sosian-1

Offbeat 25 years old - Great new offers and exciting developments

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 

twitter twitter
2015 is a huge year for Offbeat Safaris!  
Not only do we celebrate 25 years since Tristan set up the riding safaris but it is the 10th year anniversary for Offbeat Mara, Offbeat Meru and Sosian!

To celebrate this milestone we'd like to offer a 10% discount to all new 2015 bookings that confirm by 30th April 2015.  This applies to:


 
Offbeat Riding Safaris & Deloraine House
Offbeat Mara Camp
Offbeat Meru Camp
Sosian Lodge

 

MORE FROM THE OFFBEAT COLLECTION....
SOSIAN LODGE,
LAIKIPIA

To celebrate 10 years since the lodge first opened (and nearly 15 years since the Sosian owners embarked on an ambition to restore the ranch to its former glory), Sosian are launching a

 
photographic competition! 
We are calling on all past guests to submit their best photos taken at Sosian and the winner will be given
 
4 NIGHTS FOR 2 PEOPLE AT SOSIAN!

Please send in your photos (3 maximum) tolodge@sosian.com. Photos must be taken by guests at Sosian.

All photos will be posted onto Sosian's facebook page and be judged by Albie Venter, renowned photographic guide, at the end of 2015.
 
GOOD LUCK!
 
OFFBEAT MARA CAMP
Mara North Conservancy

 
Offbeat Mara Camp are excited to launch their new kids club...
TOTO TRACKERS!

With a dedicated tent and program manager, this club aims to foster children's awareness and appreciation of nature. We have skulls, animal tracks, games, and books plus the following activities:
  • scavenger hunt
  • tracking tutorials
  • bird watching
  • bug catching
  • marshmallows at the fire
  • bow and arrow making
  • beading jewellery
  • cooking with the chef
  • close brush with a toothbrush tree!
  • star-gazing
  • African story-telling
  • dressing like a Masai
Every child will receive a Toto Trackers t-shirt and book to fill out whilst staying at Offbeat Mara Camp!

OFFBEAT MERU CAMP

As Meru is slowly drying up, the animals are all heading towards the rivers and the little Bisanadi stream in front of camp plays a huge part in bringing the animals to us. Not only the elephant, buffalo, bushbuck and kudu but a phenomenal amount of birds. Striated heron, Eurasian golden oriole, gabar goshawk, martial eagle and so many more.   The bird life here is exceptional at this time of year.

A pride of lion have not only been heard most nights, but  have also been seen occupying the plains behind the camp.
We have had some wonderful groups through camp and as we start to settle into the year we hope to welcome many more to come and share their interesting stories with us around the evening camp fire!
 
All the very best, Craig and the Offbeat Meru team
 

OFFBEAT RIDING SAFARIS
10% discount

on ALL NEW 2015 bookings,

that confirm by 30th April!



With savings of up to $1000 this is the time to book!

Beat the school holiday rush and join us early July as the wildebeest migration arrives

Or take the plung and ride in August as the migration is in full swing


Dont miss out!

 
DON'T FORGET... 



6 night packages* - seriously good value safaris...

Offbeat Meru & Offbeat Mara from $3430 per person 

Offbeat Meru & Sosian from $3780 per person

Sosian & Offbeat Mara from $4130 per person

*These rates include all internal flights and transfers plus the 10% anniversary discount plus a free night where applicable.  Book before 30th April

Book now - contact bookings@offbeatsafaris.com 




We have also set up an instagram account 

please take a look and 
follow us! 




Copyright © *2015* Offbeat Safaris * All rights reserved.

 


Kenya at its finest - by Piers

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 

2014 has been a bright start for Kenya and the country is looking amazing. This time of year (generally Christmas through to Easter) is arguably the best time to visit the country. A number of factors make this such a great time, from the stunning blue skies, the low tourist numbers, better rates and escaping the Northern hemisphere cold, damp conditions.

This our 'summer' or dry season. You hardly see a cloud in the sky, evenings are balmy and often we sit outside, under the stars for dinner and with the dry conditions comes incredible game viewing. Cats, in particular, are much easier to find in the short grass and most animals seem to congregate around water sources. This is perfect for the location of our Offbeat properties. Offbeat Mara Camp is on the Olare Orok river, Offbeat Meru Camp is on the Bisanadi River and Sosian has miles of river frontage to explore. This means are guests dont have to travel far to see some superb sightings.

Another huge 'plus' at this time of year, which many accurately describe as the 'Secret Season' is the local wildebeest migration into Mara North Conservancy. The Loita herds arrive in MNC usually in January and hang around until the March/April rains. February is generally calving season so currently we have 1000's of wildebeest, their calves and huge numbers of Zebra in and around camp and the Offbeat valley is teeming with wildlife. 

Add to this the fact this is so-called 'low-season'. It is not any worse than 'high-season' at all and quite possibly better! Low season means lower prices (which often are up to half the cost of high season) as we have fewer guests travelling at this time of year. If you can get away now, this really is the time to visit - planes are less expensive and not full, the parks much quieter and with the low season rates you end up with the best of both worlds - a first class experience at nearly half the cost!

Kenya has had a rough couple of years in the press, but we are now bouncing back and numbers of tourists starting to rise again. This is so important for all our conservation efforts as we need the park fee income to protect the wonderful wildlife and the areas they roam in. We have several incredibly generous special offers currently running and i personally believe 2015 is the best time in a while to visit the country.

We have an early bird booking incentive, special honeymoon rates, child and teen rates, no single supplements (for the first single in each booking) and multiple night discounts - so something for everyone to enjoy!

Please do contact us or your favourite tour operator for more information and I do hope to see many of you enjoying the beauty of Kenya and its warm, warm heart and its wonderful smiling people in 2015.

Piers


China imposes one-year ban on ivory imports

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 

26 February 2015

African elephant

The African elephant population has been severely reduced because of hunting

China has imposed a one-year ban on the import of ivory, amid criticism that demand among Chinese consumers is fuelling poaching in Africa.

The announcement was made by the State Forestry Administration, with officials saying they hoped it would be a first step towards protecting wild elephants.

Conservationists have warned the animal could be wiped out in parts of Africa in the next few years.

China is the world's largest importer of smuggled tusks.

However, the government says it has stepped up efforts to target illegal trading, which has been fuelled by a desire for ivory from an increasingly affluent population.

It is hoped the temporary ban on imports, which came into effect on Thursday, will help reduce demand for African tusks.

According to state media, a government official said China would evaluate the effect on elephant protection before taking further, more effective steps.

Criminal gangs

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) banned the ivory trade in 1989, but China is allowed to trade domestically and has around 150 licensed shops.

Six years ago, the government was also given permission to import one consignment of more than 60 tonnes of ivory from Africa.

Conservationists say this has fuelled demand and has led to an underground trade, with criminal gangs slaughtering elephants for Asian markets.

Earlier this month, broadcaster David Attenborough was one of several signatories of an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

 

The letter called on the country's leader to outlaw the buying and selling of ivory completely and to provide Chinese citizens with information on the issue.


Riding Off Beat through the Masai Mara by Mums the World

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 

February 7, 2015

The Maasai Mara (Masai Mara) is situated in south-west Kenya and is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves. Together with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania it forms Africa’s most diverse, incredible and most spectacular eco-systems. This untamed area of desert is home to the highest population of Big Game and is an area of the world where the most endangered species of animals live free and wild. You would most probably then ask why, the African based Offbeat Safaris lead groups of avid thrill seeking enthusiasts on horseback into to these wild primitive lands.

 

Mums the World recently had the absolute pleasure of meeting Tristan Voorspuy, the mastermind behind the wild texan like horseback Safari. One of Kenya‘s honorary Game Wardens, Tristan has led safaris on horseback in Africa since the 1980’s. After listening to his captivating stories of Big Game and stunning and unspoilt landscapes, we were intrigued to saddle up.

offbeat2

However not quite managing to get there ourselves – just yet – we hunted down a lovely mummy of two, from the good ol’ country of Texas. Lovely Anne is an addict to the game and has taken part in numerous Offbeat Safari adventures, with her next one being in 2016.

Here she gives us a real life account of her experiences to date and talks to us about catching that safari bug! If you too are an adrenaline junkie that loves an adventure, you will love this! If not, be inspired to step out of your comfort zone for your next journey..

offbeat8

☆ Firstly, please tell us a little about yourself & your family?

I’m a 34-year-old mum of two boys, one who is 3 and the other is 6 weeks old. My husband is a healthcare consultant and we are currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, a major healthcare hub. It makes getting to Africa as often as I would like a bit tricky, but I have a big trip planned with Offbeat in 2016 for the boys and I am already beside myself with excitement. I know my littlest one will be too young to remember, but I love that he will be getting an early jump on the Africa love. My 3-year-old is already asking about it daily!

offbeat3

☆ What do you do for a living?

After my first safari with Offbeat in 2009, I caught the safari bug quite badly! Besides raising my two boys, I help put together safari trips for my riding friends and friends with children. I also speak to children at local schools about a Kenya-based charity I am passionate about, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. They rescue baby elephants orphaned by the ivory trade and also run anti-poaching patrols and a mobile vet service for injured wildlife.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 12.47.55 PM

☆ How did you hear about Offbeat Safari’s & how easy was the whole booking process?

I first heard about Offbeat from a friend of mine who had just returned from a riding safari. Her trip sounded absolutely amazing and I mentally added it to the list of things I must do someday. A few weeks later I came across an article in a magazine about the same ride across the Masai Mara. In it, the author described galloping with the wildebeest herds as like being in the middle of a kaleidoscope. Something about that line turned the trip from a “must do sometime” to “must do immediately”. I contacted the lovely Charlotte, who is in charge of bookings. Working with her was so easy and she was very accommodating as I kept adding more and more friends to my trip. By the time it was all said and done, I had a bespoke trip planned for 12 of us.

offbeat1

☆ Can you describe a typical day on an Offbeat Safari?

It’s almost impossible to describe a typical day on safari with Offbeat as there truly is no such thing! In the simplest terms, you are awoken with the dawn, spend the day alternating between activities and eating delicious food, and end the day around a campfire. In reality, every day is so wonderful and different. I’ve been on safari with Offbeat 6 times and no day has even been close to the same. Each trip reveals something wonderful that none of the others had. You might spend the morning galloping across the savannah, the afternoon tracking wild dog, and the evening watching lions hunt. Or you might start the day with a huge breakfast followed by a game drive, lunch in the bush, and the afternoon jumping off of waterfalls and frolicking in the river upstream from a pod of hippos. I’ve spent a total of 5 months there now and every day has been different from all of the others.

offbeat8

offbeat11

☆ Typically how many people are in one group?

For the riding safaris, the max is 10 guests and they are usually full. The camps and lodges generally have a max of 12-16 guests, with families and couples going out on their own with their assigned guides each day. Everyone chooses what activities interest them each day.

offbeat4

☆ Did you see any children taking part on the safari’s & did they find it challenging?

I think children might have the best time of all! Everything is a wonder to them, from the animals and their tracks, to the bugs, to the amazing local people and their cultures. Kenyans love children and seem to take a special interest in showing them all of the wonders of their country. Every family I’ve seen on safari looks to be having an incredible time and I must say there’s a distinct lack of whining! I’ve even had a 4-year-old little girl along on one of my riding safaris. The daughter of one of the guides, she was expertly looked after by a kind Maasai warrior who took care of her whilst we were out during the day. She had also been on safari at the age of 2 and still remembered things that had occurred on her first trip. I was blown away that it had that much of an impact at such a young age.

offbeat5

☆ What was the catering like?

In a word: incredible. You could make an epicurean trip out of the food these chefs make over a campfire. It puts my cooking in my modern kitchen with all the bells and whistles to shame. It is truly farm to table; most of the vegetables come from the gardens at Deloraine and Sosian and I’ve seen the staff stop at a local village to buy fresh eggs from the chickens that roam nearby. Everyone raves about the food and eating outdoors under a sky full of stars every night really adds to the experience.

offbeat10

☆ How did you relax on an evening?

Evenings are generally spent around a campfire with a sundowner in hand. The conversation flows with talk of the exciting activities of the day and wild stories from the guides of things they have experienced and lived to tell the tale. Sometimes we jump into one of the land rovers for a night game drive to see if we can spot a leopard or maybe a pride of lions on the hunt.

offbeat3

offbeat10

☆ How many nights did you go for & was it long enough?

My longest trip was nearly 2 months and my shortest was 9 days. I was not ready to leave either time! There is so much to see and do, I think you need a minimum of 2 weeks. That allows for a couple of days in Nairobi to shop and visit some tourist sites like Karen Blixen’s home, and some time at the camps in the Mara and Meru, Sosian Ranch in Laikipia, and perhaps the owner’s family home, Deloraine, near Lake Nakuru and the famous flamingos.

Flocks of flamingo

☆ Can you offer any tips on clothing to pack?

Days are hot and nights are quite cool, much like the desert, so I always pack several vests and lightweight shirts with easily rolled sleeves. A polar fleece will keep you warm at night, along with long underwear for sleeping. I think layering is key. If you plan to be in the bush, bring clothes that can take a bit of a beating. Everything is fighting for survival in Africa, including the plants! There are tiny thorns on almost everything. They don’t hurt, but they do snag.

offbeat7

☆ Can you list 5 highlights of the adventure? (other than the adventure itself!)

Oh gosh, only 5? I’ll do my best ;) Just a disclaimer: I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie!)

1) Galloping with thousands of wildebeest on the Masai Mara at the base of the escarpment. They came pouring off of the hillside as we galloped along and their numbers just kept swelling. And yes, it was just like being in the middle of a kaleidoscope!

offbeat27

2) Watching a lone lioness hunt at night and have 2 kills within minutes of each other (the first was stolen by a lazy lion). We were in the land rover bouncing along while trying to keep up with her with wine flying everywhere. It was great fun!

offbeat25

3) Galloping with a herd of over 100 giraffe across a huge open plain. They are so elegant when they run. Their strides are huge, so your horse is giving everything it has, running flat out while the giraffes appear to be moving in slow motion beside you.

offbeat4

4) Stalking a lioness on foot at Sosian, Offbeat’s 24,000 acre ranch in Laikipia. It was such a thrill to lock eyes with her (at a safe distance) and being on foot gives you a real appreciation of how large and powerful they are. We lost track of her at one point until we almost walked into the bush she was hiding in and she snarled at us. I’ve never reversed direction so quickly in my life!

offbeat7

5) Waterfall jumping at Sosian. There’s a huge, 10m waterfall on the property and it’s such fun to spend an afternoon there jumping off of it over and over again and swimming in the pool below. The kids are always the first to give it a go. I stood there trying to get my nerve up for 10 minutes the first time while 3 little boys kept leaping off right next to me.

offbeat26

☆ Did you find it costly whilst you were there or was everything covered in the package?

Not at all. Everything is included, such as park admission, alcohol, and conservation fees. My additional expenses have ever only been tip money for the staff and money for trinkets from visits to the local Masai or Samburu villages. They make beautiful beaded items and I always buy several to take home as gifts.

☆ Were you happy with your accommodation & can you describe it for our readers?

I’ve been happy with all of the levels of Offbeat’s accommodations. Sosian and Deloraine both have absolutely lovely rooms. Deloraine in particular is filled with gorgeous antiques from its heyday in the 1930’s. The tents at Offbeat Mara and Offbeat Meru are also wonderful, complete with en suite bathrooms with flushing loos. The beds are substantial and comfortable and the mesh windows are perfect for when an elephant happens to amble by your tent. The riding safaris are definitely hard camping, but the entire thing is such an authentic experience that you wouldn’t have it any other way. They even put hot water bottles in your bed at night so they are warm when you’re ready to turn in.

offbeat5

offbeat13

offbeat14

Anne – Thank you so much for your valuable insight. You have definitely inspired us for our next adventure! It’s firmly planted on the bucket list…

offbeat1

Journey well..

Love

Untitled-4

 


Launching Sosian Horseback Safaris

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 

We are thrilled to be announcing Sosian Horseback Safaris to you!

After much discussion and deliberation we felt it was high time we linked up with some other properties in our area to offer riding between lodges and camps in Laikipia.  Sosian is perfectly located to reach 3 or 4 other properties without compromising on beautiful areas that we’d ride through...and of course we have a fully fledged equine set up that has been running at full tilt for the past 10 years.  With the experience, horses and know-how, we have invested in further expansion of this to allow us to offer a top quality product that is flexible to your clients.

Below are the links to the following informative documents:

  1. An overview of Sosian Horseback Safaris
  2. 7 night itinerary & rates
  3. 5 night itinerary & rates
  4. Set departure itinerary & rates
  5. Factsheet on the riding and horses at Sosian

In addition to this we would like to offer our 1-night fly camp with horses on a more regular basis.  These rides consist of approx. 2-3 hour ride out to a bush lunch and then another 2-3 hours in the afternoon to the fly camp.  This is our usual fly camp set up of bedrolls under the stars and a bush dinner.  The following morning we ride out of camp early, to a bush breakfast and then ride back to the lodge in time for lunch.  Due to the extra logistics involved in offering this on a more regular basis there will be a $50 per rider surcharge and it will need to be pre-booked at the time of your normal lodge booking.

Please let me know if you have any questions and contact me for any future booking enquiries.

Best wishes

Charlotte


Honeymoon specials, photographic workshops & exceptional lion sightings

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 

 

With so many special offers out there we decided we would give you a summary of the offers that Offbeat Safaris have:


1.  EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT - 10% discount on all new bookings that confirm with a deposit before 28th February 2015.  (Applies to Sosian, Offbeat Mara Camp and Offbeat Meru Camp).

2. HONEYMOONERS DISCOUNT - 50% accommodation discount for the bride.  (Applies to Sosian, Offbeat Mara Camp and Offbeat Meru Camp up until 30th June 2016).  *NEW*

3.  LONG STAY DISCOUNT - 30% off 4th, 5th & 6th nights during mid and green/low seasons.  (Applies to Sosian, Offbeat Mara Camp & Offbeat Meru Camp).

4.  MULTI PROPERTY DISCOUNTS - 
12 nights for the price of 9 at a combination of Sosian, Offbeat Mara Camp, Deloraine House and Offbeat Meru Camp during mid and green/low seasons (minimum of 3 nights per property).
 8 nights for the price of 7 at a combination of Sosian, Offbeat Mara Camp, Deloraine House or Offbeat Meru Camp during mid and green/low seasons (minimum of 4 nights per property)
6 nights for the price of 5 at a combination of Offbeat Mara Camp & Offbeat Meru Camp for ALL SEASONS

5.  SINGLE SUPPLEMENT WAIVERED - 1 single per booking will not be charged a single supplement.


Please click on the link below for a printable PDF of all our special offers for 2015;

Offbeat Safaris 2015 special offers

MORE FROM THE OFFBEAT COLLECTION....
OFFBEAT MARA CAMP
(photo by Martin Fowkes)

Offbeat Mara Camp is being taken over!  Two lionesses have given birth to their cubs right by camp, with one litter just behind tent 5. Sitting on the bed you can hear the cries of three little ones waiting for mum to get back for their feed! 
In front of camp the plains are filled with thousands of zebra who have followed the short rains and moved in to our area of the conservancy.  It really is an exceptional experience to see all this on our doorstep and as ever, the Mara North Conservancy never fails to deliver.
Come and see us soon
from Kyle, Lara and the Offbeat Mara Team 

OFFBEAT RIDING SAFARIS
(Rhino in the Mara with Lucinda Green
)



January has been a busy month on the riding front with 3 full groups out.  The Mara is looking sensational and Tristan has even found the time to sit down and give an account of the past few weeks. 

To read an account of Tristan's latest thrills and spills click here!

 
Best wishes from Tristan & Offbeat Riding Team

 


SOSIAN, Laikipia

The weather in January has been fantastic. Our guests have enjoyed hot sunny days with bright blue skies followed by cool starlight nights.

However, the highlight of the month has not been the weather, but the incredible lion sightings that we have enjoyed. With nearly 30 different lions seen this month there has been action galore. Our resident pride of 15 killed a buffalo 300 yards from the lodge enabling up close encounters with these incredible predators. Mornings and evenings were spent watching the pride interact over the kill and we fell asleep to the sounds of them roaring!

The action is set to continue for the next few months so escape the freezing weather and come and join us at Sosian!

 
Simon, Rosie and the Sosian team.

OFFBEAT MERU CAMP

Offbeat Meru Camp broke in the New Year just brilliantly with some really fun groups here to share it with.  The park is still lush, and the weather is perfect. It is not too hot and the days are constantly coated with a clear blue sky.
We have had some phenomenal close up sightings of the cheetah cubs on a kill, of the leopard wondering through camp, of massive herds of elephant crunching through the thicket, and buffalo galore. If the rest of the year continues like this, Meru is definitely the place to be!
 Cheerio, from Craig and the Offbeat Meru Team.

DON'T FORGET... 

OUR PHOTOGRAPHIC WORKSHOP SAFARI 


12th - 20th SEPTEMBER 2015

4 nights Sosian

4 nights Offbeat Mara

with acclaimed photographer and safari guide

ALBIE VENTER


Click here for detailed factsheet





For ENQUIRIES please contact

bookings@offbeatsafaris.com


Copyright © *2014* Offbeat Safaris * All rights reserved.

twitter


Offbeat Riding Safaris – from Tristan Voorspuy – January 2015

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 

We started the year with New Year’s Eve on the terrace at Sosian with a gang of locals and Diana Noble from Ride Worldwide, watching twenty Samburu dancers who are better dressed than Masai but not as enthusiastic dancers as our Mara friends from Olare Lamun.

Ten days with different groups at Sosian was a learning curve in how to juggle different families with different activities but it was heartening to see everyone love the ranch, with its different aspects and toys.  Never a dull moment for old or young.

I slipped away on the 5th January to prepare for two big riding safaris. Lucinda Green and Equitours led by Richard Fox, both began on the 8th January with 14 and 10 respectively.

I was booked by Lucinda to lead her group, ably assisted by Megan Hodgson who has been a great trainee at Sosian, and Archie guided for Richard Fox, ably assisted by Leigh Van Oudtshoom, who has worked for two years at Lewa Downs. Both gave a nice feminine touch to the big groups.

Having 24 guests on safari stretches the system, but having had no Christmas or New Year safari out meant that we had over 35 fit and unused horses to choose from and all were looking well.

Richard and team stayed at Deloraine on the 8th and 9th and went to Lake Nakuru which meant that Lucinda and her team began at Olare Lamun and the other safari followed us all week as we vacated camp sites. 

This January has seen some strange weather and it poured with rain in the Mara over the New Year with some camps being flooded, but this luckily only manifested with us on the 9th January. 

Kevin and Gretchen Baumgartner had their tent flooded by a sharp storm which hit camp while we were out on a night game drive, but it was by pure luck that I heard the plaintiff call of my name from the spot where Patrick Beresford’s tent had been.  A big gust had tipped his bed over and flattened the tent. Patrick had bravely signed up to come on safari to recuperate from pneumonia and had been advised against the safari.  However, he was determined to come to Africa for the sunshine, only to find himself pinned to the floor with his tent collapsed around him.  He must have been there an hour before I heard the voice as I was about to go to bed and mercifully the rain had not drenched where he was lying, although a lot of water was around. It took some time for me to arouse the tent staff and resurrect his tent. I dread to think what would have happened had I not heard his cries. 

The next morning we moved camp and Archie’s horses and camp had mercifully got in the night before without getting stuck. 

Richard’s safari was flying in at 10.30am but we reached the Ol Sabukia Lugga, which separates the camp from the airstrip, only to find it fully flooded and Archie and his car could not get across while we were swimming with the horses to cross. 

The plane duly arrived and there was nothing for it but to meet the new arrivals on horseback, walk them to the lugga and ferry them across the raging torrent on the horses. A great way to begin the safari and although it delayed our safari by an hour or more, we ate our bacon and egg sandwiches on the move and Richard’s safari got safely into camp in time for lunch. 

After the rains of early January, the Naiboisho and Mara North Conservancies were vibrant green and covered in Wildebeest from the Loita migration.  It continued like that all week and no more rain came so the Mara was at its best and we saw everything there was to see except a cheetah. 

The Offbeat pride of lions were around and the Olare Orok was as beautiful as ever. Great lion sightings from horseback of this habituated pride were common and one morning while we rode, Jonathon our driver guide noticed a hyena under a tree as he conducted a game drive with Patrick and Kathy Scholfield.  Kathy had decided to call it a day on her riding career after two falls off Blondie, but at 70 she has done 27 riding holidays worldwide. What a great holiday companion she is and has enhanced two rides for me but must have done so for so many more people. She will be missed! 

Anyhow, on inspection there was a she-leopard with an impala and a tommy kill up the Acacia Gerrardii tree. After watching for a time we were able to use the car for the riders to get closer while Jonathan, Mbuni (the Masai guide) and Megan held the horses for us. 

The Mara River was disappointingly low but we camped on the escarpment as usual despite it being a building site with the old lodge being rebuilt. 

New agriculture has transformed the top of the escarpment and there are maize shambas and enclosures everywhere.  However, this has had some advantages and when you have two Badminton winners (Lucinda and Nicky Coe), David Robinson (who was Master of the Mid Surrey drag for many years) and Guy Morrison from the Fernie, on Cape to Cairo, you have the ingredients for a days hunting.  Startled Masai saw us jump in and out of their carefully cut and laid hedges and although we shall probably not be welcome back, a fine day was had by all.

The walk down the escarpment leading the horses was as challenging as ever but a great barbeque at the bottom and a long ride back made for a very fulfilling day. Sadly my lovely chestnut Piers, who had jumped splendidly across the top, cut into himself cantering on a ride along the bottom. He will be out for some time. 

On the ride back to the river on the second day in the triangle we came across several herds of elephant. Suddenly three black rhino appeared in front of us for a twenty minute viewing even though they knew we were there. They were out on the plain and did not retreat into the nearby bushes as so often happens. 

We had now seen the ‘Big 5’ and only leopard not from horseback. Not bad for a riding holiday. 

Lucinda’s gang left a happy bunch and several repeats said it was the best safari they had been on so far, which was very flattering. 

I stayed on one more night in the Mara with Megan and Archie’s safari. They had a terrible drama when Tina Munns fell off her horse at the walk up the escarpment and broke a collarbone, cheek and nose in bizarre circumstance. She was particularly stoic and Archie took her to the Governor’s Camp where she had some cuts stitched up but refused to leave the safari although we were not aware of the extent of her injuries until she got home.  It helped that she was a nurse herself but I have rarely witnessed such bravery.  

I then flew back to Nairobi and on to Sosian, with my cousins Christopher and Fred Moore, which was still dry, and caught up with my sister Sorrel and extended family who had booked Sosian for four days, the Mara for four and thence Deloraine for three. 

I had spent two glorious nights camping under the stars at Sosian in late December and the game had been excellent up on the top plains with two herds of over thirty-five oryx, grevys zebra, gerenuk and lion from horseback and many more wonderful experiences. 

With my family, the elephants had returned in large numbers and we were lucky enough to have a great evening with a pack of wild dogs. 

Waterfall jumping, lovely rides and a fair amount of walking give you such a taste for the freedom experienced by what you can do on a private ranch where you can make your own rules. 

Four days flashed by here and then it was back to the Mara to take over Archie’s camp on the river where the hippo give an all-day cabaret and swimming in the rapids is a feature of any riding safari. The crocodile do not like the rapids but you are on eyeballing level with the hippo in the pools above and below them. 

With several non-riders in the group we only moved once and had gentle rides back to the Olare Orok. The Mara was still green and lovely but the rain held off and four glorious days were had there. 

The she-leopard was still on the Ngorbop Lugga and gave us lovely sightings at night but amazingly the horse lines were occupied by a lioness who had some cubs hidden right where we graze the horses. Loud growls had alerted us to her presence.  She moved after a couple of days, but lo and behold Netty found another just upstream from camp with three cubs under a bush.  Therefore two of the Offbeat pride females have cubs at least and about time after the takeover by new males last year. The death of several cubs and a lot of mating that took place in the July to September season has come to fruition. 

My family have just left Deloraine and January has come to a close as a very busy month, although February is quiet. It all seems so long ago but was full of adventure and sadly some drama. 

 

Let’s hope the rest of 2015 is busy and rewarding.


A day in the life of Offbeat Mara Camp - short video

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 

Click on this link https://www.facebook.com/OffbeatSafaris (you need to then click on first posting on the FaceBook page) to watch a short movie taken by our regular guest Richard Broadley last week at Offbeat Mara Camp.Game viewing is superb at the moment and the Offbeat Valley is home to some tiny, one week old #lioncubs.With fantastic weather, great rates and low tourist numbers, Now is the time to visit our magical country.#Kenya2015 #Lionsincamp#WhyIloveKenya


Lion #photobombing Offbeat Mara Camp

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 


Sosian still ranked #1 on TripAdvisor

Posted by: piers

Tagged in: Untagged 

Customer feedback is one the best ways we can improve at Offbeat Safaris, and reviews on TripAdvisor are an extremely important part of this feedback.

We are thrilled that Sosian still ranks #1 in Laikipia, Offbeat Meru is #2 in Meru and Offbeat Mara is #17 (out of 120) in the Mara. Sadly one bad review on the Mara knocked us right down from our usually consistent Top 10 Rank....but we are creeping up again.

If you have recently stayed at our properties and have not written a TripAdvisor review please do.

Thank you

Team Offbeat


  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  5 
  •  6 
  •  7 
  •  8 
  •  9 
  •  10 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »