As 2023 comes to an end, I find myself reflecting, reminiscing on the past year, but also looking at 2024 and the safaris to come next year and what makes them so special..
It is an exploration into the untamed, where the boundaries of familiarity dissolve, and the wild reveals its secrets in a mesmerizing dance of nature. The allure of a safari lies not just in the exotic landscapes and diverse wildlife but also in the profound and transformative experience it offers to those who dare to step outside their comfort zones.
The thrill of the unknown on safari is akin to turning the pages of a captivating novel, where each chapter unfolds with unpredictability and wonder. In the vast expanses of untamed wilderness, every moment is full with the potential for discovery, be it the elusive predator hidden in the tall grass or the majestic herds migrating across the savannah. The air is charged with anticipation, and every rustle of the foliage or distant call of the wild becomes a whisper, beckoning the adventurer to immerse yourselves in the enigma of nature.
Beyond the thrill of encountering iconic species such as lions, elephants, and rhinos, a safari is a sensory banquet that transcends the ordinary. The symphony of the bush, composed of bird calls, the rustling of leaves, and the distant roars of predators, creates a soundtrack that resonates with the heartbeat of the wilderness. The colors of the sunrise painting the sky and the rhythmic dance of shadows as the sun sets on the horizon transform the landscape into a canvas of ever-changing beauty.
Yet, the essence of a safari experience extends beyond the visual and auditory. It is an immersive journey that stirs the soul, fostering a deep connection with the natural world and a profound appreciation for its delicate balance. The unknown, in this context, is not merely a geographical destination but a portal to self-discovery and a rekindling of the primal connection between humanity and the untamed.
In embracing the unknown on safari, one steps into a realm where time seems suspended, and the distractions of modern life fade into insignificance. It is an opportunity to be present, to savor the simplicity of life, and to witness the intricate web of life in its rawest form. The magic lies not only in what is seen but in the visceral understanding that, in the heart of the unknown, there is a world that predates human existence and will endure long after.
In the end, a safari is not just a journey into the wild—it is a journey into the soul. It is an invitation to leave the well-trodden path, to embrace the uncertainty, and to be profoundly moved by the untamed wonders that await. The allure of the unknown on safari lies not only in the anticipation of what might be discovered but in the transformation that occurs within those who embark on this extraordinary odyssey.
With the above said, I will try not to get carried away and get to the point of this blog. What safari am I most looking forward to in 2024? Well, to be completely honest, it ties in with a question that I get asked almost on every safari and that is - What is your favourite destination to go on safari? My honest answer, I don't necessarily have a favourite destination or a safari that I am looking forward to the most. I say this because, every safari you go on no matter where it is, different country, different continent or same place multiple times, a safari is ALWAYS different and unique, so to choose one that I am looking forward to the most is simply impossible.
Here is a list of the safaris Im hosting next year so far...
Incredible India - India.
The Great Migration - Kenya.
Masai Mara Experience - Kenya.
Amboseli and Masai Mara – Kenya.
Various Privates safaris in Southern Africa including South Africa and Zambia.
The point I am getting at is that there is no particular safari I am looking forward to the most, the truth is I wouldn't be able to do what I do if it wasn't for all of you and all of those of you that travel with me. For me it's not just about exploring vast wild wilderness areas, but also creating memories for our Wild eye guests that last a life time. Each destination above has me excited for a variety and different reasons, which I will highlight as I go along.
Let's start with India, as it will be my first safari of the year.
Welcome to the heart of incredible India, where the enchanting wilderness of Central India beckons you on an unforgettable safari adventure! Smack bang within the vast landscapes of this region lies a treasure trove of biodiversity and a myriad of captivating wildlife experiences. From the majestic tigers that roam the dense forests to the vibrant birdlife that fills the air with melodious tunes, Central India promises to be an exhilarating safari that combines the thrill of the wild with the rich taste of Indian culture.
We will be heading on a journey through the renowned national parks and wildlife sanctuaries such as Bandhavgarh, Tadoba, Kanha, and Pench, where the raw beauty of nature unfolds before your eyes. Picture yourself traversing through lush sal forests, open grasslands, and winding rivers, all while anticipating the sight of elusive big cats and other fascinating creatures. Each safari offers a unique blend of excitement, as well as a chance to witness the delicate balance between predator and prey in this untamed wilderness.
Beyond the thrill of wildlife encounters, Central India's safari experience is complemented by the warm hospitality of local communities and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region. Discover the stories that echo through ancient temples, forts, and tribal villages, adding a layer of depth to your safari adventure.
I cannot wait to head off on this safari which is like no other, where the roar of the jungle and the whispers of history create a symphony of experiences. Central India awaits, promising an expedition that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
You can check out the Incredible India trip report from this year HERE.
The Great Migration
I am so excited to get back to Kenya later next year to witness one of the most awe-inspiring spectacles on Earth – the Great Migration in the iconic Masai Mara, hosted by the exclusive Wild Eye Mara Camp. Situated in the heart of the untamed savannah, this safari promises an extraordinary journey into the world of wildlife, where the rhythm of hooves and the drama of survival unfold against the backdrop of the stunning Kenyan landscape.
The Wild Eye Mara Camp offers not only a front-row seat but an immersive experience in the midst of the annual migration, as millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles traverse the Mara River in a breathtaking display of nature's grandeur. Picture yourself in the midst of the action, surrounded by the drama of river crossings, the majestic predators lurking in the shadows, and the vibrant colors of the African plains.
The safari experience extends beyond the wildlife spectacle, as the Wild Eye Mara Camp provides a family like feel and an intimate experience that blends seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Wake up to the sounds of the bush, savor delectable cuisine under the vast African sky, and unwind in comfort after a day filled with thrilling game drives.
Led by our very own expert guides and wildlife photographers, this safari promises not only a visual feast but a deep understanding of the intricate ecosystems at play during the Great Migration. With a focus on responsible and sustainable tourism, the Wild Eye Mara Camp ensures that your journey contributes to the conservation of this extraordinary natural heritage.
I cannot wait for the magic of the Masai Mara, where the Wild Eye Mara Camp allows you to be a part of a truly immersive and unforgettable safari experience amid the wonders of the Great Migration. It's time to venture into the heart of the wild and witness nature's grand spectacle like never before.
Here are just a few highlights of past migration experiences.
Masai Mara Experience
This is a safari that falls on either side of the Great Migration that happens in the Masai Mara. The Great Migration is a phenomenal sight to see, but I have to admit that the Mara outside of season has plenty to offer. During the Migration season, we spend a large chunk of our safaris around the mighty Mara River, whereas outside of season, it allows us to explore and travel far and wide across the Mara in search of everything great and small. The Masai Mara is so rich in diversity and being able to explore different areas often leaves myself and guest speechless not only at just how vast the landscape is, but how rich it is with an abundance of diverse wildlife.
Apart from the wildlife, similar to the Migration season, it is often our Maasai Staff that steal the hearts of all our guests, from the moment you arrive in camp, you are made to feel like family and the Wild eye Camp quickly becomes a second home. For myself, Im fortunate enough to visit the Camp multiple times a year and I have to say I am always extremely excited to get back to our staff and catchup with them.
The Masai Mara offers incredible photographic opportunity outside of the typical migration period. In fact, many an award winning image have been captured during the shoulder season either sides of the migratory movements. The Mara remains a quintessential safari experience in the Mara Experience Season and is still one of the bucket list items that any wildlife and nature enthusiast should tick off.
By combining the exclusivity of the Wild Eye Mara Camp and the passion, knowledge and experience of our team, we have taken our Masai Mara Experience weeks to a whole new level, providing our guests with what we firmly believe to be one of the very best photo safaris on offer in the Masai Mara.
For me, a safari isn't just about the wildlife, its about so much more, it's about immersing yourself in your surroundings, taking it all in and enjoying the rich culture of the Maasai. I cannot wait to return next year...
Find out more about the Masai Mara Experience HERE.
Amboseli and Masai Mara Safari
The Amboseli and Masai Mara Safari combines twoof Kenya's most iconic parks in the form of Amboseli and the MasaiMara, a feast for the senses & a visual experience of epic proportions.
What makes this even more special is that fact that Mount Kilimanjaro forms the backdrop for almost every image, providing incredible photographic opportunities. Having our own vehicles and local guides means we do not have to stick to lodge game drives times and can spend our time in search of sightings in the scenic Amboseli National Park between sunrise and sunset.
The Mara Triangle has been named “The Worlds Best game Reserve” and it deserves the title. The small and intimate Wild Eye Mara camp will be our base for the 6 nights spent exploring the region. Whilst the migratory herds may still be in the region, there will be more than enough incredible photographic opportunities on offer even without the wildebeest! By combining these two iconic Kenya’s destinations you’re in for the safari experience of a lifetime!
It truly is a wonderful combination, whether you are a regular safari goer, a photographer or a first time safari goer, this safari really has something for everyone.
HERE is a trip report from my Amboseli and Masai Mara safari this year.
Private Safaris 2024
As i mentioned above, I am hosting a variety of private safaris this year too numerous destinations across Southern Africa. Instead of going in depth on each one, I thought I would give you an idea of what a Private safari is and how it works.
A private safari is the epitome of personalized and exclusive wildlife experiences, offering a tailor-made adventure for individuals or small groups who seek an intimate and customized exploration of the wilderness. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of what a private safari entails:
- Destination Selection:
- The first step in planning a private safari is choosing the destination that aligns with your wildlife and adventure preferences. Whether it's the vast plains of the Serengeti, the dense jungles of Borneo, or the iconic landscapes of the Masai Mara, the choice is yours.
- Tailored Itinerary:
- Unlike group safaris with fixed schedules, a private safari allows for a personalized itinerary. Work with your travel advisor or safari operator to craft a schedule that suits your interests, whether it includes specific wildlife sightings, cultural interactions, or particular landscapes.
- Select accommodations that match your preferences, ranging from luxury lodges to exclusive tented camps. Private safaris often offer the flexibility to choose your preferred level of comfort and style.
- Private Vehicle:
- One of the defining features of a private safari is the exclusive use of a dedicated safari vehicle. This means you have the entire vehicle to yourself or your group, ensuring a more intimate and flexible experience. Private vehicles are equipped with experienced guides who provide personalized insights into the wildlife and ecosystems.
- Wild Eye Guide:
- Many private safari experiences, such as those provided by Wild Eye, offer the expertise of a private guide. This professional guide is not only knowledgeable about the destination but is also focused on catering to your specific interests and ensuring an immersive and educational experience.
- Private safaris provide unparalleled flexibility. You can spend more time at a specific wildlife sighting, adjust the schedule on the fly, or even decide to explore off-the-beaten-path areas that may not be part of a standard itinerary.
- Enjoy the exclusivity of your safari experience, free from the constraints of a larger group. This allows for a more peaceful and personal connection with the natural surroundings, enhancing the overall sense of adventure and discovery.
- Photography Opportunities:
- Private safaris are ideal for photography enthusiasts. With a private vehicle and guide, you can take the time you need to capture that perfect shot without the distraction of other guests.
In summary, a private safari offers the ultimate in customisation, exclusivity, and flexibility, ensuring that your journey into the wild is a truly unique and unforgettable experience tailored to your preferences and interests.
That's its from me for 2023, I hope you all have a wonderful festive season and I cannot wait for 2024.
Wild Eye Private Tours
You don’t mind spending time in the company of others, but when it comes to your safari you want to be looked after, and perhaps even taught a new skill by a seasoned, professional safari guide. This is the Wild Eye Private Guided Safari Experience.
Our team of experienced tour planners will work with you to build a custom travel plan tailored to the destinations you would like to visit, the amount of time you’d like to travel for, your group size and of course, your budget.