By Rose Hipwood, MD, The Luxury Safari Company
I recently took a trip to Lewa, for a long time this amazing rhino sanctuary has been on my mind as it’s reputation for great game viewing and freedom when on safari has been growing. This area is mind blowingly beautiful with open plains, rolling hills, rocky outcrops, gorges, rivers, forests, marshes – you name it it’s here. Sirikoi has long been known as one of Africa’s top luxury safari destinations and so it was time to come and have a look. Owned by famous safari operators Willie and Sue Roberts the camp is beautiful, and their presence there over my trip made the whole experience magical. They have many a tale about the thousands of safaris they have done, and I spent time learning about Willie’s luxury mobile safari operation which is something everyone should do – there isn’t a better mobile safari option in Africa and I will certainly hope to send many clients on safari with Willie. But now, here are my five reasons why everyone should include Sirikoi in their list of Africa’s top luxury safari camps and lodges:
1 The Location
Sirikoi is based on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a place which has pioneered rhino conservation and offers a truly safe sanctuary for everything from elephants, to lion, cheetah, endangered Grevy zebra, wild dog and much much more. Sirikoi itself is located in a remote corner of Lewa with a large waterhole directly in front of camp – throughout my stay in this luxury safari property we saw elephants and lots of plains game at the waterhole – you can literally just sit in camp and enjoy the comings and goings – birds are everywhere and waterbuck and warthog graze on the lawn in front of your rooms.
2 The Staff & Private Guides
Expertly hired by Willie and Sue the staff here are some of the nicest, most efficient friendly staff we have seen at any luxury safari camp – nothing is too much trouble and everything is done with a smile. Unsurprisingly when you consider Willie’s prowess as a safari guide the guides here are excellent, with unbelievable knowledge and some of the best eyes in the business. BEST OF ALL, EVERYONE GETS A PRIVATE GUIDE INCLUDED IN THEIR STAY.
3 The Excursions
Willie and Sue are of the belief that the beauty of Africa is in the most remote undiscovered places you can find, something we also believe strongly in. From Sirikoi Willie has put together a few of the most extraordinary safaris in Kenya – often done in a day by helicopter or light aircraft. Head up to Turkana to see Africa’s most remote lake, meet the wild Rendille trip, fly up to the stark and beautiful Lake Magado, or head up to Rutundu to experience a true feeling of being at the ends of the earth, and enjoy a spot of fishing. Luxury safaris from Sirikoi are all about getting off the beaten track and on a four or five night stay here (or longer if you have time) you can rest assured that you will end up in some of the most pristine, wild and unique places in all the world – if they’re remote, wild and beautiful Willie knows about them.
4 The Lodge
Sirikoi is made up of luxury tented suites, which are impossibly comfortable with huge beds, large baths and showers and understated and elegant furnishings. Everything is very tasteful and all about comfort. The main area is a home from home with sofas comfy enough to sink into all day, while watching the elephants at the waterhole. A highlight of the property is the cottage, which is ideal for families wanting exclusivity – but it is Sirikoi House which will blow your socks off, without doubt one of Africa’s top luxury private safari houses it is beautifully done with chic and stylish furnishings, and comes complete with a deck buit out into the marsh for private dinners and lunches, often with elephants grazing below you. This three bedroom house is the dream for families or groups of friends, and can even be taken on self catering if you want to save a little money, although the gourmet food at Sirikoi is not to be missed.
5 The Eco Factor
Sirikoi has now been awarded the gold eco award (as well as many other recent accolades) – this means your luxury safari really is guilt free.
Whether you are wondering around the astounding vegetable and fruit patch, or exploring the immaculate workshop, or Willie’s mobile camp stores, or out on game drives you will feel as if you are at home, welcome and will never want to leave.