[words & photograph © Mark Eveleigh]
Within 20 minutes of collecting my bag at Nairobi international airport, I’m already driving through seemingly endless savannah on the trail of hunting lions.
Nairobi National Park is often overlooked – and occasionally actively scorned – by inexperienced safari ‘aficionados’ who see it as little more than an urban safari park. In fact Nairobi NP deserves recognition as an incredible wilderness region where great herds of zebra and antelope graze alongside herds of several hundred buffalo.
Despite its location, right on the edge of the city, Nairobi National Park boasts about 80 rhino and a population of lions that is almost too large for the area. Recently two wonderful accommodation options have opened here (Emakoko Lodge and Nairobi Tented Camp) and it is to be hoped that more people will realize that you can now start your safari within a few minutes of leaving the airport…rather than have to battle across town to an inner-city hotel through Nairobi’s notorious traffic.
The Emakoko offers spectacular lodge facilities, in spacious bungalows, while Nairobi Tented Camp surprises visitors with the realization that unabashed luxury is entirely possible even when you sleep under canvas.
For Beaches: The stunning Kinondo Kwetu resort is a tropical Indian Ocean paradise, located at Galu Beach on Kenya’s South Coast. The exclusive resort (maximum 38 guests) offers an impressive selection of activities – including kite-surfing, canoeing, dhow-sailing, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, horse riding, golf (off-site) and yoga. A spectacularly spiritual place, the resort is situated on sacred land and is protected by the National Museum. Most guests also enjoy game drives in the nearby Shimba Hills.
For Bush Activities: Loisaba is located in Northern Laikipia, in big five country in spectacular landscapes on the flank of Mount Kenya. The lodge is famous for its diverse range of activities: you can take camel and horseback safaris or go lion-tracking,quad-biking,mountain-biking, rafting,day and night game-drives, fishing and even helicopter safaris. One of the great attractions are Loisaba’s ‘Starbeds,’ where you sleep on a beautifully situated open-air platform to take full advantage of the dramatic ‘skyscapes’ that are a product of Laikipia’s legendary clear skies.
For Luxury Camping: Still think that camping is not a luxury holiday option? The Exceptional Travel Company has put together a package that is sure to convince you that ‘canvas is the new cashmere.’ The 12-day tour can be customized but is designed to include five of Kenya’s most luxurious tented camps (Ol Pejeta, Joy’s Camp, Kitich Camp & Elephant Pepper Camp). Domestic flights are included in the price of £4,440 per person, which also includes full board accommodation,park fees and flying doctor cover. Click here for details on all Cheli & Peacock properties.