Hello, everybody! I spent 2 weeks in Kenya from 26/12/2016 to 07/01/2017 and I would like to share my experience to be useful to those who are planning to go to this magnificent country and need some advice.
I would like to say ASANTE SANA to all the people who helped me organize my trip! 🙂 Especially TA users.
Flight EGYPT AIR; MXP-NAIROBI no delay, stopover in Cairo, not new plane, but I can not complain, same for the return NAIROBI-MXP;
SAFARI (6 days / 5 nights) booked from Italy – our guide is called Juma and I recommend Http://www.safarikenyaconjuma.com/
From Nairobi by jeep to Masai Mara (2 nights at the Fig Tree Camp-best accommodation, beautiful tent);
From Masai Mara to Nakuru (1 night Hotel Waterbuck- the cheapest accommodation among all, room);
From Nakuru to Amboseli (1 night Sentrim Amboseli Lodge-very large room, beautiful tent);
From Amboseli to Tsavo East (1 night You Wildlife Lodge-apartment large with pool view).
In fact we had booked a private safari with Filippo Bassa Marea, who a few days before our departure began to ask us for more money than agreed in September … In the end, we did not pay supplements, but we ended up doing the safari with 2 other people and instead of Philip there was Juma. Don’t trust “too” low estimates, because you risk your plans being disrupted at the last minute. Luckily the other 2 people were very nice J
MARE A Watamu at Mawimbi Lodge (the owners Maurizio and Corinne are nice and super available) for overnight stay and breakfast + a couple of dinners. Booked by Booking.
Beaches within walking distance in 5/10 minutes or with Tuk-Tuk in 5/10 minutes. Very nice sea, I was pleasantly surprised by the clear waters and white sand. Few algaes.
CITY IN Nairobi accommodation at Bethel Xperience (15 min drive from the airport – Spartan room). Booked by Booking. Advice only for very short stay.
Tour of about 3 hours booked from Italy with Guided Nairobi City Tours – collaborate with the slum of Mathare Nairobi is not a city that offers much in my opinion, but if you have a half day free is a shame to waste it closed in the hotel. Here you can see another side of Africa, very different life in the capital, compared to the rest of the country, hinterland and villages.
VISA: done at the airport, filled in forms, paid 40 € each, in 10 minutes everything was done. It is advisable to have the right money. Need to know a minimum of English to complete the form.
MONEY: we brought a bit of euro to pay the cost of the safari, the rest we took shillings directly from the ATMs of Nairobi airport and then to Watamu (with our card, commissions at 2%). At Mawimbi Lodge we changed some euros into shillings thanks to a guy called “Bancomat” who offers a very favorable exchange almost equal to the official one. We were advised by the managers of Mawimbi. In general, where they accept credit cards, a commission of 3 to 5% is added.
LANGUAGE: Watamu looks like a small Italian colony, 90% of the people I met (local) speak Italian. In Kenya there are more than 40 tribes and each has its own dialect. Kiswahili and English are taught at school and so if a person does not go to school, he cannot communicate with people who are not from his own tribe! In Nairobi and in the parks everyone speaks English. Our safari guide spoke very good Italian, our driver spoke a bit of Italian and very good German.