Safaris Unlimited

Our Spring 2024 Wildlife Safari Spotlight: Kenya

The ideal opportunity to experience the beauty of Kenya, combining the more authentic safari experience of camping in the wild in both the Meru National Park and the Mara Triangle, with a few nights at the exclusive Laragai House on the Borana Conservancy.

Kenya Overview

Area 583,000 sq. kms. ~ Population 50 million

Straddling the equator across East Africa, Kenya has an almost unparalleled physical diversity – tropical rainforests, golden deserts of epic expanse, pristine beaches, the Great Rift Valley lakes, mountains of snow and ice and, of course, the undulating savannahs of safari legend. Few destinations in the world can evoke such powerful imagery as Kenya.

The acacia-dotted plains are inhabited by iconic African animals, from towering elephant and giraffe to prancing gazelles, wallowing hippo, prides of lion and high-speed cheetah.

However, to simply focus on wildlife and nature is to ignore the people that make the country so dynamic, as Kenya is a thriving multi-cultural country with over forty tribal groups. Everyday life unites traditional tribes and urban families, ancient customs and modern sensibilities.

We believe that Kenya is truly a legendary safari destination.

True at First Light

An overview of our classic Kenya wildlife safari

Upon arrival in Nairobi, the first stop on our signature wildlife safari is the wild, remote and beautiful Meru National Park – a short domestic flight away.

Bisected by numerous mountain-fed streams, the Meru National Park is an especially picturesque area of Kenya with diverse scenery and a fantastic range of game – from rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, zebra, waterbuck, elephant, giraffe and buffalo. Pods of hippo and some large crocodiles can also be seen basking on various sandbanks.

Staying in our luxury mobile canvas tents, guests can enjoy two days of game drives, exploring the wilderness and making the most of alfresco bush breakfasts, picnic lunches and evening sundowners.

Photo credits: Laragai House

On the fourth day, a morning flight transfers guests to Laragai House on the Borana Conservancy. This exquisite private country house sits on the edge of a plateau, overlooking the Northern Frontier, with Lewa Downs to the east and the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya to the south. With its opulent interiors and colourful gardens, Laragai House is the ultimate home from home.

Whilst staying at the lodge, guests can enjoy an extensive range of activities, including adventurous bush walks, day and night game drives, mountain biking or horse-riding – equally, the pool provides the perfect place to cool down and relax.

Borana’s unique geographical location, combined with its privacy, natural beauty and abundant wildlife has won it acclaim all over the world. A particular highlight for guests who are passionate about the survival of rhinos is the unique opportunity to accompany the conservancy’s security team as they track and monitor each rhino every day.

Our final destination is the Mara North Conservancy – which, in our opinion, is the greatest wildlife destination on earth. Guests, once again, have the chance to stay in our totally exclusive private camp, set up in a secluded corner of the Mara, usually under a canopy of trees or overlooking a stream. Egyptian cotton sheets and warm feather duvets adorn the beds and hot water bottles are provided for the cool nights.

There is so much wildlife to witness here: the days are long with anticipation and excitement as guests are immersed in the wilderness and beauty of the landscape, with its rolling savannah and acacia woodland, intersected by dark green veins of riverine forest. The Mara is also home to the colourful and handsome Masai people who, with their herds of livestock, are synonymous with the region.

On the tenth day, guests are transferred by a short domestic flight back to Nairobi, where they can explore the local area and all it has to offer before travelling to the airport for their flight home.

For more information, view our online brochure by clicking here.

You can also find out more about all of our wildlife safaris by clicking here.

All of our trips are completely bespoke, so if you would like to get in touch to discuss the details in more depth, please do email us at info@safarisunlimited.com

From the Archives: Early Beginnings & The First Reconnaissance – 1971

“Having mortgaged my Old Mutual Life Insurance policy to pay for the establishment of my new safari company for the measly sum of £500, I now had to set about acquiring some assets. As my first task, I decided to buy some horses. With a young family in the making and no capital at all, this challenge was formidable. However, I owned a very nice set of quality golf clubs which I sold for about £60 and with the cash I succeeded in buying three old horses inclusive of some rather ancient tack from a gentleman by the name of Ian Raitt.

“I was now ready to start what was to become one of the most unique and exciting safari adventures on offer. To the best of my knowledge, no other safari outfitter was organising long distance rides across the African savannah, teeming with game including the Big Five! The risks were considerable, but I was determined to make this experiment work. I thought to myself “there must be people out there who would travel to Kenya and enjoy the challenge”. The joy of exploring on horseback well away from modern civilization must have its appeal.

“Our home was on a small rented  farm in Langata on the outskirts of Nairobi. Here I was able to stable my three horses. From the front lawn we could see the fabled Ngong Hills out to the west. These hills rise to over 8,000ft above sea level and form part of the eastern wall of the Great Rift Valley. The rolling slopes of the lower grassland rising towards the forested upper regions were home to a variety of game, making an ideal location to explore before launching into commercial day rides. These romantic hills are portrayed so vividly in Karen Blixen’s ‘Out Of Africa’, in which she describes the beauty of this wooded mountain so often shrouded in mist.

“I wanted to do a reconnaissance and asked my brother Colin to join me. We needed to find trails suitable for horse and rider. Early one morning my syce led our three horses to the base of the Ngong Hills. Colin and I drove to the pre-arranged rendezvous taking picnic lunches, binoculars and ponchos. We were soon mounted and heading up to the crest of the hills, so easily recognised by the four evenly rounded peaks, described by the Masai as the knuckles of a man’s hand. Legend has it that when God finished moulding the earth he needed to clean his hand. He spread his fingers wide, and drew his hand across the surface of the Earth thereby creating the four knuckles, such a recognisable skyline to the west of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi.

“Our ponies lumbered up to the northern end of the hills where we were met by the most breathtaking views into the Great Rift Valley some 2000ft below. Our gaze took us across the Olorgesaille mountain to the distant Loita Hills rising to 9000ft, and forming the western wall of the Rift. This almost waterless, dusty valley, home of the Masai was later to become a 5 day riding expedition ending on the shores of Lake Naivasha.

“Colin and I, with our syce, continued southwards on a path taking us to the southern end of the range. On the way we explored some of the grassy ridges on the eastern side. Each ridge was separated by a richly forested valley, home to bushbuck, waterbuck, buffalo and troops of beautiful black and white colobus monkey. At the end of the path, known as Corner Baridi, we encountered a herd of eland and a few kongoni which loped away into dead ground. From a scenic and wildlife experience this could not be bettered. We tied up our horses and lay in the long grass drinking in the view whilst enjoying our sandwich lunch. The sense of space over this majestic landscape aroused feelings of wonder and excitement. My imagination was easily awakened. One day I must explore these endless horizons on horseback.

“After lunch we mounted our ponies and decided to explore an unmarked route back along the lower slopes. This proved to be a more formidable exercise than anticipated. In places we had to push through bush expecting to rumble a buffalo at any time. Our willing steeds never hesitated. About half way back we had to negotiate a field of vicious African stinging nettles. Suddenly my horse began to quiver and stumble forwards. I was mystified. He then went down on one knee and I dismounted. I tried to get him to stand up, thinking it could be an attack of colic. But this proved impossible. Instead he lay down on his side breathing heavily. I removed the saddle. I thought he was dying.

“After discussing this emergency with Colin and the syce, we decided that Colin and I should ride the two remaining horses back to Ngong town, leaving the syce to guard my struggling horse in case of hyenas. I decided to drive home and collect a small tent, with blanket and a thermos of hot soup, before returning to keep vigil with the syce. Leaving our two ponies in Jack Barrah’s garden (Jack was the Chief Game Warden, Rift Valley) Colin and I drove back to Langata, where I hurriedly collected the necessary items, and returned along the earth road out of Ngong town which followed the boundary of the Ngong Hills conservation area towards Kiserian. By now it was 8pm. It was a dark night. I slowed the car trying to guess the  place where my afflicted horse would be lying, guarded by my faithful syce, near the ridge of stinging nettles. As I rounded a corner I saw two Masai tribesmen standing in the road with flash lights. They waved me down. I leant out of my Land Cruiser and greeted them. They asked me if I was the owner of a horse, left for dead on the lower slopes of the Hills. I confirmed I was coming to rescue him. I was expecting some sad news. But No! The two warriors assured me that my horse had recovered and was safely corralled in their manyatta. I entered the manyatta and sure enough, there was my horse, fully recovered, standing up in the company of my syce and a herd of cattle. What a relief! To have lost a horse at that early stage of my infant enterprise would have been so depressing.

“Having thought about the symptoms of this epilepsy in my precious horse, I came to the conclusion that he was susceptible to the effects of the stinging nettles. The nettles had severely irritated the tender skin around his genitals and the pain had brought on hypothermia, resulting in his collapse. Later my theory was reinforced by my local vet who confirmed some horses are susceptible to the touch of poisonous plants.

“I left the horse there in the safety of the Masai boma and returned home, having left a tip for the Masai who had so kindly helped with the rescue. The syce rode the horse back to the farm in Langata the following day. So ended my first reconnaissance on horseback.”

Tony Church, Founder of Safaris Unlimited

Giving mother nature a helping hand: Seedballs Kenya

Felicia and I are often reminded of the incredible power of mother nature with her endless bounty and ability to regenerate. However, we are also very aware of her extreme vulnerability, particularly as humans around the world put their needs above nature’s, forgetting that we can only survive – and indeed thrive – if nature is also allowed to flourish.

As with so many countries around the world, Kenya has experienced high levels of deforestation. Despite the fundamental importance of trees, the Kenyan state has historically viewed and dealt with forests in terms of production and economic development, rather than biodiversity and conservation.

Increasingly, we are all taught from a young age that trees are integral to the health of the planet –  providing oxygen, improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife.

Despite this, from 2001 to 2022, Kenya lost 375 kha of tree cover, equivalent to an 11% decrease in tree cover since 2000. To counter this trend, a wonderful initiative has been created: Seedballs Kenya has pioneered a low cost method of mass producing seedballs for the efficient reintroduction of trees and grass species into degraded areas in Africa.

Founded by Teddy Kinyanjui and Elsen Karstad, Seedballs Kenya uses waste charcoal dust from the charcoal industry, and mixes the seeds from carefully selected indigenous trees with the dust, as well as a nutritious binder to produce tiny balls. The charcoal dust both protects the seeds from predators and conveniently provides the right nutrients to help the seeds germinate. 

Across Kenya, over 13 million seedballs have now been distributed, with similar initiatives taking place around the world.

Testament to Seedballs Kenya’s ingenuity and dedication to the cause was their inclusion in Sir David Attenborough’s Green Planet.

As a company that is very much enmeshed with mother nature, it is our hope that as the months and years progress, so too do efforts across the world to protect and preserve this wonderful planet that we call home. We wholeheartedly support the efforts of Seedballs Kenya and applaud their creativity and commitment to a greener nation.

If you would like to find out more about Seedballs Kenya and support the work of this fantastic initiative, please click here.

Wildlife Photographic Safaris: Stand out moments from 2023

“There is no Wi-Fi in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection.”

Ralph Smart

Our wildlife safaris offer our clients the chance to immerse themselves fully in nature.  So often in our busy lives we forget that we too are part of nature – but, in slowing down and spending time in the wild, with nothing but the savannah or jungle for as far as the eye can see – we are able to reconnect, both with ourselves and with nature. It is a grounding and truly humbling experience.

Every year, Felicia and I look back at the previous 12 months, taking stock, as well as inspiration, for the year ahead.

In 2023, we had a wonderful time with our guests, mobilising our beautiful boho safari chic camps into some of the most tranquil areas of wilderness. It was a particular highlight visiting both the Meru National Park, which is remote and rugged, and the Mara Triangle, which is less visited than the rest of the Masai Mara Reserve.

The Mara Triangle is often cited as the greatest wildlife destination on earth, as it is host to an incredible array of animals, including cheetah, zebra, giraffe, and wildebeest – not to mention the Big Five!

Travelling with our very own mobile camp, our guests were able to follow the tracks of these fantastic animals and it meant that we could always set up camp in the most beautiful and tranquil of locations.

Another highlight for us was a wonderful three days spent at Little Galdessa Camp. Located in the mighty Tsavo National Park (the land of the fabled Maneaters of Tsavo), we were lucky enough to witness some incredible elephant sightings. This wonderful camp is run by the remarkable Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which we fully support in their mission to rescue and hand-raise orphaned baby elephants and rhinos, followed by their reintegration to the wild when grown.

Finally, we had several fantastic trips into Tanzania, staying at Little Chem Chem. It is always special to visit this wilderness area, which it is particularly wonderful towards the end of the dry season, as it has a waterhole busier than Times Square in terms of wildlife movement! Day and night there is a constant stream of animals: elephant, lion, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, warthog, guinea fowl, mongoose… the list goes on. It was truly wonderful to witness and reminded us of Noah’s Ark!

If you are interested in joining one of our wildlife safaris, please do get in touch – we would love to hear from you. At Safaris Unlimited, we can also arrange completely bespoke trips, tailored to your needs.

Please do send us an email to discuss your trip in more detail: info@safarisunlimited.com

Felicia’s Family History in Kenya (Chapter Three): A Royal Visit, by Jane Collie

Last October, Kenya welcomed King Charles III and Queen Camilla for a state visit. For many, King Charles’ trip was particularly poignant, as Kenya is the country in which Queen Elizabeth II’s reign began, having acceded to the throne in February 1952 and it is the first Commonwealth country that His Majesty visited as King.

During their visit, the King and Queen’s engagements reflected the ways in which Kenya and the UK continue to work together, particularly in respect to tackling climate change, promoting youth opportunity and employment, and advancing sustainable development.

Following the King and Queen’s recent visit to Kenya, we thought that it was high time we published the third chapter of ‘Felicia’s Family History in Kenya’ – with Jane Collie, Felicia’s mother, recalling her time with the former Prince of Wales:

“After King Charles and Queen Camilla’s recent visit to Kenya, it brought back memories of our meeting not long after I had returned from Kenya myself many years ago.

“I knew Charles had played polo on one of his past visits in Kenya. My family has always been heavily entwined in the equestrian sports, be it racing, hunting and eventing, but the big love for my family was polo.

“My grandfather played in 1930 with Louis Mountbatten and Prince George (who later became King George VI).

“My brother David was actively playing when I left for Kenya, and I often went to watch at Cirencester Polo Club. On returning from my whirlwind tour of Kenya I managed to secure a job at Guards Polo where I had the dubious and slightly bogus position of Assistant Manager, having been elevated very quickly from Secretary due to my lack of typing skills!

“From there, I would often meet King Charles and we formed a friendship, which spanned decades as a result of our shared love of horses – later meeting again out hunting with all the shire packs. King Charles even coveted my amazing Hunter Rockstar (Rocky), but that’s another story!”

A Look Back at 2023: The Best Safari Season on Record

After an incredibly special Christmas spent in the bush with the whole family, we have arrived home full of optimism and hope for the year ahead. Looking back at the past year, it provides the perfect backdrop for what we hope will be an amazing 2024, as the 2023 season has truly been outstanding on so many fronts, with many wonderful memories made.

Our very best on record in more than 50 years, the 2023 safari season has really been an exceptional one – with a fantastic combination of horse-riding safaris in Kenya and other wildlife safaris throughout East Africa. This year was particularly special as we were given a unique opportunity to ride in the Wilderness Area of the Mara Triangle with the wildebeest migration.

The Great Wildebeest Migration

It was a privilege to be granted permission to ride in the Wilderness Area of the Mara Triangle and we were awed by the magnitude of the migration – almost two million wildebeest migrate approximately 300 miles every year in an age-old route in their search for fresh grazing and water. Along with zebra and gazelle, this epic journey takes the wildebeest across the Masai Mara plains in Kenya, all the way south into Tanzania’s Serengeti and the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, before circling up and around in a clockwise direction. Hungry predators including lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, wild dog and crocodiles ensure only the strongest survive, in this natural spectacle also known as ‘the greatest show on Earth.’

On top of this, we were lucky to experience almost daily encounters with lion while in the saddle – which was almost unheard of ten years ago. There were also some very exciting river crossings of the Mara on horseback – where we were very careful to avoid any grumpy bull hippos(!); and, as always, there were the exhilarating and joyous canters across the big open plains which always feed the soul.

Looking Ahead to 2024

With Felicia managing our ever flourishing and athletic stable of safari horses, we have really seen our equine partners excel this past year. And, having invested heavily in even more horses, horse trucks, camping trucks and guest game viewing vehicles, we are incredibly excited about what the new year holds.

Looking ahead to 2024, we have also planned something completely new and exciting: a riding safari across Namibia. This particular trip offers a whole new take on our classic safaris, with a very different backdrop to the East African plains. Felicia and I will traverse what would other otherwise be inaccessible deserts, riding across open plains, and through ancient volcanic craters to the famed Skeleton Coast.  

We are thrilled that many of our safari rides are already fully booked for the coming year, however, there are still some spaces available, so please do get in touch if you are keen to experience the wonders that Kenya, and the continent as a whole, have to offer. The details for all our upcoming rides can be found here, and if you have any questions, you can email us at: info@safarisunlimited.com.

Felicia’s Family History In Kenya (Chapter Two): The River Mara by Jane Collie

Returning to Nairobi, (half a stone lighter, having survived on an awful lot of biscuits and acute embarrassment to go to ‘The John’ in the bush with two hunks watching-on), I was greeted by Wendy with the words, “you look as if you could do the weight for a ride on my race horse Fair Candy” (trained by the remarkable Beryl Markham). Who was I to say no, to these two amazing ladies! I duly rode in the flat race and only disgraced myself when I jumped off, after the race, and collapsed splat in front of the audience, as nobody had told me to slide off clutching the mane.

…….. This at the time, meant very little to me, but to my aunt, it was all systems go – a trip not to be passed over.

I will return to an episode on our road-trip when we were in the Masai Mara and Patrick decided to drop-in on a friend who was building a camp, (which was duly called, Governors Camp). We pitched our tents nearby and were summoned for supper where plans were being discussed for the future incumbent’s entertainment.

As the camp was being built on the banks of the Mara River – what better idea than to do boat trips? It was suggested that we do a recce the following day, rubber dinghy and outboard motor duly produced and as a precaution, a rifle as well. Off we set, lulled by the tranquil current propelling us downstream, spotting an odd hippo on the far bank. My friends didn’t say anything to me, but it had quickly dawned on them that the river wasn’t really very wide enough to accommodate humans and hippos.

After about half an hour, having encountered rather too many large pods of hippos, we started up the outboard engine hoping to make a rapid return back to camp. Unfortunately it became painfully obvious that the current was far stronger than the engine. We were making absolutely no headway at all and it started to get very hairy indeed. At this stage the boys were telling me to get ready to try and jump off the moving boat and onto the bank. The gun was also being prepared. We eventually made it back, very shaken and very happy not to have been capsized into the river, as by then, a few crocodiles had emerged – to add to the mix!

Patrick later, over a stiff drink, couldn’t emphasise enough, that Mara River trips were absolutely not to be considered, as the river was not wide enough and would be a recipe for disaster. All the information was taken on board and off we went on our merry way, never thinking that six months later, when I was on a location-finding trip and we flew into Governors Camp to be greeted with, “you must do our Mara River boat trip while you are here”. I was absolutely flabbergasted! It can’t be true. The manager was adamant that it was safe and they had been doing trips for months with no problems. The director, and some of the camera crew, opted to go, even after I regaled them with my experience. 

Yes you guessed right, I was coerced once again into seeing how safe it all was and I was a real sissy if I didn’t try it again. I should have had misgivings and dug my feet in and said no definitely not, but in I got, to a larger rubber dinghy and thankfully a much larger outboard motor. Off we went, there were about seven of us in total, with Robin Camm manager of Governors, guiding us and mercilessly teasing me by making hippo noises.

We had not gone very far and all was peaceful except for the teasing chat, when as we rounded a bend and a really rather large and extremely angry hippo, with its mouth wide open, came straight for the dinghy and sunk its jaws just were Robin had been perched. He luckily had thrown himself into the river just in time to avoid certain death. The dinghy with the rest of us, capsized, and as I hit the water, my only thought was to get to land and safety. Somehow I reached the nearest bank and was scrambling out, when I felt someone grab my ankle! I just remember kicking out viciously and thinking, each to their own. Subconsciously I think I was furious and terrified that they were still insisting on doing this dangerous trip.

As I hit the top of the bank, I just kept running …… Miraculously, all of us were unscathed. The game wardens were duly notified about a very dangerous hippo on the loose, about two miles down river where a very battered and bitten rubber dinghy was abandoned with rather a lot of camera equipment, sunglasses, binoculars etc lying in the water.

The outcome of this story was that the hippo in question had been speared and the fish had been feeding off the wound. It had been in an extremely agitated state and the game wardens had duly put it out of its misery. The bitten and battered rubber dinghy was returned to camp where we, the survivors, had photos taken standing behind. As the photos were being taken, I thought that this would be the final episode to the wondrous trips down the Mara River. No! You guessed right. They changed from a rubber dinghy to a steel-frame boat and on they merrily went with their scenic trips down the River!

Bunty Moore c1947

Felicia’s Family History In Kenya (Chapter One) Written by Jane Collie

I (being Jane Collie, Felicia’s mother) first travelled to Kenya in 1973, which was 50 years ago. I was 18 years old, which was slightly older than I thought I was, but maybe that’s good news, because being in Kenya on one’s own with very few family and limited contacts – could have got me into lots of trouble! But I was one of the lucky ones and my life was almost charmed, straight from the beginning. My mother (Bunty Moore) had never really enlightened me to her life in Kenya, but Uncle Gus occasionally filled-me in on their adventures back in 1946. Oh what magical times they must have had. I have subsequently found her letters and picture albums, allowing me to piece it all together. The similarity of not just two, but three generations, treading on the African Continent, all at different times, is amazing as my daughter, Felicia, now is married and lives in Kenya living a wonderful life with her husband outfitting riding safaris for the last thirteen years. I also have had my own personal resurgence to Kenya since 2010. Although much has changed landscape-wise, I feel so at home and blessed to have come back.
It’s always ironic that when you have the opportunity to reminisce your parents-past, that those opportunities are left too late – for all you have to rely-on, are a few raggedly photo albums and faded airmail letters. From these old gems, I have pieced together some wonderful stories of Bunty’s young life in Africa starting in 1946 and spanning through to 1956. I am unable to recall her ever talking in depth as to why she first came to Kenya, except to say maybe she was lured there by the infamous Uncle Gus, namely her cousin, who was sent to Kenya by his parents as the prodigal black sheep of the family – never to return! Reading between the lines, I think Uncle Gus used mother as his ‘Bank of Kenya’, having ascertained that she had been left a considerable sum of money by her Grandmother. In all her correspondence, there was a lot of financial talk as to how much Uncle Gus had borrowed, and to how many amazing trips he had persuaded my mother to accompany him on, as long as she paid! Always with a promise …..
One trip that stands out, was their safari to the Belgian Congo in an MG midget. Here are a few clips of a letter sent to her mother (Rowena Moore);
“We came back from the Indian Ocean and spent a night in Nairobi, before then heading off for three weeks – that ought to be a wonderful trip. It’s quite a business, as one can only take £20 each and have to have various visas etc and we have to do about 200 miles a day and there aren’t many towns. We travel via Kampala in Uganda and all the way up (if you have a map you can see the route) and one day we hope to cross Lake Tanganika by steam – takes all day! The volcano near Lake Kivu (Goma) was erupting, but I gather it has just stopped now, rather a pity, as I would have liked to have seen it!”
I return back to my time in Kenya as an eighteen year old – I had always been in a hurry to grow up, not so now …..
My self confidence did stand me in good stead though, as the infamous Uncle Gus was to be my chaperone whilst in Kenya. This sadly did not transpire immediately, as he had forgotten or rather glossed-over the fact that on my arrival he was moving out of the matrimonial home in leafy Karen to take up residence with his secretary of twenty years in Westlands! Leaving me to a total stranger, his estranged wife, promising me the use of the company cars in recompense to his total absence for the first six months. My surrogate aunt was a formidable lady on first acquaintance, and it was with trepidation that I arrived at their house to be met by the words, so “you’r the niece,” as she exhaled a large cloud of smoke from an extremely long cigarette holder. All my fears were soon allayed as Wendy was the most hospitable hostess and I believe I was a welcome distraction to her breakup.
My first adventure, was taking up the offer made to me whilst in the UK, by a dashing young man at a drinks party in London. I mentioned offhandedly to Wendy, that the said young man had given me his number in Kenya as he was going to join his good friend and go on a two-week safari exploring the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara. Ngorongoro Crater and back to stay on Baringo Island Camp in The Great Rift Valley. This at the time, meant very little to me, but to my aunt, it was all systems-go – a trip not to be passed over.

RIDING SAFARI SPAIN

The ‘lost’ ride in an area of understated beauty. Spain. May 2022

Hidden away in the Iberian Peninsula lies a range of hills called Sierra Morena. A wild and ‘lost’ region of Northern Andalucia. Felicia and I had the absolutely pleasure to explore on horseback with a group of guests these mountains, streams and ancient bridleways which meandered their way through oak and cork forests. It was Spring and the many meadows were thickly clotted with wildflowers. George Scott was our enchanting and at times, mischievous host and guide. Our first night was at Trasierra, the family finca, beautifully styled and re-loved by George’s mother, Charlotte. From here we rode to the XVI Century Taramona Farm House – the rambling Spanish countryside home of George himself. I loved this place. Karma from heaven. As the days drifted by we penetrated deeper into the back country staying in traditional unrestored farmhouses and eventually made it to a magnificent Rajasthani safari camp. Each evening dozens of candles, hurrican lamps and open fires were our only source of light under the blanket of night stars. The food throughout was absolutely delicious Andalusian cuisine at its very best. Every evening we gathered around a fire and enjoyed gracious sundowners and nibbles. There was a bewitching magic to the whole experience. We will be back.

Conservation & Education

A heartfelt thanks to all of you whom so kindly donated earlier this year to our appeal towards supporting our various school projects and to keep our anti-poaching rangers in the field. 

School & Education Projects 2021

We recently started a project to encourage young Kenyans to visit Sangare Conservancy (a 4,500 acre wildlife conservancy in Nyeri County, Central Kenya). It is hard to believe that so many Kenyans have never seen a giraffe, zebra, buffalo, elephant etc. in their lives. Thanks to your financial contributions, we were able to organise six school day trips, with a total of 189 students ranging in ages from 6-18 years and 23 teachers. A full day game-driving and walking with wildlife and to experience an open and wild natural landscape. In addition, lunch was provided for everyone that included a loaf of bread and a soda. The overall reaction was humbling. Here are just some of their unedited comments;

“On behalf of Karicheni Primary School parents, teachers and leaners, I wish to thank you and everyone whom made the Sangare Conservancy Tour a success.”

“Each days safari activity to see wildlife in alleviating the lowest in society is a blessing. Never faint in doing good brother.”

“Am so grateful for the opportunity accorded to the schools and wish you good.”

“The faces express delight by Lusoi Primary School as they board for a safari tour.”

“Hallo Sir. I’m today happy to see my first giraffe. Thanks.”

Furthermore, we were able to continue our ongoing support of a school by paying for an additional school teacher to our local community – Mrs Ruth Anyango Ndeda.

We still have plenty of funds in the kitty and will keep you updated as to how it is spent over the next 12 months.

Anti-poaching Rangers, Land Leases & Community Commitments 2021

Kenya’s national parks, private conservancies and wildlife protected areas are almost entirely funded through tourism. One can imagine the catastrophic effect the pandemic has had on this source of revenue. However, through your generosity we were able to keep our ranger patrols active over the last 18 months, doing vital anti-poaching work and human-wildlife conflict liaison. Much of the land on which we share with our guests is actually owned by local communities. We pay these land owners a guaranteed rent so that they appreciate the true value of wildlife and open ecosystems. This policy has also been maintained, albeit at a reduced rate, throughout Covid. 

May we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and blessings for the coming year and a huge appreciation for your kindness and support.

Gordie, Felicia and the Safaris Unlimited Team

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