Fabulous holiday to Victoria Falls, Kenya and Seychelles. A perfect mix of activity, excitement and relaxation, crammed with great experiences for all members of the family.
We were at Victoria Falls, and spent as much time on the Zimbabwe side of the border as Zambia, since that is where many of the activities seemed to start from. In our view a KAZA Univisa is a must for anyone staying here. We stayed two nights, and could easily have done a third in order to cram in even more activities. We chose: (i) Sundowner Cruise on the afternoon/evening of our arrival; (ii) Canoe Safari on the Upper Zambezi, the next morning; (iii) Helicopter Flight of the Angels that afternoon; and (iv) Ziplines and Bungee on the final morning. All of that wasn't cheap, of course, but if you're going to go, it's a shame not to max it out - and we had #MahlatiniMoments aplenty, from start to finish!
We stayed at Hemingways Ol Seki, in the main Mara Game Reserve, adjacent to the main Mara Game Reserve. This was a beautiful camp, and the game viewing was every bit as good as we remember it from our Honeymoon in the Mara Game Reserve itself. As a private reserve, owned and looked after by the Masai themselves, there are greater restrictions on the number of camps/visitors, and you therefore benefit from less competition for animal sightings than we understand can be encountered in the main game reserve, where the quantities of jeeps etc. has apparently spiralled. Worth bearing in mind. We saw pretty much everything bar the Rhino, had a fabulous night game drive, great guides and a lovely time while in camp. Sunset in the Mara is pretty much Heaven on Earth.
This was our "kick back and relax" bit, following all the early starts and high activity of the first week. We stayed at the Kempinski Resort on Mahe, and also visited Moyenne Island (and its indigenous Giant Tortoises) as part of a Reef Safari tour operated by Masons Travel (who seem to have pretty much cornered the market!). The resort and the island were beautiful, and it's entirely up to the individual traveller how much they want to "do" vs just chillin' with a cocktail in hand. The Seychelles is obviously a pretty expensive destination to go to, and people should be aware that Seychelles pricing remains high when you get there, in terms of the £8 beer and £20 club sandwich, but if you want to indulge yourselves in a bit of beachside luxury, there are few better places on the planet.
The AVANI is perfectly located for what we wanted to do at Vic Falls: namely get out and cram in as much stuff as possible! The hotel itself is a bit tired in places, and our room was a bit too small for the four of us, but we were out-and-about the whole time, and only ever intended to live out of the suitcases for the x2 nights we were there, so it mattered not a jot. It also has some nice USPs, in terms of the zebra, monkeys, giraffe, impala etc. that roam within the grounds, and the kids loved it. Don't leave your patio/balcony doors ajar, or the monkeys will be in there before you can say "Black-Faced Vervet"! We spotted a couple of them doing precisely this, only to emerge a minute later with their mouths stuffed full of sugar sachets!! Happily not our room, although another one did snatch some waffle straight off our daughter's breakfast plate, which remained one of her holiday highlights to the end!
A beautiful camp, in a beautiful place. Lovely guides and great game viewing, at a well-run, charming and friendly camp, where we were made to feel very special and at home. The girls (10 and 12) were made completely welcome amongst the adults during the communal dining, and the camp hosts were wonderful throughout. Bush breakfasts, night game drives and private family dinners under the (stunning, and some cases, shooting) stars were organised at their own initiation, and we were left wanting for nothing.
Top class resort, with lovely beach and pool area, a range of dining options, spa facilities, and attentive but not intrusive staff, who assisted in the booking of tours, hiring of private rental car, and anything else we thought to ask for. Just we were after to round off the holiday in relaxing style!
Claire was fantastic for us, from helping put together our itinerary (multiple versions thereof!), answering all our questions, getting it all booked for us, including our additional activities, right through to keeping us updated on things like the threatened strikes by Heathrow workers and BA Pilots. She was really responsive and friendly, and genuinely seemed to share in our excitement at the holiday we were planning. Thank you Claire! xxx