rep-kenya-safari-reviews

Reviews

What our guests say

Whether your interest lies in taking breathtaking safari photos, enjoying the incredible Kenyan wildlife, or simply getting out of your comfort zone, we’ll make sure you have an unforgettable African experience.

Repeat guest 2015/2017

This is my second safari with Dedan and Robyn, the “eagle eyed” source of all knowledge on the locations of the animals, their patterns and with the cats who they are and their lineage. She also knows the names of the beautiful and plentiful birds. Why did I come back to the Masai Mara...? Because not only has it been voted the top National Game Park in Kenya, I also know that Dedan and Robyn make it their number one priority to ensure that I see the animals in their own habitat... watch them stalk their prey... play, rest and wander. Their enthusiasm is catching! Very highly recommended indeed.

Marlene C.
New Zealand

Thank you for making our trip so special, I couldn't recommend (and I do often) your safari highly enough. Each day just got better than the last. We were truly spoilt for accommodation meals; they were way beyond our expectations.

Animals: where do I start? We saw all the wildlife we had hoped to see, plus !!!. This was a trip of a lifetime and both you and Dedan went out of your way to make it memorable.

Linda M. and Lois B.
New Zealand

What an unforgettable experience we had on safari in late June 2017 with Karen-based Kiwi Robyn Preston and her fantastic driver and great companion, Dedan Ndungu.

We were able to tag on a three or four day safari leading up to a business engagement in Gilgil. We were in Kenya to celebrate a milestone birthday for my wife, a 37th wedding anniversary, a return for her to the land of her birth, and a second visit to the Mara for me. From our very first e-mail enquiry some months ago, through every small detail, all the in-between nuts and bolts of setting up a Kenya safari were quickly and efficiently managed, often with choices offered to make our trip special in every way. Nothing was too much trouble. Nothing caused a fuss. Everything was done with great attention to detail, but also with a mischievous, dry sense of humour, which we greatly appreciated and enjoyed throughout the trip.

Being from South Africa, game-viewing is nothing new to us, but a three-day trip to the Maasai Mara, followed by a day in Nakuru NP, raised the bar in more ways than we could have imagined. Robyn and Dedan know these parks like their own backyard: where the big five hang out, where they move to; why things are the way they are, and why they happen the way they do; how to navigate vast expanses of unsigned-posted wilderness; how to negotiate any and every 4x4 obstacle. They know and talk to countless local people like old friends, so they find out the latest movements and stories of prides, families and solitary animals. This all led to superb sightings throughout our safari. It was incredibly rewarding to be able simply to sit and watch the Mara’s wonders unfold and chat about what we were watching in the hushed, awed tones that the bush demands, without rushing off to grab the next photo and tick another box. We sat for two riveting hours as we witnessed the very rare spectacle of a lion taking a minutes-old waterbuck calf. Long after every other chattering vehicle had left in pursuit of another snap to add to the album, we waited patiently for over an hour below an imposing drowsy leopard, in the hope we’d get the picture of a lifetime when he shot down the tree. He didn’t. He slept on. No photo of a lifetime perhaps, but we did come away with indelible memories of the heat of an afternoon so rewardingly spent in the presence of a magnificent creature and knowledgeable experts. Yet, despite these contemplative interludes, we covered hundreds of square kilometres in our three days, and Basecamp Masai Mara, near the Talek gate is a more than comfortable rustic base from which to launch your trips.

After the Mara (what a vast, haunting space which really does grasp a piece of your soul!) we headed via fish eagles on Lake Naivasha, to two nights on the shores of the mirror-like, flamingo-lined Lake Elementaita (which is so beautiful, you find yourself talking only in whispers as you look at it) and a day in Nakuru National Park. Here, it is possible to see the big five (and we did tick off the rhino to complete our big five experience here) with juxtaposed with glimpses of the city as a backdrop. It is also the only place you will see the strikingly marked Rothschild’s giraffe.

We went home with great photographs and even more special memories. We certainly hope we travel with them again, and we'd recommend Robyn and Dedan wholeheartedly to anyone. We’d like to think we've made lifelong friends with them. Certainly, our parting at Gilgil was not easy!

As they say, “thanks for the memories”, Robyn and Dedan. I hope we make some more some day!

Liz and Mike R.
South Africa

Unforgettable, lifelong memories of a 17 day safari in Kenya in May 2017 with leader Robyn Preston and her very capable and experienced driver Dedan Ndungu . Along with 2 other women I saw a multitude of animals and birds, more than I anticipated and to my absolute joy, and testament to Robyn and Dedan's expertise, I saw and photographed leopard, lion and cheetah as well.

Our stay took us into eight National Parks and included a mind-blowing concert in Nairobi by a troupe of the most athletic and artistic performers I have ever seen.

Everywhere the food and accommodation were excellent and the delightful Kenyan staff we met were friendly, helpful and often went out of their way to make our stay memorable, as did our guide and driver.

Robyn and Dedan have a vast knowledge of the parks and their inhabitants and are only too willing to share that and so make for a very enriching experience. Asante sana.

Lyn L.
New Zealand

My only recommendation is... if you are thinking of going on an African safari, book an adventure to remember with Robyn E. Preston Kenya Safaris !

The experience was enhanced by Robyn's thoughtful planning, care for our welfare, sharing of her personal safari stories and knowledge of the wild animals that she has become so familiar with. For the novice photographer, that I am, Robyn’s expert advice and feedback on my photographic efforts were gratefully received and appreciated. I have many photos that I am particularly proud of but only managed to capture because of Robyn and Dedan’s ability to anticipate the intentions and movements of the animals. By knowing when to exercise patience and not rushing on, which seemed to be how other safari vehicles operated, we were treated to special sights that would have been missed otherwise.

We were fortunate to encounter close to 50 different species of animals and it was truly wonderful to see them in their natural environment carrying on with their daily lives and routines, barely giving us a second glance.

The safari was well organised, accommodation choices of a high standard, food excellent and thrown in for good measure the odd TIA (This is Africa) experience to enjoy and savour! ‘Hakuna Matata’ - No worries, and we certainly had none, everything was taken care of for us!

I had no expectations when I left New Zealand, only a sense of adventure and excitement of travelling to a country which I had read stories about and seeing for myself some of the places mentioned in those books, the vast and beautiful landscapes, the culture and mosaic lifestyles of the Kenyan people and of course the wild life that must be preserved and treasured. A tick for all of the above with plenty more to see another time!

Robyn embraces and respects the Kenyan way of life and all it has to offer. It was a privilege to spend nearly four weeks with her and I have immense admiration for all she has achieved. I am very pleased that I did not turn down the opportunity to go on safari in Kenya with Robyn.

Asante sana, Robyn and Dedan.

Sue H.
New Zealand

From a chance encounter with Robyn in December 2014 to a safari in Kenya in May 2015– wow! When Robyn suggested we do a safari and that she would meet us at Nairobi Airport and look after us from the beginning until the end of our three weeks in Kenya, it was an offer too good to refuse. The decision to go turned out to be one of the best we have ever made. We added a sister and a friend to our travel party, and we were away.

True to her word, Robyn was there at the airport with her driver Dedan, from Craters of Africa Safaris, when we arrived and they whisked us away in the van to Karen.

After a few days of rest and relaxation, which included seeing the local sights, Dedan picked us up and the four of us, plus Dedan and Robyn, were off on our safari – all together for 19 days!

The game parks we travelled around were varied in both landscape and occupants. We travelled from Lake Nakuru to Ol Pejeta Conservancy (great views of Mt Kenya here), from there it was over the equator to Samburu. We had a night at The Ark Lodge in Aberdares National Park and then it was on to Amboseli National Park where we were lucky to get a good view of Mt Kilimanjaro. After three nights at Amboseli we travelled to Tsavo East National Park where we had two nights. The best was saved to last with days 14 to 19 of our safari spent at the famous Maasai Mara Reserve.

Travelling from place to place gave us an excellent insight to everyday Kenyan life - the people walking everywhere, farmers with their herds of animals wandering, the roadside stalls, the good roads, the bad roads, the rich, the poor – we saw it all.

The range of animals and birds we saw over the 19 days had to be seen to be believed. From elephants, rhinos, buffalo, lions, leopards, giraffes, monkeys to oryx, gerenuk, dik dik and spotted genet to name a few – we saw over 50 different types of animals all in their natural environment, not including the many beautiful birds.

We all appreciated the photography tips Robyn offered so we could get the most out of our cameras.

We were always very comfortable in the four wheel drive van and it was great to be able to stand up to look out of the pop top if we wanted to. Our driver, Dedan, played a huge part in ensuring we got the most out of every day with his excellent driving skills and sharp Kenyan eyes. Robyn also knows her way around and where certain animals like to frequent so with them working together, we felt that we didn’t miss a thing.

Some of the highlights are seeing 100 – 200 elephants crossing a river then lingering around our van, seeing the famous Notch Brothers lions with their hippo kill and watching the changes each day until there was nothing left of the hippo except for its skin, being amazed at how close the animals come to the van and of course the friendliness and happiness of the Kenyan people.

Our accommodation throughout the time was top class, as were the meals. There are no complaints from us at all – we were very well looked after from start to finish. We witnessed some unforgettable sights and have many special memories of our time in Kenya.

We would highly recommend a safari with Robyn, you won’t regret it!

Ralph and Lorraine L.
New Zealand

Our weekend in the Mara with you was such an amazing experience and your enthusiasm for the country, wildlife etc. maximised our trip so effortlessly it seemed.

You were so much more than a safari guide, you became our friend who we were spending time and sharing this amazing experience with. It was a pleasure to have your company and knowledge on board; special memories with a special person.

Asante sana Robyn, we had the best time possible with you and I wouldn’t have changed a thing (apart from make the stay in the Masaai Mara longer!).

Georgia P.
United Kingdom

I went on safari in May/June 2015 with Robyn and her driver Dedan.

We did a 19 day safari around Kenya and had a wonderful experience. Not only did Robyn look after us (her little ducklings) but she managed to find every animal that we wanted to see plus others I never knew existed! Through her many experiences she seemed to know their hideouts and had names for most.

We even learnt to be better photographers which was great when we saw all our photos.

Would not hesitate to recommend her for anyone interested in a safari. She will make sure you see it all.

Jill J.
New Zealand

Robyn E. Preston Kenya Safaris, I can happily say was one of my favourite experiences.

Robyn really pulled out all the stops and went the extra mile. When she says a full day safari, she means a full day safari! Also through her expert knowledge she was able to track and find so many wonderful animals and she taught us so much in regards to certain hunting styles and how to distinguish between different animals.

But what I think was the most impressive quality of Robyns' is how, within minutes of meeting her, she no longer became our guide but more of a friend who had an incredible amount of enthusiasm and excitement.

Alexander G.
United Kingdom

Full of unwarranted trepidation I flew to Nairobi, Kenya in the last few days of September 2015 to be met at the airport by Robyn Preston. The description that she had given me on what to expect on arrival was spot on.

I stayed on the outskirts of Nairobi, and this enabled me to familiarise myself (to a degree) with "things Kenyan".

Robyn has a love and enthusiasm for Kenya, its people and the environment that is infectious .From the moment we set off, with the capable Dedan as our driver (in a country where it seems that the road rules are that there are no road rules) I savoured every moment. Both Robyn and Dedans knowledge on the animal and bird life in all the various National Parks that we "went on game drives" in, ensured that I saw and experienced the most amazing wildlife .

Thanks to them, I saw The Big Five at least five times!

We often sat in the van and watched a situation unfold.....such as when we saw a leopard hiding up a tree from a lion trying unsuccessfully to get to it....subsequently the leopard shot down the tree once the lion had gone, to be chased by two lions as it raced at great speed to another tree. The other safari vans had left by then and missed something special happen.

From my observation, this is essentially what made being on safari with Robyn and Dedan a truly wonderful time. They took the time to ensure that I saw the interaction with the animals play out.

I gained an appreciation for the "law of nature" within the animal kingdom, and a respect for the people that I met along the way.

To say that we had the best of times would be an understatement.

By the end of the safari I could have done it all over again.

Oh..... the accommodation.......often described as a tented camp.......unbelievable... You have to experience it! And the food.......a gourmet delight!

Would I recommend you going on Robyn Preston's Kenya Safari ?........You bet....do it

Marlene C.
New Zealand

What impressed me most about travelling in Kenya with Robyn is how capable and meticulous she is at organising safari trips and how informed she is about African wildlife and the various national parks that are on her itinerary. You also appreciate the patience needed to take effective wildlife photographs when in their habitat. This was demonstrated on an afternoon trip in Samburu National Park when we were hoping to get a glimpse of a leopard (one of the ‘Big 5’ of Africa) which eventually proved successful, after much driving around looking for one, and just at the point when the light was fading fast and it was almost time to return to where we were staying.

I initially made contact with Robyn through Facebook in 2014 while she was still in Kenya then arranged to meet up with her on her return to New Zealand to discuss and plan my proposed trip there in July 2015 to celebrate my 60th birthday. Robyn spends 7 months of the year in Kenya where she spends much of her time on safari with her supportive driver, Dedan , to pursue her passion for her wildlife photography. However, she is also now increasingly conducting safari trips, as a guide to various parts of Kenya, on request from fellow New Zealanders but also others from around the world who may be interested in ‘seeing the sights’ with her.

Robyn always likes to add a little personal touch when travelling such as stopping for a welcome tea and coffee break along the way to help break the long journey. She also knows those places with the best toilet facilities – so crucial when travelling in Kenya. She has become a familiar figure at many of the accommodation venues which make up her travel circuit and is warmly welcomed by the local people, who appreciate her regular patronage.

When travelling with Robyn, you always know you are in safe and capable hands which is so important when in an unfamiliar environment and culture completely different from your own. She gives helpful and sound advice on what you need to have, and take, when organising your safari holiday. All in all, spending time in Kenya with Robyn will be a memorable and unforgettable experience, well worth the time and effort.

Virginia W.
New Zealand

We have just been on an amazing 16 day safari in Kenya , April/May 2016, under the guidance of Robyn and her driver Dedan.

While in Karen to get ourselves organised, we spent time looking at some of the local interests including Kazuri, the bead factory which employs many local women and the elephant orphanage where we saw the orphans being fed their bottle of milk. We also wandered through the shopping area where we managed to add to the local economy.

Then it was off on our safari.To see the animals up close was wonderful. If you sat quietly and waited, you saw some amazing sights unfold.

The animals carried on with their lives like we weren’t even there. As Robyn said after we had seen 5 leopards in the first 1 and 1/2 hours of our game drive in the Mara, "You don’t know how lucky you are”. I think we were starting to realise how lucky we were to see that number of leopards in such a short time plus all the animals and birds we had seen before.

Many thanks to Dedan who took us on some exciting rides not only on the roads but also along the park tracks some of which were quite wet. Some of the roads in Kenya are an experience not to be missed.

A special thank you to Robyn who has a vast knowledge of the animals and their habitats and also lots of information about the numerous birds we saw. Also she was very helpful with our photography. Giving us many tips to improve our photos which we really appreciated. Between them both we saw many animals and had a very well organised safari that went very smoothly. The lodges, accommodation and food were of a high standard and the local people serving us were always happy and nothing was too much trouble for them.

It was a wonderful experience and we would definitely recommend you do a safari with Robyn E Preston Kenya Safaris in partnership with Craters of Africa Safaris.

Bev and Shane L.
New Zealand

We had a wonderful 19 days , April/May 2016, with Robyn and her driver Dedan. Three days in Karen, visiting some local attractions – Elephant Orphanage., Karen Blixen House, Kazuri Bead Factory and the Flip Flop Recycling Factory.

Our 16 day safari was wonderful – what a thrill to see animals you have only seen on the screen come to life in their natural environment. To be able to spend time in the van watching a story unfold – a lion stalking a warthog, a leopard eating his kill up a tree and two elephants in a stand-off. Dedan was able to get us to these wonderful places and Robyn was very helpful with her photographic tips.
All accommodation at the lodges was great and meals were excellent.

I will certainly treasure this experience for the rest of my life.

Brenda L.
New Zealand

I spent from May 15- June 10 2016 on safari in Kenya with Robyn and her driver, Dedan. I was accompanied by Kay McKinnon, also from New Zealand.

An unforgettable experience in the richness of the Kenyan culture, landscape and animals. Robyn's vast experience of the area was a distinct advantage when looking and finding animals and birds. Dedan's amazing driving skills and being able to hone in on the action all contributed to a wonderful time.

Anyone thinking of travelling to Kenya for a holiday should travel with Robyn and Dedan to gain a special insight into a land of beauty and extremely friendly people. My favourite people will now live with me always should I not return.

Thank you Kenya.

Marg M.
New Zealand

If an African safari has ever been on your bucket list, now is the time to start planning, do not deny your self this absolute privilege. For me it was life changing.

It was a serendipitous moment eighteen months ago when I picked up a copy of the Australian Womans Weekly to find amongst it’s pages an article about Robyn and the life she leads. Half her year in New Zealand and half in her adopted home, Kenya. Spending most of that time on safari photographing it’s wildlife. I knew from that moment I wanted to do a Kenyan safari with Robyn.

I have just returned to New Zealand after a month away in Kenya with Robyn and her dedicated driver Dedan, what a team they make!!

Robyn’s friendly nature, her outstanding organisational skills, her expert planning and local knowledge along with Dedans gentle manner, exceptional driving skills and his knowledge of every road in all the parks we explored made my time away with them the best adventure of my life.

If you want a vacation that is filled with fun, adventure, camaraderie, the very best of tented camps and lodges, delicious food, meeting wonderful people…. the list goes on, you need to talk with Robyn.

For me, my heart sang every day just to be amongst beautiful people, new friends and of course to have the privilege of spending time with the most beautiful animals on this earth in their kingdom, long may they survive.

I have penciled in my next safari with Robyn and Dedan for 2018, bring it on!!!

Kay M.
New Zealand

My safari with Robyn and her excellent driver, Dedan, was an experience that will be with me always. Their care and consideration in all things was appreciated and all went smoothly without mishap.It was all about the animals for me and I can say I’ve now seen them all – the Big 5 at least three times over.Robyn should have two new Kenyan names translated as “Eagle Eyes” and “Leopard Lady” – remarkable spotting skills, also shared with Dedan.The last 15 days has indeed been a magical mystery tour of vast proportions – Asante sana Robyn and Dedan.

Sue K.
New Zealand

Hard to imagine not hopping in the jungle machine, with the roof up and the intense expectation of what we will see today!

We have loved Robyn's cleverly thought-out, personalized itinerary of different terrains and habitats, maximising the different and varied wildlife.
Thanks to Dedan's expert spotting and tracking skills, we have been able to explore off the beaten track and experience the true Africa. It's been a very different experience from when we drove ourselves in a Ford Escort 39 years ago.

The choice and variety of accommodation from thatched lodges and tented camps to upmarket game lodges has truly enhanced our experience. Kenya and Tanzania have been a gourmet delight with an abundance of fresh food being served everywhere.

Immense thanks to Robyn and Dedan for allowing me to fulfill a 55 year old dream of exploring the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. The whole trip has been a once in a lifetime experience and in a heart beat, we would be back in the jungle machine for more adventures.

Asante sana.

Pip and Paul F.
New Zealand

It started with a life long dream to visit and experience beautiful Kenya – inspired by images of clouds of flamingos, golden savannah’s, mighty cats (lion’s, leopards, and cheetahs), and then my nephew’s school project highlighting the plight of Rhino’s.

Daunted by the prospect of who to go with, for how long, where and when - and hindered by my own perceptions of safety and the unknown, connecting with Robyn made it so easy.

We (long-time BFF, Andy and I) discovered we didn’t have to fit a prescriptive tour model, that what you get with this team is a personalized/tailored (and surprisingly affordable) safari experience, showcasing all the magic Kenya has to offer – and it’s a lot!

The partnership between Robyn and Dedan Ndungu (Craters of Africa Safaris), brings together a rare combination of exceptional skills creating THE most incredible mind-blowing and life changing experiences.

Robyn with a wealth of skilled photography experience – who is happy to assist and share her knowledge, along with great tracking and spotting skills, a depth of knowledge about the wildlife, and respected relationships and connections across the region. Dedan compliments this with a lifetime of knowledge of this magical land and all it has to offer. Knowing every trail, nook and cranny – with a determined resolve to ensure that you get to experience every last piece of it! Combine this with an extensive knowledge of birds, wildlife, a sharp spotting "eye", great anticipation and driving skills, was able to connect us to many exciting, breathtaking encounters – we didn’t want it to end!

But that’s not all!!!!! – It’s about the knowledge, experience and anticipation that puts visitors into the heart of the action (some of my photo’s are simply amazing). It’s about the relationships both parties have established in the region and the respect they gained through their work. It’s about the exceptional organizational skills that make it happen (e.g. we got to spend time with last Northern White Rhino on earth – and not shared with a bus load of tourists – one on one, up close and personal time!). It’s about the flexibility to choose where to spend your time – eg hangin’ with the Eli’s in the dust for an hour or out with a Cheetah mum and her cubs. It’s not about rushing off and missing something special. The guidance and their patience meant maximum value – every day.

So happy to have put my trust in this teams (very capable) hands to experience Kenya. I appreciate immensely their care throughout every part of our experience, keeping us safe and making each day special, exciting and fun. I know you don’t get this standard on every Safari (we got to experience that too). It’s a special formula and we know how lucky we were to experience it with them. We arrived as guests and after three action packed weeks, departed as friends - Asante Sana Sana!

Kenya, you have touched my heart - I will be back!

Sandy H.
New Zealand