Hemingway Safari – Tanzania-Kenya

14 Days door-to-door

Such is Africa’s allure: that a bright fellow like Hemingway would lie in his tent, homesick before he’d even parted from a place that had come to seem more like home than home itself. We’re told these days to stick to the now, and the here, but Hemingway—like many of us lovers of Africa—knew that sometimes you can’t micromanage your passions.The Hemingway Wing Safari—a cherished favourite of ROAM guides – is a tribute, not only to Africa’s tendency to grab hold of our hearts, but also to the old-fashioned and cozy safaris of Hemingway’s time, with three tented camps (a little more luxurious than in Ernest’s day, but he was never one to avoid intelligently offered luxury), good looks at East Africa’s most legendary game parks (and a couple of lesser-known gems), and five swooping flights that bring us into great intimacy with Africa’s landscapes.

Three Great Reasons to Visit Africa –

Animals We Only Thought We Knew – No other place on the planet remotely compares to Africa’s wildlife extravaganza. First-time visitors are invariably amazed by the abundance of big charismatic beasts and their lesser-known but fascinating supporting casts. It’s not especially unusual to see three or four or even all of the Big Five (lion, leopard, cape buffalo, elephant, and rhino) on a drive to a lodge or camp after a flight over Africa’s eloquent landscapes (such lyrical flights over such gorgeous scenery are yet another great reason to go on safari). But huge numbers aren’t the whole story. Since our earliest days most of us have been enveloped in African animal motifs: from the plush toys in our cribs, to countless books, games, movies, endless documentaries, and captivating videos. But when we see them in their homeland, smell them, watch them up close and at leisure, we realize we didn’t know these animals nearly as well as we thought. We suddenly notice a giraffe’s massive nobility, we see how incredibly interesting a galumphing hippo is, we’re struck by a lion’s lazily breathtaking litheness, and we realize as if for the first time how grand and beautiful and unusual these animals truly are.

Africa’s People – People come to Africa to see the animals but they leave in love with the people. This is a common experience not particularly easy to write about. But few visitors are untouched by the bedrock hospitality and big, cheerful hearts of the African people. Every  safari that ROAM plans, whether it’s a custom-designed Bespoke Safari, or a guaranteed departure, small-group Classic Safari, is accompanied from beginning to end by an intensively trained guide a.k.a. “Safari Director”, who represents the best of the African spirit.

A Soothing Respite – Serenity. You probably don’t have to be reminded just how busy and tangled modern life can be. In most of Africa–especially and spectacularly on safari–life operates at a different pace. After flying to the continent, sightseeing in bustling Nairobi or Johannesburg or Cape Town, you fly to a lodge or camp in the bush, and suddenly you’re embraced by a deep quiet, a stressless serenity that lulls and comforts and ends up healthily intoxicating you. (ROAM carefully picks our lodges and camps with comfort, beauty, and this enriching calm foremost in mind). Elspeth Huxley, one of Africa’s greatest celebrators, put it well in The Flame Trees of Thika: “To depart on a safari is not only a physical act, it is also a gesture. you leave behind the worries, the strains, the irritations of life among people under pressure, and enter the world of creatures who are pressed into no moulds, but have only to be themselves; bonds loosen, anxiety fades, the mind closes against the world you left behind like a folding sea anemone.”

Trip Length 14 days
Dates
2018/19
Weekly guaranteed departures
Start Tuesday, return Monday
Price $14850 plus $2400 internal flights, (single supplement $3400)
Deposit 50%
Meeting Place Nairobi
Gateway City Nairobi
River Rating
Age Range Any - we can tailor to your needs
Itinerary at a Glance
  • The remote and dramatic northern Samburu region, home to unique species like Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, gerenuk, beisa oryx, and reticulated giraffe.
  • A glimpse into the daily life of the nomadic Samburu or Maasai warrior clans, with special invitations to meet with tribal leaders for a discussion about rituals and ancient customs.
  • Walking in the bush with Maasai warriors, horsebacking in a Tanzanian coffee estate, biking in the Ngorongoro Highlands.
  • Service, info, and good cheer from your safari guide from start to finish
  • amazing meals and outrageous accommodations
Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 En route to a classic East African safari

We board our flight and enjoy the anticipation of Africa.

DAYS 2 & 3 Getting acquainted with Nairobi

We’ll be met by your ROAM representative and whisked away to a place Hemingway spent many Hemingwayesque hours, the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel. We’ll visit the Giraffe Centre and the illuminating National Museum, pay our respects at the newly renovated home of Karen Blixen (who, Hemingway said more than once, should have received the Nobel Prize for literature instead of him). And we’ll have a welcoming lunch or dinner at Lavington.

DAYS 4 & 5 Larsens Camp in the great Samburu gamelands

We fly 200-plus miles north to the Samburu, in many ways the embodiment of the Africa we’ve been carrying around in our imagination since we were children (it was the home, for instance, of Elsa the lioness, of Born Free fame). Nurtured by the Ewaso Nyiro River, the Samburu is rugged, calmly inviting, and enveloped in the air of remote Old Africa, scented by acacia.

We’ll sojourn in one of two outstanding Samburu camps: Larsens Camp or Elephant Bedroom Camp, both set on the forested banks of the Ewaso Nyiro, much frequented by friendly elephants, whose meanderings we watch in comfort from the verandas of our superbly designed tents.* Game drives in the Samburu introduce us to its fabulous plentitude of large (and cunningly small) mammals, who are just the headliners in a fabulous cast of very natural, very intriguing characters.

DAYS 6 & 7 The Maasai Mara’s famed Fairmont Safari Club

South by air to the Maasai Mara, the northern reaches of the Serengeti–Maasai Mara ecosystem, earth’s richest wildlife habitat. Our base for explorations in the fabled Mara is the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, recently voted among the Top 20 in Travel+Leisure’s consequential World’s Best Hotels list. Surrounded on three sides by the life-giving Mara River, the Mara Safari Club is a masterpiece of appropriate and generously luxurious design. And it’s a great jumping-off place for extraordinary game drives in the mixed land- and waterscapes of the Mara. We’ll visit a traditional Maasai village as we wend our way through this natural wonderland, the kind of place that moved Hemingway to write, “I loved this country and I felt at home and where a man feels at home, outside of where he’s born, is where he’s meant to go.”

DAYS 8 & 9 Gazelles by the gazillions on the golden Serengeti

“How can one convey the power of Serengeti?” asked Cyril Connolly in The Evening Colonnade. “It is an immense, limitless lawn, under a marquee of sky. . . .The light is dazzling, the air delectable; kopjes rise out of the grass at far intervals, some wooded; the magic of the American prairie here blends with the other magic of the animals as they existed before man.”

The Serengeti sometimes does remind us of the American prairie, but in truth it can’t be compared with any other place on earth. Its kopje-dotted landscape, its vast and billowing skies, and especially its astounding wealth of wildlife make it one-of-a-gorgeous-kind. Flying via Nairobi and Arusha, we reach our base, Migration Camp, on the hippo-haven Grumeti River. Known for its superb tents (which, one traveller wrote, “have only one thing in common with normal tents: canvas”) and its dramatic setting in rocky outcrops, Migration Camp is revered for its tranquility (something of a Serengeti specialty).

DAYS 10 TO 12 Exquisite Lake Manyara and the Ngoronogoro Crater

We make the short flight from the Serengeti to Lake Manyara, then drive to our base for the next three nights, the quietly spectacular Manor at Ngorongoro, whose Cape Dutch cottages (with full suites) are tranquilly set within a coffee plantation adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Manor, much admired for its cuisine and thoughtful service, offers a wealth of activities, from horseback riding, mountain biking and swimming, to estate walks and recreative spa lounging. We’ll make the thrilling drive up to one of earth’s wonders, the great, green, animal-nurturing caldera of a once catastrophically cranky, now beneficently mellow volcano, the Ngorongoro. Winding up to the crater’s rim puts us at Vail and Aspen altitudes of well over 7,000 feet, and being up that high, figuratively and actually, we may recall Isak Dinesen’s words in Out of Africa, “The air of the African highlands went to my head like wine, I was all the time slightly drunk with it.” And then we zoom down to the Lost World’s lush and park-like floor (but which, make no mistake, is an animal, not a human, kingdom) for a day’s game viewing and a festive bush picnic. And we’ll game drive and view-catch at Lake Manyara, which our guy Ernest Hemingway thought “the loveliest lake in Africa.” The lake is a birder’s heaven, (it’s frequented by migratory species), and the water from its Crater Highlands–supplied springs makes it a forested redoubt for all the most glamorous large mammals, including the famed Manyara tree-climbing lions. (It’s a little irreverent, but tree-lounging might be a better description.)

DAYS 13 & 14 Return to Nairobi and on to home

We affectionately say goodbye to the great crater, lake, and deliciously homey Manor, and fly to Nairobi, where we’ll rest up in day rooms at the historic Norfolk or Boma Nairobi before our late evening flights.

What’s Included

It’s different in Africa. Hospitality is a way of life here: travellers are welcomed like old friends and luxury takes on new meaning—we go beyond what’s expected of even the most luxurious safari outfitter.

luxury tented camp

And we know that a big part of making you feel at home is a seamless experience. So most everything on your safari is included–from delectable meals to airport transfers to a safari hat. Even all gratuities are included. Apart from the occasional shopping opportunity, there is very little need for you to even carry your wallet. Rest assured, we’re with you every step of the way—and we will do virtually anything we can to make your journey a comfortable and memorable one.

Perhaps the best of what is included is what is difficult to quantify. The insights of your experienced guide a.k.a. “Safari Director”, for whom the bush is a home away from home. A talk with a Maasai elder, or a discussion with a descendant of an original settler. The pleasant, welcoming smiles of your hosts and the shared laughter around a ‘sundowner’ campfire. In short, we think of everything. And if there’s something we haven’t thought of, we’ll do our best to make sure it’s taken care of for you. Because we want to do more than just satisfy. We aim to amaze.

Accommodations
Fairmont Norfolk hotel

Fairmont Norfolk Hotel – Nairobi, Kenya

The essence of luxury since 1904, the Norfolk is the legendary hotel from which many safaris have embarked. The spirit of past adventurers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway linger romantically in the air here.

Larsens Tented Camp bedroom

Larsens Tented Camp – Samburu, Kenya

Tranquil and luxurious, this camp enjoys uninterrupted views of the Uaso Nyiro River from the private verandas of every spacious and stylish guest tent. An evocative lounge and bar tent sets the mood—kitted out with explorer Eric Larsen’s original cabin trunks and pith helmets.

Fairmont Mara Safari Club bedroom

Fairmont Mara Safari Club – Masai Mara, Kenya

Brilliantly renovated, the Mara Safari Club is a jewel in the Mara. Magnificent tents feature lush appointments, four-poster beds and private verandas overlooking hippos bobbing and snorting in the river. The main lodge is Africa at its most elegant with stunning artwork and dramatic architecture.

Serengeti Migration Camp bedroom

Serengeti Migration Camp – Serengeti, Tanzania

Set on a kopje overlooking the Serengeti hills, this camp is a haven of sumptuous indulgence. Spacious tents are superbly secluded and blend into their natural environment above the Grumeti River. Richly furnished throughout, the camp exudes a decadence reminiscent of the Africa of yore.

The Manor at Ngorongoro – Ngorongoro, Tanzania

Set within a 1500-acre Arabica coffee estate adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, The Manor at Ngorongoro is a marvelous retreat whose luxe cottages — intelligently-situated throughout the property for maximum privacy — are all kitted out with contemporary decor and open fireplaces.

About the Region

First Time to Africa

We know it can be somewhat intimidating at first. An African safari is at or near the top of most traveller’s wish list, but the ins and outs of actually going on safari may seem a little vague. We understand this and are adept at transforming your perhaps hazy safari dream into a brilliant, very achievable reality. We answer many common safari questions but here are some queries we’ll put to you and some you might want to put to us… just to begin the discussion:

What happens on safari? What is it like?

Africa’s incredible wildlife is the central reason to go on safari, of course. We say incredible, because—after a lifetime of exposure to African images—most of us can barely believe the thrilling immediacy and newness of seeing these charismatic animals up close, wandering freely in their beautiful, ancient homeland.

We design all our safaris for variety and richness of the unique gameviewing experience (almost invariably including the fabled Big Five: lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, rhino, and elephants), typically making a morning and afternoon game drive in comfortable, well-provisioned and expertly guided safari vehicles. We usually fly from one camp to another (in itself a splendid and timesaving experience). Depending on the camp or lodge, we can choose between a wide range of activities, from classic game drives, mountain biking, swimming, bush picnics, cultural exchanges, bush walks, candlelight dinners to optional balloon rides, spa treatments, wine tasting, and, that rarity in modern life: deep, quiet, untroubled repose.

We’re inspired to craft our safaris with a deep appreciation for the continent’s sometimes overlooked joys, its varied and dramatic landscapes, vast, acacia-dotted plains, lush inland deltas like the incredible Okavango, the sparkling white beaches of Zanzibar, the idyllic, bonsai-like kopjes of the Serengeti, gargantuan Victoria Falls. If you have a sight you’d like to see and savour, we’ll find the right safari for you.

What kind of safari do you want?

Bespoke Safaris—these are fully private, individually planned, short, long, sky’s-the-limit.

Classic Safaris—small group trips with weekly guaranteed departures.

Private Classic Safaris—completely privatized Classic Safaris, ideal for families, friends, and whomsoever you want to enjoy Africa with.

Depending on your budget, we offer safaris that are simply sublime or over-the-top luxurious and anything in between. And in every case—whether it’s on a luxe, small-group Classic Safari or a fully private, hand-crafted Bespoke Safari—you’ll be treated, as Travel + Leisure magazine says, “like well-loved, out-of-town relatives.”
couple having private romantic dinner while on safari

When is the best time to safari?

A major question. But not so easy to answer. ROAM tailors safaris throughout the year, and private Bespoke Safaris launch whenever you want them to. Our experience allows us to take advantage of the best weather and wildlife in the varied regions.

 And what’s the difference between a camp and a lodge?

Lodges typically consist of permanent cottages and a traditional manor house, or individually decorated rooms in that welcoming house, which often has multiple dining areas, outside and inside, and lush landscaping for carefree moseying. Without losing a smidgen of luxury, camps usually feature a main house, and a number of luxuriously appointed, refreshingly airy tents (with en suite bathrooms, verandahs, and sitting areas). We like to say that these tents—tent design is high art in Africa— resemble the tents of our youth like a humble Timex resembles a Patek Phillipe.

 

Trip Planner

Planning.

You can feel it in the moment you decide to take an African safari — the butterflies that come with an approaching adventure. After all, the anticipation is a part of the journey… and there are many excuses to begin imagining yourself in Africa’s legendary wilderness. From deciding which safari is right for you, to choosing the clothes you’ll wear when you’re out on your first game drive, planning is all part of the fun! Yes, the thrill of safari begins long before you set foot in Africa. This section will provide some information to help you get prepared—and excited—for the adventure to come.

cheetah-on-roof

Your First Trip to Africa

There is nothing like planning your first safari -there are so many opportunities for exploration and relaxation, so many ideas to consider. With a map of Africa laid out before you, the possibilities play like a movie in your mind: Rolling along a golden landscape, your eyes plying the plains for a spectacular sight.

What To Wear On Safari

Safari clothing should be comfortable and casual—suffice it to say, any fine jewellery should be left at home. And while it’s not actually necessary to dress like an old safari hand, you won’t feel out of place if you do since that’s the everyday attire of the locals—i.e., the present-day “old safari hands” whose great-grandparents moved to Africa from England and points beyond. Plus, there are valid reasons to do so.

travellers on horseback safari

Wearing white increases your visibility to wildlife, while bright colours, particularly red, can frighten animals. (It is said that lions fear red because it is the colour worn by the Maasai, who hunt lions as a part of their coming of age rituals.) Khaki, olive, tans and browns increase your chances of good game viewing (particularly on a walking safari), while offering the added advantage of concealing dirt and dust. Not to mention that all of those pockets on safari shirts, vests and jackets are infinitely useful in the bush! Once you have signed up, we’ll send you a comprehensive packing list, baring you do not need to overpack as flights are limited to 30pounds of luggage.