For five years, I was a Super Host at an organic Malibu AirBnB with over 1,000 five-star reviews. A natural-born Nomad, I was ‘grounded’ by the enchantment of hosting 50 diverse guests every week. They arrived at my ‘caravanserai’ as individuals and couples, but left as life-time friends, bonding deeply through curated conversations, communal dinners and joint activities. Weeks prior to my house and livelihood burning to a crisp in the Malibu fires, I was told by a Peruvian shaman to visualize and follow a new calling. It was a vision to revisit with friends and new friends-to-be my favorite places in the world once again while we all still can. Thanks to the instant support of my colleagues in the safari business that had remained dear friends from my years traveling the world photographing and writing about eco-lodges in Africa and South America and luxury retreats in Europe and Asia, my dream of Nomad Chic came true.
At the launch of my book SAFARI CHIC, a dear ‘old Africa-hand’ set up a special event - a ‘camp-fire storyteller. Expecting an African, I was surprised to meet a rugged “Robert Redford” doppleganger. As the lights dimmed, we were spellbound by Don who transported us back in time and space to a land of wild animals and wandering tribes. I learned that Don, a paleontologist, naturalist, historian and author, was the legendary safari guide whose group discovered one of the oldest human skeletons. A modern-day Denys Fitch-Hatton, Don owns Newland Tarlton Safaris & Expeditions that has set the standard for classic luxury under canvas since hosting Teddy Roosevelt. I couldn’t imagine visiting Kenya without letting Don indulge me in the true “Out of Africa” romance of the Golden Age of Safari in his bespoke camp in the Maasai Mara, his Bush Home and his friends’ private reserves… and, of course, listening to his captivating campfire stories.
Facebook: Don Young
Colin impressed me with deep knowledge of all things fine and wonderful from literature and wine to off-roading and ballooning. His hospitality work at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons inspired us to propose an exclusive adventure safari company to the Uganda Tourist Bureau. Instead, they hired him to be an their ambassador. With solid government relationships and a country-wide network of friends, Colin launched African Great Explorations to showcase Africa’s least exploited and most stunning experiences like Gorilla Treks, Chimp Trails, White Water Rafting and Pygmy encounters. I love balancing the classic luxury of Don’s East African safaris with the raw adventure of Colin’s Uganda experience.
Facebook: Colin Muhoozi
Di is my ‘Safari Sister.’ She epitomizes all that is ‘SAFARI CHIC’ - style and grace mixed with ‘joie de vivre’. After reading my book, Di invited me to Southern Africa to experience her ‘safari concierge’ service. Hospitality Afrika Safaris is a unique safari outfitter that lets you choose just the right balance of personal guiding with a ‘shadow service’ in which Di provides behind-the-scenes support and logistics while your party travels independently. From a South African family that was intimately involved in the anti-apartheid movement (Mandela asked her father to be the architect of the Apartheid Museum), Di is revered throughout Southern Africa. She is Honorary Ranger of South African National Parks and as a Trustee of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, as well as private lodge owner. With a ‘savoir faire’ that none can match, Di puts the perfect touch on any event and puts in the perfect word on any occasion making each moment into a memory.
Facebook: Hospitality Afrika