November 27, 2012
I need an East African fix at least once every year, and so a month ago I packed my safari kit and spent ten days driving around some of my favourite places in Kenya.
I chose Kenya because I like to support a country that offers so much fun and variety: besides enjoying awesome game-viewing you can gasp at the jaw-dropping scenery, ride on a horse or a camel, walk out with warriors, raft on a tube down a river, get away from the world and then flop on a serene beach – and always staying in places where they have a seemingly innate ability to give you a really good time.
El Karama, Kenya
El Karama is a family-owned game ranch only 40 minutes’ drive from Nanyuki in northern Kenya
This is a perfect place for families because children can see how a real ranch works alongside a game conservancy programme. Joseph, a gentle giant of a Samburu who has been on the ranch for 20 years, is the expert guide. The 5 cottages and tented rooms are well spaced along a river and remind me of the accommodation that used to be the norm 10 years ago.
The lodge is below the publicity radar, is located in beautiful scenery with Mount Kenya as a backdrop and, at a price of about £200 per person per night all in, is very good value. Link it with a mobile camel supported safari and perhaps the Masai Mara for guaranteed game sightings.
Olerai is another property perfect for families or a group of friends.
It is on Tiwi beach south of Mombasa. It boasts one of the best pools I have seen in Kenya; a mature sweep of garden leads down to the beach, and the staff who cook and look after you are delightful.
If you take it on a self-catering basis it is inexpensive, and the staff do most of the shopping anyway. Much of what you need can be delivered to your door, whether it is fresh fish or local fruit and veg. The house, which sleeps up to 10, is comfortable and has lots of bathrooms. Atmospheric dinners in the local bat caves are included?. Another house next door can be added for even larger numbers. If you want a day out with some young Kenyan water sports fanatics then I can fix that for you too.
If you fancy a walk to Macchu Picchu, an iconic destination in South America, but not with everyone else, then we can arrange an upmarket walking trail with top guides, local interaction and accommodation in authentic, small lodges.
After acclimatising yourself in Cuzco to the high altitudes you can walk through 9 different biospheres and marvel at the beauty of the Salkantay Peak and Humantay Glacier Lake.
The trip takes 7 days, and you can walk it or ride it. At the end of each day you stay in really comfy places and can sip a cocktail in a hot tub commanding amazing views of the Andes. April to October is generally the best time to go.
NB prices shown were current at the time of writing the newsletter and are not necessarily current now.
Please ask for an updated quote.
- Newsflash: first American guests to Tanzania since March 2020
- A Sense of Place – AFRICA NEEDS YOU
- Escape to Italy?
- Covid: the road still to be travelled.
- A trio of treats. Series of 3 (Part 3): Tiger reserves.
- A trio of treats. Series of 3 (Part 2): Khajuraho.
- A trio of treats. Series of 3 (Part 1): Lucknow.
- A Sense of Place – Engaged people may save the planet
- A word on lions and a trio of treats
- A Sense of Place – India’s most holy city
- A wealth of wilderness walks in Namibia
- Travel snippets from Miles
- A trio of treats on the green island of Pemba in the Zanzibar archipelago
- A Sense of Place – THE INSIDE TRACK on Cape Town guiding
- A Sense of Place – Migrations of people and beasts: East Africa
- A Sense of Place – An era of revolution and global alliances
- A Sense of Place – A walk on the wild side
- A Sense of Place – The ghost ingredient is back
- A Sense of Place – Liuwa Plains and Kafue National Parks – Zambia
- A Sense of Place – Literati in the Pink City, the Capital of Rajasthan
- A Sense of Place – A Tamil town still connected to Europe, Art Deco architecture, and temple antiquity in Southern India.
- A Sense of Place – Dreamy aquamarine sea and stunning safari with the Makuleke people
- A Sense of Place – A trio of lovely ladies in Hyderabad
- A Sense of Place – Entamanu, the wishing tree and walking with the Hadza tribe.
- We get you to places that others don’t… St Helena, Gt Zimbabwe ruins and Papua new Guinea
- A Sense of Place – Walking in the hippie hills of the Himalayas
- A Sense of Place – The Okavango: the river that never finds the sea
- A Sense of Place – The Great Rift Valley, Laikipia, Samburu warriors and Maasai Olympics.
- A Sense of Place – Escape the world in the Namib Desert
- Africa is a massive continent: a collection of 55 countries
- A Sense of Place – Zambezi Watery Wilderness
- A Sense of Place – Burma: the road beyond Mandalay
- Lake Malawi – Would you rather pay for the advertising or the experience?
- From shoe-shine boy to tourist guide in Ethiopia
- A Sense of Place – Ladakh, the Himalayas
- Dhow sailing, Lions are back in Malawi, Self-drive in Namibia
- Sacred rivers and forts, India
- Piranhas, sting rays, caimans – and still people go into the River Negro!
- Kerala, Southern India – God’s own country
- South Africa: Crucible of the rainbow nation
- Madagascar: croissants and lemurs
- Argentina vs Africa on wildlife drama
- Uganda – Gorillas and Gardens
- Mozambique & Kenya: immigration official on holiday
- Mozambique: Gorongosa and reconciliation in the bush
- Zimbabwe is ready for Tourists again
- Serengeti ecosystem and unbeatable savannah
- Lamu: crab complaining
- Kenya: circumcision
- Zambia: Ellie rescue
- Africans: always smiling
- French sketch
- Kenya: the best hosts
- First visit to Africa 1986
- Namibia, Namib Rand, Skeleton Coast and the ultimate flying safari
- A few gems off the beaten track: Fanjove Island, Tanzania; The Singular Hotel, Patagonia and Isla Palenque, Panama.
- Elephant relocation, quad bike expedition and new Sossusvlei reserve
- Templed out in Tamil Nadu and elephant refuge in Jaipur
- Kenyan sanctuary and family run camp in Zambia
- Australia: Arkaba, Tasmania and Lord Howe Island
- Australia: in the outback and off the beaten track
- India: heavenly Himalayan hideaways, Botswana: fun safari for children and Argentina: hidden homestay in a mountain desert
- Limpopo retreat, Serengeti spectacle and adventure on the Zambezi
- Value for money in Kenya and the trail less travelled in Peru
- Lions in danger, free nights and a new coastal gem
- G and T on demand, hidden beach, micro-light and sleeping on a dam
- Off the beaten track