Honeymoon to Kenya & SeychellesSimon Arnell, 22nd February 2023
We approached Mahlatini to help us organise our honeymoon and we couldn't have been happier with the end result. From the first moment we contacted the team through to our experience on the trip itself, everything was brilliantly managed and came together perfectly. There were so many nice little touches in recognition that it was our honeymoon (such as bottles of bubbly in our hotel rooms) and we were treated so well throughout, including being met at every airport, guided through customs and escorted to our private transfers. This is just an example of some of the many things that made the trip feel so special. As for our experiences in both the Maasai Mara and Seychelles, both were incredible in their own special way. We had really high hopes for the safari, having never experienced anything like it before and even with this, our expectations were blown out of the water. Not only is the Maasai Mara absolutely stunning, but being able to see so many beautiful animals so close was better than we could have ever expected. We were there for 3 nights, which included 7 game drives and also a very special sunrise hot air balloon trip, which we included as an optional extra - and would highly recommend. We were lucky enough to see all of the Big 5, including a Black Rhino with her 3-month old calf as well as a baby elephant that had been born only moments before. We initially thought that this would be a 'once-in-a-lifetime' experience, but I think it's fair to say that we'll be doing everything we can to ensure that this isn't the only safari of our lifetime! Seychelles was a very different experience, but no less special, and a beautiful place to relax after our time in Kenya on the safari. The weather was amazing, the scenery and beaches were stunning and the people were so welcoming and generous. Our number 1 objective of this part of our trip was to relax, but we also organised two day-trips, which the team at Mahlatini also helped us organise through a third party (Mason's Travel). We visited a beautiful island called La Digue and also did a snorkelling trip and a visit to Moyenne Island to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. As with the whole trip, we had the best time and hope to be back at some point in the future.
Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
“Kichwa Tembo was an amazing location for our safari in the Maasai Mara. We decided to stay in a superior view tent, which felt very special as it looked out over the park itself. Not only could we see wildlife (including giraffes and elephants) from our tent, but we could also experience the beautiful sunrise from the comfort of our bed! The tent itself was also fully kitted out with a bathroom and shower, alongside plenty of storage space and a very comfy king-size bed.
Outside of this, the camp had its own pool, bar and restaurant. Included in our package were all of our food and drinks, including alcohol. Most days this would be from the main restaurant where there was a different menu every day, served buffet style. Whilst buffet food can be difficult to get right, this wasn't the case at Kichwa Tembo as they had chefs on hand to cook the key ingredients fresh, right in front of you.
We had our own butler throughout our stay, who did everything he could to make us happy and comfortable, including arranging hot drinks to be delivered to our tent by our room attendant each morning when we woke up to make sure that we were energised for our day ahead. And this goes for all the staff in the camp - they couldn't do enough to ensure that our stay was as good as possible.
We also have to give a special mention to our guide, Mai-Tai, who would take us out on all of our game drives, of which we would do two each day. Not only was he such a nice guy, but he was so knowledgeable and skilled as a guide. Without him, we wouldn't have seen even half of what we did end up seeing - we'll never forget the moment that he spotted a Back Rhino from what felt like miles away, we're still not sure how he did it! He was absolutely incredible and helped to make the trip so special. On one of our morning drives, he also organised for us to have a cooked breakfast out in the bush, which he cooked all himself. Little touches like this mean that we couldn't speak more highly of our experience in Kichwa Tembo and would 100% recommend it to anyone who wants to have a very, very special safari in the Maasai Mara.
It's also worth saying that the location of the camp means that you can be in the main park within about 10 minutes of setting off on your drive, with absolutely no hassle - you're there before you know it and can really maximise your time, seeing as much of the incredible wildlife as possible!”
“We stayed in Hemingways for one night before flying to the Seychelles, but had a great experience. The room ('The Meryl Streep suite') was huge and very comfortable with a great balcony overlooking the hotel grounds. We used the lovely hotel bar to enjoy some cocktails while watching the sunset before a very nice dinner in the hotel brasserie. The food was excellent and reasonably priced. While it was a short and sweet stay, we'd definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Nairobi. As with our whole trip, the staff were very welcoming and treated us brilliantly; we only wish we could have stayed longer!”
Constance Ephelia Seychelles
“For the second half of our trip, we stayed in the Constance Ephelia on Mahe, about a 40 minute drive across the island from the airport. It is the second biggest resort on Mahe and we could understand why, it really is huge! There are two sides to the resort (North and South) - we were staying in a Senior Suite on the North side, which we were delighted with as we were only a few minutes walk away from a beautiful, spacious beach! The room was great with lots of space and all of the facilities and comfort that we needed. Getting around the complex was also very straightforward with a shuttle service operating at all hours. All of the staff were excellent.
In terms of food and drink, we stayed on a half-board package, with breakfast and dinner included. There are 5 restaurants in the resort, 4 of which we could eat at within the half-board allowance. Whilst all of the restaurants were great you do need to reserve a table at 3 of them. The one which you do not need to reserve is a buffet-style restaurant and, by nature, was extremely busy. Reserving at one of the other restaurants meant a much calmer and quieter eating experience! The one thing we would say about the food and drink on-site (outside of the half-board allowance) is that it is very expensive (a beer at the beach bar cost the equivalent of £12!!), so that's something to bear in mind and was the one downside of our stay.
We also wanted to call out the fantastic spa they had on-site - we treated ourselves to a couples massage and had a wonderful experience. Having a massage there also meant that we could enjoy using the wider spa facilities for the rest of the day. Whilst the spa is open to all guests, it closes at 2pm if you haven't booked one of their therapies; but if you have done, you can use the facilities until 9pm.
Finally, there are a whole host of other facilities on-site including pools, a gym, tennis courts and shops. Whilst we didn't personally make use of everything, we did do the jungle hike (stunning views!) and also did the zip-line through the jungle, which we'd highly recommend.
Overall, we had a fantastic stay at Constance Ephilia and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.”
Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport
“We had a very short stay at Four Points before our flight home, literally just to sleep! As such, we can't give too much information other than to say that the room was comfortable and the staff was excellent, picking us up from the main airport and also arranging a shuttle for us the following morning.”
“The staff at Mahlatini is superb! Melissa was absolutely fab from day 1, really listening to what we were after, providing us with a whole host of options (alongside her primary recommendation) and always being swift to respond to any queries we had. Throughout the process, we also had a couple of calls with Melissa and you could immediately see how knowledgeable and passionate she is about her job and the service she provides.
A special shout-out also to Claire Picknell who stepped in when Melissa was unavailable just prior to our trip. We had a brilliant call with Claire to finalise last minute details, get some final bits of advice and make sure we were all prepped before we departed!
The team at Mahlatini is awesome and provides excellent service - our trip couldn't have gone smoother and this was down to them really listening to what we wanted and all of the hard work they put in to make our honeymoon so special!”