TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST KENYA TOURS:
Ollie Griffin Hastings on Hudson, NY - "The trip to Africa was amazing! Each venue had something different to offer. I was astounded at the number of animals we were able to see. Our room accommodations were excellent, and I thought the tent sites were unique. The food was delicious. The staff throughout the trip were friendly and courteous. The Masai Mara was mind boggling! As you can tell, I loved everything!"
David Rattigan Lesmurdie, AU - "The Africa Expedition was eagerly anticipated, so much so that I had probably created an impossibly high expectation. To visit Kenya had always been a wish of mine since first meeting Karen in 1979."
Ruth Stowe, Gillette, WY - "The African Expedition was a once in a lifetime trip. The accommodations were great! Just what one would expect on a safari in Africa. In fact the tents were nicer than any I had ever slept in before. The buffet meals offered a lot of choices in foods - some Kenyan some not."
Heidi Moles, Davenport, FL - "It was a great trip, We didn't have any problems and all the people we met were so friendly."
Michaele Cooke, Groton, CT - "I almost don't know where to begin. It was a life changing experience for me. I have always wanted to go to Africa and the experience of this trip was far beyond my wildest expectations. The safari rides were incredible. We saw every animal I have always dreamed of and closer than I could have imagined. Our driver, Gilbert, had in depth knowledge of the animals and the terrain, as well as the history of Africa - its land, its people and its animals. I learned so much. Our twice a day safari events, our side trips to various local craft centers and wildlife preserves were really interesting and something I will always remember - especially our visit to a Masai village. Our stays at each of the tented camps and hotels could not have been more luxurious or comfortable. The food was really fabulous and all their employees made us feel at home. I honestly don't know how the trip could have been better. Even our transportation to Africa was so well organized that all my anxiety vanished. I would recommend this trip to anyone. It opened my eyes to another world outside of my own little comfort zone and for that I will always be grateful."
Sharon Gordon, Bloomington, IL - "The African Expedition was such a wonderful trip. The tour was well done. I loved the smaller size of the group - we all got to know each other while traveling and eating together. The lodging was excellent, the food was great, the local people were interesting and very kind to us. I've traveled with other groups, but this was by far the very best trip I've ever been on."
Elaine Y. Olvie, Chicopee, MA - "All the things we saw and places we went to were magical! Going at this time of year, their spring, we were able to see all the baby animals with their moms."
Lola Nordstrom, Battleground, WA - "The African Expedition trip was beyond anything I could have imagined. I was on a total high from start to finish. We went on numerous safari drives and saw amazing animals. It was fun to meet new people with the same interests. Couldn't of been any better than it was."
Janis Giles, Tewksbury, MA - "This was the trip of a lifetime, and I wish everyone could go. Everything was organized and first-class. I made some great new friends and had experiences I will treasure for a lifetime. Having the opportunity to go to Kenya was an incredible blessing."
Marny and Tony Howe, Kalamunda, AU - "We had a wonderful time would do it all over again."
Linda Parker, Longview, WA - "The trip to Africa was fabulous. In addition to seeing so many heavenly creatures, we were moved by the hard working factory workers. It was very special to have the bead artists, break into song and dance for us. I never dreamed I would come away with very special friends. We are already working on another visit."
Pam Smith, Martinez, California - "It was wonderful!!! The accommodations were first class and the planning was excellent. The people involved were wonderful, drivers and guides. The leaders, Pam and Keith, handled all the issues that came up and kept the tour rolling forward."
Janet BIgelow, Tacoma, Washington - "I have always wanted to go to Africa, and at last was able to go, and mark it off my bucket list. This trip was all one could wish for, great leaders, guides, knowledgeable, down to earth, and all the good stuff."
Jeff Todoroff, Arcata, California - "Lodging was the best, and the game was quite cooperative. Food was excellent and abundant. The Masai Mara is a stunningly beautiful place; the balloon trip was magical."
Melvina White, Hercules, California - "I had a wonderful time. The game drives were lots of fun, looking for different animals. I enjoyed seeing the beautiful land all around us, beautiful sunsets and sunrises."
Lynne Todoroff, Brookings, South Dakota - "Working with Craftours was easy, very helpful, answered concerns, and well organized. The Africa Expedition was a little late in the high season but animals plentiful. We lucked out with the weather until our last day. I would consider another Craftour and recommend the Africa Expedition"
Karen Kelley, LaPlata, Maryland - "It was wonderful! Pam and Keith made it so special, and easy. I have never taken a trip like that before and will remember it always."
Elizabeth Edwards, Edwardsville, Illinois - "Tour guides, drivers and accommodations were exceptional."
Sherry Turpenoff, Glen Carbon, Illinois - "Duncan and your company turned the rest of it into a trip of a lifetime! Duncan took care of our every need. The 2 vans for 6 gave us wonderful photo opportunities. Adayo and Joseph were the BEST safari guides you could ever have. We saw the big 5, the Samburu 5, 2 leopards, 2 cheetahs, 2 lionesses with young Cubs, one male guarding a huge carcass etc. I have the photos of a lifetime and equally wonderful memories of the vial age we visited, the fabulous places we stayed and especially Duncan and guides!!"
Larry Gene Beach, San Antonio, TX - "This was the best vacation I have taken. The beauty and serenity of Sweet Water was amazing. The animals seemed to be totally at ease with all the photos of them. They actually were posing for some of them. The guide we had (Dominic) was a great part of the trip. He was totally knowledgeable and also fun. He made each game drive enjoyable. Overall truly inspiring vacation."
Mary Ann Hayre, Santa Rosa, CA - "Wonderful trip, although is there a possibility of more crafts. Safari much better than I envisioned."
Marie Novak, Edinboro, PA - "Our adventure started with the cancellation of one flight due to weather. We managed to get to JFK, but not in time for our connecting flight. I called the office, panicked. They made arrangements for us to get a different flight, different airline than the one scheduled. We made it Nairobi an hour earlier than the originally scheduled flight. And then, once in Kenya, the trip got better with each stop we made! We shopped for fabric in Nairobi, and I packed my suitcase full! We traveled to see the elephant orphanage, then to the giraffe center where I got to kiss a giraffe! We got to the camp, and the animal sightings were amazing! Every excursion built on the previous. The safari was amazing! Our guide was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions. We ended the last drive by spotting the elusive leopard!"
Jo Barnes, Cambridge, New Zealand - "A very interesting tour."
Louise Toler, Forestdale, MA - "A fabulous experience!"
Melody Hicks, Lake Mary, FL - "I have traveled to many places over the years, but this trip was by far the most exciting one I have taken to date. Very well organized and the accommodations were top notch!"
Monica Orlofski, Forney, TX - "Absolutely the best vacation ever. I would definitely go again and will book all of my trips with craftours."
Lisa Boggs, Dallas, TX - "Life changing trip of a lifetime ;)"
Lani Nagy, Willits, CA - "The trip to Kenya was my 3rd trip with craft tours. It was wonderful. The accommodations were excellent. The tents at Sweetwaters camp were very comfortable. The highlights of the trip for me were the Kazuri Bead factory, The spinners and Weavers, visiting the school and giving toys to the children, and of course the game rides. It was truly a trip of a lifetime."
Susan Pollesel, Ukiah, CA - "Tears flow as I struggle to find the right words to describe this incredible gift of a lifetime. It really all began with our gracious leader Jim West....He had the vision and did the planning and we all were lucky enough to tag along!! I’ll never forget the sweetness and innocence of the people Kenya as they extended their hands in friendship and hospitality to all of us. The food was gourmet quality, the accommodations were 5 star. Really, who experience something of this magnitude? Multiple game drives, animals at the waterhole right outside your tent, amazing crafts, precious wide eyed children, and being french kissed by a giraffe. No, words cannot do justice to this tour. .... you have to be there to feel the love."
Lorraine Brown, Plainwell, MI - "THIS WAS THE BEST TRIP EVER! I never expected to get to Africa until Jim West told me about the trip! I could never plan such an experience on my own! Saw 4 of the 5 big animals and our safari driver, Daniel, was the best!"
Roberta Allen, Oceanside, CA - "The trip was an incredible! From the moment we entered Sweetwater Tent Camp and saw the animals at the watering hole to the left, I knew we were in for a wonderful experience. When we got to our room and there was a rhino directly opposite of us, approximately 20 feet away??? Oh no, I KNEW this was going to be an unforgettable experience. The twice daily game drives afforded us the opportunity to see a variety of animals, in their own environment. I would highly recommend this Journey with Jim...don’t even think about it...just book it!"
Yael Hellman, Beverly Hills, CA - "This trip, in one word, was AMAZING. As I said in one of our groups, this was a dream I never knew I had, until I got to Kenya. Aside from great travelling partners in the group, and the excellent accommodations, going on safari and seeing the animals was like being in our own National Geographic special. The sight of extinct animals and the sadness and outrage about hearing about poachers gave me a new cause in life. The tranquility and camaraderie gave me a new perspective in life. Overall this true Journey with Jim transformed ME!"
Jolette Olig, Fargo, ND - "This was my first tour of this kind. For the price paid, I did not expect as many wonderful experiences and the top notch accommodations that we received. Many of my fellow travelers had been on previous trips with Craftours and gave great testimony to their other experiences."
Suzanne Leimer, Moultrie, GA - "Jam packed itinerary at a great price. Many wonderful memories I will never forget."
Kathie Vaughn, Carmichael, CA - "Kenya was a magical experience from our excellent safari driver and wonderful safari experiences to superb accommodations at Sweetwater."
Carol Carter, Marshfield, WI - "Indeed, this was a wonderful trip. Even more than was expected. The outings to see the animals were always exciting and the local guide seemed to always know where to go to see yet another animal. I liked that we had many outings. The spinning and weaving and then the beading place were heartwarming to see. I loved their artwork. Visiting the school was special. The kids were adorable. I’m glad Jim is helping them out and was glad to contribute.
Shelly Stilger, Bel Aire, KS - "Kenya is a wonderful destination. I found it to be beautiful, friendly, and welcoming. Our Craftours group was a fun bunch of fellow travelers, and our Kenyan guides were absolutely stellar."
Susan Server, Los Gatos, CA - "This trip was amazing and exceeded all my expectations. I wish I could have stayed longer. Thank you, Jim, for a memorable experience."
Siri Carter, Marshfield, WI - "Amazing experience! I would recommend to anyone!"
Diane Herrington, Dripping Springs, TX - "One of my favorite trips ever!"
Katherine Chevalier, Foothill Ranch, CA - "I loved my trip, it met and exceeded my expectations! I’m glad I upgraded my room at Sweetwaters, it was well worth it! I loved the paper bead class, the painting class. I loved having Pam Holland there as a guide, this is the second tour I’ve taken with her!"
Laura Payne, Dripping Springs, TX - "This was the trip of a lifetime!! Every detail was taken care of and we were free to just soak in the culture and enjoy the experiences that were arranged for us! Highly recommend Craftours!"
Andrea Gormley, San Francisco, CA - "The Kenya Arts & Crafts Expedition trip was a terrific combination of city tours/drives, shopping, craft presentations & participation, Safari drives to learn about & view amazing animals, and relaxation at our accommodations. It was a nice mix of activities, down time, and wildlife."
Rosemary Dawes, Bedford, TX - “The trip was great. Everyone expects to see animals in Kenya, and we saw every kind. But what stood out for me was the visit to the bead factory. The jewelry was great but the opportunity to help support this project was really rewarding.”
Jan Sennett, Pickerington, OH - “This tour was an amazing experience. Kenya is a beautiful country.”
Tanya Marandola, Willington, DE - “I had an excellent time on my Quiltville in Kenya trip. It was a jam-packed itinerary. The hotels and customer service were excellent. I felt safe the entire time I was there. My only very small criticism would have been for just a little more free time. It would have been nice to utilize the pools or spa services offered at the hotels.”
Marc Oldham, Indianapolis, IN - “Amazing experience. Everything was handled well and professionally. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip.”
Holly Mineau, Tupper Lake, NY - “This was a bucket list trip for me, and it was everything I had hoped for and more. The accommodations were great, and we saw more than I anticipated.”
Melinda Armstrong, Monmouth, IL - “I have always wanted to see Africa, especially the animals since I was small. But as a quilter to get to experience the animals with Bonnie Hunter took it to a whole new level. I signed up two years ahead of departure and was filled with excitement the whole two years. I didn't know which would be more exciting seeing Africa or meeting Bonnie and getting to know her. Bonnie was great and I will add her to my list of friends. She is a funny lighthearted person who is very compassionate. We had many laughs together. Africa did not disappoint either. As much as I loved loved loved the animals, it was the people and their spirit that I fell in love with. I came home and that's all I can talk about is the people. They have touched a part of me that the animals could not. I feel very fortunate at this point in my life to have had the opportunity to visit Africa. I will return again someday, I am sure.”
Joyce Swift, Omaha, NE - “This was like a dream I never thought would come true. Kind people, beautiful scenery, fantastic animals. Samuel, our driver, was the best. Incredible driver and he knew where the animals were going to be and what they were going to do before they did it. I would do it all again tomorrow.”
Mary Slinko, Providence, RI - “This trip was a wonderful experience.”
Paula Logan, Burlington, IA - “It far exceeded all my expectations. Bonnie is a talented and genuine person.”
Kathie Chapman, Everett, WA - “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that was just fabulous. I'm so glad that I signed up and went. Still trying to process all that I saw and did - many memories for years to come.”
Melody Cox, Raytown, MO - “It was a great trip! Even better than I imagined!”
Susan Kesler Simpson, Danville, PA - “OMG...this was the best trip ever. the sights, sounds and smells, yes smells! It was more than we ever thought it could be. The accommodations at Sweetwater are so fun and different. Everything was just wonderful...so wonderful that we plan to go again!!!”
Pamela Dugas, Wellington, OH - “It was AMAZING....Our tour guide, Alice was fantastic and our Kenyan guide Joyce was so informative and helpful. Our Safari driver Gidden, was outstanding. They all made this trip more than what I was expecting.”
Carol Budzeika, La Habra, CA - “This was the trip of a lifetime.”
Allison Vaccaro, Oklahoma City, OK - “Great intro to Africa & the wonders of a safari.”
Diane Hyde, La Habra, CA - “I was like a fairy tale. I saw things that I had only seen through someone else's eyes!”
JoAnne Palmer, South Hadley, MA - “The tour was so well planned to give us the maximum enjoyment and experiences in every place we visited!”
Yehuda Schwarts, Reistertown, MD - “We had a wonderful time. It was an amazing experience.”
Dianne Klimek, Addison, IL - “I was impressed with the entire trip. The people, events and lodging.”
Nancy Vykouk, Lebanon, TN - “This safari in Africa was a dream come true! Life changing…absolutely! We’ve been home now almost a week and I look at my pictures daily! It’s a trip of a lifetime!”
Ric & Regina Smith, Boise, ID - “Amazing trip! Truly surpassed our expectations. Craftours put together an amazing agenda - allowing us to have so many experiences in beautiful Kenya! From the beginning, Nairobi did not disappoint. The Elephant Sanctuary (where we adopted our very own elephant -"Suguroi") to kissing the Giraffes - to visiting the Kazuri Bead Factory and the beautiful home of Karen Blixen (out of Africa). Then it was on to the Sweetwater Camp for several incredible safaris. So cool to see all the animals in their natural habitat. I would be remiss in not mentioning the guides...Eddie & Joyce were fabulous...and our camp guide Daniel was superb! A trip with Jim was the icing on the cake:-) He made this trip feel extra special and went above and beyond in making sure the entire group was having the best trip ever.... This trip was truly life changing! Thank you Craftours!!!”
Marilyn Doerr, Angola, IN - “This was a once in my lifetime trip! The accommodations were far above anything I have ever experienced. Sweetwaters camp was fantastic! Our safari drivers were experts at spotting animals. It was the best and most exciting trip I’ve ever taken. Jim made this trip amazing with their every attention to details. The Bush dinner and dancers were excellent! Everything was exceptional! Thank you for providing this experience!”
Larry and Rose Antosz, Coventry, CT - “The Kenya Safari tour was a trip of a lifetime for us.”
Karen Oertel, New Port Richey, FL - “The trip was far beyond my expectations. It was very enlightening about the people of Kenya and how happy they are. The safaris were amazing! Everyone on the trip got along so well.”
Pat Browning, Bancroft, NE - “As a grandmother/grandson travel team, we were both very satisfied with this tour. From the 13-year-old, "it was a good trip!"”
Nancy Nelson-Kremer, Brandon, SD - “Seeing the conservation district where the animals are at large and roam at will was amazing.”
Teresa Taylor, Signal Mountain, TN - “The tour was more than expected. It was a once in a lifetime experience. While at the Ol Pejeta Conservatory, I sat on the patio of my tent and watched elephants, zebras, Cape buffalo and many more animals slowly amble by to go to and from the watering hole. One night we even saw baboons scurrying away in the campgrounds. I watched lions eating their catches. (Missed the catching, though. 🤷🏼♀️) I was literally yards from two massive adult lions as they made their way determinedly through the bush. We got a bit too close for comfort to a bull elephant. We were stared down by enormous Cape buffalo bulls. This is stuff out of a National Geographic adventure show and I LIVED IT!! My photos attest to that. Whenever I look at them I am still shocked that I took them. (I have no photography skills or experience. Jim said point and keep clicking, you're bound to get a good shot. He's so right!)”
Nancy Ruth, Henderson, NV - “This was the best group trip I have ever been on! Everything was well paced and coordinated. I felt safe everywhere we went and loved the activities that were a part of the trip.”
Jenny Doan, Hamilton, MO - “Everything was amazing from the lodging to the activities.”
Barb Khaja, Kalamazoo, MI - “Words can’t express how wonderful this tour was. After a long day of travel we eased into our activities with a day near Nairobi in the Karen area. The artist coop is wonderful, we bought some of our best (in our opinion) items there. The baby elephants were not only fun to see and photograph. Karen Blixen's home/museum was very interesting too. A great night’s sleep was had by all. The next morning we left for Sweetwaters. Sweetwaters was outstanding. The facilities were great, the waterhole brought so many different animals and they were RIGHT THERE!!! Maybe 15 yards from the sidewalks on our side of the ditch and electric fence!! We watched the waterhole from the dining room windows while eating. We sat outside our tent and saw animals during the day and bedded down at night. The tent? This is not your backyard camping. It’s a hotel room with canvas walls. We upgraded and honestly our glass door “tent” was luxurious and worth the price. I mean, who has a chandelier light in their tent? Plenty of hot water for your shower. Hot water bottles at night (it was June and they were greatly appreciated as it gets cold/crisp at night). Heck they were still warm when we woke for our dawn game drive. The staff were attentive and great. Everyone was concerned that you have a fantastic experience and they do all they can to ensure that happens. In addition to an outstanding buffet a chef cooks to order not only egg dishes at breakfast but also stir fries or sometimes pasta dishes at lunch and dinner. There were always many choices for desserts along with fresh fruit if you prefer. The game drives were amazing. This is a vast conservancy with a great variation in landscape/vegetation which means diversity in the animals that reside here. We understand that these are wild animals and luck may be against us regarding the visibility of animals. But gosh we were lucky! Such a variety of animals and babies were all around. Craftours uses the same drivers for years and it’s easy to understand. They were excellent at locating special sights and getting us to those. Don’t miss any of the added activities, especially the night drive. It was exciting and a bit different to see the animals at night vs. the day. After the days at Sweetwaters we returned to Nairobi. From there to Lake Naivasha for a boat excursion to see birds and hippos. Then a walk around some other animals. Great photo opportunities here. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Very interesting, and rounds out your animal sighting variety. Recommendations? Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a coat for the early morning drive (in June, yes we needed them). A camera with a good lens. Now we were amazed at the photos that we took on an iPhone 13 pro. The zoom was really good, the photos gorgeous and the night photos were outstanding. We didn’t expect them to be very good as it is dark and there was only a spotlight to see the animals but they were amazing. I suspect we could have gotten by with just that phone but I'm glad I had a zoom camera. I used just a Nikon bridge camera that has a nice long zoom as I didn’t want the weight of a long zoom lens on a DSLR. That camera did everything I\’d hoped for. If you are getting a new camera or lens (in 2022 good luck) get it in time to practice with it to know the settings you want. While we thought this was a trip of a lifetime, we were wrong. We HAVE to go back. In fact, while still there, we began initial plans on returning with our (adult) children at some point. We’ve traveled internationally to many countries over the years but this is the only trip that we said we have to return.”
Karen Miller, Akron, OH - “The Kenya Safari Expedition was wonderful. We were busy from sun-up to sun-down. The people at all the facilities were pleasant and helpful to make the experience very enjoyable. The safaris were always exciting, just waiting to see what wonderful animals we were going to see each time and how close we could get!”
Laurel Nelson, New Berlin, WI - “This tour exceeded my expectations. It was well planned and orchestrated, giving us opportunities to interact with local artisans, wildlife experts, a school principal and her students. Having gone on a wide variety of safaris in southern Africa, I would hands down say Craftours was the best I've experienced.”