You can’t help but feel like a VIP as you’re handed a glass of bubbles and settle down into your huge white leather chair on board the eight-seater Cessna Grand Caravan. This executive-class plane is reminiscent of a private jet, without the prohibitive price tag but with all the added benefits: fast-track service, immediate airstrip boarding and by-passing lengthy queues.
As a privately chartered aircraft, SkySafari is free from airport schedules, which means there’s no lingering in transit – in fact, travelling this way could save you up to 24 hours of waiting time. There’s only one check-in and check-out for the entire trip and there’s a more generous luggage allowance. So much is included on your trip like game drives, tips and decadent wining and dining. Any extras – such as spa treatments or a hot-air balloon ride over the savannah – are paid for at the end of your holiday, so you’ll rarely have to get out your wallet or purse.
Wildlife encounters are, of course, the centrepiece of your safari. You’ll be taken on exhilarating game drives in a custom-built 4x4 vehicle in East Africa’s most treasured reserves accompanied by some of the most highly-qualified guides in the business. Watch as a steely-eyed lion stalks its prey in the Serengeti; hold your breath as thundering wildebeest precariously cross the predator-packed Mara River; and gaze in awe of that iconic Amboseli view: elephants grazing beneath the snow-lined peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. On a SkySafari, you won’t just see the sights of Africa; you’ll feel them.
Driving through the African wilderness is the ultimate thrill, but for up-close immersion you can’t beat exploring on foot. On a walking safari you’ll discover the secrets of the bush not possible to see by vehicle. For a more unusual way to watch wildlife, follow a camel train on a saddle-back safari through the arid Loisaba plains or up the pace on an adrenalin-filled mountain bike expedition.
The 9-night Kenya SkySafari begins in bustling Nairobi where you’ll be fast-tracked through the airport to Hemingways, a five-star city sanctuary. The next day, take to the sky on a flight to Elewana Tortilis Camp. At this gold eco-rating camp, which sits in a conservancy bordering Amboseli National Park, you’ll head out on Samburu-led walking safaris, sit down to bush breakfasts and have stellar views of Mount Kilimanjaro. You’ll then fly on to Loisaba where you can learn about cutting-edge conservation projects and spend a magical night sleeping under the stars on a rolled-out four-posted ‘Star Bed’. For the grand finale, you’ll stay in the most famous wildlife reserve on the planet, the Maasai Mara. The Sand River Maasai Mara Camp is a lavish 1920’s-style camp that’s big on game viewing and big on glamour which is why it was named one of the 50 Best Resorts in the World in the 2020 Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards.
SkySafari also feature a nine-night Tanzania itinerary taking in the iconic parks and conservancies in Northern Tanzania. You could even combine the two itineraries to create the epic 12-night East Africa SkySafari or, if you’re not quite ready to leave, extend your African adventure either in the bush or on the beach.
On your safari you’ll stay in boutique Elewana Collection properties that are tucked in the heart of Kenya and Tanzania’s most sought-after spots. Elewana has handpicked each camp and lodge for its individual character but they all share the same ethos of high-end luxury with a light environmental impact. One of our favourites is Elewana Tarangire Treetops in Tanzania, where the rooms are elevated in the treetops of ancient Baobab Trees.
As you would expect from a safari of this calibre, an expert team are on hand to cater to your every whim. They are committed to delivering an out-of-this-world experience, from enhancing your chance of seeing the Big Five to knowing exactly how you take your G&T. You’ll be looked after by world-class guides and lodge staff, and the same pilot accompanies you throughout your journey. Each team member goes the extra mile to ensure you have the best time.
Departures are guaranteed with just two people, but if you’re travelling solo or as a couple, it’s likely that you will be joined by a handful of like-minded guests travelling on the same itinerary. This means you can enjoy the camaraderie of sharing stories around the campfire whilst also having plenty of opportunities for peaceful, personal moments. Honeymooners can spend a night sleeping under the stars on a fairy-tale four-poster bed, indulge with a petal-strewn bath and celebrate during a candle-lit meal for two. On the other hand, families can appreciate the time-efficient travel style and the special attention given to children. The entertaining guides will bring Mother Nature’s classroom to life for little ones as they find out big cats hunt, learn how to throw spears like the Maasai and follow animal prints on foot.
If you’re travelling as a multi-generational family or with a group, you have the opportunity to charter the eight-seater plane solely for you and your guests and experience a completely private safari experience.
Every SkySafari trip supports Land & Life, a foundation that's committed to creating a better future for local communities and wildlife. All of the flights operate on a carbon-negative basis and Elewana Collection properties are designed to have as little impact as possible on their surroundings. Many of their Kenya properties have been awarded a prestigious Gold-eco rating from Eco-tourism Kenya for their environmentally and socially responsible practices.