New Year, new epic locations
Nothing comes close to a night under canvas in a luxury private safari camp pitched just for you. Africa Born's mobile camps aren't (as their name might suggest) West Coast tech conventions for start-up whizz-kids! In fact, they're quite the opposite. Our mobile camps are tucked away in secluded corners of our favourite national parks and conservancies - some of the last great wild places owned and run by those who love their corner of Africa with a passion. With any luck, you won't even have mobile phone coverage.
And so we're particularly excited to announce our three new Kenyan mobile camp destinations for 2023 - Lolldaiga Hills, Meru National Park and Solio Conservancy. Decked out beautifully and hosted by an awesome team of guides, kitchen and camp staff: this is what we do best.
With not another soul in sight, the wildlife experience is second to none and we're not just talking about the 'Big Five'. Bike past herds of elephant en route to a bush breakfast, go fishing with the kids and catch supper, hike the Aberdares in search of the legendary giant forest hog, melanistic leopard or elusive bongo - the last of which we've still not clapped eyes on, we need your help!
Meru: a well-kept secret steeped in history
Meru National Park is a hidden gem. Little visited and utterly unspoilt, few places compare to this remote, rugged wilderness. Given that Meru is off the usual tourist route, we usually have the place to ourselves.
The landscape is like no other - jungle-like doum palms line Meru's many rivers (great fishing, incidentally), red soil meets red sunset skies in a riot of colour, with views for miles over the snow-capped Mount Kenya to the west and the vast Meru plains to the east.
Meru was made famous by the film Born Free: home to conservationist George Adamson and his wife, Joy. This park is where George and Joy taught their beloved lioness Elsa to be wild.
And when it comes to wildlife, Meru is a place of big herds: grevy's zebra, buffalo, elephant and rhino. It's also a haven for birders, with more than 427 recorded species - watching the sand grouse flocks swoop into Meru's many water holes is superb.
Solio Conservancy: a magic garden with (chubby) unicorns
Solio is the world's first private rhino sanctuary. This 45,000-acre reserve is magic, a biblical safari paradise - lush yellow fever acacia forests, flowing streams and (chubby) unicorns! The elusive, hard-to-spot rhino is a regular here: we're talking 80 white and black rhino on one game drive. Mind-blowing.
The reserve has excellent wildlife right on the doorstep of camp. Solio's is a slow safari vibe: roll out of bed and you're in the heart of the action. You're also not far from the Aberdares - a mountainous volcanic range that forms part of the Great Rift Valley where moorland meets steep tangled forest.
The Aberdares is home to some unique and legendary species (giant forest hog, melanistic leopard, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat), cascading waterfalls perfect for a picnic or a quick dip/fish, and miles and miles of walking trails. The trick is to know the best secret spots ;)
As adventurous teenage boys, we spent many weekends camping in the Aberdares, dabbling with the fly rod and shivering in t-shirts on chilly, misty moorland nights. How times have changed! Head into the Aberdares with us and you'll have hot water bottles, flushing loos, bucket showers, a team of chefs and waiters to serve up a hearty supper and - quite literally - the kitchen sink.
Lolldaiga Hills: biking off the beaten path
Lolldaiga Hills started life as a cattle ranch and was only recently transformed into a private conservancy. It's quite the transformation: this magnificent rolling landscape has a unique mountain feel - this could be Montana or Colorado.
The spectacular scenery (great views of Mount Kenya) and the ancient cedar and olive trees give Lolldaiga a feeling of Lord of the Rings. So if you fancy a Middle Earth adventure of your own, this is the place: e-biking, walking, and tracking wildlife are just some of the epic experiences you can do here.
Lolldiaga's wildlife is exceptional and the nocturnal soundtrack of elephant rumbles and hyena whoops is quite something.
Archaeologically, Lolldaiga is a special spot. A well-documented series of archaeological finds, cave paintings and burial mounds show that the Lolldaiga Hills have been a treasured home since early humankind. So if you're a bit of a history buff, you'll love scratching beneath the surface of Lolldaiga's fascinating landscape.
So pack your bags and step off the beaten track with us. From a rhino paradise to Middle Earth Mountains, we promise an under-canvas experience you'll never forget.