How are Conservation Safaris to Africa adding another dimension to normal game drives?

Kate Pirie By Kate Pirie
07 Sep 2017
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For many who travel to Africa, seeing the wild animals and the open plains is especially exciting, particularly if they have saved up for this once in a life time safari.

If you are one of the lucky ones who has been on several safaris to Africa, you may be looking to add in another dimension. Learning more from the wildlife experts in their fields and getting under the skin of a country is a good way to achieve this and particularly if you are interested in conservation.

 

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There is a specialist safari to Kenya, East Africa, where the sheer numbers of animals and birdlife can be the most rewarding.  We all know of the ‘Out of Africa’ views and romantic journeys, but there is another side to wildlife safaris which has a focus on the endangered animals and the work and research that is being undertaken to preserve them and their natural habitats.

One such safari is an endangered species flying safari, which focuses on some specific animals - rhino, lion, African wild dog and cheetah.

 

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Your journey by luxury aircraft travels through four distinct areas:

  • The Masai Mara Game Reserve where you can spend a day with the Mara-Meru Cheetah project and Light for Life Lion preservation project. 
  • Stay in the world famous Samburu Game Reserve where you will not only be hosted by the Douglas Hamilton family but spend time with the ‘Save the Elephants’ team and experience the incredible amount of knowledge that they have gathered on the behaviour and dynamics of the African Elephant. 
  • Then onto Laikipia tracking African wild dog, perhaps follow on foot too – there are only around 5500 left in Africa.
  • And finally to the world famous Lewa Wildlife Conservancy,  renowned for the preservation of Black Rhino where you visit Lewa Wildlife Conservancy headquarters and get to understand how to engage more with the Northern Rangeland Trust and the vital conservation efforts across Kenya.

 

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Led by professional Silver rated safari guides throughout your journey, you will also meet these specialist conservationists and so enjoy a very in-depth and privileged daily interaction on one amazing safari that very few are able to experience while at the same time learning about all of these highly endangered species.

Elena Chelysheva and David Mascall who are specialist on Lion and Cheetah, lead you over the plains of the Masai Mara and its iconic panoramic views. The Mara is the northern extension of the vast Serengeti Plains in northern Tanzania and features a wide variety and high density of wildlife.  The constant and unrivalled flow of wildlife throughout the year reaches a peak between late June through mid-September when the great migration fills the plains – around 2 million animals are hard to ignore!

 

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Samburu National Reserves is synonymous with elephants and the Douglas Hamilton family certainly are the experts here.   Samburu has a rugged landscape with isolated inselbergs, volcanic plains and seasonal rivers and swamps and the landscape is dotted with clumps of doum palms. 

Beside the elephants, there is a wealth of wildlife including reticulated giraffe and Grevy's zebra and you get to meet the world expert Mary Mwololo - Research Manager at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, who is a Master of Science in Biology of Conservation.  Mary is studying the impact of the predation of the species (approximately 370 Grevy’s zebra live in Lewa which is 14% of the global population.) There are also gerenuk and Masai ostrich in Samburu.

 

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You also meet Riccardo Orizio – lodge owner, safari guide and conservationist who has been instrumental in the opening of a camp in the Sera Community Conservancy, in the northern frontier of Kenya.  From this camp one can go rhino tracking and all who stay contribute to the protection of this iconic species.

Your participation on this safari is not only about you learning about endangered species, but is contributing to the pioneering work these researchers undertake in order to protect these amazing animals.

 

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Throughout this incredible journey, you will meet the people, the Masai and Samburu warriors, do low level flying along the Ewaso Ng’iro River and the vast Laikipia plateau, enjoy a bush breakfast in the wilds and on your final afternoon, what could be a better ending than to meet the adorable rescued baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi - they will surely melt your heart.

 

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