SYB Kenya: Reasons why this trip changed my life



My name is Steph Currie, and I'm the COO at SYB. I just returned home from my 18th trip in March. I've circled the globe and back (a few times) with so many of you and I thought I would take some time to share my experience from the trip that truly changed my life: Kenya 2023. Iykyk.

Before I get started -- all photos from my trip are at the bottom, for those of you who are scrollers and not readers ;)

I landed in Nairobi on my birthday – talk about a wild coincidence! I never expected to spend my special day alone, on a plane to Kenya, but honestly, it turned out to be the relaxing day I needed before a huge adventure. After landing, I was greeted with a sign at the airport, held by the amazing and famous SYB tour guide, Kaka. If you've been on an SYB Kenya trip, you know and love this man.

Kaka, SYB Tour Guide

Kaka greeted me with flowers and chocolate for my birthday. I was emotional, as I usually am on my birthday, and I think I shed a few tears in the parking lot as he loaded my bags into the jeep. We made our way to the hotel where I met some other SYB guests who had also arrived early. 

The first meeting on an SYB trip is always fun and funny. The energy can be a bit awkward for about 10 seconds – big hug, where are you from, how many trips have you done – there's almost an unspoken protocol. Fast forward two days from that exact moment, and we're all besties hugging and drinking wine on a glorious patio in Kenya. Anyways, meeting everyone is always special. I always say: one of my fave parts of SYB is the first day; the strangers coming together of the group.

We slowly collected people throughout the day, and everyone arrived at our hotel just in time for our welcome dinner and cocktails. We did some usual ice breakers, had some wine (our Kenya trip is boujee vibes), and went over the details of the trip for the week.

Day 1 in Nairobi! We set off on a local adventure to the elephant orphanage, where we literally played with baby elephants. They have so much personality and character. To stand on the sidelines with a new friend you met yesterday as a baby elephant runs up to you for a pat on the back – that's a moment that brings you together! 

After the elephants, we went to the giraffe center to feed some tall creatures. Warning: when you’re feeding a giraffe, prepare for a long and powerful tongue haha. 

For dinner/our final night in Nairobi, we went to a boujee hotel for a luxury three-course meal and drinks in the library bar overlooking the estate. Although we had only been together for two days, it felt like our group had known each other for... two weeks? Two months? Two years?

That's a wrap on Nairobi! The next leg of the tour is one of my favorites: Lake Naivasha. We're really "out here" at this gorgeous five-star lodge on the outskirts of a hippo-infested lake. Cue safety question: yes, it is completely safe to stay here. There are "escorts" for the property and fences that the hippos can't cross. But yes, you can see them grazing from your hotel room, haha.


Hippos are not the only animals that roam the property. A few girlfriends and I stayed for an extra bottle of wine at happy hour, and as we left the lodge to go back to our rooms, we were greeted with the TALLEST wild giraffe right outside the front door. It was eating leaves and completely unbothered. But we had no chill – it was one of the funniest/exhilarating/best moments of the trip.

Lake Naivasha is a perfect spot for adventure. We biked through the national park, boated through the hippo lake, and partied in the most glorious cozy safari lodge you could wish for. This is a place you will remember and think of often; pure stunning nature vibes.

Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for: the Animal Kingdom. The final stop on our tour of Kenya is the world-famous national park, the Masai Mara. Home to every single animal you wish to see on your safari. Our caravan of jeeps takes on the Masai Mara at dusk and dawn, and we have the best of the best guides to bring you up close to your favorite wild animals. This past year, we saw the Big Five. We also saw a kill, some mating animals, and more zebras than pigeons in NYC.

Seeing these wild animals up close, with your own eyes, in their natural habitats – the only way I can describe it is breathtaking. You can't prepare yourself for it! It brings out the inner child in us; if you grew up watching The Lion King, you will freak out on this trip. The jeeps you ride in, the conversations you have with your new friends, the local culture you witness and get to be a part of – this trip through Kenya is expansive, transformative, and a bucket list adventure.

Why did it change my life? On the last day of the trip, Mantas, who many of you know as our founder and CEO, showed up in the middle of the Masai Mara and proposed to me. We got engaged in the Animal Kingdom! Surrounded by friends, giraffes, and hopefully no lions hiding in the bush. It was an emotional and surprising end to one of the all-time best SYB trips. If you haven’t seen the dramatic video, I’ll link it for you below. TW: I was fake arrested hahaha. 

Anyways! This is my personal recount of the trip, and I'd love to share more details with you. If you are interested in going on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, let's chat! I'd love to hear from you.

Official Welcome Dinner! The week has only just begun! 

Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe tongue, Feeding a new friend, Hemingways Nairobi

Happy Hour at Hemingways, Table for 25, New Friends still in Touch Day, Pinch Me I'm in Kenya

Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge, Hippo Boat Day, Happy Campers, Animal Print Party

Exploring the Masai Mara

Best Day of my Life!

It was the final sunset on the last day of the trip, and out of no where, Mantas appeared! How lucky am I?! 


Anyone can join our Kenya Safari trips, we typically offer them in July during the Great Migration, see all our Kenya Trips Here

Find Steph Currie on Instagram Here.