Howard Saunders - Professional Guide in Africa
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Around the campfire with Howard

The experience at a glance

The typical safari begins upon arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where you are met by Howard and then driven to one of the small hotels located outside the city, in the leafy suburbs of Karen and Langata. After drinks by the fire and perhaps a late dinner, everyone retires to their rooms for a good night’s sleep before a relatively early start the next day. In the morning, coffee, tea, or fresh juice is delivered to your room as the birds start to sing, and after a full breakfast in the garden you are driven to the local airport to board a private charter flight to the Masai Mara.

You land on a gravel airstrip in the heart of the Mara to find our custom safari vehicles, guides, and spotters waiting for you. Game driving commences immediately, with the hopes of finding lions, elephants or perhaps a cheetah on the way to camp. After driving across the savanna and through a few exciting river crossings, you will be welcomed into our exclusive mobile camp. You will settle into your tent and meet your personal tent steward before enjoying lunch. You will settle into a rhythm of evening and early morning game drives complete with sundowners, as well as meals and relaxation in camp, getting to know Howard and the other guides and camp crew all the while. We will take a few breaks from observing leopards, hippos, and the great migration to meet the hyena researchers and embark on a hot air balloon flight on your last full day in the Mara.

We next fly to Chui Lodge on the lush shore of Lake Naivasha within the Great Rift Valley. Leopard and rhino-filled game drives and boat trips alongside flamingos and hippos fill the time, and our two days here are rounded out by gourmet meals in an eclectic dining room filled with Africana and carvings.

While we were in Naivasha, our camp was packed up and moved to Buffalo Springs, our next stop on the trip. We land on another gravel airstrip, to an immediate stark contrast to the greenery of Naivasha. This is Samburuland, an arid northern realm of Kenya full of palms and rocky vistas, and known for it’s well-studied elephant population. Game drives and three more nights in our private camp ensue, with incredible opportunities for photography of both wildlife and the landscape.

We take a short flight to Borana Lodge in Laikipia for a bit of luxury, complete with swimming pool. During our two days here we track lions monitored by Living With Lions, go horseback riding with giraffes and zebras, and walk to ‘pride rock’ – the inspiration for Simba’s home in The Lion King – for a sundowner on our last evening.

Our final safari destination is Kitirua, our private conservancy adjacent to Amboseli on the border with Tanzania. Our mobile camp moved here while we were in Laikipia, and is now set up in an acacia grove with views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Here we continue with game drives and walks, and spend significant time observing the area’s famed elephants, tracking the resident lion pride with the Lion Guardians, and learn the latest news coming out of the baboon research world.  We also visit Solomon’s home and the local nursery school and enjoy some unusual entertainment from our Maasai friends living next to the conservancy.

After a final night in camp, we fly back to Nairobi in the morning and return to a small hotel for lunch and day rooms. Before your flight home, we visit the orphaned elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the local giraffe sanctuary. Then it is time for packing, a final drink, and to start planning your next safari…..

 

THE EXPERIENCE AT A GLANCE

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