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Magical Kenya

Matt Stanley reviews his stay at Lewa Safari Camp in Kenya and tells of the lasting impact their first family trip to Africa will have.

As a family of 3 (our daughter recently turned 13) our recent Trip to Lewa Conservancy was an experience like no other in so many ways and quite simply we had the most amazing time….we couldn’t thank the Lewa Safari Camp team enough for providing an absolutely first class holiday.

From the moment we stepped off our “little plane” flight from Nairobi, Peter our Driver and Guide was just phenomenal. Drinks waiting as we stepped off the plane, a drive to Camp through the Conservancy at a leisurely pace embracing the animals we encountered, we knew instantly this was going to be F A B. Lewa Conservancy and the Team did not disappoint.

To name but a few, Celeste, Frederick and Timothy met us at every game drive return with fresh towels and a smile. Redempta (our Butler for our duration) could not help us enough with warmth and personable service, Royford serving drinks to our content and in good humour, Petros Head Chef greeting every meal with a supportive “how’s your meal”….he needn’t ask, it was all fantastic.

Our “tent” 3 was ample distance from the main lodge and had views of the Conservancy plains. At times we saw Giraffes and Gazelles in view, and on occasions heard Lion roars at night and early morning that led to our morning drive activity. Morning drives were led by a wake up call of our choice with tea, coffee, hot-chocolate, biccies and muffins on our “veranda” and off we set at 6.30am.

Peter was a legend, an ace guide, covered by epic driving skills across the terrain, awesome knowledge about the Elephants, Rhinos, Giraffes, Lions & lionesses (and their cubs), Black Rhinos and White Rhinos (one with Baby), Ostrich (if you can witness an Ostrich dance it’s a great spectacle), Hyenas, Jackals, Elands. Always open to our questions (and we would suggest just ask ask ask away to get the best experience) no drive was the same as you would imagine. Thank you Peter, you were immense and became a strong part of the Stanley Family for our stay…..those long farewell hugs showed that!

We’d recommend having breakfast on your drives, Peter always led us to an incredible spot to savour Chef’s filling breakfasts and one key difference we got to learn is that you can get out of the vehicle on Conservancy which may not be the case on National Park drives. There are a few surprises on your visit too (won’t say to spoil) and if you enjoy a morning outdoor breakfast than Sundowners can be even more spectacular too…Elephants strolling by at 50 yards and hill-top views to Mount Kenya are jaw-dropping….WOW WOW WOW

But perhaps the most impressive aspect of Lewa Conservancy is just how much you are made to feel part of the Community. And this is the important factor that made our trip so much of an experience…..the Conservancy not only helps the wildlife and animals (maintaining sensible numbers and areas to ensure a strong circle of life and re-generation) but the impact it has on the community too. We ventured to the waterfall and canopy in the Forest (a must trip if you have time), visited a Masai Mara village and took a look behind the scenes at the Conservancy Control Room to get a sense of all that the Conservancy supports and is progressing for the good of Lewa, it’s people and the whole of Kenya…..which is needed as climate change is real first hand here and we all need to do our bit to preserve the species we have and love.

Whilst I don’t mean to preach, if you are looking for an experience that combines the beauty of landscape, people, wildlife, animals, culture, adventure, Kenya and more, a trip to Lewa is a must have. Do read their annual report, it’s eye opening and makes you think.

We stayed 5 nights to embrace all the wonders it offers (we sensed most parties were 2 or 3 nights and taking in other Safari areas) and fit in as a celebratory half-term break, but couldn’t have been more in awe of the BEST experience we have known.

Overall, Lewa Conservancy was the most amazing experience and a tremendous recommendation and find from Abi at Bush Baby Travel. Her service and itinerary and documenting meant we had no worries and could simply sit and savour all that Lewa had to offer. Kenya rocks and we wish everyone well for their future.

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Happy Bushbaby clients!

Stanley Family, West Sussex - Guest Blogger

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