After three days in Cape Town, two days at Londolozi, and four days in the Serengeti, we made our way to Kenya for the remaining four days of our honeymoon. The leg in today’s post was initially the part of our trip we were least excited about, as we were required to book two nights at Solio Lodge in order to be able to spend two nights at Giraffe Manor (clearly the star property of the hotel collection). We were dead set on ending our honeymoon at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, so we figured we would eat the cost of the two nights at Solio Lodge in order to end our trip in a hotel that was on both of our bucket lists. I’m not sure if this is the case year-round or if this rule goes into effect only at certain times, but I’m actually extremely grateful that it introduced us to a property that was not on our radar because we had the best time at Solio Lodge and it was different in several ways from our safaris in South Africa and Tanzania. Lots more below! xx
How we got there:
Three flights: from Serengeti/Serona (near the Four Seasons) to Kilimanjaro, from Kilimanjaro to Wilson in Nairobi, and from Wilson to the Solio airstrip just outside the ranch.
Where we stayed: Solio Lodge
Solio Lodge blew our expectations out of the water. I’m not sure why we weren’t looking forward to it as much (perhaps only because we’d heard rave reviews from family and friends about the other places we’d stayed) but the second we arrived we knew we were way off-base. The lodge sits on a private 45,000 acre (!) game reserve and is known for its population of rhinoceros. Now I’m much more of an elephant/lion person so I wasn’t on the edge of my seat about seeing so many rhinos — until we actually saw them (dozens of them) and our guide had us get out of the car to take pictures (which for sure would not have happened in South Africa or Tanzania!). We wound up having some of the best game drives of our entire honeymoon and would highly recommend the experience for anyone looking for a Kenyan safari!
Also I will say we had some of the best food of our trip here. The manager of the property is an incredible chef who’s lived all over the world and made several pasta dishes while we were there that we’re still talking about months later. We ate most of our meals outside with monkeys jumping from tree to tree around us… definitely a cool only-in-Africa experience.
After our three flights to get from the Serengeti to Solio, we quickly dropped off our bags and set off on our first game drive. I thought our guide was joking when he pulled up to a crash of rhinos and suggested getting out of the car and taking pictures because we’d done nothing of the sort on our first two safaris! Apparently there are two types of rhinos (black and white, even though they both appear gray) — the “white” rhinos have a wider lip and the Afrikaans word “weid” was mistaken for the word “white” hence the misnomer. In any event, black rhinos are considered more aggressive (and one actually came running towards our vehicle at Londolozi before we hightailed it out of there!) and white rhinos have a compromised sense of sight that makes it possible to get much closer to them — they were totally unfazed by our getting out of the car! We had the same opportunity the next day and it was no less spectacular the second time around.
Our second day at Solio Lodge started with another very fruitful game drive! We were able to get out of the car to take pictures with giraffes and it was truly one of the most spectacular moments of my life. We also saw a rhino nursing her baby and our guide spotted the lion in the tree from a seriously impressive distance (she was so well hidden, Will and I couldn’t see her until we were maybe twenty feet away!).
In the afternoon, we went on a horseback safari on a part of the ranch where they allow in animals like impalas and zebras but can keep out leopards and lions who might not get along so well with the horses. Neither Will nor I is a big horseback rider but it just seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we couldn’t pass up! It yielded some of the funniest memories of the trip and the views were incredible… the perfect way to cap off our short but sweet stay at Solio!
We did one last evening game drive and saw even more lions and rhinos. Even after 10+ game drives, seeing a new animal just never got old! And apparently I changed outfits three times on our last day haha — the white jeans got so dusty on the morning game drive, I knew I wanted to wear the jodhpurs for horseback riding, and obviously I needed to end the safari in my leather pants. 😉
I’ll be back tomorrow with part five of our honeymoon to recap our stay at Giraffe Manor… and I think it’s fair to say we saved the best for last!
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