60th birthday-gift of Kenyan Safari
Sue and Barry Knight have returned from a Kenyan Safari which Sue booked for Barry’s 60th birthday to allow him to check “go on safari” off his bucket list.
“My husband has always dreamed of a safari. It was top of his bucket list- so for his 60th Birthday this year I decided to book a surprise safari for him,” explained Sue. “The cheetah is his favourite animal so the ‘cheetah safari’ was perfect, and to top it all the lady in the travel agent had done this safari before.”
Sue was also put in touch with one of our reservations consultants, Emma Holt, who had recently travelled to Kenya and was able to answer all her questions.
“Whilst we were in Kenya, we travelled from Nairobi to Maasai Mara stopping at 4 different locations where we stayed in accommodations ranging from luxury tents to amazing apartments,” said Sue. “I was very lucky to have found a contact at Somak Luxury Travel who was able to help me with a lot of questions ranging from what do we wear to how much money do I need to what to pack,” explained Sue. “With regards to Emma, I don’t think there was anything I didn’t ask her- she was so knowledgeable and if she didn’t have the answers to hand she went out of her way to find them.”
Sue was advised to pack shorts and cheap T-shirts. “They were what we lived in during the day as it was very dusty,” she explained. She was also advised to pack something a little smarter for the evenings. “Men all wore long trousers,” she said. She was also advised to take along some small notes, “tipping is expected everywhere,” she said.
Asked what questions clients heading to Kenya ask most often Emma said it varies greatly.
“Most clients have questions on luggage allowances, single-use plastic and guidance with the visa. I’m very much the “please ask before you go,” as it’s much better for clients to be 100% prepared with all information than a surprise along the way that could have been mentioned before they travelled, ” said Emma. “Having travelled to Kenya myself, it’s a lot easier helping clients with their questions now than it was before. ”
Asked if there are any questions she wished she heard more often she laughed and said: “Do you want to come with us!”
Emma said she loves to hear back from clients after their trips. “I find it really rewarding when clients come back and tell you about their trip. It’s always special when they are travelling for something special, like Sue’s booking – as a surprise for her husband’s birthday – was, and hearing about what an amazing experience they had, it’s really rewarding that clients will share their holiday with others.”
Once in Kenya with all the great knowledge Sue had gleaned from Emma, she confidently placed herself and Barry in the care of the guide assigned to them. “Our guide Charles was amazing, he was very knowledgeable and went out of his way to find all the different animals and make sure at all times we were safe- we never once felt in any danger at all,” said Sue.
“Our first night we stayed by a water hole and saw so many elephants,” she said. “We’d have zebra just outside our door in the morning and giraffes within touching distance- our highlights were seeing lions roaming in their own environment, the leopard just sitting in the tree and towards the end of our holiday we saw 2 cheetahs that were very close to us.”
When to go on Safari in Kenya
Emma said Kenya is great for safaris most of the year, but clients prefer to go between June and October in order to maximise their chances of catching part of the Great Wildebeest Migration.
“Kenya is good for Safari all year round,” said Emma. “I visited some of the destinations which are part of the Cheetah safari and I went in March,” she added. “You will still see plenty of game if you travel earlier in the year. Travelling between January and March is when calving season happens so you stand the best chance then to see subs and calves which is always a plus,” she said.
Sue said she believes the advice she was given about when to go on safari to Kenya was why their trip was such a resounding success. “We went in July which is apparently the start of the season with temperatures about 25°C,” she said. “Also as it was the start of the season there weren’t too many jeeps on the game drives which made the animals easier to find and admire.”
Sue said her husband was treated to singing at two of the four lodges where they stayed. “He was only going to celebrate his birthday the next month but staff still surprised him with a cake and a local rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’,” she laughed. The couple also went on a flying safari with a difference, taking a ride on a hot-air balloon. “We saw so much more from above!”
Advice from Sue
Asked if she had any advice for others considering a safari holiday she said people must not let fear of the unknown put them off. “I really don’t have much more advice for anyone other than if you are worried about your safety- we couldn’t have felt much safer,” she said. “If you are in any doubt about going on a safari all I can say to you is I was so nervous before I went but it was the most fantastic experience I have ever had – so just do it!”
Why not get in touch with one of Somak’s travel professionals to chat about booking your own safari, holiday or tour?
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