To all of our Safari Friends,
Well it certainly has been an interesting year for us all!
We thought we would reach out to all our dear friends from across the various ponds to let you all know what we have been up to over the past few months.
Kenya has just been awarded the notable recognition of being the first country in the world to receive the Safe Travel Seal from the World Travel and Tourism Council, and indeed our borders are now open to all but the worst-hit countries. USA and some EU citizens are welcome, and international flights to Kenya have resumed. The Kenya government took a practical and measured approach to COVID containment measures and on a relative scale, it really worked as our infection rates are amongst the lowest in the world.
SAND RIVER CAMP – MAASAI MARA
Over the summer wildebeest migration months we put up our Maasai Mara mobile tented camp as soon as our inter-county lockdown was eased in early July, for our domestic tourism market to come and enjoy the great migration pretty much all to themselves since tourism numbers were very low. We put in strict government-directed COVID protocols, tested and trained our staff, and have gratefully enjoyed a full camp ever since. Most of our staff have as a result had a decent income and are now fully-trained and familiar with the health and safety protocols of a COVID world, so you can come on safari with us and be content in the knowledge that your health & safety is our primary concern. Those lucky Kenya residents who stayed in our Mara Camp were fortunate to have some amazing migration sightings. Our lovely Sand River campsite provided some amazing wildebeest crossings, with tens of thousands of gnus crossing the Sand River right in front of our camp. The resident leopards were also on good form, with one fortunate group watching a young male leopard stalk a young wildebeest and make a kill – amazing!
On personal news, we have taken the opportunity to do things that we don’t normally do during the summer months. Tanya and I took the kids on a month-long road-trip across the country, with our camping trailer and dirt-bikes. We started in the Mara at our Naretoi home and spent ten days exploring the Mara, then headed up to the North of Kenya camping at the base of the remote and dramatic region of Samburu land known as the Matthews Mountains. Our kids Jamie & Amelie have both taken up butterfly-collecting, and took the opportunity of new climates and locations to seriously bulk up their collection. Whilst in the Matthews Mountains we visited an exciting new property called Kalepo Camp which is divine, and we really look forward to showing this great location to our guests. It is awesome for hiking, enjoying the remarkable Samburu tribal culture, and has a healthy elephant population.
Robert & Angela and their two boys have also been busy – Robert has been based at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Ithumba Hill facility, opening up 300kms of new and old roads to allow for increased anti-poaching patrols in the area as well as much-improved game-driving options from the beautiful Ithumba Hill Camp. Angela has taken the time to revamp all the Sheldrick Trust’s camps to a new level of fabulousness. The camps are now open for business again and looking amazing. Additionally, the Sheldrick Trust has had its hands extremely full with firefighting in the Tsavo and Chyulu Hills areas this summer, with increased fires following unusual rainfall this year and the resultant abundance of tall grass. The Trust’s helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft have definitely earned their keep this year.
Robert & the boys have just spent a delightful week on their traditional dhow named Tunda as a well-earned break following all their hard work in Tsavo and the Chyulu Hills, sailing up to the idyllic Kiwayu Island from Lamu and exploring that magical part of the Kenya Coast.
We would also like to thank our guests who donated funds to support our out-of-work staff, and short-of-funds conservation projects – your support is HUGELY appreciated!
Lastly, just to say we are very much open for business as I write, so do think about joining us soon by the fire to listen to the lion’s roar and the grunts of 2 million wildebeest, as well as a story or
two from your trusted safari guide!
Yours from a sunny Nairobi,
William, Robert & the Carr-Hartley Team.
Looking forward to seeing you on safari with us soon!
Click here to see our full Newsletter: Carr-Hartley October 2020 Newsletter