CNN list eight luxury Kenyan safari experiences
A Kenyan safari tops the bucket lists of many travellers. There are numerous safari camps, and a select few of them cater to luxury travellers, offering upscale amenities and exclusive experiences. In addition to exploring the country’s remarkable wildlife, some safari camps include private pools, private chefs, the use of a limousine, and decadent spa experiences.
Safaris, particularly the luxury variety, have been immortalized on film and in literature for years. Kenyan safaris have an exotic appeal, thanks to such well-known visitors as Theodore Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway.
Many of today’s safaris are even more focused on luxury than ever before, with amenities and comforts that rival many of the finest hotels.
According CNN Kenya’s most luxurious safari experiences are:
Finch Hattons Luxury Camp
Undoubtedly one of the country’s finest safari camps, Finch Hattons is located in Tsavo West, one of the country’s oldest national parks. The camp was thoroughly rebuilt in 2013 and now includes numerous spacious “tents” but these aren’t typical tents. The presidential canvas runs $3,750 per night. But this isn’t a typical camp, either, as its luxury tents are surrounded by an open-air yoga platform, a full-service spa including a Turkish bath, and an air-conditioned gym.
The original Loisaba camp was destroyed by a fire in 2013, but was rebuilt and reopened in 2016. Each of the camp’s tents offer breath-taking views across the Laikipia Plateau to Mount Kenya. The new incarnation of Loisaba is even more luxurious than the original, with plans for a super-exclusive enclave to open later this year.
Ol Jogi Ranch
For those with a taste for the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity, the Ol Jogi Ranch, located north of Nairobi, fits the bill. The ranch is the former home of billionaire art dealer Alec Wildenstein, and consists of an expansive manor house and numerous surrounding cottages. For roughly a quarter of a million dollars a week, visitors can have the entire 60,000 acre wildlife conservancy to themselves.
Ol Pejeta House
Now an upscale wilderness resort, the Ol Pejeta House was once the safari retreat of the Saudi Arabian billionaire Adnan Khashoggi. The home, which features a personal chef ready to tailor meals to the liking of each guest, is located amid the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a private game reserve which is famous for its rhino and chimpanzee conservation programs.
Elewana Flying Safari
One of the pricier options among Kenyan safaris, the Elewani Flying Safari continues the grand tradition of the flying photographic safari. The eight-day safaris take place from the comfort of an executive class Cessna Grand Caravan, with overnight accommodation at numerous luxury lodges.
Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri is one of the country’s stand-out safari experiences. It features roughly 150 camps and lodges and dozens of futuristic tents. The camp overlooks grassy plains where wildebeests and countless other species migrate each year. To add to the air of exclusivity, the camp includes a Gordon Ramsey-trained chef. The entire camp can be reserved for exclusive use for $18,240 per night.
Overlooking the Indian Ocean, Alfajiri is regarded by many to be the finest resort on the East African coast. Visitors to Alfajiri will have three private villas to choose from, as well as the use of their own chauffeur, as well as a private pool and a private chef. Its location makes Alfajiri ideal for enjoying one of Kenya’s finest beaches, but also makes it an excellent base for exploring coastal game reserves.
Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp
For those who want not only luxury but an early twentieth century safari experience, Cottar’s is the place to go. The Cottar family started their business shortly after World War I, and with rooms outfitted with antiques and vintage pieces, it’s easy to feel that you’ve stepped back in time. To experience Africa like Karen von Blixen, reserve the five-bedroom homestead which includes a staff of eight and a private swimming pool.
The golden age of East African safaris may be in the past, but Kenyan safaris set the standard for luxury and authentic experiences.
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