Priceless memories are made when the family goes on vacation. The challenge is finding a personalized safari trip that appeal to the whole family-one that captures the imagination of adult and child alike. At Autoscope Tours and Safaris, we provide just such a getaway-an extravagant safari experience that will amuse, educate, entertain, and enthrall the entire clan. The Family to Family Safari is more than just your average foray into the African wilds. Activities abound for every age: Maasai or Samburu traditional beaded necklace making, Swahili mask-making, nightly star-gazing, and the basics of big-game tracking taught by your Safari Director. A family safari is more than just this year’s vacation… it is a family experience to treasure for years.
Autoscope Tours and Safaris whisks family members from the airport to the Norfolk Hotel, the historic centerpiece of Nairobi and epitome of luxury since 1904. Of interest in Nairobi will be a meeting with our tour director for briefing and a trip to the National Museum—a recently renovated institution that provides rich background on the country we’re about to explore. We follow this with a tour of Out of Africa author Karen Blixen’s home and the opportunity to hand-feed rare Rothschild giraffes. After an enriching day, we depart for dinner at the Carnivore restaurant, the best eating experience in Africa.
For the next two day, we discover Ol Pejeta and Solio, the Sanctuaries that house the highest number of both Black and White Rhinos in Africa. It is also here that we visit the Chimps Sanctuary at the Sweetwater’s . Accommodation is at the exclusive Solio Lodge.
Next, we set off to one of Kenya’s most welcoming hostelries: Loisaba, a private oasis on the Laikipia Plateau. The views alone will keep us rapt for hours—an impossibly beautiful golden panorama with Mount Kenya looming mighty in the distance. We roam this protected wilderness in complete privacy, seeing an array of wildlife difficult to find elsewhere, including leopard, elephant, hippo, cheetah, beisa oryx and the ever-elusive wild dog. It’s nonstop adventure: game viewing via horseback, camels or by vehicle. Rafting the Ng’are Narok River, mountain biking down the escarpment, lounging by the pool or playing tennis. Youngsters and teens explore age-appropriate diversions with their Safari Director. For an experience like no other, opt for a night in Loisaba’s one-of-a-kind Star Beds. Set on raised platforms, we nestle under cozy duvets on huge four-poster beds, cocooned in diaphanous mosquito netting, with only the wide and wondrous African firmament as our rooftop. It’s pure bliss.
For the next two days, we explore Rift Valley and Nakuru, enjoying the great attractions that this place offer, and also visiting Lake Bogoria National Reserve, the home of millions of Pink Flamingos and Rare Kudu. It is also here that you get to swim to the only naturally heated Spa pool in Kenya. Accommodation and meals at the Lake Bogoria Spa Resort.
We spend three nights in Maasai Mara, giving us the luxury of time to appreciate the region’s rich wildlife by game drive or even hot air balloon. Zebra, wildebeest, topi and hippos are common, as are leopards, lions and cheetahs. We’ll also immerse ourselves in the Maasai culture by visiting villages and schools, witnessing rituals and activities that have survived innumerable generations. Our game drives are colored with bush lore courtesy of our expert guides, who also explain the dynamics of the wild and the importance of conservation. Young travellers can enjoy a Bush Treasure Hunt, while teens check out the Swahili pop music disco. Meanwhile, adults will appreciate Bush Sundowners—a civilised cocktail party staged in the untamed wilds of Africa—and a gourmet dinner. Kids, on the other hand, will feast on their favorites from home. The Karen Blixen or Mara Intrepid tented camps are both delightful.
Returning to Nairobi, an amazing day is in store when families travel to the poignant yet joyful Mukuru slum to visit our community centre for orphaned and vulnerable children. First we’ll stop at the local mega-shop for treats—a fascinating errand in and of itself—select a tree from the nursery to plant at the community centre, then head to Mukuru bearing gifts. We’ll match our young visitors with African youngsters of similar ages, tour the community centre, maybe work on a project together, share a meal and even a game of soccer. This may very well be the most important afternoon that your family spends in Africa or anywhere.