Nairobi, Giraffe Manor, Safari Masai Mara, Diani Beach Coast
Today we’re recapping an incredible trip to Kenya, my honeymoon actually to be exact, during a global pandemic. If there was one wedding-related thing I was not willing to let go of, and not sacrifice on – it was the honeymoon (how very on par with my personality, travel, duh). Our wedding was completely changed 3 times and cut down to a mere fraction of the original guest list. But I stood firm on the honeymoon. I am going to Africa in 2020! Wow, did I make the right choice.
The world is your oyster!
This place is a blast, it’s gorgeous and sprawled out over large grounds for walking around. It’s located right in Karen too so there is lots to do nearby. Such as the Karen-Blixen Museum, the Kazuri Bead Factory, plenty of adorable coffee shops, bars and restaurants as well if you are up for venturing off the hotel grounds.
The hotel itself has a pool and great outdoor area to lounge about. They have a bar upstairs with excellent cocktails and a few food options. We did not venture off of the property to get any of our meals mainly due to the Covid restrictions, but we did do a few musts in nearby Karen mentioned above. Fun fact that the TV does indeed come out of the orange chest. The rooms are large, huge bathrooms and closets as well – very nicely decorated!
We then hopped on one of the tiny safari planes to head out to the Masai Mara. We were one of the last stops and the plane does land and take off a handful of times at different airstrips, dropping off a few people each time. Our guide, Wilson, met us and we headed to Cottar’s 1920s Camp. This was about a 3 hour journey in the safari vehicle, we saw SO many animals right away. Lions, giraffes, elephants and more were everywhere, it was truly an incredible welcome. Not to mention, the entire Masai Mara was pretty empty with it being October 2020 and very few people were prepared to travel again. I discuss logistics around Covid testing and all in a different article (link here). This one is simply for fun and inspiration. Cottar’s is a stunning 100 year old safari camp. It lives up to the hype, you feel like you have stepped back into a different time, a time much more simple than our connected world today.
At Cottar’s we did early morning game drives (5AM usually was wake up call) and you were greeted with coffee and cookies. You would go out and enjoy a few hours driving around looking for animals.
We also had an opportunity to take E-Bikes throughout the Masai Mara. I did a run with the Masai Warriors, though I could hardly keep up. We ventured to a beautiful rocky waterway scenic area, unexpected in the Mara. We technically crossed over into Tanzania. We enjoyed seriously incredible drinks and food. They have a garden right on premise where they grow lots of fresh fruit and vegetables to use in their meals. I swear one of the best desserts I have ever had was here too, but I am blanking on what it was….. I just remember raving about it.
You can dine with others at the camp too and get to know some new people. We even got to experience their signature bush baths. Sipping champagne, watching the sunset, all while soaking in a canvas bath right outside your tent. They have a beautiful pool as well for the warmer days, we had lunch by it and took a quick dip – but it was a bit chilly! All in all Cottar’s made my first safari experience truly magical!
A quick stopover back in Nairobi before we headed to the Kenyan Coast for the last leg of our honeymoon. Giraffe Manor did not disappoint. Before we even get to the Giraffes, the manor is so adorable. It is the perfect place to stay for 1 or 2 nights. It’s romantic, whimsical, nicely decorated and the staff is fantastic. We had some fun meals here as well out on their patio. The giraffes come out in the morning, around 6AM and wake you up by coming in through your windows and sticking their heads and necks in! They also come out once in the afternoon during your typical high tea time.
I won’t downplay this, it is an influencer/instagramers dream place. The staff will take your picture, not just once but many, many times. But let’s be honest, you want pics of you and the giraffe so who cares?! It was really a fun time. My husband even got in on the fun with lots of photoshoots.
After our quick stay here we hopped a flight over to Diani Beach.
Elewana property, Afro Chic
This property was bright and yellow and we were greeted with champagne upon arrival. It was definitely a highlight of our trip getting to really just relax at this lovely little resort. I hate to admit it but we did not do a single excursion here! We’re usually ones to boat, or venture around but since we had been moving around quite a bit we were ready to just chill. The beach cabanas were great and it was very quiet overall in this beach resort town. This was it for our Kenyan Honeymoon! We had the best time and would not change any part of it! Until next time, Kenya!