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february/march 2016 travel news 53
In 2013, Verity and her partner financed the construction of a girls’ dormitory with 60-
beds at Lobarishereki Primary School. Until the dorm, the girls walked two hours each
way, every day, often in the dark when there’s a risk of running into wildlife, which can
result in injuries and death. Verity continues to encourage students to continue their
educations into high school by supplying teaching materials, computers, furniture, staff
salaries, etc. Sabuk Lodge is registered on Packforapurpose.org – in case you have
room in your suitcases and want to donate some school supplies, etc.
Verity helped the local community who live across the river to set up the Nalare Wildlife
Conservancy on 2,000-acres to protect the wildlife and their habitat. The objectives
include encouraging a peaceful coexistence between wildlife and the people, creating
jobs and providing a sustainable income from the conservancy. All this helps to improve
the quality of living for the nearly 3,000 people who live in the area.
It’s people like Verity who make a difference in the bush by working with and benefiting
local communities through their lodge guests. That’s eco-tourism at its best.
When you get to Sabuk, you’ll understand why it’s such a special and magical place.
For more information: Click HERE to visit their website, for enquiries click HERE
Wanted: Safari Enthusiasts For An Exciting Quest
In 2013, Lauren Giannini fulfilled a childhood dream when she visited Kenya in late June for
three weeks of exotic wildlife, breathtaking vistas, and wonderful people.
“It was amazing and, at times, profoundly moving,” said Giannini. “I didn’t want to leave and I
knew I would have to return – again and again. I wrote about my adventures for a number of
publications to encourage tourism. Kenya has everything: exotic wildlife – Big Five, Little Five
and everything in between. It’s the birthplace of humanity, and one of the few genuine frontiers
left in the world.
“Kenya was life-changing,” continued Giannini. “You get off the grid and away from everyday
realities. You get closer to nature and to your self. Water is precious. The wildlife and open land
are national treasures. We’re so insulated in our comfortable, high tech lives – it’s empowering
to experience the bush, to enjoy 12 hours of daylight, then see the stars like a thick dusting of
diamonds at night or how the full moon charges the landscape. You appreciate solar power
and wonder why everyone’s still stuck on fossil fuels when all we need is right there in the sky.
You find yourself looking at your modern world from a totally different perspective.”
“Tamsin Corcoran warned me that I would get Kenya’s red dust in my shoes – it went from
my soles to my soul,” said Giannini, laughing at her play on words. “When I was in Kenya in
May, I sat down with Tamsin, a great friend as well as director of New African Territories, and
said, ‘I want to create a special, exciting safari to raise awareness about wildlife conservation,
especially elephants, which are so vital to the ecosystem and to tourism in Kenya. It’s called
Elephant Quest.’ Tamsin, who’s totally into land and wildlife conservation, loved the idea.”
“I know from experience that Tamsin puts together brilliant itineraries, yet she still amazes
me,” said Giannini. “Several months ago, she contacted the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to
inquire about Ithumba, their remote outpost in Tsavo East. By some miracle, Ithumba Hills was
available in early March, and she reserved it for four nights.”
Ithumba and its newer sibling, Ithumba Hills, are very small private camps, four tents each,
available for bookings only by Sheldrick supporters. They recommend eight guests, but even
if there are only two, you pay for the entire camp. It stays booked far in advance.
“Ithumba’s where the Sheldrick Nursery orphans at Nairobi National Park go when they’re
ready to learn to re-integrate with wild elephants,” said Giannini. “Ex-orphans come back to
visit, young mothers bring their babies. Every day it’s like elephant central at the mudhole.
When Tamsin told me she reserved Ithumba Hills for four nights at the beginning of Quest, I
got thrill bumps. It’s as close as you can get to elephants in the wild. The entire safari is going
to be awesome. The only thing is that we need is a few more people for it to happen.”
Elephant Wildlife Quest begins in Nairobi on 29th February 2016 with the first night at Ololo
Safari Lodge on the edge of Nairobi National Park, four nights at Ithumba Hills, three nights
at Sabuk Lodge on the Laikipia Plateau, and four nights at Speke’s Camp in the Masai Mara.
Cost per person is US$ 8,750 (sorry, no resident rate) which includes: meet & greet at JKIA,
transfers, charters & flights between camps, park and conservation fees, meals, drinks (except
designer labels), laundry, game drives, guided walks and activities while on safari. Not included:
international airfare, sponsorship of DSWT orphan ($50), Flying Doctor insurance cover ($25),
gratuities, personal shopping.
For information and to book click HERE To receive the itinerary and Giannini’s info booklet
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