Conservation projects: Make a difference

Stay and get involved.

A Warm African Thanksgiving…

Guided Safaris ©


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,


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: • 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®


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®


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®


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®

Love, Life + Elephants.

Guided Safaris African Elephant



Why is it that most people feel such empathy for elephants, even if they have never had close contact with them? Is it because of their size, their quaint characteristics, or the fact that they are so incredibly endearing as babies, tripping over little wobbly trunks that seem to serve no useful purpose other than get in the way? Or is it, perhaps, because elephants are “human” animals in terms of emotion, and in many other ways as well, encompassed by an invisible and mystical aura that reaches deep into the human soul in a mysterious way that defies human logic.

– Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Kenya


Elephant © Photograph by Robert Carr-Hartley

Elephant © Photograph by Robert Carr-Hartley



Photograph by Robert Carr-Hartley





WATCH VIDEO: A SPECIAL MORNING WITH ELEPHANT HERD in front of Faru Faru Lodge – A Private Tanzania Safari


 #Elephants  are facing their biggest threat to survival since they began roaming the earth, 15 million years ago. It is estimated that 36,000 of these iconic animals are killed annually — that’s one life lost every 15 minutes. In many countries, ivory continues to be a symbol of status and power. And, sadly, China’s ivory industry is poised for growth. Call on governments from around the world to take proactive steps to tackle this illicit trade and save elephants. Sign the petition:

What to expect on safari with us

Guided Safaris Inc - San Francisco

“Not only does the revenue from eco-tourism support these conservation initiatives, but just by coming to see this place, putting value on it and sharing the beauty with others, it inherently makes a world of difference.”


Every journey to Africa with Guided Safaris is deeply-rooted with conservation at heart.

The safaris we offer create phenomenal wilderness experiences that support a great diversity of environmental hotspots in the African continent. The trips offered in our portfolio are beautiful, planet-friendly experiences, designed for the exclusive enjoyment of only a handful of guests. By embarking on one of our journeys, YOU participate in and support the continued success and economic viability in the preservation of these fragile wilderness regions for generations to come.


When we speak of luxury on safari, we emphasize on bold exclusivity: We offer Private Safaris and do not operate in groups of ANY size – both to allow travelers to develop their own intrepid sense of place, as well as to maintain an environmentally-sensitive approach to our low-impact in these fragile and beautiful regions. Over-crowding from mass tourism is hereby kept at bay from our exclusive locations to ascertain wildlife’s migratory and hunt for food processes carry on unobtrused in these pristine regions.


Our luxury safari camps are small and intimate, often with an average of just 7-12 rooms each, in large, expansive wilderness areas, allowing conscious and continued sustainable operating of a small part of the carbon cycle. Due to the exclusivity of offering such a dedicated experience, a stay in our camps does need advance planning to ensure availibility of space. We recommend planning 6 to 12 months in advance, especially for peak seasons that run from July through October.


Game drives in our camps operate with 6-7 guests maximum ensuring prime-viewing and ‘window’ seating for everyone in custom-designed photography safari land cruisers.


100% of our portfolio is located within authentic Private Game Reserves and privately-leased or community-operated concessions to maintain an organic and crowd-free ‘True Africa’ experience.


Our focus within the luxury ecotourism industry is upon Photography Safaris. We believe hunting activity adversely affects game viewing in the regions where it is practised thereby resulting in much harder to find game and often leads to skittish behavior in local wildlife that prohibits the natural spectacle of peaceful observation of an animal in its habitat. Guided Safaris DOES NOT operate any Hunting Safari programs, nor work with or support any outfitters who do.

Honoring 20 years in Green Travel

Funds from the past 20 years of the GUIDED SAFARIS Luxury Safari Camps partnership links are supporting key conservation programs throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, including:

Wildlife Research, Relocation & Reintroduction

  • Wildlife Research, Relocation & Reintroduction

Addressing  existing wildlife populations and impact on migratory routes, initiatives in all our wilderness regions monitor, study and seek solutions to save endangered species and, where necessary, team up with partner projects to manage and balance species population dynamics with supporting eco-systems. Through ongoing studies, conflicts of human development upon animal migration are identified and viable projects with objectives upon co-existence outlined.


Youth Outreach Projects

  • Youth Outreach Projects

Construction and rehabilitation of schools including providing for bursaries, training and materials for education and learning development. Through these initiatives, a sanitary and safe environment has been supported with the implementation of nutritional and hygiene programs. Overall upliftment of the communities through creation of jobs with recruiting and training of teachers, along with volunteering healthcare and supply of lifesaving medicines. Environmental Stewardship Clubs have been established to encourage responsibility and mentor learning with a conservation focus as well as leadership programs to actualize skills and help broaden future horizons. In addition to in-depth learning curriculums, the schools encourage keen development in the arts, music and sports, as well as hands-on participation in wilderness experiences with children’s programs in bush survival, adaptation and fun guiding techniques. Further, some camps have supported the creation of trust funds for students at graduate & post graduate levels in the wilderness field.


Conservation of Habitat & Climate Change

  • Conservation of Habitat & Climate Change

Our portfolio extends over 10 million acres of protected wilderness areas in Africa.


Through the stewardship of these pristine African regions, you as a guest of Guided Safaris and our Luxury Safari Camps are able to play a small but significant part in the preservation of the land for generations to come: Continue reading