It’s fitting that Botswana and Kenya, two of Africa’s greatest wildlife destinations, are home to the camps of Great Plains Conservation. Founded in 2006 by a group of conservationists and headed by legendary filmmaker Dereck Joubert, Great Plains works hard to find the right balance between conservation, communities and commerce. Their camps have been built as much to benefit local communities and preserve Africa’s most beautiful landscapes as they have been to deliver breath-taking game viewing.
The camps in Botswana enjoy remote and pristine settings, tucked away on the floodplains of the Okavango Delta or next to secret lagoons and rivers. Blending harmoniously with their environments, they focus on a diverse game-viewing experience. Guests explore by 4X4, on foot and by boat in the company of expert guides while the Selinda 5-day canoe trail offers perhaps the most unique and exciting safari experience in the country.
Two Kenyan camps are set in the incomparable Masai Mara while a third enjoys panoramic views of Mount Kilimanjaro from its setting in a private Big 5 reserve. Guests enjoy game drives and walks from each camp as well as cultural interactions, hot-air ballooning, fly camping and horseback safaris.
Great Plains Conservation delivers an authentic and luxurious safari experience but the group philosophy runs deeper. Most safari operators are travel companies that carry out conservation initiatives to help sustain their ecotourism operations; Great Plains Conservation is first and foremost a conservation organisation which operates ecotourism to maintain conservation.
Their aim is to create of a number of flagship conservation programmes in areas that were once almost ecologically ruined, seeking to ensure these initiatives become successful and are replicated across the continent.