The Arthur family were back for a second trip, this time an amazing Africa holiday with wildlife safari and primate trekking and spice island finale on the agenda.
We had a fantastic trip! Everything went like clockwork. We loved the balance of a wildlife safari and primate trekking. Uganda was so beautiful and green and the people really appreciated you being there. The animals in the Masai Mara were amazing and Zanzibar was a great way to finish the trip with the kids.
Our hotel in Johannesburg was great. Melrose Arch has even more cafes and restaurants now so we really enjoyed it. Our day tour and guide were great, he understood what we wanted to see and was very flexible. Our favourite place of the trip was Baker’s Lodge in Uganda. We arrived just before dusk and couldn’t believe that there were hippos in the water a few metres away, and then they got out and started walking around! It was really beautiful on the river and we enjoyed the meals and an afternoon off to swim and relax. The Falls were great, the hike up from the boat was a must to really appreciate them. The game drives were beautiful, so green and with the gorgeous lakes as a backdrop. The giraffes were fantastic here, so plentiful and relaxed.
We stayed at Primate Lodge for the chimpanzee trekking portion of the trip and it was fine. We hiked 6 hours and didn’t get close to any wild chimps so ended up going across the road to see the habituated ones. In hindsight, just doing the easy hike may have been better but we probably needed the exercise before the gorillas! I loved the different monkeys around the lodge.
Mazike Valley Lodge was in a gorgeous location and such a pleasant place to spend the night. In Queen Elizabeth National Park we stayed at a really nice camp with the best rooms, Ishasha Wilderness Camp. Shame about the lack of tree climbing lions but the park was beautiful and we saw lots of other wildlife.
Mahogony Springs Lodge also has a beautiful location and the staff really looked after our son while we were out hiking. We were pretty lucky only hiking around 90 minutes to find our gorillas but it was pretty hard going (I think my husband has forgiven me!). Our porters were amazing pushing and pulling us. It was a fantastic experience. Eric our guide was awesome! He was a really nice guy with a great sense of humour and lots of knowledge. I don’t know how he drove on those roads, we were a bit shell shocked after the first day but soon got used to them.
Arriving into Nairobi, it was nice to arrive into a city with paved roads. We stayed at Macushla House, an owner run gem. Keep in mind the showers were not great. Andrew our guide was fantastic, he really looked after us. Giraffe Centre was fun and Karen Blixen Museum was great. We wanted to watch to World Cup Final so Andrew took us to a really nice hotel where we watched it at the bar eating hamburgers!
“We saw so many lions and a few unsuccessful hunts, leopards and even a cheetah.”
The Masai Mara component was great and Sentinel Mara Camp has an incredible location with the hippos and crocodiles in the river. We were very comfortable here and Jonathon our guide was great. We saw so many lions and a few unsuccessful hunts, leopards and even a cheetah.
Time for the island and beach finale to the safari and Stone Town was great. We stayed at Kisiwa House, a beautiful old home with a lovely upstairs balcony restaurant. We especially enjoyed the spice tour. Breezes Beach Club is a really lovely beach resort where we spent a few days relaxing and swimming. We really enjoyed the cocktails at the bar!
Thank you Encompass Africa for organising another amazing holiday for us. I really hope I can return to Africa again in the not too distant future!
Gen from Encompass Africa says:
“The Arthur family travelled with us a few years ago and this time, wanted another memorable family holiday to Africa with an emphasis on wildlife safaris and primate trekking. It was such fun putting the trip together and seeing the family get excited prior to travel. Even more rewarding was hearing the family regale the endless beautiful stories upon return.”Click to see this itinerary
Gen’s suggestion for the Arthur family’s next African adventure:
“We know that seeing wildlife and being in the middle of absolutely nowhere was a highlight of the trip. It’s also clear after two trips both incorporating Cape Town, that the city buzz and a relaxed ending is important. So we think Namibia might be right up their alley – it’s breathtaking, and the second-least densely populated country on the planet!”