When I decided to start hosting tours to my beloved second home, Kenya, the first and foremost in my mind, was to keep my tours simple. Keep them authentic to the country, and keep them ‘local’. I listed everything that was important to me – all the experiences I’d had over the years of travelling to Africa that I wanted to share with others.
My #1 was to create local experiences and adventures, so that my guests could really feel the country, capture the richness of the culture, learn from the local people, eat their food, mingle in their every day lives – and to really grasp a Taste of Africa. My other #1 was of course safety. We can still have these memorable experiences and adventures but with safety first and foremost in mind.
I also believe that to really capture the essence of Africa, staying in ordinary (but lovely) houses and camps is the the best experience you can get.
As people, when we decide to travel somewhere, we have the choice to stay in hotels, resorts, cruise ships and stick by our comforts, and for many, just travelling to another country is enough out of their comfort zone. Having the safety net of a hotel, with its staff, security and food we all know and love, is what we need. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We can also decide to make our travel into more of an experience and a little more adventurous and stay in local houses, camps, and wander off the beaten track.
Some of us who have always loved our comforts sometimes start yearning for a little bit of an extra experience – we start casting our eye over something slightly more adventurous and we peek over the walls of our usual travel safety nets. “I’d love to go to…. but!” A part of us wants an adventure… but!
My tours to Kenya and Uganda are indeed authentic, local experiences and I have guests with all sorts of travel backgrounds. I love them all. I’ve had those well-travelled ‘bring it on’ guests who love nothing more than to jump into the next adventure and grasp it all with both hands. I’ve had those who are first-time ‘adventurers’, who travel extensively and see the world from the comforts of their safety nets, but who suddenly take a leap of faith into another ‘type’ of travel experience for the very first time. I’ve also had those who’ve never been out of their home country, let alone jumping on board one of my tours to Africa. I admire them all, because they’ve entrusted me in providing them with a whole brand new experience. I also know they’re going to make beautiful memories, and that’s what really excites me, and it’s what counts.
So – if you’re feeling apprehensive, that’s perfectly ok but just think about giving this whole “authentic travel experience” a wee try with us. We go to great lengths to ensure you are comfortable, happy and thoroughly enjoying the experience.
The biggest buzz I get with every tour I take, is how my guests, no matter what ‘type’ of traveller they usually are, leave with the same feeling – that they’ve had a really amazing experience – that Africa really has captured them and often they’re also looking for the next adventure.
And that whole being out of your ‘comfort zone’ thing – actually it’s pretty damn OK.