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Kenya – 2012

Kenya offers THE consummate, idyllic safari. And, as we discovered in August of 2012 – there’s SO much more than safari to be experienced here.

We enjoyed a classic tented safari at two private game reserves – avoiding the crowds and enjoying a close-to-nature experience without sacrificing comfort. From Nairobi we flew to Lewa Safari Camp, in the midst of a 65,000-acre wildlife conservancy on the northern slopes of Mt Kenya. Next, we took over the Elephant Pepper Camp in the Maasai Mara. The non-electrified camp featured comfortable canvas tents with bucket showers and the gentle glow of kerosene lanterns at night – when we swapped stories and tall tales around the campfire before a delicious dinner – and then retired to bed, where a hot-water bottle was thoughtfully tucked between the sheets!

Our lodges were part of the Cheli & Peacock group, privately-owned by a husband & wife team who offered “eco-tourism” before it became a buzzword. Chania Frost, Project Manager for the C&P Community Trust, traveled with us and assisted in creating unforgettable people-to-people connections with the local communities that enriched our journey a thousand-fold.

Highlights:

Nairobi

  • Within the city limits of Nairobi is Africa’s largest slum, where a remarkable young man named Kennedy Odede is changing things for the better. He established the tuition-free Kibera School for Girls which we visited, and about which I wrote a blog
  • Upon registration for the journey, each WOWee fostered a baby elephant from the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage – and had a private visit to meet the keepers and babies at the orphanage on the final day of our journey

Lewa Safari Camp

  • On twice-daily game drives, we spotted white rhino, prides of lion, elephants, zebra and all the other game we’d expected to see
  • We rode on a camel safari
  • We toasted the day with Sundowner cocktails
  • We visited to the Ololomei Primary School to deliver school supplies and Swahili textbooks – and were gifted in return by mothers who presented us with hand-made beaded necklaces

Maasai Mara

  • We experienced game drives to see leopard, hippos, crocodiles and wildebeest by the thousands as they assembled by the riverbank in anticipation of their migratory crossing
  • We flew over the Mara in hot-air balloons
  • We were invited to visit a local community and make an informal presentation about the U.S.A., to which 40 people were expected … but more than 200 showed up to meet us and learn about our country

What our WOWees have to say:

Bob FranzBob Franz:
WOW! provides extras that made our Africa trip a once in a lifetime experience. We loved going the extra mile on safari, to Maasai villages, to schools, and getting to know the local customs and people. This is the way I want all my future travel to be!
Julie Franz - KenyaJulie Franz:
Our trip to Africa was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Favorite moments include hearing the children at the Kibera Girls School sing to us, doing the Hokey Pokey with the Maasai, and dancing in the moonlight at the Elephant Pepper Camp. Getting “up close and personal” with so many of the animals was amazing — especially watching the cubs tumble all over each other and spending nearly an hour at twilight with the whole pride. Africa is an incredible place, and being with Marilyn makes it even more magical and fun!