Inside one of Kenya’s most luxurious safari routes

Luxury safari itinerary in Kenya. [Courtesy, ROAR AFRICA]

When I spoke to Leslie Lefkowitz, a luxury communications expert, about one of her stable’s outfits, she insisted, “It’s ROAR AFRICA…in all caps.” There were no illusions as to why this is perhaps one of the most luxurious touring outfits in the world, focusing on African hospitality.

Some of the company’s exclusive adventures take place in Kenya, and they also come at a cost. For example, a 10-day safari and accommodation at some of Kenya‘s bespoke outlets cost each guest (the safari takes up to six people) $32,660, or 3.9 million shillings at exchange rates current.

A casual glance at the company’s website provides a glimpse of some of the notable figures who have made their way across the African plains in search of tranquility.

There is Vanessa Williams, the American singer, actress and fashion designer who, after an epic safari, recommended that “everyone discovers Africa’s unique treasures at least once in their life”. Pat Mitchell, media personality and former president of CNN Productions, said she had “gone home a different person” after an epic tour of Africa.

Yet there is one name on the guest list that rings a bell when it comes to Kenya’s standing as a top holiday destination. Robert Redford is the renowned actor behind the all-time classic, Out of Africa which he shared with Meryl Streep, and which detailed the love – and many heartbreaks – that Danish author Karen Blixen endured.

In fact, ROAR AFRICA’s itinerary in Kenya follows in the footsteps of the films, with guests revisiting key locations where some of the romantic scenes were filmed.

“Safari is inspired by one of the greatest movies of all time,” says Lefkowitz. “This trip could only take place in Kenya, as it brings the romance of the cinematic masterpiece to life by recreating the most magical moments of the beloved film in the very locations where they were first shot. Guests can channel their inner Meryl Streep or Robert Redford and experience this extraordinary destination like no one has ever done before.

What would this one-of-a-kind safari look like?

Luxury safari itinerary in Kenya. [Courtesy, ROAR AFRICA]

Before an air transfer to the bush, it’s worth spending at least two nights in the city, and Hemingways Nairobi, the five-star plantation-style hotel in the leafy, historic suburb of Karen and not far from where some parts of the movie were shot is the perfect place to spend the night.

From the hotel balcony, the Ngong hills, topped with joints, appear. On the slopes is the final resting place of Denys Finch-Hatton, Karen’s second lover who perished in a plane crash at Voi in May 1931.

For the next four nights, the Outside of Africa streamed to another location where Finch-Hatton’s “burial”, according to the film, was recorded. At this site, high on the western rim of the Great Rift Valley is now Angama Mara, aptly named for its appearance suspended in the air, or the place where heaven and earth collide.

Here Redford and Streep had unforgettable views of the endless plains of Mara. A short distance away, towards the Mara River, is where the film’s intimate ‘hair washing’ scene was shot.

The highlight of the show, however, is the vast expanse of Laikipia. Segera Retreat, wedged between the Great Rift Valley and Mount Kenya, is set in an exclusive 20,000 hectare private sanctuary owned by ecologist and businessman Jochen Zeitz.

It is here in Segera that a hangar on the property grounds houses the original G-AAMY biplane used in the 1985 film. The quaint aircraft is still in good condition and guests can take a flight on this piece of history for an additional fee.

These ultra-luxury itineraries are the brainchild of Zimbabwe-born entrepreneur Deborah Calmeyer, who founded the company in 2005. Commuting between New York and Cape Town has given her an unrivaled understanding of travelers’ needs and desires. who were not only watching their pockets but the serenity of specially selected destinations.

“Deborah is curious and cultured, she has her finger on the pulse,” she says in her professional profile. His tours are much more than just sightseeing. It’s about food, culture and art.

Deborah grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe, riding horses and playing with the families of “Carmel”, the pet lioness her father rescued. Her family spent a lot of time in the African bush, instilling in Deborah a deep commitment to preserving and supporting her people, animals and the fragile environment in which they lived.

Her business is predominantly female-run, with a cast of local guides and other African experts. It was a deliberate decision to involve women in tourism because they are the ones who suffer the most from a fragile ecosystem. The women, she said, were in the hotel kitchens, housekeeping or the reservations office, rarely seated equal on the high table with the men. “If African women rise, wildlife will thrive” has become the driving force behind change in the previously male-dominated industry.

About Bradley J. Bridges

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