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   Exotic Holiday in the Masai Mara

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In November I jumped at the chance to tick another experience off my bucket-list, when I flew to Kenya to visit the magnificent Masai Mara game reserve and later unwind on the beautiful Indian Ocean beaches. I travelled with Polmans Holidays Tours and Travel. Their attention to detail and local knowledge ensured that everyone in our party felt safe and had an unforgettable time.

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You’ve watched enough David Attenborough shows to be familiar with the ‘Big 5’ animals that all travellers hope to see: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. All these and many more call the Mara home and there’s little I can add, except that to witness these creatures living undisturbed in their own back yard was an indescribably moving experience for me, verging on the spiritual. Something about Africa touched me and I don’t believe I’ll ever feel quite the same again!

Among the hotels and lodges we visited, Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort was the most memorable. It sprawls across 150 lush acres and feels more like a laid-back village than a hotel. All manner of fascinating creatures wander through the property and you can even watch hippos grazing by the lakeside at night. I recommend a boat trip, which offered great photo opportunities, thanks to spectacular birds like huge fish eagles, kingfishers and pelicans. Accommodation is in comfortable stone cottages with all mod cons and there’s a wide range of tasty snacks and a la carte meals available in the relaxing bars and restaurant.

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Kinondo Kwetu Beach

Remember, it gets surprisingly cool when the sun goes down, so be prepared and pack adaptable clothing that you can layer, plus a lightweight jacket. Also wear sturdy trainers or lightweight boots when trekking through the bush, rather than flimsy sandals. This isn’t a place for fancy luggage either! Following a safari, I recommend you head for the spectacular Kenyan beaches. I stayed at the Kinondo Kwetu, a small, all-inclusive resort owned by a Swedish family. It would be perfect for honeymooners seeking tranquillity in beautiful surroundings. It’s just 90 minutes from Mombasa, but be prepared for crazy traffic when transferring through this manic but fascinating city!

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Kinondo Kwetu, perfect for honeymooners

Planning an African Safari honeymoon

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 Planning an African Safari honeymoon?

A honeymoon is the most special and defining holiday anyone takes in their lives. So of course, it is absolutely necessary to make sure that your honeymoon is unique, tailored, and perfect, ensuring it is unforgettable for all the right reasons.

Africa is the ultimate honeymoon destination. There is no better setting for the beginning of married life than the romance of a sunset over the savannah, the adventures of a safari, and the tranquillity of an Indian Ocean beach.

Where else can you go on a lion spotting safari, climb Kilimanjaro, or go Gorilla trekking? Whether you want to spot game as the sun rises over the Serengeti, or relax in the backdrop of nature, Africa has so much to offer to allow your honeymoon to truly express your unique relationship.

If you are looking for a romantic beach holiday, Mombasa and Zanzibar boast some of the world’s finest white sand beaches, beside the warm Indian Ocean. From exciting resorts with multinational cuisine, to private beach villas, whatever your preference, we can organise a perfect beach honeymoon.

Find out about some of the fantastic properties, perfect for honeymoon’s here. If you would like to discuss your bespoke honeymoon with our experts, please give us a call.

The Billionaire African Safari Holiday

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Polmans Holiday Tours Organizes African Safari Holidays for discerning travellers from all over the world. We even look after a number of billionaires in making sure that their African Safari Holiday is to the high standard of luxury and privacy that they require. Here we have provided a custom-made itinerary that we created for one of our billionaire clients, as an example of the attention to detail that we always provide.

Mr and Mrs X, their friend, two children aged 6 and 10, plus a nanny and 4 security staff wanted a luxury, first-class holiday in Kenya. The safari was to be seven nights and must visit Meru and the Masai Mara.

Meru National Park was made famous by the conservationists George and Joy Adamson, and the film based on their book, ‘Born Free’. The park is extremely scenic, with many rivers that support the wildlife.

The world-famous Masai Mara is named after the Masai people who inhabit the region and the Mara River which snakes through the reserve. The area has an amazing concentration of wildlife, particularly when the migratory wildebeest and zebras are grazing on the lush plains.

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One of our expert reservation staff designed the following itenenary.

Day 1 Nairobi
The party flew from London Heathrow to Nairobi on a private charter jet. On arrival at Nairobi, the guests were met and transferred to the beautiful boutique hotel that is Hemingways Nairobi, a ‘Small Leading Hotel of the World’. The hospitality, service and attention to detail is outstanding.
Overnight: Hemingways Nairobi

Days 2-4 Meru National Park
Transferred to the airport where two private light aircrafts flew the party to one of Kenya’s best kept secrets, Meru National Park. On arrival they were transferred to Elsa’s Kopje for the next three nights. Elsa’s Kopje is a small, luxury retreat, beautifully situated in the Mughwango Hills. Here the guests enjoyed day and night game drives, bush walks and a visit to the local Taraka village. They also had plenty of time for swimming and lazing by the pool, and some very relaxing massages.

Days 5-7 Masai Mara
The guests were transferred to the airstrip, where again two private light aircrafts flew them to the magnificent Masai Mara. They were transferred to the Mahali Mzuri for the next three nights. The Mahali Mzuri, a member of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition collection, takes camping to a whole new level of sophistication. The camp delivers all that you would expect from a first-class hotel, luxury, elegance, superb service, gourmet meals and marvellous attention to detail. Here the guests enjoyed superb game drives, with exciting wildlife viewing, including the ‘big five’. The children were extremely well catered for. The infinity pool provided a welcome cool down in the African sun, whilst the Nasaro Spa offered a range of treatments. All meals and drinks including alcohol and champagne were included and guests were welcome to help themselves to whatever they wanted at any time.
Overnight: Mahali Mzuri

Day 8 Depart
The party enjoyed a final game drive in the Masai Mara. After lunch they transferred to the airstrip where the private light aircrafts flew them to Nairobi to connect with their private charter jet to Heathrow.

Samburu: The perfect addition to your African Safari Holiday.

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When people think of Kenya they often only think of the Maasai Mara – yes Kenya is the heart of the African safari holiday industry and for good reason its parks, reserves and concessions are responsibly managed and operated, protecting and conserving the incredible wildlife by working in partnership with the local communities.

Kenya offers world class game viewing not only in the Maasai Mara, but also in numerous other areas.

Our advice would be come and experience two contrasting parts of Kenya, namely the north and the south.

For many people a safari is a once in a lifetime experience and with a combination safari you maximise your budget, time in Kenya and get to see more of Kenya’s wonders, taking in two areas rather than just exploring the world-famous Massai Mara.

This is where Samburu comes in – a celebrated wildlife sanctuary in northern Kenya that is off the beaten track and easily combinable, with direct flights from Nairobi allowing guests to discover Samburu and combine it with the Maasai Mara.

Guests that do this combination are rewarded by something totally unique, unspoilt and two very different parts of the stunning landscapes of Kenya with varied wildlife and experience contrasting Kenyan culture.

Somak recommends saruni samburu as a fantastic property in which to experience this magnificent reserve.

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   The Experience of Samburu

  • Samburu has a very evocative and iconic landscape that reminds each visitor of “the Africa of your dreams”, dry and stunningly beautiful, wild and at the same time serene;
  • The wildlife: Samburu has one of the best concentrations of elephant, but also good numbers of lion, leopard and as well as the plains game. Then, there’s the Samburu Special Five: Grevy zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and gerenuk (species that occur only in this part of the country). Wild dogs are also regularly seen;
  • No crowds: the limited number of vehicles permitted within the Samburu National Reserve and the fact that if you stay at Saruni Samburu you have exclusive use of their private wilderness of Kalama Conservancy, a vast and pristine wilderness of over 200,000 acres, making your game drives unique and uncrowded.
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  The Samburu People

  • A key part of your experience at Saruni Samburu are the Samburu staff and guides: 80% are local Samburu and many of them actually built the lodge, and Saruni work in partnership with them
  • The Samburu is one of the most traditional tribes in Africa: warm, fun and extremely hospitable people – as they guide you through their ancient lands, you feel humbled as you learn all about their culture, history and traditions;
  • Saruni Samburu is a responsible choice: and are members of the Northern Rangers Trust (NRT), an organisation that works with 26 communities who own and manage an area greater than 25,000 km and is now widely seen as a model in Africa of how to support community-owned conservancies
 
     

Introducing the Big Five

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One of the iconic features of an African Safari Holiday is the famed “Big Five”. Here we look at these amazing animals that are the focal point of any African Safari Holiday.

Lion

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The king of the jungle; the African Lion is one of the most iconic animals in the world. Their impressive manes as well as their intelligent hunting skills, make lion watching one of the most memorable sights on an African Safari Holiday. Lions are true apex predators, and are the dominant predator in their habitats, earning them their nickname.

African Elephant

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The African Elephant is the largest land animal on earth. These gentle giants are a popular sight on African Safari Holidays. Their impressive tusks, that make them a target for poachers, are incredible to see up close. A herd of elephants marching across the plains, is a must see on safari.

African Buffalo

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The African Buffalo is a large bovine animal. The buffalo is often regarded as the most dangerous animal in Africa, with a poor temper and the tendency to ambush and attack threats. The buffalo is only distantly related to cattle and other large bovines, and is very unpredictable. However, watching buffalo interact with one another and other animals on your African Safari Holiday is one of the most memorable experiences of your trip.

Rhinocerous

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Both the black and white rhinoceros can be included as part of a big five safari. These large herbivores can reach almost a tonne in weight. With their numbers dwindling, seeing them in the wild is an incredibly special experience.

African Leopard

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The leopard is a large feline, with rosette markings. The leopard is sometimes considered the ultimate sighting on an African Safari Holiday, given its nocturnal and elusive nature. Leopards are very difficult to find, and spotting one on safari is an unforgettable and fortunate experience.