Assessment: Hemingways Ol Seki with children – Naboisho Conservancy safari

If ever there was a bucket checklist household journey, taking a safari is it – and so I knew {that a} keep at Hemingways Ol Seki with children could be a spotlight of our time in Kenya.

My daughter walks along the path towards the Simba family tent at Hemingways Ol Seki - my review of our Naboisho Conservancy safari

press journey*

Set within the second largest conservancy within the Masai Mara, our Naboisho Conservancy safari gave us an opportunity to discover a few of non-public reserve with out battling the crowds.

And whereas any household safari is never an affordable choice, there’s fairly merely nothing like the prospect to see Africa’s wildlife within the wild – and attending to see the animals with my daughter was much more particular.

Not all camps are as child-friendly as others although, so in the event you’re planning your personal household safari in Kenya, right here’s what we considered a keep at Hemingways Ol Seki with children.

Hemingways Ol Seki evaluation: important statistics

The non-public Naboisho Conservancy stretches for 145 sq. kilometres inside Kenya’s Masai Mara nationwide reserve, with one of many highest concentrations of wildlife within the area.

The second largest conservancy within the Mara (solely Mara North Conservancy is larger), Ol Seki is one among solely 9 safari camps and lodges right here. The numbers allowed into the reserve are at all times restricted, so not solely is there an excellent probability of seeing the animals, you’ll have much less competitors too.

It’s lower than an hour’s flight from Nairobi’s Wilson airport, relying how lots of the Mara camps your aircraft stops at on the way in which – we flew with Safarilink. You can too drive, which takes round 4 hours.

One of the small Cessna planes used by Safarilink on the earth of the airstrip in the Naboisho Conservancy - the airline's internal flights are one of the easiest ways to get around if you're planning a Naboisho Conservancy safari

There are solely 9 luxurious tents at Hemingways Ol Seki itself, with area for 20 friends in whole, together with the household ‘Simba’ tent the place we stayed.

In addition to a current main redesign, there have been a number of new tents added to the gathering but it surely’s nonetheless a really intimate expertise: you may also select from the smaller Nina tents and second household tent, Chui.

One in all a number of accommodations throughout the Hemingways gathering in Kenya, the group additionally consists of Hemingways Nairobi and Hemingways Watmu on the coast.

Hemingways Ol Seki with children

Even the largest household can have area to spare in the event you test into the Simba tent at Hemingways Ol Seki with children – we hardly knew which mattress to decide on.

View across one of the bedrooms in the Simba family tent with neutral bedspread on the double bed, wooden furniture, red patterned rugs and day bed/sofa - my review of a stay at Hemingways Ol Seki with kids

With two separate bedrooms off the principle residing area, plus two loos and a deck space outdoors, to not point out the communal areas – eating room, lounge and pool space – my daughter and I have been spoiled for selection.

One was arrange with a double mattress, plus day mattress to the facet, whereas the second had twin beds and its personal day mattress. Very best in the event you’re staying with youthful children and need to have the ability to put them to mattress in a separate room, or in order for you one to have the ability to keep in the identical room as you.

All embellished in impartial colors with splashes or purple and pictures of Maasai individuals, there was additionally a fan to maintain us cool (plus we acquired scorching water bottles at evening when the temperature dropped) and mesh home windows permitting a breeze via in the course of the day.

There’s even surprisingly good wi-fi, together with solar-powered electrical energy to maintain all units charged.

Behind every of the bedrooms have been two loos, one connected to every bed room – so in the event you have been visiting as a multigenerational household group, it could additionally imply that grandparents may have one half of the tent and their very own area.

Every lavatory had its personal bathe – with an impressively highly effective bathe, given that you just’re in the course of the bush – plus a separate space with a flushing bathroom, sink and someplace to place toiletries, all behind a privateness curtain.

There have been additionally separate cabinets to unpack your garments or retailer suitcases. Not that we’d have been tripping over them, given how spacious all of it was.

Together with chairs and a desk within the bedrooms, there have been additionally squashy sofas within the residing space plus a eating desk with chairs.

On the again, a stocked drinks cupboard with alcoholic and tender drinks, plus tea and low in the event you wished it at any hour of the day.

We additionally had our personal butler, William, to take care of us if we wanted the rest – though between sport drives, a while chilling out and napping, plus meals on the predominant eating space, we barely had probability to benefit from what was on supply, not to mention make any additional calls for!

The wraparound terrace has a number of extra locations to sit down or lounge as effectively, all searching onto the plains – we may hear the wildebeest grunting to one another, as they and herds of zebra grazed all through the day.

With our binoculars, we may make out much more of the animals, together with jackals slinking via the scrubby grass, and in case you have an extended keep or determine towards two sport drives per day, it’s a stunning place to laze and watch the wildlife.

There have been loads of choices for downtime too – we made probably the most of our keep by taking each daybreak and late afternoon drives, however whether or not we stopped for breakfast within the bush or returned to camp, we nonetheless had a number of hours earlier than and after lunch to loosen up.

I normally squeezed at the least one nap in (6am begins, 35C+ warmth and a glass of wine at lunch made that very simple!) however we cherished the small infinity pool to chill off after the primary sport drive of the day.

Subsequent to the eating space, there are extra loungers dotted round right here within the shade too and one other nice view out all the way down to one of many waterholes and the animals. Because the temperatures climbed, the cool water was blissful to sink – hippo-like – into and watch.

Till we have been known as for lunch, at the least. As with most safari camps, meals is included with a set menu, however regardless of travelling with a choosy 10-year-old, they at all times managed to supply one thing she would take pleasure in in addition to scrumptious three-course meals for lunch and dinner for me.

View to chairs and tables on the terrace by the dining area, overlooking the pool during a stay at Hemingways Ol Seki in Kenya with kids

Whereas they’re joyful to be versatile, you do must let the camp know upfront in case you have any explicit dietary necessities although.

With solely half a dozen different individuals staying on the camp throughout our keep, it didn’t take lengthy to strike up dialog at mealtimes as effectively – you might have your personal separate desk but it surely’s a relaxed ambiance that’s excellent for households.

And whereas my daughter was the one little one staying that week, it’s definitely not unusual – because the household tents go to point out.

In case you do fancy a fairly extra secluded choice one evening, you may also select to have dinner at ‘the Cave’, a non-public desk on a rock overhang.

With a woodfire close by for mild, you’re tucked away on the facet of the slope and it feels such as you’re the one individuals on the planet (aside from the wildebeest, nonetheless calling away at midnight close by).

And whereas we usually headed straight again to mattress after dinner, prepared for an early morning sport drive the following day, there are extra squashy sofas and comfortable armchairs to retreat to with a drink in the event you fancy – there’s even a telescope at one finish, for animal recognizing in the course of the day and star-gazing at evening.

After darkish, we have been guided to and from our tent – not simply to make sure we had loads of mild to seek out our method, however in case any animals managed to seek out their method in.

Unlikely however reassuring: and the wildlife we did see in camp was undoubtedly of the cuter selection.

In addition to just a few red-headed agamas (which shortly earned the nickname of Spiderman lizard for its blue and purple colouring), my daughter cherished recognizing the furry little rock hyraxes which scurried round.

A number of favored the shade of the loungers by the pool, however we stunned a pair on our deck and on the roof of our tent.

The sound of speedily pattering paws on the canvas proved there have been a lot extra scampering above us, though half the time we may solely hear them fairly than see them.

However the lodging itself is barely half of the expertise at Hemingways Ol Seki with children, pretty although it’s – and our sport drives within the Naboisho Conservancy didn’t disappoint.

What to see on a Naboisho Conservancy safari with children

One of many greatest attracts of a vacation in Kenya with children, a safari is totally unmissable in case you have the chance.

It doesn’t matter how outdated you might be, seeing a household of lion cubs enjoying collectively or a leopard in a tree with its kill is the type of expertise you always remember – to not point out the array of different animals you may spot on a safari in Kenya with children.

And the flexibleness of being in a non-public conservancy is good for households. In case you go to a nationwide park, chances are you’ll effectively want to depart by 6.30pm as nightfall falls too, whereas non-public sport reserves just like the Naboisho Conservancy can help you be extra versatile.

In our case, this meant we may cling round ready for a leopard to emerge from the undergrowth and benefit from the astonishing sight of it climb its tree to benefit from the stays of its kill.

For our first few drives, we went out alone with the information too, which was excellent if we wished to hold round a bit of longer to marvel at lion cubs, or determine to not linger by the river, the place the highly effective aroma of hippos was not a success with my daughter!

Yawning hippo in the river during a Naboisho Conservancy safari in Kenya - my review of a stay at Hemingways Ol Seki with kids

The Naboisho Conservancy has one of many highest concentrations of lions within the Maasai Mara, and whereas we solely stayed for 2 nights, we managed to see lion cubs, dozing male lions and a number of other lionesses together with an affectionate pair of sisters.

We fitted in two sport drives every day, which additionally gave us probability to cowl most corners of the Naboisho Conservancy, to identify as a lot of its animals as potential.

Whereas cheetah eluded us – an excellent purpose to return! – we nonetheless managed to see virtually all the pieces else on my daughter’s wishlist, and extra.

There have been a number of elephant sightings, from the oldest grumpy bull elephant all the way down to one of many youngest calves, watching his mom intently as he realized to make use of his trunk to tug up grass.

But in addition loads of smaller animals, together with leopard tortoise, tiny scurrying dwarf mongoose and birds galore, from vultures and secretary fowl to kingfishers.

Hyenas slinked and lurked, whereas warthogs darted about in alarm, their tails held excessive and ramrod stiff – typically adopted by a number of infants in a faintly panicked procession.

One in all our favorite discoveries of the journey was the invention that the Swahili identify for them, pumbaa (sure, like within the Lion King), means ‘silly creature’ as they typically neglect why they’re working away. Not an excellent transfer if there’s a lion in your tail.

And in addition to too many zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, antelopes and gazelles to rely, our February go to meant we additionally acquired to see numerous infants, together with a new child giraffe, solely round an hour outdated and nonetheless studying how you can use these enormously lengthy legs.

Do ensure you convey binoculars, ideally a light-weight however highly effective pair, ideally minimal 10 x 40 – it makes an enormous distinction when children can get a detailed take a look at the animals.

Alongside the way in which, our improbable information Patrick additionally shared a few of his data of the Mara’s wildlife, in addition to navigating our Toyota Landcruiser down unattainable slopes, throughout river crossings and unerringly to spots the place we may discover the convservancy’s animals.

Whereas the large sightings are at all times memorable, it’s the little moments which stick within the reminiscence too – making an attempt to pile rocks to guard a plover nest constructed too near the highway because the anxious mom shrieked alarm calls, earlier than returning, feathers solely mildly ruffled.

Watching a lioness stalk, even when she determined towards the hunt that specific time, and making an attempt to breathe additional quietly as a lion cub prowled very near the string of automobiles, inquisitive about these unusual metallic intruders.

Our Masai guide with two giraffe leg bones which reach to his chin during a family safari in Kenya - my review of a stay at Hemingways Ol Seki with kids

Or realising simply how big a giraffe’s leg bones could be… and with bleached white bones scattered round from earlier meals, shortly beginning to recognise which animals that they had belonged to.

It’s effectively price permitting a few days on your safari – that method, in the event you aren’t fortunate sufficient to identify one thing on the primary day, you’ve acquired one other probability.

There’s no actual level making an attempt to pack all the pieces right into a day anyway: it’s too scorching to maintain driving for hours on finish (even when your children may stand it) and the animals can have sought out the shade too so there’ll be much less to see anyway.

Acacia tree at sunset on the savannah during a Naboisho Conservancy safari - our stay at Ol Seki with kids

In addition to our morning and night sport drives, there’s additionally the choice to take guided bush walks in the event you’re visiting with older children and village visits to get a style of native Maasai life.

Different tempting extras embody a scorching air balloon flight – these normally have a minimal age restriction although and contain a really early begin.

For extra recommendations on visiting Kenya with children, try all my recommendation, together with planning a household safari

What to pack for a Kenya safari with children?

In addition to binoculars, and a zoom lens in the event you’re travelling with older children who’ve their very own DSLR digicam (or sharing yours), one among our greatest buys was this little animal guidelines for East Africa.

Nice for conserving my daughter engaged throughout these durations the place we have been ready for animals to look, it was additionally helpful for instructing her (and me!) extra about what there may be to seek out on a safari in Kenya.

Whereas not all of the animals could be discovered on a Naboisho Conservancy safari, the overwhelming majority may – and our information helped to clarify the place you would possibly see the others. Plus it’s a enjoyable memento to maintain afterwards.

For extra recommendations on what to pack for Kenya with children, try my Amazon checklist with extra of my necessities

View of the Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya, with a giraffe in distance during a family safari in the Masai Mara - my Hemingways Ol Seki review of a stay with kids

In any other case, whereas a whole lot of your loved ones safari packing checklist will look the identical as for any scorching climate vacation, there are some things to keep in mind in terms of your packing checklist for Kenya with children.

All the time take a well-stocked first help equipment, as whereas tented camps can have necessities obtainable, the choices for youngsters shall be extra restricted.

You’ll additionally want excessive SPF just like the Ultrasun vary and high-strength insect repellent: the Jungle System vary has a formidable selection, whereas the Boots Repel roll-on is okay for youngsters aged 2+ and is available in most power.

Try my full household and little one first help equipment checklist of necessities to pack

Keep away from blue (and black) clothes on safari as this could appeal to tsetse flies – sporting insect repellent ought to hold them at bay, however higher to not give these nasty bugs any added incentive to test you out.

Shiny colors also can make you extra seen to the animals, so muted shades are higher – though having mentioned that, our information wore conventional Maasai patterns together with purple and vibrant purple in addition to neutrals, so don’t really feel it’s a must to substitute your complete wardrobe. Khaki is at all times good although.

My daughter with her camera phone taking a photo of three elephants, including a baby, in the Mara Naboisho conservancy in Kenya - my tips for visiting Kenya with kids include advice on a family safari

Do pack some heat garments as effectively, for early morning sport drives and for the evenings.

Whereas temperatures hit the mid to excessive 30s by lunchtime, it may be unexpectedly cool very first thing, particularly mixed with a breeze as you drive, so a hoody and lengthy trousers got here in very helpful for six.30am begins. Our information did have ponchos to borrow, but it surely’s greatest to convey your personal layers.

You might want rainwear as effectively. There are normally two predominant wet seasons in the course of the 12 months in Kenya – the ‘quick rains’ for just a few weeks throughout November and December, then the ‘lengthy rains’ from April to early June (typically on the finish of March as effectively).

It’s price taking closed toe sandals even when it’s dry, each for guided walks and in case of stinging bugs and scorpions after darkish (though simply venturing to and from the restaurant with somebody to mild our method, we managed effective with out).

Don’t neglect that whilst you may need a beneficiant weight allowance for worldwide flights, you’ll in all probability be restricted to 15kg for any inside flights, plus you may solely take soft-sided luggage or instances.

Hemingways Ol Seki for households: the decision

Our keep at Hemingways Ol Seki was simply one of many highlights of our journey to Kenya – in every week with loads of competitors.

And it wasn’t simply due to the improbable experiences on our Naboisho Conservancy safari, though that definitely performed an enormous half.

Having been on a self-drive safari earlier than, it was fantastic to have a information with us, understanding the place all the newest sightings have been and sharing all his data (to not point out with the ability to go off highway simply).

Plus the sheer variety of animals was astonishing. In our 10-minute drive from the airstrip to Hemingways Mara camp, we’d already seen a couple of dozen totally different species, virtually with out making an attempt – and the reminiscence of that leopard rising from the bushes to scale its tree and devour its kill is unforgettable.

However whereas multiple camp would possibly supply these experiences, it’s nonetheless exhausting to beat a keep at Hemingways Ol Seki with children – for luxurious and a family-friendly welcome, I solely want I’d had longer to repeat these rock hyraxes and lounge there day after day.

Disclosure: Our keep was courtesy of Hemingways Assortment, with flight assist from Far & Wild and Safarilink. All opinions on a keep at Hemingways Ol Seki with children for our Naboisho Conservancy safari are my very own

Photos copyright MummyTravels


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles