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 and zebra. 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 arrival we 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 and zebra during our stay, but the most special part of staying at Cottar’s is 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 Maasai culture we could think of on a minute to minute basis. They took us to visit a Maasai village and Maasai school. 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 trip we 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…
In Nairobi we 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 tuk ride 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?

5 stars!

Is there anything else you would like to add or comment on?

Kenya Education Fund ( 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 or click here to browse destinations for travel inspiration.


THIRDHOME Exchange members have recently returned from Mt. Kenya, Kenya and Palm Beach, Australia. Keep reading to learn about their THIRDHOME experience.


Kenya home exchange

The Round House at Olepangi Farm | Timau, Kenya

Discover the wilderness surrounding Mount Kenya at Olepangi Farm, an authentic 120-acre farmstead in the Laikipia region of Kenya. This family-run lodge features all-inclusive meals, drinks and a bar during your stay. Olepangi Farm is also home to GoWild Africa, a horse riding safari vendor. If you want to explore the surrounding area by horse or play a round of polo, this property is perfect for you. The Round House cottage itself is well appointed and can sleep up to 2 people. Start planning a romantic Kenyan safari today with Olepangi Farm!

THIRDHOME member Naseer says, “This was one of the best vacations for my wife and I. We had a wonderful time and a fantastic experience. We were looked after superbly by efficient staff and extremely caring owners. It provided the warmth of home with incredible views and activities including horse back riding and the tour to Mount Kenya.” click here to read more of Naseer’s review.


Australia Home Exchange

Casa Bella | Palm Beach, Australia

Perched over the vast Pacific Ocean, you’ll find Casa Bella, a 5,900 square foot Palm Beach villa. With room for up to 8 people and nearby access to famous Palm Beach, this property is perfect for a family beach retreat. The state-of-the-art kitchen and outdoor dining area will let you experience the full panoramic glory of the Palm Beach coast. The Palm Beach area is also surrounded by plenty of shopping, 5-star dining and is only a 25-mile drive to Sydney.

THIRDHOME member Anne says, “The main feature of Casa Bella is the spectacular view from all rooms. Palm Beach is arguably the most picturesque of all Sydney’s fabulous beaches and Casa Bella looks over the ocean towards the northern part of the beach and Barrenjoey headland behind it. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.” click here to read more of Anne’s review.


Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next THIRDHOME Exchange trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about THIRDHOME.


THIRDHOME Exchange members have recently returned from Milan, New York, and Laikipia, Kenya. Keep reading to learn about their THIRDHOME experience.


Milan New York Kenya

Rustic Countryside Home | Milan, New York

Looking to escape the city? This rustic Upstate New York retreat is perfect for you. Surround yourself in the Hudson Valley’s majestic natural beauty while enjoying modern amenities and appointments in this home and guest cottage. The rolling expanse of the countryside certainly gives one a sense of space, but the 5,700 square-feet of home living space and 6 bedrooms certainly drives the point home. Enjoy a sense of privacy and tranquility that can only be afforded by countryside living. Keep a watch on this home for fall when the Hudson Valley’s transforming foliage is on full display.

THIRDHOME member Jan says, “Wow. Just wow. This home is newly built and no expense has been spared. ‘Rustic’ is being modest…substitute the word ‘Luxurious’ in the description, and that doesn’t begin to cover it. Stunning architecture. Top-end appliances, linens, furniture…well, top-end everything, really. And the home is perfectly situated on the side of a hill with sweeping and unobstructed views of the mountains. ” click here to read more of Jan’s review


Laikipia Kenya family house

Nanyuki Family House | Laikipia, Kenya

Wild and remote, the Nanyuki Family House rests in the foothills of Mt. Kenya. Offering an oasis from the rugged and dry terrain of the Great Rift Valley, this spacious home features a pool, full-sized billiard room and indoor gym. The best part about this property is having the wilderness of Africa at your doorstep. A short ways from the grounds of the estate you’ll find elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hippos and more! Stay at this home for a combined walking safari and luxury home experience under the shadow of Mt. Kenya.

THIRDHOME member Arthur says, “This was our first trip to Africa and there is a lot of planning and preparations required to explore and enjoy the culture and sites of Kenya. Richard and Amelia Leach were incredible with their insights and suggestions and I can’t thank them enough. The Nanyuki House is perfect for families to have a home away from home in Kenya.” click here to read more of Arthur’s review


Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next THIRDHOME Exchange trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about THIRDHOME.

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.

International expeditions

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

International Expeditions

The Amazon cruise is just the tip of the iceberg of International Expeditions’ adventures. Their ecotravel offerings also include:

African Safaris

International Expeditions

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!

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a safari with International Expeditions.

Indian Wildlife and River Tours

International Expeditions

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.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a river cruise or wildlife trip in India with International Expeditions.

Costa Rica Canopy Tour

International Expeditions

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.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a Costa Rica Canopy Tour with International Expeditions.

Patagonia Glacier Expedition

International Expeditions

Experience the remoteness of Torres del Paine National Park in the Patagonian region of South America. Inching glaciers, granite peaks and roaming wildlife await.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a Patagonia glacier adventure with International Expeditions.

Iceland Winter Adventures

International Expeditions

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.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan an Iceland Winter Adventure with International Expeditions.

Canadian Wilderness Excursions

International Expeditions

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.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan a Canadian Wilderness adventure with International Expeditions.

Alaskan Grand Journeys

International Expeditions

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.

Click here to contact THIRDHOME’s Travel & Concierge to plan an Alaskan journey with International Expeditions.

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:

Cottar's Safari Camp


A 4-Night stay (minimum) in a “Romance Tent” featuring a private bathroom, spacious accommodations and a sprawling veranda.


Provided Meals

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.


Cottar's Safari Camp

Daily Activities

Enjoy game drives, guided bush walks, cultural visits, swimming, fishing and more.


Cottar's Safari Camp

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.


Cottar's Safari Camp


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.

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