Here we meet Piers Winkworth of Offbeat Safaris – an authentic and humble safari company with some of the coolest camps in Kenya.
1 Earliest memory of being in the bush?
I came out on Safari to Kenya from the UK aged 11. Water ski-ing on Lake Baringo with the hippos and crocs is always something I remember.
2 Most magical / exciting wildlife experience you have ever had?
Being chased by two huge bull elephants in the Aberdares and having to reverse down a narrow track pretty quickly, with my friend screaming in terror was was one of the most exciting/funny and lucky.
3 Most enchanting experience you have had with the African people?
The people in Kenya must be amongst the most friendly in the world and I have had so many wonderful experiences with them. For me though now, being a father of two young boys, it has to be the love that the camp crew at Offbeat Mara show the boys when they are down in camp. It is like having 25 perfect nannies !
4 Why you love your camp(s), and why to visit?
Offbeat Mara is tucked away in one of the quietest spots in the Mara, yet is surrounded by tonnes of game, inclusing the famous Offbeat Pride that can often be seen from the verandah of your tent. As one of the smallest camps around we really get to know and look after our clients and tailor make every hour of their safari to be a memorable one.
5 Favourite member of staff/guide at your camp and why?
Most my staff and guides have been with me since we built Offbeat Mara in 2005 so many are old friends and I don’t like having favourites. However David Njapit, a silver masai guide is pretty special and he has travelled with me to England, Scotland and on his own to the USA and Hong Kong. My father loved having him to stay and getting him to pull a pint in his local pub in the UK.
6 Favourite place in Africa outside of your camp and why?
I always love visiting Cape Town. So different to Kenya so always a welcome break.
8 Who is your own safari hero and why?
The late Tristan Voorspuy, who was my boss, mentor and business partner. An incredibly passionate man with a deep understanding of wildlife and conservation, an ultimately one of the best safari guides in the business. He was a guide for over thirty years and did most of it from horseback.