Begin your 7-day Kenyan safari in Meru National Park, which is famous as the setting of the heart-warming smash-hit movie Born Free that tells the story of Elsa the lioness who was reared by renowned conservationists Joy and George Adamson. Here you stay at Elsa’s Kopje, a safari lodge comprising open-fronted cottages situated atop Mughwango Hill. The bar, lounge and dining room afford spectacular views of Mount Kenya and the Meru plains below, which teem with wildlife. Take guided 4x4 game drives in this Big 5 reserve that is inhabited by plenty of predators and less-seen mammals such as the rare lesser kudu and sleek caracal. Cast a line from the palm-fringed riverbank and try to catch a catfish, enjoy bush breakfasts in the middle of the plains, and interact with the primarily agrarian Tharaka community who live not far from the lodge.
The next part of your Kenyan adventure takes you to Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp, which is situated in a private concession in the Masai Mara bordering the Serengeti and Loliondo reserves. This authentic colonial-style tented camp is reminiscent of a golden era when safaris were characterised by uninhibited adventure and romance. Its close proximity to the Serengeti means that you are ideally placed to witness the Great Migration between May and October. Aside from twice-daily 4x4 game drives and walking safaris, you can undertake fishing trips on the Mara River and excursions to a nearby Maasai village, which most of the lodge staff call home.