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14 Day Safari
plus $2450 internal flights
(single supplement $3350)
per person based on double occupancy
Weekly guaranteed departures
Start Tuesday, return Monday
Deposit: 50% Meeting Place: Nairobi, Kenya Gateway City: Nairobi, Kenya Age Range: Any – we can tailor to your needs
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 molds, but have only to be themselves; bonds loosen, anxiety fades, the mind closes against the world you left behind like a folding sea anemone.”
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
What to Expect on the Hemingway Safari
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 Hemingway-esque 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 traveler 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.
It’s different in Africa. Hospitality is a way of life here: travelers are welcomed like old friends and luxury takes on new meaning—we go beyond what’s expected of even the most luxurious safari outfitter.
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.