THIRDHOME Member, Allison Schlanger, traveled with her family to Kenya. They booked a Kenya safari Curated Journey through THIRDHOME Custom Travel.
What THIRDHOME Custom Travel experience did you book and what appealed to you the most when choosing your destination?
We just got back from three of the most incredible weeks we have ever experienced as a family in Kenya. Out time there felt like 3 different trips – each so special in its own way. Our first week was spent on safari – first in Lewa Conservancy and then the Maasai Mara during the great migration, our second week was spent in Nairobi and our last week we traveled to Watamu on the coast. In each location we stayed in a THIRDHOME property.
What were some of the adventurous or cultural highlights of your Kenya safari Curated
Journey. What did you see and experience?
Our safari was completely planned and arranged by Liz Bates at THIRDHOME – and it was true perfection. Our first 3 nights were spent at Lewa House – a safari camp that has been in the same family’s hands for 5 generations. Once we landed on the airstrip at Lewa Conservancy we were picked up by our safari guide, Jimmy. We quickly realized that Jimmy was about to make our stay magical. Every day we were immersed in herds of elephants (which we could swear Jimmy communicated with), giraffe, lions, rhinos, buffalo
andzebra. Jimmy got us so close to the animals there were a couple of moments where we were so locked into their eyes we forgot to lift our cameras to capture their gorgeous faces. While at Lewa, we jumped at the chance to horseback ride through the bush to get even closer to the giraffes and zebras.
Our second stop was
Cottar’s. Liz had booked us a family tent at another camp that has also been in the same hands for 100 years. Upon arrivalwe were told that Cottar’s had over-committed the family tents and that we were going to be upgraded to The Bush Villa. The management team apologized for the inconvenience of having to stay in a fully-staffed house with this view!!!
We happened to be at Cottar’s during the great migration and we were able to see thousands of wildebeests, eland
andzebra during our stay, but the most special part of staying at Cottar’sis their partnership with the Maasai tribe in the area. Our guides, Enoch and Salasch were both Maasai warriors. Enoch spoke perfect English and became our professor of sorts – answering every single question about Maasaiculture we could think of on a minute to minute basis. They took us to visit a Maasai village and Maasaischool. We spent hours at the school playing with the students and getting to know the teachers – one of which we are still in touch with. The day we spent with them will not only stand out as one of the most impactful of this trip but one of the most impactful of our lives.
Was there one specific “wow” memorable moment that you enjoyed most?
Our biggest wow moment of the entire three weeks happened in Nairobi. When we called Liz (THIRDHOME‘s Director of Adventures and Custom Travel) to help us plan a safari we told her that our only requirement was that it had to be in Kenya. After 11 years of a long-distance relationship with a student (her name is Winnie) we met through an incredible organization called Kenya Education Fund, we were traveling to Nairobi to meet her in person. The first moment we saw each other was the wow moment of this trip. After 11 years of getting to know each other through letters, emails, texts, pictures and video chats – we were finally face-to-face. It was a moment that will stay with us forever. Finding so many places to stay through THIRDHOME allowed us to spend two unforgettable weeks together. For that we will always be grateful to THIRDHOME.
What did you like most about your accommodations during your Kenya safari?
At every stop on our
tripwe stayed at a THIRDHOME related property. It would be hard to top the bush villa/private chef at Cottar’s but here is a rundown of our other accommodations…
Nairobiwe stayed in The Tribe Hotel. We traded 1 Key per room. The Tribe, and its sister property, The Trademark (also on THIRDHOME Exchange) are known as top places to stay in Nairobi. The Tribe staff could not be friendlier or more accommodating. Their restaurant was terrific. The Tribe has the feel of a business hotel and is adjacent to the Village Market Mall – shopping and upscale restaurants. The Trademark is connected to the Village Market. It appears to be the newer/younger property. Next time we will try The Trademark.
At our next stop, Watamu, we traded for a THIRDHOME property. We stayed there 4 nights and then checked into the Medina Palms. The Medina Palms was top notch all the way. The accommodations were simply gorgeous, the pool never-ending and they are a short
tuk tukride from one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever been on in our lives.
Where would you like to go for your next trip?
I have a running bucket list…The Azores, Boliva salt flats, Faroe Islands, Banff, Seychelles, Thailand, Galapagos, Morocco, New Zealand/Australia, always ready to return to Israel…and now Kenya…again and again.
What would you like to share with other members about your experience using THIRDHOME Custom Travel?
We started planning our journey to meet Winnie one year ago with Liz Bates, THIRDHOME‘s Director of Adventures and Custom Travel. She immediately understood the significance of the trip and set out to make it special in every way. We are physically back in the states but emotionally still very connected to Kenya. This was a trip of a lifetime for many reasons. Liz helped to make the vacation part of it truly spectacular.
How would you rate this travel experience?
Is there anything else you would like to add or comment on?
Kenya Education Fund (www.kenyaeducationfund.org) was founded by our friend, Brad Broder. Brad joined the Peace Corps after college and was struck by the fact that half of all kids in Kenya could not afford to continue their education after elementary school. In 2006, he joined forces with local community
leader, Dominic Muasya and started Kenya Education Fund (KEF). Their goal was to provide scholarships to students across Kenya so that they could stay in school through high school (and hopefully beyond). They wanted to help break the cycle of extreme poverty in Kenya and they strongly believed that starts with providing an education to all children. Click here to learn more about the Kenya Education Fund.
Interested in booking your own Curated Journey like this Kenya safari? Contact THIRDHOME‘s Director of Adventures and Custom Travel, Liz Bates, at email@example.com or click here to browse destinations for travel inspiration.
We’re proud to announce that our partner, International Expeditions, will be sponsoring THIRDHOME‘s Member Appreciation event in April 2018.
Experience the world’s most remarkable destinations with world leaders in ecotourism and adventure travel.
You may recognize the name International Expeditions from our recent Amazon River Cruise aboard the Zafiro. The naturalists, Expedition Leaders and staff at International Expeditions are experts in adventure travel, and our Inner Circle members can vouch for it:
“The International Expeditions team coordinators and naturalists were indispensable in the full educational adventure. Our favorite day was visiting the small village and sharing school supplies with a dozen sweet elementary school-aged children. We can highly recommend this trip to anyone who has (n)ever thought about such an adventure.“-Sherry and Andy
The Amazon cruise is just the tip of the iceberg of International Expeditions’ adventures. Their ecotravel offerings also include:
International Expeditions hosts safaris in Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Namibia. These safaris all include luxurious accommodations in some of the world’s best wildlife viewing destinations. Big 5 spottings aren’t uncommon when you have top-class naturalists guiding you!
Indian Wildlife and River Tours
Discover India’s wildlife, including Asian elephants and Indian leopards, or explore the cultural wonders of Sri Lanka. Travel by land or on the mighty Brahmaputra River with International Expeditions’ land tours or small ship cruises.
Costa Rica Canopy Tour
Explore the lush forests of Tortuguero National Park with monkeys, macaws and an International Expeditions Master Naturalist to tell you about all the critters in the canopy. Coastlines, mountain and cloud forests all merge together in the gorgeous topography of Costa Rica.
Patagonia Glacier Expedition
Experience the remoteness of Torres del Paine National Park in the Patagonian region of South America. Inching glaciers, granite peaks and roaming wildlife await.
Iceland Winter Adventures
Venture north to the land of the Northern Lights. Enjoy active excursions across Iceland’s gorgeous landscape. Trek across glaciers and uncover hidden lava caves on this bucketlist journey.
Canadian Wilderness Excursions
Travel + Leisure’s 2017 Destination of the Year is calling for your next outdoor adventure. Embark on an Arctic safari with International Expeditions. Sea kayak amongst Beluga Whales and Bearded Seals or take an ATV across The Cunningham River Delta in search of Muskox.
Alaskan Grand Journeys
Pristine wilderness, glacier-fed streams and frozen tundra all meet in America’s last frontier. Witness wildlife in secluded terrains while kayaking, rafting or biking through the landscape. Or come in the spirit of Alaska’s original colonizers and join in on a gold panning expedition.
Inner Circle members will have the opportunity to travel with International Expeditions again on an upcoming Galapagos Voyage. Keep an eye out for other exciting opportunities from International Expeditions through THIRDHOME!
Cottar’s Safari Camp is located in Kenya and sits on 7,000 acres, which adjoins the Serengeti and Maasai Mara game reserves. Known for giving a premier safari experience for almost 100 years, this is the ultimate trip for those who are seeking to spend time on a game reserve in Africa. The atmosphere of Cottar’s Safari Camp is exciting, relaxing and romantic.
Take a Curated Journey “Happily Ever After” trip with your significant other through THIRDHOME, and celebrate your relationship while staying in a “Romance Tent” at Cottar’s Safari Camp. Read to the bottom of this post to find out the incredible deal that is available to THIRDHOME members when booking this Curated Journey.
Your Curated Journey to Cottar’s Safari Camp will include:
A 4-Night stay (minimum) in a “Romance Tent” featuring a private bathroom, spacious accommodations and a sprawling veranda.
Served daily there will be breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails at sunset. The camp offers a communal dining atmosphere, but arrangements for private dining can be made upon request.
Enjoy game drives, guided bush walks, cultural visits, swimming, fishing and more.
Professional Safari Guides
At Cottar’s, you’ll be guided by an impressive staff. There are 3 Gold-Level KPSGA Guides on-site, when there are only 23 Gold Standard Guides in all of Kenya. The rest of the staff are Silver-Level qualified.
Ready to take the ultimate trip together as a couple? As a THIRDHOME member, you will receive a 50% discount off your accommodations when traveling as a couple, celebrating an anniversary or enjoying a honeymoon. This discount is valid for travel in 2018 during the months of May, June, November or December 1-20. Click here for more information and to book your trip to Cottar’s Safari Camp in Kenya.