Holiday Search
Select Continent

Natasha and Giampaolo tied the knot in romantic Tuscany and booked a dream honeymoon to Kenya and Tanzania.

She says: “Years ago with my sister, long before either of us had met “the One”, we decided an African safari honeymoon was perfect. By time the love of my life appeared, I still felt same way.
As a couple we tend to go for fun and adventurous holidays, and adding a week in a beach resort afterwards made it the ideal choice for us. With safaris being so expensive, my parents had generously offered us these special nights as part of our wedding gift. We thought that our honeymoon was one of few times it would be OK to blow the budget! “

Nairobi to the Mara: The journey begins
We fly into Nairobi and are both excited and exhausted after the wedding and all the preparations.

To get to the Masai Mara we have chosen to drive and booked a car with a driver which is cheaper than flying and allows us to see the scenery. The plan is to spend a few days there and carry on into Tanzania. Paul, is sweet and friendly, and we find out he’s never been to Tanzania before either! 

As we reach the park, I can’t help being awestruck by sense of space and wilderness. There’s open bush as far as the eye can see.  We’re beside ourselves with excitement when we spot our first animal, a small unsuspecting impala, and take 28 pictures of it with our new camera.

Arriving at the luxury camp: Kichwa Tembo or ‘Elephant’s Head’

We arrive at the beautiful wooden lodge reception of Kichwa Tembo, overlooking the gardens, pool and out onto the dry bush land. The camp is gorgeous, so luxurious we even had our own butler! The Hemingway-style tents are based on stones with their own individual terraces. 

The daily game drives are absolutely amazing. We spend entire days spotting everything from a huge herd of elephants playing at a watering hole to wild buffalo grazing, impala, wildebeest and so much more.

I fall in love with zebras’ quirky stripes and warm eyes. But, our best sighting has to be a mother cheetah feeding its babies from a fresh kill.

Going on Safari
We’re up at the crack of dawn, after a quick snack and a cup of tea, we head to the jeep and snuggle up under big blankets to keep the chill away until the sun comes up.

It’s another incredible day. We spot hot air balloons, follow a majestic lion to its kill and watch it munch on zebra for breakfast. After he has his fill, a horde of vultures come for the leftovers. Picking and sucking on raw flesh, the birds look somewhat evil close up, like in Disney films. Eww.

Our own breakfast is far more civilised. We stop for muffins, hard-boiled eggs, yoghurts, juice and other goodies by the hippo pool on banks of the Mara. We laugh at the hippos bubbling at the surface, safe on other side of bank. The placid grazers are responsible for more safari deaths than any other. It’s best not to break their path to their water source.

After lunch and a quick nap by the pool, there’s another drive. We are on the lookout for the elusive white rhino but it’s a shy creature and doesn’t show. I don’t mind, I didn’t come here to tick a list. It’s wonderful to just soak up the magic of the savannah.

Watching the migration
August is one of the most popular times to visit the Mara thanks to the incredible migration. It’s absolutely spectacular!

At the Mara river, our patience is rewarded, when, after an hour’s wait, we see tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra gather in braying herds. Uncertain, the animals who are natural followers, pace up to the edge, dip a hoof in and retreat. Not one dares go in, until eventually one goes for it although I get the feeling it was more by random accident. And finally all the others follow suit.

It’s chaos as thousands of wildebeest and zebra wade across and scramble up the steep muddy banks on other side. The noise is incredible. Not all make it, and we see black bellies and legs floating upside down the river. Although it’s nature, I can’t help feeling sorry for them.

Our guides are fantastic. They know all the tricks to spot wildlife, and have lots of local knowledge about animals and their park. They tell us about the animals but about humans too, about the tense relationships between local Masai and the national government.

Off to Rekero

It’s time to move on again. Paul, is taking us into the Mara towards our next camp: Rekero. Finding our way is challenging! All you can see for miles is open bush and dirt tracks that all look identical. There’s no one for miles except the odd Masai tribesman and their cattle. Luckily Paul seems to have innate sense of direction!

Rekero is truly what we dreamt of. It IS “Out of Africa”.  Our tent is perched on edge of the river. Only animals roam across our view, and we can’t see a single sign of civilisation. It really feels as if we are in the bush on our own.

The camp is cosy and understated with very little impact on nature. There’s no electricity, so we have solar lamps and safari showers (a bucket strung up high outside) with a man discreetly waiting to bring you more hot water, which seems ridiculously decadent and colonial! 

We set out for another game drive with a Masai guide, stopping for sundowners (drinks at sunset) on the jeep’s roof. At dinnertime, we are escorted by a Masai askari (warrior) carrying a spear. The camp is not fenced, so you never know which beasties you are likely to meet! We pick up a G&T and sit by the bonfire chatting with our hosts and swapping safari stories with other guests. 

So long safari

It’s our last day of luxury. We opt for a lazy breakfast, a cooked full English! It feels incongruous sitting outside overlooking crocs and hippos with sausages and eggs.

We squeeze in another game drive and stop to watch a herd of 10 lionesses and their young basking in the sun. With felines, it seems the girls do all the work including hunting, while lions, for all the king of jungle stuff, seem to sleep all day and occasionally ‘defend territory’.

It’s time to join Paul again and head off to Tanzania for our next step: climbing Mount Meru over three days. After driving through the Serengeti to the Ngorogoro crater, reality hits home. After all that luxury we are now camping, cooking cupasoups over a Bunsen burner. But we loved it. The views of Kilimanjaro, especially the sunrise from Rhino Point are amazing. And, after this, it’s off for a week at the beach in Zanzibar in the gorgeous treetop house at Robinson’s Place. Blissful!