camp lounge tent charles welcome.jpg

“Out of Africa” Luxury Tented Camp Safari

Something about safari that makes you feel as if you have drunk a bottle of champagne - bubbling over with gratitude for being alive.

Karen Blixen  OUT OF AFRICA

“There is nothing like coming back in the gloaming after an exhilarating day on safari to a crackling campfire with the stars blazing overhead and somewhere, out there in the dark, a lion roars.  It is at moments like these that the primordial energy of Africa steals into your soul and changes you forever. Our safari is a safe, luxurious and thrilling haven from which to explore the African Wilderness for here you will see the world as it looked in its infancy and re-discover the magic that has always been you.” 

Don Young, CEO Newland Tarlton Safaris

 

Day 1: ARRIVE NAIROBI    

Upon arrival in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you’ll be personally greeted, given VIP assistance through Immigration and Customs, and driven to Karen Blixen Coffee Garden located on a property dating back to the years just before World War I, when “Out of Africa” author Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) and her husband Bror owned the Swedo-African Coffee Company.  There are 14 charming cottages nestled amidst the original forest and exotic gardens and decorated in the style of Karen Blixen’s day with the addition of large bathrooms, fireplace, Wi-Fi, Satellite TV and mini-fridge. The original farm manager’s house is now a well-known restaurant. There is also a swimming pool, a poolside restaurant, a spa, a gym and a gift shop. Close to the Wilson Airport, it’s a comfortable home-base from which to visit ‘must-see’ venues such as the Giraffe Center, David Sheldrick’s Animal Orphanage, and the Karen Blixen Museum and for shopping in the boutique shops of the upscale neighborhoods of Karen and Langata.  We are happy to help guests plan activities as this is an open day. Everyone is invited to gather in the evening for the introductory Discovery Chat: Safari Seduction: The Golden Age of Safari. Overnight: KAREN BLIXEN COFFEE GARDEN COTTAGES

Day 2: TRANSFER TO EL KARUMA    

After breakfast enjoy a private road transfer with magnificent panoramas of the Rift Valley to El Karama, a 15,000 acres private wildlife sanctuary home to some of highly endangered species such as Grevy zebra, Reticulated giraffe, Jackson’s hartebeest, gerenuk and Fringe-eared oryx. Also thriving here are the predators: lion, leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena, as well as elephants and some of the most massive Cape buffalo in Kenya, as well as the prey species such as Grant’s gazelle, Thompson gazelle, impala, dik-dik, Steinbuck and warthogs.  The ultimate dream home built by German architect and his landscape-artist wife, Kiota Safari House has 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms with all the modern convenience making it an ideal location to recover from jet lag and ease into the a week of indulgence and adventure.  The Welcome Lunch introduces you to one of the best culinary team in Kenya. After settling in, you have the option of joining the first “Tracks, Packs, Spore and More” workshop on “Tracking: The Origin of Love” before embarking on our first official game drive culminating in the safari ritual of sun-downers, toasting the sunset in the wild. Returning with ample time to shower and dress for dinner, you may choose to enjoy today’s optional Discovery Chat “Rocking the Cradle of Civilization” before cocktails are served in the Library followed by an elegant 4-course dinner and night caps in front of the fireplace. Overnight:  KIOTA HOUSE (Full Board) 

Day 3:  EL KARAMA    

Today immerse yourself in the safari lifestyle that will shape your days in the African bush.  The day begins with hot drinks and treats, still warm from the oven, served in your room. Illuminated by the pastel colors of dawn, the grasslands are the playground for the plain’s animals as expert guides Simon Lekura and Peter Munoru take the wheel of the open Land Rover so perfect for the morning game drive.  We may stop in the midst of a herd of zebra grazing with elephant, giraffe, impala and warthogs for a coffee/tea picnic, but save your appetite for a full cooked breakfast upon our return when Bibi shares the top photos of the previous day for your personal use. Then, relax in the garden or post photos on the WiFi.  Lunch is a three-course repast prepared by our amazing kitchen staff considered by many to be the best in any camp. After lunch, enjoy a siesta or participate in the daily afternoon creative workshop “Tracks, Packs, Spore and More” inspired by animal tracking and social behavior. As the Golden Hour gilds the landscape, we head off on an afternoon game drive to encounter animals as they rouse from their midday naps ready for night-time drama.  In the gloaming of the afternoon, we’ll stop for the safari ritual of sun-downers and “bities.” Upon return, there’s time for hot showers and changing into freshly-pressed clothes. Tonight’s optional Discovery Chat is “African Animal Totems”. Cocktails are served in front of the roaring fire in the Grand Salon until we are called in for dinner, a lavish four-course candle-lit feast. The evening concludes with nightcaps and stories by the fireplace. Overnight:  KIOTA HOUSE (Full Board) 

Day 4:  Transfer to LEWA  CONSERVANCY    

Crossing the Equator, a leisurely two-hour drive through magnificent landscapes and fascinating farms takes us to Lewa Downs, a 55,000 acre private wildlife conservancy.  At Lewa Wilderness Trails Lodge, the beautifully designed guest cottages are constructed entirely from local materials - thatch from the nearby swamp, great logs of cedar cleared from the forests at the base of Mt. Kenya, and volcanic rock from the surrounding hills - and furnished with fine furniture and carpets made  on site. Each of the cottages has a fireplace and a well-stocked bar and has a superb view of the grasslands where you may well see elephant herds grazing. We’ll arrive in time for a gourmet lunch featuring fresh produce from the ranch's own dairy, organic gardens, and orchards, served in the open dining hall with expansive views of the Lewa River Gorge where leopards lounge. After lunch, Bibi shares top photos from the previous day. Then it’s time for a dip in the horizon pool or WiFi posting.  Today’s “Tracks, Packs, Spore and More” Workshop held in the pool lounge focuses on Lewa’s star resident, Rhino and Elephant which we will likely encounter on today’s afternoon game drive followed by sun-downers-on-the-rocks. This evening’s optional Discovery Chat “Pioneering Conservation” is held in the Panorama Lounge with an open-bar and leads up to a 3-course dinner at an al-fresco communal table with other safari guests. Overnight: WILDERNESS TRAILS (Full Board)

Day 5:  LEWA CONSERVANCY    

You are now accustomed to the rhythm of the African day - game drives in the morning and late afternoon to unobtrusively follow lion prides on the hunt, elephants marching across the savanna and cheetah watching for their next kill; Sharing photographs provided by your personal photographer, Bibi Jordan, and posting on social media in the WiFi lounge; Three main meals and innumerable tasty treats during the day with bottomless drinks; Optional “Tracks, Packs, Spore and More” Creative Workshop before tea and optional Discovery Chats before cocktails and much more.  Today, you’ll personalize the day with a choice of unique activities that gets you up close to some of the unusual African mammals. Lewa is home of thriving herds of the rare Grevy zebra as well as Burchell’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, impala, eland, hartebeest, gerenuk and Beisa oryx, not to mention lions, leopards and cheetah and over 200 elephants. But, most notably, Lewa, which has championed the revival of black and white rhinoceros, can boast of more than 100 resident rhinos. A game drive in Kenya’s first silent electric Land Rover lets you sneak up within touching distance of these animals.  Another unforgettable experience is to hike with Lewa’s experienced walking guides to get closeup looks of rhino, elephant, zebra and giraffe. If you prefer to ride, Lewa’s horses are sedate enough for beginners but there are also more spirited horses for those who enjoy a good gallop. Perhaps the most unique option is to caravan on camel with Maasai trackers through herds of antelope of all kinds. Or, you could choose to explore Lewa Downs’s prehistoric (Acheulean) stone-tool site, considered one of the largest in the world. Today’s Creative Workshop is on Zebra and Giraffe and the Discovery Chat is a behind-the-scenes tour of an exemplary Conservation Lodge including organic gardens, eco-architecture, homestead artisan workshops, safari kitchen, camel and horse stables and more. Overnight: WILDERNESS TRAILS (Full Board)

Day 6: FLIGHT TO MASAI MARA     

After breakfast, a one- hour SafariLink flight gives a bird-eye’s view of the Maasai Mara National Reserve where you will be met by your host Don Young, the legendary safari guide whose camp offers the best location in the Maasai Mara for enjoying fabulous wildlife and stunning scenery. Don Young is the owner of Africa’s oldest and best safari company: Newland, Tarlton & Co. founded in 1904. Pioneers of luxury tented safaris in Africa, NTC hosted US President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1995, Maasai Chief NAME gazetted x square miles of prime grasslands to Don Young whose expertise as a conservationist, a paleontologist, a scholar and a social activist had earned the respect and gratitude of the GROUP Maasai Community.  NTC’s Don Young Camp is outstanding for its support of the Maasai community and for its recreation of the Golden Age of Safari. Camp team members proudly wear their stunningly photographic clothing and jewelry and practice Maasai traditions like tracking, dancing and animal husbandry while also embracing modern technology like GPS, solar energy and online cattle auctioning. A designer of safari tents and safari furniture, Don Young has created a true “Out of Africa’ style tented camp as well as having created the canvas structures, furniture and decor for East Africa’s most luxurious lodges. While your first day at Don Young’s Camp will be complete with game drives, sun-downers and gourmet meals, you’re likely to be engrossed in the seduction of safari style on your first day in camp. NTC invented ‘safari’ as we know it today and, under Don Young’s leadership, it is acknowledged as the standard-bearer of the quintessential East African camping experience -- blending an unrivaled intimacy with nature with superb hospitality, good wines, and great food.  Today’s “Tracks, Packs, Spore and More” Creative Workshop is on Big Cats is lead by our Maasai guide in full warrior regalia, and the Discovery Chat is a traditional African campfire tale told by a master story-teller that you won’t want to miss. Overnight: DON YOUNG CAMP (Full Board)

Day 7:  MAASAI MARA    

Your first full day at Don Young Camp presents you with the wonder of the ‘Secret Migration.’  While in June crowds throng to the Maasai Mara to view the well-publicized migration of the hartebeest, in February and March the discerning traveler will discover herds of plains’ animals -zebra, giraffe, baboons, Thomson gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, Coke’s hartebeest, topi, and warthog- grazing on the freshly sprouted green grass Amidst meadows of wild flowers, baby animals are being born,  The abundance of game naturally attracts the lions, cheetahs, jackals, and hyenas. Leopards lounge in the riverine gorge that forms the border of the camp. Herds of elephants and buffalo congregate at water holes. All of this awaits you as we drive out of camp on your morning and afternoon game drives. But, let’s keep it a secret because it’s the total lack of other vehicles that makes this season a dream you’ll want to keep all yours!  Don Young and Peter Munoru are superb guides who can spot unique sightings, like the birth of a baby zebra, far in the distance and can interpret the behavior of any animal, like a giraffe’s focused stare revealing a lioness with her cubs, that are invisible from your perspective. And we haven’t even started to talk about the birds - ostrich, secretary bird, crested crane, lilac-breasted roller and many other beautiful creatures. Equally impressive are the superbly photogenic Maasai guides who, proudly donning traditional shuka and warrior beads, will become your closest safari allies.  All this is enhanced by the dynamic conversations curated by Don Young over bountiful meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and “bities’”(morning drinks, game-drive picnic, sun-downers, cocktails, and night caps) prepared in a true safari kitchen.  Today’s “Tracks, Packs, Spore and More” Workshop focuses on some of the camp’s harems of Impala, Topi and other Antelope. In addition, while at camp, you accompany the Maasai askaris during their morning scout to identify fresh animal tracks.  The Discovery Chat this evening is “The Making of a Legendary Guide” as we discover Don’s intriguing life-story of how a poor farm boy from Nebraska ended up discovering a major humanoid fossil site in Kenya and becoming Africa’s most sought-after guide and safari camp designer. Overnight: DON YOUNG CAMP (Full Board)

Day 8:  MAASAI MARA      Overnight: DON YOUNG CAMP

Being in the heart of the Mara means you are in the middle of all the action and now you are accustomed to the rhythm of the African day - game drives in the morning and late afternoon to unobtrusively follow lion prides on the hunt, elephants marching across the savanna and cheetah watching for their next kill.  But, today’s game drive is unique: a real “Out of Africa” experience as you embark open vintage Series-1 Land Rover. We can guarantee you the ultimate photograph of you playing a role in a real “Out of Africa” scene! And, this is just the first of many details that today may resonate with you as “Don Young Camp” has now become “a camp of your own”.  The luxury of fresh laundry delivered each evening; the campfire warmed hot water on-demand for showers in your en-suite bathroom (with flushing toilets!); a lemon meringue cake cooking in a Dutch oven over coals in the kitchen area; the symphony of animal sounds heard beyond the canvas walls that you can now identify as easily as a trumpet in a jazz band; the faithful Maasai ‘askari’ that keep vigil through the night; the traditional story telling and relating of safari tales around the campfire.  All of these are traditions of the Golden Age of Safari that define the bespoke safari traditions. Balancing these quintessential safari customs are au-courrant touches such as photo ‘dailies’ from your personal safari photographer Bibi Jordan to keep your social media au-courrant as well as curated salons customized to your personal interests. Today’s “Tracks, Packs, Spore and More” Workshop examines the camp’s most amusing residents: Baboons and Primates. The Discovery Chat hosted by Maasai Bead Artisans is “Traditional Jewelry: Giving Voice to Maasai Women”  Overnight: DON YOUNG CAMP (Full Board)

Day 9:  MAASAI MARA     Overnight: DON YOUNG’S CAMP

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Don Young’ Camp other than the abundance of game and the faithful adherence to the ‘Golden Age of Safari’ lifestyle and decor is the endearing relationship between Don and his team from the local Maasai community.  Over the last few days, you will have formed friendships, as well as a gallery of photographs of the trackers in their finest jewelry, shuka and spears of traditional Maasai warriers.  Now it’s time to see the Maara through the eyes of the Maasai as we visit Ntesekera Village, tour the local school and are serenaded by the student choir.  It’s a heart-warming experience to accept the gratitude of the community because it is you, in your role of safari traveler, that provides for the well-being of their families and the conservation of their wildlife.   Today’s Creative Workshop and Discovery Chat are immersive, hands-on jewelry making with Maasai bead artists and conversation with Maasai elders delving into topics such as How do the Maasai balance preserving tradition while embracing technology?  What is the relationship of girls’ education, genital mutilation, child marriage and conservation? Why has traditional Maasai cattle grazing become a model for mitigating climate change? Overnight: DON YOUNG CAMP (Full Board)

Day 10:  MAASAi MARA      Overnight: DON YOUNG’S CAMP

By the end of your stay in the Mara, you are taking in stride this idyllic “Out of Africa” lifestyle.  Most every guest compares “The Secret Migration” to the Garden of Eden. But, nothing makes a more profound connection with our genetic memory than to walk across the savanna escorted by your team of Maasai trackers and an armed ranger (with escort vehicles in radio contact for those less intrepid).  It is the ultimate ‘grounding’ experience to follow in the footsteps of the game that first trod trails taken by our earliest ancestors on that first great safari that led them from the Cradle of Civilization to every corner of the world. Today’s “Tracks, Packs, Spore and More” Creative Workshop gives you an up-close look at spore, bones, insects and flowers interpreted by the trackers who reveal the previous night’s hidden story of hunt and escape.   On this final day, besides the schedule you’re now accustomed to, we encourage you (as on all days, but especially your last day) to tailor a day based on your own preferences. Just save energy for today’s Discovery Chat - a surprise evening event which will be a memory you will never forget! Overnight: DON YOUNG CAMP (Full Board)

Day 11:  TRANSFER TO NAIROBI   Dayroom: KAREN BLIXEN COFFEE GARDEN

Following a final Hearty Safari Breakfast, you will say fond farewells to all your friends at Don Young Camp.  You will be transferred to a flight back to Nairobi where you will be met and transferred to day-rooms at the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden until your transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for evening departures.  Or, you may wish to book additional night(s) in Nairobi and/or other add-ons (ex. a Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trek in Uganda. Or an Indian Ocean Island Getaway) that we will be happy to assist you to arrange. Wherever your next journey, we wish you, “Safari Ngema! (Happy Travels!)”. (Breakfast included.)

For reservations or more information, email bibijordan@gmail.com