A Warm African Thanksgiving…

Guided Safaris © LuxurySafariCamps.com


Thank you to all our travel companions for making Guided Safaris® a part of your world adventures.


On behalf of the people of Africa, we sincerely thank you for your friendship and continued exploration of our beautiful wilderness reserves.


We are truly privileged to inspire your journey and honored to welcome your visit in our care.


The Guided Safaris® family of San Francisco.


Our Safari Community: Help families in rural Africa on your wilderness adventure >

Soul of the Elephant on PBS Nature series



An intimate journey into the lives of African Elephants through the uniquely personal lens of our friends and National Geographic filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert of Great Plains Conservation. Soul of the Elephant premieres tonight on PBS Nature, October 14 2015 at 8pm EST, and is a must watch documentary for anyone planning an escape to Botswana. Filmed entirely at our private Selinda Concession, this is a beautiful behind-the-scenes safari with the Jouberts…


Watch Trailer: Soul of the Elephant



Where to stay: Zarafa Camp

Remembering Paul Newman

Jan 26 1925 – Sep 26 2008

“I’d like to be remembered as a guy who tried – who tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn’t complacent, who doesn’t cop out.”

Paul Newman was a co-founder of Safe Water Network, a nonprofit that develops sustainable drinking water solutions for those in need. In ’88, Newman founded the SeriousFun Children’s Network camps and programs for children with serious illness. In August 2001, on his family safari at Wilderness Safaris camps, Newman was touched by what he experienced with the communities in Africa. In his association with The Hole in the Wall Camps, he founded the rural Children in The Wilderness program for child literacy and environmental education with Wilderness Safaris. Since running its first camp in Botswana, Children in the Wilderness has expanded to seven of the countries in which Wilderness Safaris operates: Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe, making a huge contribution to the sustainability of African communities and reserves.

Learn more about these Wilderness Community programs



Safari Stories and World Rhino Day.

Wordl Rhino Day 2015 © Sophia Hyet for Guided Safaris, LuxurySafariCamps.com


Guided Safaris® CEO Sophia Hyet grew up in Kenya taking countless safaris across the continent; Journeys and experiences that have inspired the exclusive adventures tailored at our boutique studio in San Francisco today. Here she shares her stories and encounters with Rhino in some of Africa’s wildest plains.


“A childhood memory,” she recalls, “driving through the Rift Valley in the 80s on a quiet, sleepy dust trek when suddenly the entire atmosphere is electrified with impending motion…love how that happens on safaris. The dust settled to reveal an enormous Black Rhino, smack in the middle of the road… He was panting like he’d been out on his morning jog! A sharp intake of breath from everyone in our tiny family Peugeot, and a started jolt from him. He shakes off the dust and angles his progress back into the bushes, leaving us speechless.” Later on her recent safaris Sophia snapped this shot of a dominant White Rhino giving territorial chase to another male when the former intervened on his ‘lady and calf’ at Singita Game Reserve. A quiet afternoon with a family of Rhino completely transformed as a 4th male jogged up the road toward them. “Every encounter with a rhino in the wild is so charged with energy — All these fleeting moments that we glimpse from their secret world, remnants of a storied, photographic record of these magnificent creatures stays vividly impressed with you. I can’t imagine an Africa without them, never encountering another journey seeing one of these monumental icons roaming free in the wild again. It’s more than just a traveler’s reminiscence of “Paradise Lost”. It wrenches at the heart of man’s place in Africa. That any species suffer such peril for sport and ruthless commerce, that man would rob from something so positively brimming with life.”


Help take action: Share your stories on World Rhino Day. Join us to lend your voice and support here: SaveTheRhino.org • Learn more about our Black Rhino Conservation efforts: The Grumeti Fund

Cause an Uproar: Lending a voice for Kenya’s Lions

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
William Butler Yeats, 1899

Ol Donyo at Guided Safaris® LuxurySafariCamps.com


A purpling dusk spreads over the Chyulu Hills slowly revealing a million-star-sequined canopy. At the emerald foothills of Kilimanjaro, the dull roar of black-maned lions carries on the wind as the Maasai set up lanterns around the raised wooden platforms of Ol Donyo Lodge.


It is here on Mbirikani ranch, an integral outskirt of the Tsavo-Amboseli ecosystem, that a model for balanced human-wildlife co-existence brings its message to light: A World Heritage for all Mankind.


275,000 acres set aside for the protection of Kenya’s big game; Lions, Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo, Leopards — and more. Balancing conservation and community with commerce for a low-impact tourism audience, the Great Plains Foundation aims to save these vast tracts of lands with support from its real custodians; The Maasai community, joint-owners of this vast and ravishing wilderness. The lands that these tribespeople behold have been reshaped, long threatened by poaching and population growth. The support from tourism is imperative to helping sustain Africa’s wildlife heritage and provide a shielded haven for the endangered animals that inhabit here.


“All of our work — filming, photography, research, tourism and the Big cats Initiative — fits into a single lifelong goal, to make a difference for conservation,” say National Geographic documentary-makers and founders of the Great Plains Foundation, Beverly & Dereck Jourbert. Filming African wildlife in Southern Africa since the 1980s, the Jouberts have turned from chroniclers of the conservation message to actual conservationists with a nourishing management plan given the stark change in Africa’s precious wildlife terrain over the last 30 years with more and more tracts of land becoming endangered habitats. The Big Cats Initiative is the Great Plains emergency action plan.


Ol Donyo at Guided Safaris® LuxurySafariCamps.com


At Ol Donyo, they partnered with well-known Kenyan tracker and conservationist Richard Bonham of the Big Life Foundation and founder of the Maasailand Preservation Trust, a community game scout program at Mbirikani. The Bonham family history is famed as East Africa’s key wardens in the establishment of the Selous Rhino Trust and advocates for the last remaining Rhino populations in the local area. Lion monitoring, Black Rhino anti-poaching units, Educational support over land management and rural farming, and compensational resolutions toward human-wildlife conflicts are some of the projects in actual work here. Health clinics, clean water supply and schools for the children alongside a crucial Wildlife Scholarship program also aid the subsistence of the Maasai community. In turn, the training and recruitment of these dedicated scouts from the program have assisted the KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) in the effort to prosecute over 500 poachers and illegal loggers, while rendering general border control for this significant wildlife corner.


Ol Donyo at Guided Safaris® LuxurySafariCamps.com


Guided Safaris® guests visit beyond the fourth-wall perspective; not as tourists and passersby but as benefactors and real stakeholders in a humanitarian effort; A front-row, hands-on seat is offered on this important on-ground project watching daily stories unfold and contributions raised in the emergency funding required from each visit supporting the work at hand.


Your journey here links to the destiny of these prized regions, helping directly fund not only the protection of these majestic animals but also sponsoring the rural communities at the actual forefront of the anti-poaching war.


Travel with a purpose and join Guided Safaris® Journeys of A Lifetime:


Ol Donyo at Guided Safaris® LuxurySafariCamps.com

Private Family Safari in South Africa with Guided Safaris

“I cannot recall taking a family trip that over-delivered in every aspect. This was a seamless, exciting and wonderful adventure for each of us!”

Family Safari in South Africa

Family Safari in South Africa


“As for Guided Safaris, from the very beginning of inquiry phone calls, Gareth was really responsive and helpful in planning a first time luxury trip for our family that fit our parameters of not too many small airplanes…As well, the selection of Lebombo first and Ebony second (with the Family Suite!) was brilliant!


The children read books, took photos, painted watercolor pictures, rode bikes, did archery & skeet shooting, played chess and decorated cookies with the kitchen staff at Singita. Of course, this was all in addition to participating in all 10 days of safaris at Singita Lebombo & Singita Ebony as well as touring Cape Town and the Winelands! As part of the lodge activities we also sang, danced and visited the community & cooking school. They were amazing in all aspects of the trip and it was a perfect age to take the children (12, 14 & 16),” says Deborah Goldman.

Family Safari in South Africa

View their Family Safari photo album

Help School Children in Africa

Safari Stories: Black Rhino & Leopards at Mombo

Black Rhino and Pula at Mombo Camp © LuxurySafariCamps.com

Guest Journal from Mombo and Abu


“It was truly an outstanding trip.


We had a fabulous time at Mombo. Great Guide Moss.  Saw all Big 5 in a.m. of the second day…had a great wild dog chase..Impala, wilddogs, hyenas, ourselves in Camp Vehicle racing across the plains..while the lions just watched at the whole thing! (The impala got away). Also got to see a cheetah, and both Pula and Blue Eyes leopards – 2 times.  Loved what they were doing for the Rhinos. Sited one of the Black ones..very rare.

was very different. We were very fortunate to be there when the tested Paul Allen’s first Drone, over our outdoor movie theatre, to see if it would pick up the fires..which is what they are hoping will zero in on Poachers.  We stayed in Unit two, Jody Allen’s unit..fabulous.


I am proud an American, Paul Allen, who owns the 465,000 acres, is trying to use technology to stem the killing of those fabulous creatures.  Two books to read:  The Elephant Whisperer..heard about it there, and Elephant Company..


Here is the picture of the Black Rhino sited at Mombo Camp on Sep. 28 and Pula, sighted on the 29th, and then with her Kill in the tree.


Just a few of the many great pictures, and many great experiences.


Thanks for all your help.  It was a trip of a lifetime!”


Jeanne Robinson,
San Francisco, CA


Inspired? Follow the Robinsons’ fantastic Botswana adventure here

“A New Book from an Old Client”

Cover: The Sarcastic Lens © Richard + Amy Lynn


It is a bright morning as the Bay Area mist clears to reveal the silvery-blue Pacific seaboard through the large conference room windows at the offices of Guided Safaris. I have just flown home from a trip in the south of France and sit here with my copy of The Sarcastic Lens and its glossy postal wrappings on the table.


Page after page transports me to a rare, high-treat privilege to see over-the-shoulder, actual places revealed from our Guest’s perspective of journeys that were tailored right here in this very room. Descriptions of camps and regions conveyed to the mind’s eye before they actualized in person on travel, captured and printed in this fantastically weighty document full of life-on-safari experiences. Occasions for laughter and pathos, all the best-loved impressions from a couple’s ample companionship in life and adventure through 40 countries.


When Richard and Amy Lynn returned last summer from their latest African adventure we received a special email of thanks in our inbox. It began with a simple “We are back” and “Job well done” going on to recount their “Single greatest wildlife experience of all time”. They had a front-row Land Rover seat when the sad events recounting the last moments of Lady Ravenscourt were shed at Singita Game Reserves in South Africa. This resident alpha female leopard, one of Africa’s great legends and a constant subject for enthralled rangers and travelers in their magnificent records and photographs brought home, met her fateful maternal stand off against a dominant male on that wintery encounter. The email followed through with photos and a tale of sympathy torn from a very personal account. A morning that started with the mother and cub frolicking in the sunlight to the sudden entry of a third leopard on the scene. In their words, “Wow and horrific at the same time”.


Ravenscourt Leopard © The Sarcastic Lens


We pasted this leaf from their journal into our blog and received an outpour of empathy from travelers who had spent time with this beloved leopard and her photogenic posing to the delight of safari guests the world over. Their tale was witnessed as though in person by each traveler dropping in with Guided Safaris that afternoon.

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