Featured Lodge: Sarova Shaba, Kenya

Shaba reserve

Sarova Shaba Lodge is set deep in Shaba National Reserve on the banks of the Ewaso N’giro (Nyiro) River. It is the only lodge on the reserve, with 85 rooms in raised bungalows. The lodge’s expansive pool is the perfect place to relax at the end of a long day of viewing wildlife.

Room exteriors

Guest rooms look out on the river and the lodge’s many fish ponds. Modern bathrooms include both tub and shower; beds are equipped with mosquito nets that are lowered as part of turn-down surface each evening. Rooms are a true retreat, free of the distractions of television and radio. A hot water kettle means you can make tea to enjoy as you sit on your porch to watch the river go by, or enjoy a brisk coffee before breakfast.

Lodge by the Ewaso Nyiro river

Amenities include an outdoor dining boma, bar, spa services (massage, pedicure, manicure, and skin treatments), and a well-appointed giftshop. Wildlife is plentiful in and around the camp, with plenty of vervet monkeys to provide entertainment and crocodiles that sunbathe on the banks of the river. (Steep banks and an electric fence keep the reptiles at a comfortable distance.) Cultural activities include traditional Samburu dancing at dinnertime.

Samburu girls

Daphne Sheldrick: A Force for Elephants

Daphne Sheldrick feeds one of her early elephant rescues.
Daphne Sheldrick feeds one of her early elephant rescues. Photo courtesy of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Who doesn’t love baby elephants? Daphne Sheldrick certainly does, and she’s taken her love further than most, becoming the first person to successfully rescue baby African elephants of nursing age who have lost their mothers and raise them to adulthood. One Green Planet recently wrote an illuminating profile of this fascinating 81-year-old woman.

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World Travel Awards Honor Kenya and Tanzania

Bill Jollie took this photo of Mount Kilimanjaro while climbing as part of an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.
Bill Jollie took this photo of Mount Kilimanjaro while climbing as part of an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.

It’s the beginning of a new year and time to look back on the past one. Every year, the World Travel Awards accepts nominations from travelers for the best places to visit around the globe. After voting, two of my favorite destinations came out on top for 2015:

In addition, Kenya received top honors overall for being the World’s Leading Safari Destination, and South Africa also received many honors for its lodges and destinations.

Want to learn what all the fuss is about? Read more about one Ujuzi traveler’s hike up Mount Kilimanjaro here. And view pictures from my exploratory safari to the Masai Mara here.

Ready to explore Africa? Contact Ujuzi so we can help!

A group of Cape buffalos rest in Masai Mara National Park, Kenya. Photo by Anne Medeiros of Ujuzi African Travel.
A group of Cape buffalos rest in Masai Mara National Park, Kenya. Photo by Anne Medeiros of Ujuzi African Travel.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Photo taken by Bill Jollie on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Photo taken by Bill Jollie on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.

Taking Kids on Safari

Surveying the savanna. Photo taken by Susan Thurston on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.
Surveying the savanna. Photo taken by Susan Thurston on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.

In 2016 and 2017, Kenya is waiving visa fees for children. What a great time to introduce your kids or grandkids to the joys of exploration! The country offers a range of fun safari activities for kids of all ages, a few of which include:

  • Feeding endangered Rothschild giraffes by hand at the Giraffe Centre in Karen
  • Petting baby elephants at the Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
  • Visiting  chimpanzees at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Ol Pejeta Conservancy.  This sanctuary offers a safe haven for abused and orphaned chimpanzees from West  and Central Africa. (Chimpanzees are not native to Kenya.) After being nursed back to health, chimpanzees spend their days exploring, climbing, socializing, and learning to be chimpanzees all over again. This is an amazing project supported by the Jane Goodall Institute.

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