When preparing to travel, it’s only natural to have certain expectations and even some hesitations about discovering an unfamiliar part of the big, beautiful world. Ker & Downey guests often find that preconceived notions are turned on their heads, as did Brigitte B. and Mike F. of New Jersey, who share a surprising first trip to Africa.

When was your trip?

September 2012

Where did you Go?

Mount Kenya in Kenya and Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Carter and the Serengeti.

Who did you travel with?

Just the two of us.

First Trip to Africa - First Time Safari - Ker & Downey Luxury Travel-Sirikoi

Where was your favorite place to stay?

We had an amazing trip and loved all the places we stayed, but Sirikoi Lodge in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy definitely stands out. It was a relaxed environment and the conservation efforts impressed us so much that we decided to become supporters of the Conservancy after we got home. The food at Singita Faru Faru Lodge was mind-blowing – on the way home we joked that we would have gone there even if it was only a restaurant! We spent our afternoons on the deck with big platters of a little sample of everything from the kitchen. Between that and the game drives, we never even got to try out the pool that we swooned over in photos.

First Trip to Africa - First Time Safari - Ker & Downey Luxury Travel-Singita

What was the best part of your trip?

At Sirikoi we were taken on a private “walk” that turned into a pretty serious uphill hike. It was worth it – we ended up in a very secluded area with amazing mountain waterfalls falling into a pond. We were able to hang out there for a long time and swim. It was a special experience.

First Trip to Africa - First Time Safari - Ker & Downey Luxury Travel-Kenya

What most surprised you on your journey?

The most surprising thing was the infrastructure and how organized everything was at the airports, even in hectic circumstances. At the Kilimanjaro airport we had a quick connection to make, but due to the arrival of the Tanzanian president and all the fanfare related to that, we were severely delayed. The ground crew found us and literally hand-delivered us to our next flight. That would never happen in the States – you would miss your flight and that would be that. We got the same treatment for every flight throughout the trip. It was surprisingly efficient.

First Trip to Africa - First Time Safari - Ker & Downey Luxury Travel-Giraffe

What lasting impression did you leave with?

It was Mike’s first trip to Africa, and he was nervous about many things: safety, organization, and the idea of “roughing it” in the wild. We quickly learned that “roughing it” with Ker & Downey is a joke! We were both completely astounded. Mike really fell in love with Africa and by day two on safari he was already planning our return trip. There is a saying, “Once you have a grain of sand in your shoe, you will always go back.” This will be true for us again and again with Africa. We were so happy to have shared the experience together.

First Trip to Africa - First Time Safari - Ker & Downey Luxury Travel-Africa

Planning your first trip to Africa?

Our experts have curated a variety of resources to make planning for your first trip to Africa less stressful. Get started by checking out our safari packing lists for men and women.

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Traveled with Ker & Downey? We would love to learn about how your Ker & Downey trip changed you. Contact your designer to share your story with us and perhaps be featured in a future post.