Seven Days of Extraordinary Safari in Northern Kenya

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When Deb Calmeyer—the inimitable laminitis of the carbon-neutral safari institution ROAR AFRICA—calls, you prime up. The taxable of the call? An invitation to articulation a women’s empowerment–focused safari to Northern Kenya. Our question editor’s response? An ecstatic yes, please! You see, liable tourism plays a immense portion successful backing initiatives and protecting biodiversity. This peculiar outfit is simply a premier illustration of the responsible, impactful, and profoundly respectful tourism indispensable to moving the conservation needle forward. And each infinitesimal of it is, successful a word: extraordinary.

Below, the friends made, the spectacular wildlife encountered (from a harmless spot successful a tricked-out Land Cruiser), the bonzer African women changing the look of conservation, positive a useful packing list.

TOUCHDOWN IN NAIROBI

ROAR AFRICA excels successful over-the-top. The thorough, thoughtful squad makes it all—visas, Covid tests, flights, and transfers—a breeze. This peculiar safari is yearly and curated personally by Calmeyer to champion the African women changing the look of the traditionally male-dominated safari industry. From the pilots, guides, and conservationists to the chefs, nightly speakers, and antipoaching portion we met—all women. And the guests were women, too—a divers radical of documentary filmmakers, interaction investors, and entrepreneurs. It’s an outrageously fun, stress-free travel for the solo traveler oregon for a first-time safari-goer.

We landed successful Nairobi and checked successful to the airy, old-world Hemingways. Both the edifice and the surrounding assemblage beryllium connected what was erstwhile Out of Africa writer Karen Blixen’s onshore connected the borderline of the city. The two-night enactment was spent adjusting to the clip portion shift, getting to cognize chap travelers, and enjoying a backstage sojourn to the elephant orphanage astatine the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. (The orphanage is funded done an carnal adoption program, implicit with yearly updates connected your adoptee’s progress; reintroducing the orphaned elephants into a chaotic herd is simply a process that tin instrumentality up to 5 years.) After eggs and frothy cappuccinos the adjacent morning, we were disconnected to a small, backstage airdrome to alert northbound to Segera.

Group elaphant elaphant and man

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  • SEGERA: WHERE CONSERVATION MEETS CULTURE

    bedroom bedroom beedroom

    Segera is simply a large Kenyan conservation occurrence story. An overgrazed ranch successful its erstwhile life, each 50,000 acres of it were transformed by proprietor Jochen Zeitz into a savanna for wildlife protected by 1 of Kenya’s archetypal pistillate antipoaching units. Every structure—the main lodge, impermanent suites, villas for groups, pool, spa, unchangeable galleries, and wine-tasting tower—is architecturally cutting-edge, sustainable, and out-of-this-world beautiful. Plus, cook Violet’s food—much of it grown successful the integrated gardens—is worthy the travel connected its own.

    Zeitz built the spot to bespeak what helium has coined the 4 c’s—community, culture, commerce, and conservation. In practice, this means that passim Segera you’ll announcement the artistry of section beading and weaving alongside modern African art. Segera besides boasts an progressive reforestation program, an all-female ranger academy, and galore different solutions-driven initiatives to conserve the onshore for aboriginal generations.

    Segera’s hand-carved furniture, Eden-like gardens, well-thumbed tomes of Peter Beard’s photography, and Kitengela solid sculptures volition support your camera clicking. The thatched villas—essentially fancy, grown-up treehouses—brim with warmth, comfort, and personality. You’ll emotion the four-poster mahogany bed, panoramic savanna views, and penning table stocked with caller notebooks, binoculars, and maps of the ranch. Oh, and beryllium warned: The mini room of modern African authors stacked by each bedside is the worldly of readathon dreams.

    pool breakfast

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  • GAME DRIVES, SERIOUSLY GOOD SPREADS,
    AND GREEN JUICE

    Segera’s outstanding unit knocks expeditions, meals, and sundowners (cocktails…at sundown) retired of the park. Mornings statesman earlier dawn astatine the blazing firepit with java and caller watermelon foodstuff earlier hitting the road, wrapped successful blankets, to greet the sun. After 2 hours of tracking—the guides person laser vision, spotting cheetahs camouflaged by the agelong grasses, lion cubs, and uncommon birds—it’s backmost to the lodge for a yoga league and swapping stories implicit breakfast. Much of the unthinkable nutrient is sourced from the spot itself, and the cold-pressed greenish juice? Let’s conscionable accidental you’ll portion it by the jugful.

    After breakfast, it’s choose-your-own-adventure time. Crawl backmost into bed, get a massage, effort your manus astatine beading, curl up successful an armchair with binoculars oregon a book, shop, oregon aquatics (lunches of crunchy salads and house-fermented kombucha are served by the pool, making it the cleanable spot to relax)—it’s up to you. During the day crippled drive, support your eyes peeled for harder-to-spot taxon similar African chaotic dogs; cocktail hr backmost astatine the lodge is the reward. And no, it’s not a cocktail-attire benignant of cocktail hour. Expect to clink glasses successful your khakis, settee successful astatine the room for the evening’s speaker, past a speedy alteration (or not) earlier dinner.

    sunset lunch table woman successful  kenya elapant

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  • THE GAME-CHANGING VOICES OF CONSERVATION

    lions safari ride

    A safari is arsenic overmuch a learning acquisition arsenic it is simply a journey. Flying location with a deepened reverence for the earthy world—and anxiousness astir the aboriginal of that world, which we trust connected for oxygen, clime control, and biodiversity—means you did it right. Daily crippled drives bring to beingness the intricacies of the wildlife ecosystem and the behavioral quirks of the animals (elephants—they’re conscionable similar us!). Plus, Calmeyer’s lineup of whip-smart speakers—zoologist Dr. Lucy King, elephant conservationist Resson Kantai Duff, and legendary photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher to sanction a few—drives location the constituent that the mode guardant is with applicable conservation initiatives that are doable and see the section community.

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  • GETTING THERE

    ROAR AFRICA’s yearly Women’s Empowerment Retreat takes spot successful a antithetic African state each year. The 2022 lawsuit is planned for Rwanda and volition beryllium curated and led by Calmeyer. Most of the transfers are connected tiny backstage planes, which means lone 1 soft-sided portion of luggage per passenger. As our packing database suggests, program for comfortableness and support it simple.

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