This was my 9th visit to Island Camp over a period of 22 years. The prices have gone way up at this lodge, so I expected spectacular improvements since the last time I was there in 1997. It turns out that spectacular improvements are planned - even one new model luxury banda has been almost built - but clearly we paid the price now for the benefit of improvements to serve the visitors of the future, as they are over-charging the current visitors relative to what is being provided.
While we enjoyed our very restful three nights on this peaceful island in the arid north of Kenya, and took the boat rides to see the huge range of birds (one of the very best bird spotting places in the whole world) and the hippos, crocodiles, and the hot springs and geysers, there was no comparison to the well kept luxury tented camp of years gone by. The thatched roofs over the big safari tents and the dining room were years overdue for re-thatching and looked dilapidated, tents were tatty, and everywhere there were lots of bits and pieces in need of maintenance. The place is run down, and since the plan is now to replace all of the charming tented camps with luxury bandas, don't expect any repairs to the current tents.
By the way, whoever said that Island Camp wasn't good for kids is crazy - our young children and their friends (5 kids all under 11) adored the place - particularly the pool and the boat rides.
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