FA M I LY S A FA R I D E SI GN E D BY JA M E S RO BE RT S O N
1 5 th
K E N YA - 3 0 th JU N E 2 0 2 0
I T I N E R A R Y
O V E R V I E W
T S A V O E A S T - L A I K P I A - K E N YA’ S A R I D N O R T H - M A A S A I M A R A - A M B O S E L I - N A I R O B I 1 5 t h - 1 7 t h J U N E 2 0 2 0 : T S AVO E A S T
On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport we will have a private charter aircraft waiting for you on the tarmac with your guide. You will �ly southeast to Tsavo East where you will have three nights at Galdessa Camp.
18th -21st JUNE 2020: LAIKIPIA
You will �ly by private charter north to Lewa Downs and spend four nights at Lewa Wilderness.
2 2 n d & 2 3 r d J U N E 2 0 2 0 : K E N YA’ S A R I D N O R T H
Next we will �ly you down to Sera, which is a really remote area in Kenya’s arid North. Here we will have a super lightweight camp set up for you, with quadbikes to explore this untouched area.
24th - 26th JUNE 2020: MAASAI MARA
Next you will �ly southwest over the Great Rift Valley to the Maasai Mara, probably the best known area in the World for Big Game. You will have three nights at Mara Plains.
27th - 29th JUNE 2020: AMBOSELI
Finally we take you to Amboseli where you will be in your own private camp set up at the foot of Kilimanjaro in our private concession. You will have three nights here.
3 0 t h J U N E 2 0 2 0 : E M A K O K O / T R A V E L D AY
We will �ly you back to Nairobi and you will have the rest of the day at the Emakoko, a small family run lodge on the edge of Nairobi National Park within easy reach of the international airport. We will transfer you there in time for your �light home.
R E G I O N S
A S A I FA M I LY S A FA R I I T I N E R A R Y 3 This incredible 15 day safari takes you all over Kenya and covers areas with spectacularly abundant wildlife to those with ancient tribal cultures, and those with jawdropping scenery so remote that few have ever been there.
D AY S 1 - 3
T S AVO E A S T GALDESSA D AY 4 - 7
L E WA W I L D E R N E S S
D AY 8 & 9
K E N YA’ S A R I D NORTH L AT T I T U D E ADVENTURES D AY 1 0 - 1 2
MAASAI MARA MARA PLAINS D AY 1 3 - 1 5
K & D P R I VA T E C A M P D AY 1 3 - 1 6
T H E E M A KO KO
Beginning in Tsavo East James will join you and you’ll have time with the supertuskers, elephants carrying over 100lbs ivory per side.
Ewaso Nyiro River
After four nights at Lewa we will take you east to Sera where you will have two nights under the spangled African sky lightweight camping in a stunning sand lugga. This area is ideal for exploration by quadbikes and really fascinating culturally too. Hundred of camels will be bought to drink by local Samburu to the “Singing Wells”
Lake Nakuru Masai Mara
Then you head north to Lewa Downs which boasts all the big �ive, superb rhino viewing and freedom to ride, walk and explore at night.
Lake Naivasha Nairobi Tana River
Lake Magadi Amboseli
Ts a v o Watamu
Then down to the Maasai Mara which in late June should see the �irst herds of wildebeast trekking up from the Serengeti. Predators will be everywhere and you’ll see more species of plains game than you could imagine. Finally to Amboseli, where elephants abound and where you can spend time with the Maasai learning about their way of life.
You’ll have your last day based at the Emakoko on the edge of Nairobi NP. This trip has everything in it, adventure, wildlife, culture, fun and is professionally guided
K E N YA
‘ S A FA R I ’ i s t h e S w a h i l i w o r d f o r ‘ a j o u r n e y ’ a n d K e n y a e v o k e s n o s t a l g i a f o r t h e e a r l i e s t o r i g i n s
of the African safari. Romance and adventure are plentiful in the classic stories told in ‘Out of Africa’ a n d ‘ B o r n F r e e ’, i l l u s t r a t i n g K e n y a ’ s s c e n e r y, w i l d l i f e a n d p e o p l e , w h i c h h a v e e n d u r i n g a p p e a l .
Kenya is a sovereign state achieving political independence from the British in 1963. Since, anxious times have been de�ied, mainly due to its dynamic people who are amongst the most colourful in East Africa. Friendly and hospitable, the Kenyan people rely heavily on tourism.
Located on the east coast of Africa, the Equator bisects the country resulting in a tropical climate, although diverse geography provokes wide variations in temperature, rainfall and humidity. In relation to size, the assorted landscape is unparalleled and the multitude of national parks and reserves all have their own unique attractions. Marine reserves boast coral reef gardens with palm fringed beaches and turquoise oceans, while the savannah grasslands exhibit quintessential depictions of imagined Africa, harsh trackless expanses, solitary �lat - topped acacias and incredible concentrations of plains game.
Kenya remains one of the best places in Africa to see great wildlife – lions, elephants, leopards and of course the annual ‘wildebeest migration’ streaming into the Masai Mara from Tanzania. The East African Rift Valley runs through the country from top to bottom and provides stunning landscapes of giant volcanoes, hot springs and �lamingo sprinkled lakes.
Dominated by Lake Turkana, the ancient source of the Nile, the Rift Valley lakes are some of the most picturesque in Africa. The formation of the Rift created Mt Kenya, the second highest peak in Africa, some three millions years ago. “The spiritual home of safari, Kenya is where it all began. From the big cats of the Mara to the elephants of Amboseli, combined with traditional tribes, real tented camps and an unparalleled physical diversity, Kenya has it all. ”
KENYA Lake Victoria Rwanda Burundi
“A c o n t i n e n t i n o n e c o u n t r y ” Sandor Carter
T S A V O
E A S T
Ts a v o i s h o m e t o s o m e o f t h e l a r g e s t e l e p h a n t o n t h e p l a n e t - t h e s e “ s u p e r t u s k e r s ” c a r r y o v e r 100 pounds of ivory each side. There are thought to be about 15 remaining on the African continent. 1 0 o f t h e m l i v e i n Ts a v o . C a t c h i n g a g l i m p s e o f o n e o f t h e g i a n t s i s a p r i v i l e g e . Tsavo East National Park is by far the biggest of Kenya’s parks. At close to 3.4 million acres, it is nine times larger than the Masai Mara National Reserve and consists mostly of dry, �lat thorn bush scrub, occasionally broken by the verdant vegetation of seasonal rivers. Tsavo East is most famous for its huge herds of elephants, more than 10,000 of them bulldoze their way around this vast �lat plain of sandy soil, split by the shallow trough of the Galana River. The �ine ochre soils give the Tsavo elephants a red tinge as they bathe in the dust in this dry arid expanse. Tsavo East has another big draw: you can set off on a game drive across the seemingly empty wilderness and return to camp 3 hours later without having seen a single other vehicle. The Galana, is one of Kenya’s biggest rivers. Its valley – rocky in much of its western course, sandy and doum-palm fringed further east – is one of Tsavo East National Park’s de�ining physical features. The Yatta Plateau is a 300 kilometre ancient lava �low that stretches along the east and north bank of the Athi-Galana. Its geomagnetic qualities are believed to play a role in guiding migratory birds and large numbers of Palearctic migrants can be seen in the area. Lugard Falls are a series of short falls and steep rapids on the Galana River
where relatively harder rock has created a bottleneck in the valley and impedes the river’s progress. Crocodile Point, where the big reptiles can often be seen basking in the sun, is just downstream from here. The immense park encourages complete immersion into its enormous animal kingdom proffering opportunities to see lesser kudu and fringe-eared oryx as well as buffalo, zebra, giraffe, lion, cheetah, leopard and wild dog. Lake Turkana
Laikipia Lake Victoria
Mt. Kenya N.P
Nairobi Amboseli N.P
G A L D E S S A
L I T T L E
Galdessa is the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s newest property o f f e r i n g g u e s t s t h e c h a n c e t o e x p l o r e a p r i s t i n e c o r n e r o f Ts a v o , w i t h t h e a b i l i t y t o a c c e s s t h e D S W T ’ s Vo i R e h a b i l i t a t i o n S t o c k a d e s . With a commanding view across the mightly Galana River, Galdessa Little is ideally and beautifully positioned to catch cooling breezes and observe wildlife crossing.
Galdessa Little offers 3 spacious tented bedrooms, sleeping up to 6 guests and is always for use exclusively. These tents, shaded by doum palms are a combination two twins and one double. Each unit has an ensuite indoor shower and loo and an outdoor shower as well, complimented by a rock garden. Each tent has a Balinese style deck overlooking the river where you can relax and unwind. The large and airy thatched mess area offers a combined living and dining room area with commanding views down river and a lagoon pool. Tsavo East National Park is the largest protected area in Kenya; 13.747 square kms of pristine wilderness with a greater biodiversity than any other Park in the world, since it is here that the Northern and Southern forms of fauna meet. David Sheldrick was the founding Warden of this giant National Park from 1949 –1976.
The Southern Area of Tsavo East is renowned for its elephant herds with Tsavo being home to the largest elephant population in Kenya. The open plains of the southern sector of the Park host numerous grazing species, with massive buffalo herds, giraffe, eland, Oryx and zebra, just some of what you are likely to see. This quiet corner is also home to the infamous Tsavo lions and leopards, both plentiful in these parts. The main lifeline for Tsavo East is the picturesque Galana River and Galdessa is situated on its banks, facing the landmark Yatta Plateau, the longest lava �low in the world, which dissects Tsavo East’s southern and northern areas. By staying at Galdessa, you have a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the Voi elephant orphans at the stockades that are located about an hour’s drive from the camp. The routine of the keepers and their charges varies from day to day but roughly goes as follows:
11am mud bath 5pm stockades
T S A V O
T R U S T
Ts a v o T r u s t i s a n a c t i o n o r i e n t a t e d , � i e l d - b a s e d , K e n y a n n o t - f o r - p r o � i t c o n s e r v a t i o n o r g a n i s a t i o n t h a t w o r k s t o g i v e t h e w i l d l i f e a n d p e o p l e o f Ts a v o t h e r i g h t t o a f u t u r e .
Tsavo is the best place in the world to see the super tuskers - bull elephants with enormous ivory. Not only do these huge animals derive from an important “large ivory” gene pool, but they also determine the future of both wildlife and people in the wider Tsavo region. These giants among giants represent a signi�icant economic asset to Tsavo and to Kenya, and the ultimate goal of the Tsavo Trust team is to help ensure the survival, security, ecological integrity and revenue-earning potential of this ecosystem for generations to come.
CEO, Richard Moller, formerly of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, runs the Big Tusker Project, with a particular focus on the area’s famous ‘hundred pounders’ – huge bull elephants, bearing ivory weighing in excess of 45kg (100lbs) per tusk. Richard’s day starts before dawn to ensure a �irst-light take-off, casting its benevolent shadow over Tsavo, �lying alongside Kenya Wildlife Service on their biodiversity protection and research and monitoring missions. Early successes of the project include poachers being apprehended, �irearms recovered, and locating carcasses of elephants dead from natural causes, thereby enabling KWS to recover the ivory before passing poachers gained an easy prize. Where KWS takes a lead role in Wildlife Conservation
in the area, Tsavo Trust provides support through meaningful engagement with communities in the wider Tsavo region, including their Wildlife Conservation Program, Community Conservancy Program, and Animal Welfare Program. By supporting the development of a network of community owned, community managed conservancies, that bene�it local people, using wildlife conservation as the catalyst for increased security and economic stability, it is a game-changer.
Between 2013 - 2017, the Trust played a signi�icant role alongside KWS in reducing elephant poaching by over 50% in the Tsavo Conservation Area. In 2017 alone, 867 hours were �lown by Tsavo Trust, covering 103,777 km. Supported by 4 joint Tsavo Trust/KWS ground teams, this accounted for: 241 tusks recovered (nearly all natural causes of death). Big bull named elephants observed 150 times, cows 73 times. 43 fresh and recent poacher’s camps found, 101 arrests made, several of these were ivory dealers and poachers, others bushmeat, illegal livestock, charcoaling etc. 1,008 snares recovered – 41 for big game, 208 for medium and 759 for small game and 8 responses to assist KWS in armed contacts.
L A I K I P I A
I n t h e c e n t r a l h i g h l a n d s o f K e n y a , s t r e t c h i n g f r o m M o u n t K e n y a i n t h e e a s t t o t h e R i f t Va l l e y i n t h e w e s t is a 2.149 million acre area of semi-arid grassland and bush savannah known as the Laikipia Plateau.
This region serves as a portal to Kenya’s remote and wild, Northern Frontier and is a patchwork of cattle ranches and tribal lands that have been amalgamated under the umbrella of eco-tourism.
The Laikipia Wildlife Forum promotes this collaboration and is an incredible example of successful conservation whereby ranchers and pastoralists encourage the practical co-existance of people, livestock and wildlife. The desire to truly understand all the inhabitants of this natural environment is illustrated in the large number of research and community conservation projects within the area. Straddling the Equator at altitudes of between 5,000 and 8,000 feet, this secluded part of Africa is incredibly scenic, comprising of magni�icent escarpments which descend into open grasslands, basalt hills, lonely kopjes and riverine forest, fed by rivers sourced on the slopes of Mount Kenya. This diversity attracts considerable animal numbers and is home to the highest number of endangered species in East Africa. Half the population of black rhino, Kenya’s second largest elephant population, the fastest growing wild dog population on the
continent and the globally threatened Grevy’s zebra have all found their home in Laikipia. This is a unique and fascinating wildlife experience when adding the animals that occur solely in central and northern Kenya, such as the reticulated giraffe, Jackson’s hartebeest, gerenuk and Somali ostrich. With such an array of plains game come the predators and Laikipia is home to signi�icant numbers of lion, cheetah and the ever elusive leopard.
LAIKIPIA Lake Victoria
Mt. Kenya N.P
Nairobi Amboseli N.P
Ts a v o N.P
L E W A
W I L D E R N E S S
Lewa Wilderness rests on the northern foothills of Mount Kenya,
the second tallest mountain in Africa with the Batian peaks standing at 17,057 feet. Lewa Wilderness is one of Kenya’s oldest and most private safari ventures.
Situated on Lewa Downs, the privately owned 62,000 acre Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is located on the Laikipia plateau, a 2 million acre amalgamation of semi-arid grassland, ridged escarpments, basalt hills, small kopjes and riverine forests.
The lodge has 9 exclusive rooms: 6 thatched cottages tucked into the hillside overlooking Lewa’s Eastern Marania Valley, and 3 thatched garden cottages set in the beautiful green lawns. Each cottage is tastefully decorated with antique and handmade furniture, giving rustic charm and the character of a ranch homestead. Canopied beds, patterned cushions, crisp white linen and wooden furnishings, comfort is at the heart of the decor.
Due to the private land ownership and minimal restrictions, a wide variety of activities are available, including camel rides to a nearby animal orphanage. The main lodge offers
a refreshing saltwater pool, tennis courts and an elegant dining area where organic cuisine may be enjoyed indoors or alfresco. Walking safaris with Maasai guides and night and day drives, offer views of endemic wild life such as gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, Lelwel hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra and Somali ostrich. With the highest concentration of rhino in East Africa, notable numbers of lion, cheetah and the reclusive leopard, wildlife sightings are sure to amaze. Or, accompanied by knowledgeable Maasai guides and with a red sun setting in the distance, experience the Kenyan bush on horseback.
“Lewa Wilderness Camp offers a doorway to rare wildlife and a
culturally rich people from the comfort
o f a n A f r i c a n s a n c t u a r y.”
L A T T I T U D E
A D V E N T U R E
Fo r t h o s e t h a t re q u i re a l i t t l e m o re a d re n a l i n e w i t h t h e i r h o l i d ay ! Lattitude’s unique quad expeditions follow century old elephant routes in Northern Kenya, passing through dry riverbeds, remote luggas and pristine wilderness, just begging to be explored. It doesn’t get much better than traversing the Kipsing region on quad, these all-terrain workhorses allow you to explore vast swathes of the surrounding scenery whilst satisfying your sense of adventure! Established and led by Kenyan brothers Jay and Amory McLeod, untouched and remote areas inaccessible to a larger 4×4‘s open themselves up to exploration. Guests can be �lown in by �ixed wing, dropped by helicopter, or transferred by road from a lodge in the nearby area for this 2-night expedition on quads. With a safety brie�ing complete, the morning is spent etching your way through the sand river and surrounding wilderness towards camp. Set up in the dry riverbed, the camp complete with all amenities - is comprised of raised, sheer dome tents.
Restored by an afternoon siesta, the evening brings a choice of either riding out to a hilltop for a sundowner, or setting out from camp for a tranquil evening walk.
Once back in camp, unwind with cocktails by the �ireside, and 'dining out’ takes on a whole new meaning with a 3-course meal in this remote idyll. The following day combines a visit to the local Samburu tribe and a picnic lunch out in the bush with further exploration of the area on the quads. Depending on your preference, a cultural evening of Samburu dance can be coincided with sunset and drinks, granting a mesmerising and rare glimpse of an untarnished tribal tradition.
As the day draws to a close, take in the majesty of the Kenyan night sky from your star tent.
offers the perfect blend o f E X H I L A R AT I O N a n d r e l a x a t i o n .”
M A S A I
M A R A
Only in the Mara does the whole spectrum of life and death, birth and growth seem to be there for you, right before your eyes. Most documentary wildlife ďż˝ilmmakers choose the Mara due to the abundance and easy access to wild animals here. Almost 450,000 acres of rolling grasslands make up the Maasai Mara and its surrounding conervancies, bordered by mountains to the north and east and the Siria escarpment to the west. The permanent meandering rivers traced by deep forest snake across the savannah. The Maraâ€™s proximity to Lake Victoria, which creates its own weather patterns, ensures that the area receives much higher rainfall than the Serengeti ecosystem. This crucial fact enables millions of animals, including gazelle, zebra and antelope, to survive through the driest time of year. An estimated one and a half million wildebeest make the annual migration up from the southern Serengeti plains into Kenya and remain here from late June into October. You will be staying in one of the quitest parts of the Mara, a conservancy. Even during migration season you can be away from the crowds. An hour can pass in nail-biting anticipation as a cheetah conducts a painstaking stalk of her prey, only to lose her meal at the last moment when the wind changes.
Watch the peculiar quality of the light, and the shadows of the clouds on the plains, the strange optical illusions of the distant herds silhouetted along the horizon. Light and shadow, rock and grassland, predators and prey, this is quintessential Africa.
Mt. Kenya N.P
Serengeti N.P Ts a v o N.P
M A R A
P L A I N S
Nestled in the trees on the edge of the Ntiakatek stream in the 35,000 acre private Olare-Motorogi Conservancy (previously known as Olare Orok), Mara Plains is a small, luxury tented camp which prides itself on offering personal, high-level service. Just north of the legendary Masai Mara National Reserve, in the quiet wilderness of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, there are 7 tents hidden within a copse of riverine trees. To get to them, you follow a wooden walkway that leads straight between an acacia tree's branches, which curve upward like a candelabra. Acacia trees, �lat-topped and seemingly frozen in motion, are a symbol of East Africa, and this particular tree was a deciding factor when National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert and their partners at Great Plains Conservation set out to build a lodge here. The tree is a natural gateway to an exceptional safari experience.
Mara Plains Camp is at once elegant and unassuming. The elevated tents and the main camp area are crafted of rough-hewn wooden �loors and billowing canvas and �illed with an exquisite collection of furnishings and decor that recall the colonial in�luences of bygone centuries, as well as Kenya’s Swahili and Maasai roots. Whether you come for the thundering wildebeest, the rainbow-colored birds, or to experience
the culture of the Maasai person �irsthand, Mara Plains Camp is the perfect setting for immersing yourself in the mystique and the beauty of the East African savanna.
The guiding at Mara Plains is amongst the best in Kenya - to a Gold Grade standard. The game viewing in the OOC is spectacular with resident lion, cheetah and leopard populations. Enjoy walking with a Maasai warrior at twilight, followed by a sundowner (a cocktail) under an acacia tree, as well as night drives in the very high, open-sided vehicles. Mara Plains provides unprecedented entrance to the remarkable ecosystem of the Maasai Mara.
“If a camp’s success lies in its details, then Mara Plains
i s t r u l y b l e s s e d .”
A M B O S E L I
Against the magni�icent backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro lies Amboseli, a national park and ecosystem. Meaning the ‘salty earth’ in the language of the Maasai, Amboseli is aptly named after the alkaline volcanic ash that spewed from the now dormant volcano Kilimanjaro. The 1.2 million acre ecosystem lies on Kenya’s boarder with Tanzania and incorporates habitats of dry lake beds, savannah grasslands, woodland and swamps fed by springs emanating from Mount Kilimanjaro.
The area is home to grassland dwellers such as buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, gazelle and warthog, while the resident predators include lion, cheetah and hyena. Amboseli is also a birding hotspot, with over 600 species recorded. The principal attraction at Amboseli however, is the large herds of free roaming elephants made famous by Dr. Joyce Poole who, through the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, put these intelligent giants on the map. Her long running large mammal research project in Africa combines 30 years of uninterrupted study and chronicles Amboseli’s elephant herds, from new born calves to 60 year old matriarchs and old bulls that carry some of the longest tusks in Africa. Contiguous with Amboseli National Park is the Kitirua Wildlife Conservancy, a partnership between a local Maasai community and the private sector.
Designed to protect wildlife, this private and exclusive conservancy enables both day and night drives, walking and an unparalleled opportunity to meet members of the Maasai community in a welcoming and culturally sensitive manner.
This is a quintessential African landscape of elephants and traditional tribes with the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the clouds behind. Lake Turkana
Mt. Kenya N.P
Ts a v o N.P
A M B O S E L I
M O B I L E
C A M P
The raw beauty of this diverse landscape and astounding ecosystem complete with the backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, is unsurpassed.
Amboseli Mobile is located on a 30,000 acre private conservancy belonging to the Kisongo Maasai people. Lying in the Amboseli area and adjacent to the National Park, the mobile camp has undisturbed views of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Amboseli eco- system comprises open grasslands, woodlands and swamps, which are watered by mountain springs.
The purpose of Amboseli Mobile is to forge a temporary, yet ideal base from which to explore the surrounding area. The tented camp is equipped with all the necessities required for a unique getaway, its simplicity adding to the experience. The presence of the mobile camp supports the conservancy, the local community and the conservation of the Amboseli ecosystem. When the camp leaves, it leaves nothing behind, the land being left to the wildlife and their Maasai custodians. Being a mobile camp, all activities, be that on safari or choosing when to eat, are completely �lexible. Generally the day revolves around an early m o r n i n g g a m e d r ive , fo l l o we d by a l a te morning drive after breakfast. There is a healthy population of lion in the area with
the chance of spotting cheetah, as well as good numbers of general game.
It is also possible to walk, and a late afternoon stroll as the sun sets across the plains towards Kilimanjaro is spectacular. Another unique opportunity is to be able to spend time with the Kitirua community and learn about their rich culture. Ker & Downey has nurtured a relationship over 30 years with the Kisongo Maasai, as a result, respect and trust have developed for one another making trips to the local school and homesteads possible. One of the highlights of the Amboseli Mobile however, is the opportunity to view large herds of magni�icent elephant, many of the bulls still carrying some of the longest tusks on the African continent.
“A m b o s e l i M o b i l e C a m p
is a natural gateway to the w i l d A f r i c a n b u s h .”
M A A S A I
T h e M a a s a i t r i b e s p e o p l e o f s o u t h e r n K e n y a a n d n o r t h e r n Ta n z a n i a
are a Nilotic ethnic group who arrived in this area about 300 years ago from the North. They are among the best known, and most distinctive tribes living in the semi arid lands along and beside the Great Rift Valley and close to many well known national parks and reserves. Their cousins North of the Equator are the Samburu, with whom they share many customs. The Maasai occupy a total land area of 39.5 million acres and number around 1.5million. They are semi-nomadic herding cattle over large areas of communally owned land. Their family encampments are comprised of a circular boma (fence) of Acacia to protect livestock from predators. Inside the boma they build small loafshaped houses made of mud, sticks, grass and cow dung. The women are responsible for building houses, supplying water, collecting ďż˝irewood, milking cattle and cooking. The young men or warriors (Moran) enforce security while boys are responsible for herding livestock. The elders are directors and advisors of day-to-day activities and make decisions for the whole community. On the western boundary of National Park lies Kitirua â€“ concession shared between Downey and the local Kisongo
Amboseli a private Ker and clan. We
have nurtured a relationship over 35 years such that we are welcomed into their homes to learn something of their traditional way of life. By the same token we welcome them into camp thereby creating a unique opportunity for guests to interact. K&D sponsors two local schools in the area. The Ngararambuni Nursery school is on the edge of Kitirua Conservancy and caters to children between 4 & 10 years old. It is still set up underneath a large spreading Acacia tortilis and has three dedicated Maasai teachers. We helped to set this little school up in 2003, before this the children would have to walk 7km through an area rich in big game to get to school.
Whilst in Amboseli we encourage as much interaction with local people as possible. Even though we do not share a language it is extraordinary to watch our children play with theirs as the common language of fun transgresses these boundaries. Learning to throw spears and how to use bows and arrows, digging for water, and donning traditional garb are all a part of being with these colourful, friendly, fun and fascinating people.
T H E
E M A K O K O
Uniquely positioned on the edge of the Nairobi National Park, this elegant lodge is a spectacular way to start or end your safari.
The Emakoko is a family-owned and run
offers a wealth of treasures all locally
Nairobi National Park. It is located a short
Take a game drive in one of the most unique
lodge, artfully built into the side of a valley
on the Mbagathi River which borders the 45 minute ride from both airports in Nairobi city.
5 rooms are located on the same level as the
airy main dining and lounge areas and a
further 5 rooms are at the top of the lodge, perched on the cliff overlooking the valley and with the most spectacular views. All
are ensuite and beautifully furnished with
contemporary African �lair in rich chocolate browns, creamy beiges and crisp white linens.
Deep, comfortable chairs nestle
around your own stone �ireplace.
Whether you are enjoying an Emakoko
cocktail in the viewing area or simply a
coffee by the pool overlooking the river, relaxation
crafted in Kenya.
game parks in the world, Nairobi National Park, or visit the community that borders it.
An excursion in the environs of Nairobi to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the giraffe centre or the local shops may be more appealing.
“The park is home
to lion, leopard & rhino, all of which range
within spitting distance of camp, while hippo
and impala are known to frequent the
l o d g e ’ s g r o u n d s .”
K E R
D O W N E Y
“ S o m e t h i n k t h e b e s t l a r g e - s c a l e o p e r a t i o n a f t e r t h e w a r…
was the one launched over a drink or two on the veranda of the Imperial Hotel in Addis Ababa” – Bartle Bull, Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure, 1
Like so many great ventures, Ker & Downey Safaris was born from a chance encounter. Donald Ker and Syd Downey, two big game hunters from Kenya, had been �ighting with the British in Ethiopia shortly before the fall of Addis Ababa in 1941. Syd had just been released by the Italians and was celebrating at a local hotel when he bumped into Donald Ker. With one car and a lot of bravura, the pair made a plan to establish “the best safari company the world has ever known”.
and 70’s, the company continued to grow – extending its reach across southern Africa, east to the jungles of Congo, and north into the deserts of Ethiopia and Sudan. By 1977, when hunting was of�icially banned in Kenya, K&D had transformed itself into the leading provider of customised mobile photographic safaris in Africa.
In 1962, shortly before Kenya’s Independence, Ker & Downey spread its wings to Botswana, with Harry Selby and a couple of other guides offering safaris in this ‘new’, uncharted corner of Africa. Through the 60’s
“Because we’ve been doing
It was not until January 1946 that Syd and Donald, newly discharged from the army, took out their �irst safari. They were hired to run a camp in the Maasai Mara for the production of “The Macomber Affair”, the United Artists blockbuster starring Gregory Peck and Joan Bennett. It was the beginning of a long love affair with Hollywood, which would see “K&D” out�it some of the biggest �ilms ever to come out of Africa.
Today, Ker & Downey is celebrated as the longest-existing safari out�itter in the world, and the standard-bearer for unsurpassed luxury in some of its last great wild places. So successful has the “K&D” name been that it has been brazenly borrowed by a number of copycat companies in Africa and the West. Yet to this day, no one has come close to emulating the luxurious standards, the rich experiences, or the peerless guiding of “The Original Ker & Downey Safaris”.
t h i s f o r 7 0 y e a r s . . .”
M O B I L E
C A M P
C U I S I N E
Fo o d h a s b e c o m e a l m o s t a re l i g i o n fo r a va s t n u m b e r o f p e o p l e a ro u n d t h e wo rl d . It is a reason to travel and explore. It is about fashion, passion and inspiration; all these components make the kitchen an intrinsic part your mobile camp experience. The cuisine is an integral part of your safari
The kitchen is extremely mobile, so you will
vibrant and packed full of �lavour. All our
We also offer a 'Bitings' evening, which is
with us. We believe that the food has to match food
ingredients are locally sourced.
The food is a fusion of cuisines from around the globe with an African twist. It is a combination
eastern, Pan Asian, Moroccan and Swahili.
Antonia Stogdale trained as a chef at Leith’s
school of Food and Wine. She has published
her own cookbook and teaches cookery courses all over East Africa. You can join Antonia and her team and learn how to bake
fresh bread & pastries or how to make the
dine in a variety of locations with exquisite
views to match the food you'll be enjoying. African Tapas under the stars by the camp �ire.
Our food is very healthy and we are happy to
cater for all dietary requirements. Fresh fruits, vegetables and salads feature greatly
on our menus, as well as organic meats and
cheeses. All breads and pastries are freshly made in camp every day. Food safety is of
the upmost importance to us and all chef 's
and food handlers have completed one of Antonia's food safety & hygiene courses.
perfect egg benedict in the bush. It's a great
We also carry a large selection of �ine wines,
tin trunk oven!
water is provided in camp.
activity for the kids: they can learn to make
pizza or brownies over an open �ire & in a
beer, spirits, sodas, soft drinks, freshly made juices, coffee, tea, herbal teas and mineral
J A M E S
R O B E R T S O N
T h i r t y - � i v e y e a r s a f t e r l e a d i n g h i s � i r s t e x p e d i t i o n , J a m e s i s c h a i r m a n o f t h e b o a r d a t K e r & D o w n e y, and an in�luential leader of the new movement in community-led conservation.
Like the safari industry itself, James Robertson was born and raised in Kenya, where his appetite for adventure has earned him a reputation as one of the modern pioneers of the global safari business.
James’ dependability for never following the same itinerary twice, and for continually searching out new experiences for his clients, has won him admirers across the industry, as well as an army of repeat guests (including two families who have each travelled with him 26 times!). Among his long-standing Kenyan crew, he’s known as “Ndorobo” after the fabled hunter-gathers of northern Kenya – a tribe renowned for their resourceful bushcraft, and their complete absence of fear for wild animals. Although James’ �irst love and main base is Kenya, he is an “all-Africa guide” and just as likely to be found travelling through the game-rich parks, reserves and conservancies of eastern and southern Africa. In recent years, he has been supporting a number of Maasai and Samburu communities that have turned part of their grazing lands over to conservation – giving guests a chance to see some rarer wildlife species, and to experience an absolutely authentic immersion in two of the world’s oldest tribal cultures. In 2001, James was a founder of The Mara Conservancy, a ground-breaking and widely-admired partnership between conservationists and the county government, which established a new public-private template to protect the critical wildlife dispersal areas north of the Maasai Mara Reserve. He sits on the board of the (removed the MMWCT) Kenya Wildlife Trust , and his unrivalled contacts enable his guests to meet some of the leading conservationists and wildlife researchers in the world.
Having been raised on the edge of Kenya's largest National Park, Tsavo is close to James’ heart. His most recent focus is on protecting the last remaining Great Tuskers of which there are around 10 bulls each carrying in excess of 100lbs of ivory per side. He is working closely with the Tsavo Trust to protect these valuable elephants.
James and Abigail live within a wildlife sanctuary on the outskirts of Nairobi, where they host most of their guests personally. They work together as much as possible out on safari where their shared passions are apparent to anyone travelling with them.
P A O L O
P A R A Z Z I
I n 2 0 1 4 , P a o l o w a s s i g n e d u p a s a p a r t n e r o f A f r i c a ’ s o l d e s t e x i s t i n g s a f a r i c o m p a n y, K e r & D o w n e y.
It was a testament to the level of professionalism that he went straight from a junior guide to partner – bypassing what is usually a long and arduous process of quali�ication and mentoring.
For a young guide in his early 30s, Paolo Parazzi has a surprising number of strings to his bow. A trained accountant, seasoned scuba diver and boat skipper, this third-generation Kenyan is equally at home running safaris in remote and rugged bushland as he is leading long-distance kitesur�ing expeditions, tagging turtles, or free diving with reef sharks. For visitors to Africa who hanker for a balanced blend of ‘beach and bush’, there are few more quali�ied guides.
Paolo grew up in Watamu on Kenya’s north coast, the son of an Ethiopia-born Italian businessman and a Sri Lanka-born English environmentalist. His mother’s strong conservation ethic was imbued in him from an early age, as he accompanied her to dozens of villages promoting sustainable �ishing practices and turtle conservation for her Local Ocean Trust. He also spent much of his youth on safari in the Kenyan bush, staying with family friends who own some of the country’s leading luxury properties – a connection that adds an intimate ‘homecoming feel’ for many of his current guests. In 2011, Paolo co-founded the pioneering guide training school, EcoTraining East Africa, which has put more than 250 guides through professional courses and delivered conservation training at most of Kenya’s major safari properties. His unmatched knowledge of Africa’s east coast has established him as one of the region’s leading ocean-based guides, regularly sought out by professional water sportsmen, marine biologists and game �ishermen. Having travelled and guided throughout East Africa, Paolo is now widely recognised as one of the top wildlife guides of his generation. Together with his business partner, Sam Stogdale, Paolo continues to broaden his wilderness repertoire – leading recent safaris to Rwanda, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Zambia and Mozambique. In the process, the pair have developed close ties with a number of celebrated conservationists, as well as strong friendships within several traditional Maasai communities – connections that add yet another compelling dimension to their safaris.
TEL: +254 (0)720 911 143
EMAIL: INFO@JAMESROBERTSON.CO.KE S K Y P E : J RS A FA R I S
W W W. K E R D O W N E Y S A FA R I S . C O M