This round-trip through Kenya was an amazing, magical adventure. Not only did we tick off all the big 5, but we also got to see many different wildlife habitats and to explore them in different ways - by car, boat and even walking next to the giraffes or many birds.
Overall we slept in really nice lodges, although our favorite will remain the Tumbili Cliff Lodge, where we also celebrated Dante's birthday. The staff friendliness combined with the amazing setting really made it special.
The route that we planned was also super special, with a good combination of landscape and different types of wildlife. All parks were special and very well chosen, although Samburu at the start really made a great impression, together with the lake areas.
There were a couple of minus points as well. Of course, it was not good to have Sanne sick during the trip (although this is not the first time it happens), but she could still enjoy it.
Something that was harder for us were the schedules and time spent in the car, specially compared to the program. Our guide/driver often referred to the African time.
From the start we began to wake up at 5h-5h30 and, almost with no stops, we were mostly arriving at destinations at 15h for lunch, before heading into safari. So to be honest, there was not much downtime to relax, or enjoy the swimming pool. I left Dante and Sanne at the lodge a few times, so that they could relax and I would finish the plan by myself.
I can't tell how much of it was linked to our guide/driver, or to the program in itself. The driver was extremely careful, took really good care of Dante, although I think that he was too busy with the driving element, compared to guiding us, especially when we were outside the parks. I think the distances were heavy for him and hence it took him longer to get to places.
The day before and after we stayed at the Ark were extremely confusing with wrong instructions, useless and non-stop driving. It's as if getting to the end goal was more important than the experience.
I also found it a shame that we couldn't stop anywhere outside the parks. I wanted to discover more about the Kenyan culture, but apparently we could not even stop to explore smaller villages due to security concerns from the driver. I didn't expect that in Kenya.
As a summary, this was a brilliant location and we are still excited to think of all the experiences we had. We feel that the execution was above average, but could have been better prepared and executed locally.