AfricaRose

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About AfricaRose

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    Tour Operator
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    Resident in Africa/Former resident

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    http://www.theluxurysafaricompany.com

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  1. @ Yes, the OP is in the travel business. She said that they only sell top end properties which have been personally visited by them. Apparently the question is originating from a discussion they had in the office. Hi guys - wow great discussion. Perhaps the original question wasn't worded as well as it could have been. Some of the properties we visit costing between $1000 - $1500 pppn are absolutely magical and the experience is life changing, BUT we STILL feel that that is a painful amount of money to shell out even for the best camp in the world, when as you all rightly mention you can have a life changing safari at lower cost camps too. I think the only point that we all agree on is that it completely depends on the person and their reasons for going on safari as to which camp suits them, and even people with an open ended budget might not opt for the most expensive camp anyway, it might be something more rustic that would suit them more. On another note perhaps if all countries operated on a 'low impact high income' policy like Botswana maybe this would cure overcrowding BUT in all reality it's too late for this to be implemented now in many areas. From the beginning there probably should have been a rule on say the minimum amount of space needed between each camp in any part of Africa so they were a little more spread out.
  2. @@Paolo yes our point exactly - its not the jacuzzis etc that matter but the guides, wildlife and locations. Very interesting to hear its not Africa specific.
  3. @@Kingfisher Safaris agreed!
  4. Also don't get us wrong - some camps are worth what they charge, but there are also quite a few which aren't!
  5. Yes Botswana has been very successful in this policy but this is not the case in Tanzania - they do not run that policy and their prices are still the highest in Africa with overcrowding included!
  6. Good point - I think there are some clients who expect wi-fi, tvs, jacuzzis etc - these aren't our people!
  7. Thanks for your comments. Although the profit margins are higher at the top end camps this is irrelevant if an agent is doing their job as the expensive camps might not be right for the client, the mid range camps often have excellent guides and we don't all want jacuzzis do we?! That's why we're very strict about having been to a camp and have managed to find some real gems that offer serious luxury in excellent game viewing areas for less - they are out there and many of them have the same ethos as us which is that $1,500 pppn or thereabouts is just a ridiculous price - but yes there is also this image some clients have of just simply wanting the most expensive as it must be the best, something which isn't true. We feel that by far the best option if you're on a budget is a private mobile safari - these are in dome tents with comfy camp beds and we use excellent guides for this, private campsites in great locations, good chefs and it usually all comes in incredibly good value for money. Otherwise there are some real gems out there that don't cost $1,500 pppn, of course they're not cheap either but for what you get they are excellent value for money.
  8. We'd love your opinion on this - we only sell top end and only sell properties we have been to - after a long discussion yesterday in the office we thought we'd ask your opinion, is top end Africa too expensive? South Africa still offers excellent value for money due to the rand/gbp exchange rate but in other parts of Africa particularly Tanzania and Botswana the prices in USD just seem to keep rising? We understand it costs more to run properties each year but are they ever really worth $1,500 pppn? We've been to many properties that cost around $750 pppn which we've loved more than the really expensive properties. Spending the most certainly does not mean getting the best. We believe you get what you pay for with great guides, great food and great locations but are some of these prices just ridiculously high?
  9. Hi Encounter Mara - coming to check you out in October, it can't come quickly enough!
  10. Hi Roger, do you run those mobiles all year and what do you charge if they're private? How many people do you usually get on each of your scheduled departures? Rose
  11. It's such a shame the Mara seems to be only getting busier - we tend to head to the Lamai Triangle in the Northern Serengeti for our Mara experience minus the people BUT we're all a bit worried that will soon become over populated as it seems to be a hot topic for a lot of Tanzania operators at the moment.
  12. Dear Armchair Bushman - you must try and get there if you can, it's really incredible - great name by the way!
  13. Having been lucky enough to travel extensively throughout Kenya I wasn’t sure there was anywhere I could love more than a select few camps I had already stayed at. Arriving at Buffalo Springs airstrip we were greeted by dusty dry bush and two Samburu complete with bright beaded jewellery and feather headdress – they piled our luggage into the vehicle and we set off, looking around apprehensively as the uninspiring scrub flew past us. Within ten minutes our guides, Sambara and Joseph, had giggled, chatted and made us feel utterly at home before swinging round a corner to reveal over sixty elephants at various stages of crossing the mighty Ewaso Nyiro River. I have never seen such a heart warming sight as families of these huge gentle creatures crossed the river with the little ones in the middle, all in single file – only to reach the other side where they frolicked and played like excited puppies. In an Africa where poaching is getting worse this sight was priceless and one that has never left me. As we drove onwards through Samburu National Park towards the Kalama Conservancy we began to take in the scenery – huge mountains and escarpments surround Samburu making it incredibly beautiful, combine this with some of the best elephant viewing in Kenya, five species not found in Southern Kenya (beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, Somali ostrich, Grevy’s zebra) and an abundance of big cats, especially leopard and you have a winning combination. Samburu National Park itself can become a little crowded in the peak season which is why retreating to the Kalama Conservancy, where Saruni Samburu is based, is so nice – this private conservancy is not traversed by other travellers and has good numbers of game passing through, although not as much as Samburu National Park itself. Saruni Samburu is run and hosted by the Samburu tribe employed from local villages, despite the ultra luxurious nature of the lodge I was unsurprised to find (as is often the way in Kenya) that it was the charismatic Samburu who made my safari. The Samburu are naturally gregarious and no matter what their level of English all of Saruni Samburu’s staff were always laughing, joking and making you feel completely at ease. One of the waiters Jacob once tried on all of my safari clothes including a waistcoat and my binocular harness and the hoots of hysterical laughter from Jacob’s friends and myself must have been heard at the airstrip. But it is the location of Saruni Samburu, which really stole my heart – the lodge is built over a large flat rock elevated high above Kalama, with exquisite views of the bush below. The lodge is spread out and each room incredibly private with sweeping views of the surrounding bush. Each room blends into its rocky base, the inside is furnished with luxurious but understated style – neutral colours with the odd splash of red in align with the Samburu tribes traditional dress. There are family villas with vast sitting rooms in between two bedrooms, and private more romantic one bedroom villas with fantastic sitting rooms and decks. Simba the chef also managed to produce some of the best food I have ever had on safari – particularly his sundowner bitings which I have since unsuccessfully tried to replicate at home. The beauty of staying at a lodge like Saruni Samburu which is based on a private conservancy is the freedom – whether you’d like to walk with the Samburu, have lunch in the bush, see ancient rock art or take a night drive you can. Our last night at Saruni was magical – on an evening drive in the conservancy we came around the corner to find a beautiful table set up for dinner on a remote hill. As the sun came down and dinner finished we heard the unmistakable hypnotic calling of the Samburu as the young warriors and ladies came out of the bush to dance – words can’t describe how enchanting, moving and humbling these dances are but they always leave me feeling as connected to Africa as an Englishman could ever be.
  14. Hello! Im Rose, Im new to posting here (but Ive been reading and lurking for some time!) and Id love to do an interview with you? I spend alot of time in Africa with my company, and its where my heart lies!

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