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Far & Wild team Kenya trip highlights

Our team went away to Kenya together - from walking safaris to cheetah chases, they share their highlights.



Marketing Manager
Published on

05 Dec 2022

Updated on

07 Dec 2022

Team Photo

In November, we took our first companywide visit to Kenya to see some of our most popular properties and to discover some new ones.

It was a treasured opportunity to spend time together sharing rare sightings, bonding over early ups and hotly debating which was our favourite lodge. Throw in a couple of sundowner G&Ts, lots of laughs and we've all returned rejuvenated and more enthusiastic than ever about why Kenya is a truly unique wildlife destination.


Curious to see what we got up to? Our team share their trip highlights below.

Breathing Views

Saruni Samburu
Saruni Samburu

We were lucky enough to spend our first night at the luxurious Saruni Samburu in northern Kenya, a longtime favourite loved by many of our clients. Eliza, our Marketing & Product Manager describes her first impressions.

"Forget the wide, vast green plains of the Mara, here we were greeted by arid scrubland, kopjes and rocky outcrops. Rare Grevy zebras and cobalt blue Vulturine guinea fowl were spied alongside camels roaming across the rusty orange sand - this strange and exquisite landscape felt like something out of a movie rather than real life.

Slowly, our car made its way up a rockface, no lodge in sight....we got out and walked through a hidden archway into our home for the night - in front of us was the most incredible panoramic view over Samburu with Mount Kenya standing proud in the far distance. Simply breathtaking. You could visit Saruni Samburu, not see a single animal and still walk away wowed - happily you'll see plenty of wildlife too!"

Cheetah Chase

Cheetah Hunt Kenya
Cheetah Hunt
Eagle View Viewing Deck
Viewing deck at Eagle View

A short, direct flight from Samburu to the Masai Mara took us to Eagle View in Mara Naboisho Conservancy. After many years of safaris, Alistair, our MD witnessed his first cheetah hunt whilst here. He shares all below.

"The first thing you notice at Eagle View is the stunning views from this camp over the Naboisho Conservancy, but the thing that really struck me was the warmth exuded from all the staff at this camp, partly as they were all local Masai people. Eagle View is aimed at our mid-market travellers (due to its well-balanced price point) who I think it would suit incredibly well. Lovely atmosphere, wholesome food, spectacular views and game viewing in one of the best conservancies in The Mara – all at an affordable price. What else do you need?

As the heat of the afternoon diluted into the early evening, we headed out on a game drive and soon came across a cheetah and her cub. Excitement built as they stretched, yawned and started to move off slowly towards a herd of Thomson’s gazelle. As with all wildlife, this scenario took its time to play out with us sat on the far side of the grazing herd waiting for the cheetah to career through choosing its prey. She walked, paused, lay down, crawled then stalked again – then BANG she was off. The Tommies had seen her though, and they were off, no slouches themselves. By the time she had hit top speed, she was moving past our vehicle in such a blur that no one even got a photo. The Tommies were too wise this time and she gave up. Back to her cub to share the bad news and look for somewhere safe to sleep for the night. Whilst the main prize for both predator and spectator didn’t occur it was a tremendous sight to see a cheetah in full flight."

Want to see a cheetah? Take a look at our article on best places to see Cheetah Africa.

Sundowner Drinks

Sundowners Team Pic
From left to right: Lucie, Eliza and Louise enjoying sundowners

Our cheetah hunt was swiftly followed by some rather special sundowner drinks. Lucie, our African expert shares why these were her trip highlight.

"For me, no safari is complete without a sundowner, and some are definitely better than others. We were staying at Eagle View in the Mara and after a busy afternoon of cheetah watching, we were driven to a beautiful spot with a wide view over the open plains. We were greeted by a team from the lodge who had set up chairs around a blazing fire and a table of drinks, and as the sun dropped below the horizon generous G&Ts were poured.

As we were chewing over the afternoon’s sightings the unmistakable roar of a lion came out of the darkness, about 3km south of us according to our Askaris (Maasai guards), and then this was answered by another roar to our north. As we sat, the roars got ever so slightly louder until the Askaris decided it was time to get back into our vehicle!

We set off into the darkness, using an infrared torch to look for wildlife and after a very short search, we were lucky enough to find one of the lions, a huge maned male - we followed him for a little while and watched as he drank for a few minutes."

Lion Drinking
Lion drinking at night
Tent Interior At Eagle View1
Tent at Eagle View where we stayed

Sunrise Balloon Flight

Masai Mara Hot Air Ballooning
Hot air ballooning over the Mara

After supper that night, Alistair and Ben whispered that they had organised for us to take a surprise sunrise hot air balloon flight the next day. To say we were chuffed is an understatement!

Louise, our Travel Coordinator describes the magic of soaring over the Mara.

"Floating gently over the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon as the sun begins to peep over the horizon is a thrilling yet serene experience. Although no early bird, I happily hopped out of bed at 4.30am for the brisk and bumpy drive to the launch site, where we were briefed by our knowledgeable pilot as hot air was fired into the balloon’s ‘envelope’. We climbed into the 12-person basket just before the craft was airborne and we were soon up, up and away – though we barely noticed that we were leaving the ground.

Before long and with the backdrop of a stunning sunrise, we witnessed a huge range of wildlife, from groups of gentle giraffe to a mob of mobile mongooses. Yet despite being in arguably the world’s best wildlife destination, this unique experience was about far more than just the animals we spotted – it was the joy of viewing the vast plains of the Masai Mara from above.

Our balloon safari lasted between 45 minutes and one hour … with our landing being one of the most entertaining parts. As we gradually came in to land, the basket dragged along the ground and in seemingly slow-motion tipped over – and us with it. This is standard practice, though wriggling out to discover you are sitting in a pile of zebra dropping is less so!

The bush breakfast (complete with a glass or two of bubbly) afterwards was the perfect ending to an incredible and unforgettable morning."

Read our article for more details on Hot air ballooning in the Masai Mara.

Community First

Basecampfour 44
Enjoolata Center Basecamp

Whilst in the Masai Mara National Reserve, we visited Mara Basecamp. Ben, our Founder shares why this camp won his heart.

"I loved Basecamp Mara… not just because it’s a lovely camp in a super setting… let's face it that would hardly be unique… I can list many camps in the Masai Mara that are equal or better on these two criteria. No, what sets Basecamp apart is its community projects… visit the Enjoolata centre located at the camp, and you will have a clear sense of an organisation that has conservation and community as its central objective.

This was a first for me in Kenya; visiting what I thought was a travel business that supports its community, only to find that I was in a conservation organisation supported by tourism. Bravo Basecamp – you are my new sustainable tourism crush.

But wait a second – don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because of this – there must be a compromise in the classic safari experience. Not a bit of it… the tent I saw (tent 12) was stunning… situated on a bend in the Talek River with an indoor and outdoor shower, a roomy veranda with a swinging day bed just begging for me to interrupt my busy site inspection and have a siesta to the sound of the hippos below and the hoopoes above. So delightful sleeping quarters… and matched by an equally impressive communal area (still on the river) well spaced out around the trunk of a giant fig tree. I’d happily spend a week here and not even leave camp!! And for once I’m in good company… the Obama family stayed here not so long ago.. not a flying visit… a proper 3 night safari… and if you call our team, we might just tell you which tents they had and see if we can reserve them for your trip!"



Leopard Hill Tent Interior
Leopard hill star tent

Our final night in the Mara was spent at Leopard Hill in Mara Naboisho Conservancy. A new lodge for our team which was an immediate hit. Eliza, our Marketing & Product Manager shares her highlights of staying here.

"As we approached Leopard Hill, a caracal careered out in front of us and we followed this rarely seen wild cat as it disappeared into the undergrowth. Serendipitously, the day before I had said this was the animal I most wanted to see so I was both surprised and delighted.

The next highlight was the spectacular star beds at Leopard Hill. Lying in your bed, with a lazy click of a button, the roof above you opens to reveal the starry night sky above. A magical experience which would be perfect for a Kenya honeymoon.

After a night of literally sleeping under the stars, we awoke to blue skies ready for our walking safari. We set to stretch our legs accompanied by a ranger with a gun and five Maasai with spears. Slowly we ambled along, soaking up our surroundings and relishing the chance to engage all our senses. We stopped to listen to monkeys chattering in a tree (the sign of a leopard nearby), felt the leaves of the sandpaper tree which the Maasai ladies use to file their nails and identified various poos, paw prints and bones. We even saw hyenas playing and giraffe grazing. A very rewarding start to the day and a bonus that we were back in time for omelettes!"

Fancy a walking safari? Check out Best walking safaris in Africa - The top 11

These are just a few snapshot highlights, to find out more about our trip and what the team got up to, call us today on 01768 603 715.

If you'd like help organising a trip whether a Kenya family holiday or a romantic bush and beach combination, we'd love to help you.