!!
Take small gifts (not sweets) for the children, they really appreciate it
If you are travelling with children keep it simple as vast amounts of travelling plus early game drives may be too much for them so they won’t enjoy it as much. After a long flight a fly in safari is great rather than driving 7 to 8 hours to get to camp.
If after reading about the Gibson’s experience you would like to book a Kenyan Safari you can find out more here:
We would love to work with you to plan the safari holiday of a lifetime. For more information on how our safari experts can help you, call Somak Holidays today on 020 8423 3000.
Please note all photos featured are credited to Alison Gibson.