Omni Escapes Magazine Escapes Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 49

Off the Wild Side Tanzania and Kenya feature a wide range of experiences in addition to safari adventures. Here, discover just a sampling of the options available through the region’s luxury lodges. Experienced guides (above) help travelers make the most of a safari adventure. Elewana Collection. “There are lots of predators around so the potential for kills is higher.” Guests who stay at the award-winning Serengeti Migration Camp are ideally situated to view the wilde- beest voyage to Masai Mara, as the camp is located ri ght in the heart of the migration path. Moses Baynet, the camp’s guide, explains how the lodge adds its own special touches to the migration viewing experience. “We have a special access road [which is only open to Elewana vehicles] that we can take to Masai Mara river in only an hour,” Baynet says. “We will take a picnic lunch, snacks and drinks, and go out into the middle of the migration when it is passing through. We also go to the Mara River bank and, with luck, we will watch maybe hundreds of wildebeest cross- ing the river, avoiding the big African crocodiles. It is very exciting.” On the Kenyan side, the Sand River Masai Mara is located close to the Tanzanian border within the Masai Mara National Reserve—directly on the migration path. Between June, July and August, there’s even the chance that guests may find themselves (safely) surrounded by wildebeest as they come through the camp. Elephant Pepper Camp is in the Mara North Conservancy, a less busy area of the Masai Mara region. The Masai Mara National Reserve is buffered by numer- ous conservancies like Mara North, which have fewer cars and visitors, affording a more exclusive migration viewing. While Elephant Pepper Camp is more remote, Located in Kenya, just south of Mombasa, AfroChic Diani Beach offers guests a chance to relax on one of the conti- nent’s most picturesque beaches. This beachfront retreat has only 10 guest rooms so solicitous service and serenity are guaranteed. If guests desire a more lively activity other than unwinding beachside, they can arrange to go diving or snorkeling; play a round of golf at a nearby championship golf course; or go for a guided tour of Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest town. Far from the rugged Sahara desert, Kilindi Zanzibar is a paradise set on 50 acres of verdant tropical gardens. Guests stay at contemporary pavilions, each with its own plunge pool overlooking the sea. Here, the focus is on romance and recharging. Possible activities include touring a spice farm, deep sea fish- ing or sailing into the sunset on a traditional dhow boat. For a chance to indulge in Tanzania’s local culture, stay at Arusha Coffee Lodge. Nestled on one of the country’s largest coffee plantations, the lodge provides a truly unique chance to immerse in the area’s coffee culture. At the lodge, 30 bespoke plantation houses are peppered among the crop fields that surround the original landowner’s home. Here, as the cool night air is slowly replaced by the warming morning breeze, guests enjoy an African sunrise unlike any other as the sweet aroma of homegrown cof- fee fills their surroundings. it still provides easy access to all areas of Masai Mara, including the Mara River, a potentially deadly barrier where wildebeests must contend with famished croco- diles as they cross. Expert-Led Tours Accommodations and locale are only part of the equa- tion on a Great Migration adventure. An experienced guide is equally important. Safari tours are typically done by game drives, where guests and their guides ven- ture out in the African bush in an open-air, four-wheel drive vehicle. Game drives last about three or four hours and are meant to be experienced in small groups. “Good guides will plan ahead, following the Great Migration from the very start,” says Felix, whose Wild Frontiers company works with the full range of Elewana Collection properties in both Kenya and Tanzania. “At any given time, they will know where the bulk of the herd is, where the river crossings are and where the ani- mals will most likely head to next, based upon following the weather and the quality of grazing.” At Micato Safaris, a luxury safari operator, guests and two highly credentialed experts set out in pursuit of the herd just as the morning dew is dissipating. All vehicles are fully stocked with beverages and snacks, binoculars and guide books. The tour lasts approximately two hours FALL 2017 OMNI_Safari-eV5-e.indd 49 | 49 | Discover Select Guest ® Benefits Omni and the Elewana Collection are both part of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), which consists of more than 550 hotels in 76 countries. Omni Select Guest members receive global benefits and status recognition through the DISCOVERY loyalty program. Qualifying nights at DISCOVERY hotels count toward tier status in the Select Guest program and that status is recognized when staying at other DISCOVERY properties. DISCOVERY benefits for Gold level members include discounted room rates, free Wi-Fi, and bottled water, while Platinum members can also enjoy room upgrades, late check- out and Local Experience awards. Black level members enjoy all of these benefits plus more. ESCAPES 9/21/17 11:12 AM