I'm delighted to have had huge interest in my guided safaris as part of my new ethical safari business, Matson & Ridley Safaris. My Okavango Delta safari for this year sold out in a month, the Namibian one planned for September 2015 has only 3 places left (so get in quick if you want to be on this one!) and I reckon it's time to let you know about another one I'll be guiding next year in July... to one of the most famous parts of Africa - Kenya!
Don't forget that if the dates of my guided safaris don't work for you, my company is a licenced travel agency so I also organise tailored safaris for families, couples and groups to pretty much anywhere in Africa. The difference when you book with me is that I try and only support safari operators who are doing the right thing for wildlife and local people, so that you know your hard earned tourism dollars are not only giving you the safari of a life time but are also making a difference on the ground. For tips on taking your family on safari in Africa, read my article on this in last month's Ex Pat Living magazine.
Ever since traveling to Kenya last year on the special safari with Asian TV star, Nadya Hutagalung, that led to the Let Elephants Be Elephants campaign, I've wanted to offer a similar safari to others. Why? Because Kenya is just so amazing!
For me the moment I realised I was in a very special part of Africa was when we landed in the light aircraft at Ol Donyo air strip, in the Chyulu Hills, and the roar of the plane's engine was replaced by a deep, ancient silence. I gazed across the swaying grasses of the vast plains of East Africa and I realised why Kenya has held such a magical appeal for people since time immemorial. It feels primitive, like you are going back in time, and I felt like I was 'home'... In a sense we are all 'home' there, because this is where we apparently advanced humans came from originally - the Great Rift Valley is the origin of species. The magnetism of this part of the world is not something I can explain well. It's a feeling you get when you're there. And it makes your skin tingle with goosebumps.
Of course, Kenya is famous for a whole lot of things, and my safari includes lots of them, from a private visit to Daphne Sheldrick's famous elephant orphanage, to a visit to the home of elephants, Amboseli National Park, and I hope some one on one time chatting to the Big Life rangers who are based at Ol Donyo Lodge, then onto the world renowned Maasai Mara, a once in a life time experience.
I've timed the trip to coincide with the famous wildebeest migration. There's no guarantees as climate change is affecting the animals' movements, but we are going at the right time of year to maximise our chances. The camp we're staying at is on the migration route and is private and exclusive, so there won't be any fighting off minivans to see the wildlife as you would get with other safari operations in the reserve. This is a luxury safari staying at top notch lodges within exceptional wildlife areas.
So here's the one week long itinerary! Register your interest now to join the group of up to 12. As always, I've hand picked every camp and area to maximise the experience and the conservation impact.
Elephant Dance Safari, Kenya: 24-31 July
24 July - On early morning arrival at Jomo Kenyatta airport, our first night is spent at Ole Sereni Lodge, a city hotel right next to a game park in Nairobi.
At 2pm on the first day, we will visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for a special private elephant viewing to meet the orphans. This is an experience you'll never forget!
25 July - Our Safarilink flight leaves at 0730hr for Ol Donyo Lodge in the Chyulu Hills. Here we will spend 3 nights, including a full day trip to Amboseli National Park, known for its long running elephant research project. Ol Donyo is also a great place to go horse riding on the plains, something they specialise in, and there are many other activities from sitting in the hide by the lodge, game drives in the reserve with your local Maasai guide, and mountain biking. Each room has its own private plunge pool and looks over the waterhole, with a view in the distance of the magnificent, snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro.
28 July - At 0800hr, we will fly to Naibosho Camp for 3 nights in a private reserve right next to the world famous Maasai Mara Reserve. This is a luxury tented camp that operates in partnership with the local Maasai community, which is conservation and community upliftment in action, exactly the type of operation I like to support!
Apart from going on safari with me, you'll also get to meet others working in wildlife conservation on the ground on this safari, a very unique experience you won't get anywhere else.
If you'd like to come along on my Elephant Dance Kenyan safari, get in touch now for an itinerary and costing. Look forward to having you on this African adventure!