LUXURY SKY SAFARIS CONFIRM NEW TRENDS
(Posted 22nd October 2013)
Travel exhibitions often showcase new products and businesses, which, while they have been around for some time, have almost by stealth made their way into the big league of quality operations, and finally decided to tell the world about themselves. So has the Elewana Collection almost quietly completed their Sand River Masai Mara luxury tented camp, only their second property on this side of the border with Tanzania after their Afro Chic and the beaches of Diani.
In Tanzania itself the group operates 6 properties, from Kilindi Zanzibar over the Arusha Coffee Lodge to Tarangire Treetops, The Manor Ngorongoro to the two camps in the Serengeti, Serengeti Migration Camp and Serengeti Pioneer Camp.
Novel however, and catching my eye as I wandered across the Kenyatta International Convention Centre exhibition hall, was their SkySafari – aviation being in my blood from an early age when my WW2 fighter pilot father took me for my first spin up into the skies over my home town to experience the freedom above the clouds.
A customized Cessna B208B Grand Caravan is being used as the main conveyance to take clients on their bespoke safaris, flying out of either the Arusha Municipal Airfield or Kilimanjaro International Airport, and then using the 4×4’s of the respective camps for those all important game drives, which open up the real wilderness experience an African safari can still produce, if only put together by experts, guided by experts who know the immediate area around the camps like the back of their hands and hosted in fine camps renowned for their location, their food and overall hospitality.
I had a few months ago written about a similar venture out of Kenya, which however has already spread its wings across the entire East Africa and on to South Africa, offering the African highlights along the way, from the Masai Mara over Ngorongoro, the Selous to the Victoria Falls and other South African game parks and private conservancies.
In this day and age of buying off the shelf, which includes beach holidays and safaris, it is refreshing to see that ther are still companies where the attribute of ‘bespoke’ is fully justified, where safaris are crafted and not bought in the supermarkets of tourism – but that said, these fine examples of the old style personalized safaris can of course be checked out and booked on the web and THERE are no limits to visitors clicking on to www.elewanacollection.com or www.skysafaris.com/skysafari-plus. And even there, you know quality when you see it. Welcome to the world of Luxury Travel which against many odds is undergoing a revival of sorts.