Best Self Drive Safari Holidays in Africa

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Self drive Africa

We decided earlier this summer that we wanted to do a safari to Kenya and after looking at many safari outfitters, i settled on Car Hire Uganda and am so very glad that I did.

When I first contacted Mike I explained to him that my wife has advanced Alzheimer’s and is in a wheelchair with limited mobility and asked if she would be able to put a safari together for us. He said it would be absolutely no problem and she would make sure that any lodges he suggested would all have wheelchair accessible facilities and would make sure that everything else was also tailored to my wife’s needs.

Mike was an absolute pleasure to do business with and right from the get go he took care of everything in a low key manner, suggesting an itinerary but at the same time being very open to any changes I preferred. For example, he initially put Lake Naivasha on the itinerary as well as Lake Nakuru but I preferred to pass on this and stay an extra day at Masai Mara. Staying at Fairmont lodge the extra day and omitting Naivasha meant one less travel day for my wife and we also wanted to make sure we spent enough time in the Mara. I received an email back within minutes saying that was no problem whatsoever and to consider it done.

Everything from booking, to choosing lodge options and paying online went very smoothly as did the pick up at the airport. Mike put together an amazing trip for us that was filled with awe and excitement. The photos and videos we took will hopefully help my wife to remember things about the trip long after the actual events have faded from her memory.

After our flight from London the night before our two daughters, along with my wife and I, opted to fly from Nairobi to Masai Mara instead of driving. It worked well for us and I recommend it as an option to anyone considering it. We arrived at the lodge very fresh which may not have been the case if we had driven down with our guide Emma. Emma took us to the airport then drove to the lodge with our luggage.

Emma was the most helpful, knowledgeable and interesting guide anyone could hope for and we struck an instant rapport with him. For the four days that we spent at Fairmont Masai we were also accompanied by James, our Masai assistant guide and spotter. What a wonderful addition he was to our tour and his sense of humor and knowledge were a joy to be around. When we left the Masai Mara, saying goodbye to him was like saying goodbye to an old friend. We may never meet again but we will forever remember him and the knowledge of his country that he shared with us.

I feel I should make special mention of the staff at the Fairmont. Absolutely splendid people who went out of their way to make sure everything was good and to offer help with my wife. A special shout out to Phillip who was assigned to help transport my wife in her wheelchair to and from our accommodation for the duration of our stay. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him and everything was always done with a smile and a friendly word. We spent a lot of time in conversation and I appreciate him teaching me a lot about Kenya, its people and its customs.

After the Mara we visited Lake Nakuru with its pink flamingos and stayed at Sopa Lodge for just one night, another great recommendation by Mike. From there we spent a night in Nairobi to allow my wife to relax before going to Amboseli. Ole Tukai Lodge truly enchanted us. It was probably the oldest of the three lodges we stayed at but the ambience along with elephants outside the grounds and magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro made it almost feel like a setting for an Ernest Hemmingway novel.

When we got back to Nairobi we spent a night there and next day went to the giraffe center, did a bit of souvenir shopping and then had a delicious lunch with Linus and Mike. I couldn’t complete this review without another comment about Linus. What a wonderful addition he is to Serene East Africa. He was so incredibly helpful and patient with my wife and helping her in and out of the Toyota Land cruiser several times a day and loading/unloading her wheelchair. I realize it is a part of his job to do this but he always went the extra mile and couldn’t do enough to help.

¬†As I told Mike, if ever we are lucky enough to return to Kenya on another safari, we want Emma as our guide. He also got us up close to lions, cheetahs, rhinos, a leopard and many elephants so we felt incredibly lucky to see all the big five. He put us into position to get the dream photos of elephants in the foreground with Kilimanjaro behind and showed us such a number of animals that I never thought I’d see except on National Geographic.

Thanks to Mike, Moses, and James for everything they did to create and put into practice such a memorable safari for us. I do not hesitate to recommend their company 4×4 Car Hire Uganda and services to friends and/or anyone who is inquiring about doing a Kenya safari. If I’m lucky enough to ever visit Kenya again I won’t have to do any research as we will definitely be going with 4×4 Car Hire Uganda.

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