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Eco-resorts' The Art of Safari

An Art Safari where you can explore your artistic talents.

Elephant Safari with Eco-resorts.Elephant Level

Number of days: 11 days/10 nights

Regions: Laikipia, Rift Valley, Masai Mara

Activities: Painting, Photography, Bird Watching, Game Walks, Cultural Visits

Accommodation: Macushla, El Karama , Maili Saba, JK Mara Camp

Departure date:
On Request

Become an Art Expedition Explorer and unearth the secrets of East Africa. Pack your creativity with your camera equipment , paints and palettes and travel to East Africa's wilderness with your art guide, Tim Dann, for a fascinating adventure. Explore Kenya's scenery and spot the magnificent wildlife of three very different regional ecosystems that include semi deserts, soda lakes and woodlands and the savannah plains.

You'll stay in the heart of the wilderness, with top quality lodges, camps and private ranches as your safari homes. Re-create your experience through Photography, Field sketching and painting. New techniques, professional 'tips' and plenty of practice time ensure this adventure is educational as well as good fun!

This wonderful safari introduces you to the landscapes, people and animals of East Africa, giving you cherished memories and artwork of the world's wild places and the skills with which to capture them for the future. A true exploration of both East Africa's wildest places and the skills and techniques of Fine Art, this is an experience not to be missed!

Elephant Safari with Eco-resorts.

Day 1 Arrive into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where you clear immigration and customs.  Met by your driver/guide and taken to Macushla House on the outskirts of Nairobi.  Dependant upon your arrival time we may be able to arrange a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum and/or the Giraffe Manor before dinner and overnight at Macushla House. 

Just twenty minutes drive from the capital, Nairobi, with the Nairobi National Park on its doorstep and the home of Karen Blixen close by, Macushla is a welcome alternative to consider, providing the amenities of a hotel yet the warmth and character of a private home. The Lodge style home offers peace and comfort with facilities for conferences, seminars and workshops on a small scale.

The overnight accommodation is spacious with ensuite bathrooms for a maximum of ten guests. Open beamed ceilings, natural woodwork, log fires in the lounges and views over one of the last pockets of indigenous forest, complement the serenity and style of Macushla.

You’ll have the chance to meet your guide tonight as well as Tim will join you for dinner and will go through your itinerary and discuss the groups’ plans for the next few days.

Day 2 After breakfast you’ll head out of Nairobi, driving through the green Kikuyu Highlands, stopping for lunch at the Trout Tree Restaurant.  You’ll arrive at the El Karama Ranch in the Laikipia region shortly afterwards. 

Here you’ll stay at the El Karama Cottages.  El Karama Ranch is a 15,000 acre cattle and game ranch set in the heart of the Laikipia Plateau. The Laikipia area is part of an ancient lava plain covered with red dirt, thorn scrub, broken volcanic rock, dried riverbeds, steep hills and rocky outcroppings. Unusual for this arid area of Northern Kenya, Laikipia has a permanent water supply, the Ewaso Ngiro or "brown river". This permanent water flow provides an oasis for the many elephant, hippo, and crocodile that abound in this area.

The cottages have a large, shared living room/dining area with a huge fireplace and the kitchen is placed just outside the back. The chefs here are very talented and will keep you extremely well fed during your visit! Each cottage has its own ensuite bathroom with hot water and flushing toilets and huge, open windows to enjoy the view. Made from local rocks and old wood from fallen trees, each cottage is unique in style and shape and very, very comfortable!

You’ll have the chance to explore El Karama on foot and by vehicle as you choose over the next three days.  All meals and water are included.

Day 3 & 4 Two full days on El Karama.  You’ll have time to game drive and game walk if you prefer in between your painting or sketching.  All meals and overnight at the ranch cottages.

Elephant Safari with Eco-resorts.

Day 5 Leaving Laikipia behind you’ll drive down into the Great Rift Valley, arriving at the Maili Saba Camp in time for lunch. 

Maili Saba Camp is a sanctuary of tranquility and conviviality that rejects the rigidity of modern life. Tucked away on the edge of the magnificent, dormant, Menengai Crater, accommodating only twenty pampered guests at a time. Maili Saba Camp embraces a warm casual atmosphere within African Simplicity.

Each grass thatched tented banda, has its own unique view on the crater. The banda’s are all equipped with comfortable beds, a pleasant verandah or private terrace. Rinse off the safari dust under your spacious shower with all required facilities.

Oil lamps set a romantic mood in the rustic restaurant and bar while during breakfast you can enjoy the magnificent, silent, crater view. The  dishes consist of fresh home cooked western and more Swahili influenced meals.

Enjoy an afternoon of relaxing around the pool or painting and sketching the incredible view. All meals included.

Days 6 A choice of staying at the camp and relaxing today or heading into the Nakuru National park for a day of game driving.  Nakuru is excellent for seeing both Black and White Rhino and also has a good chance of offering leopard up to you!  All meals and overnight at the Camp.

Day 7 After an early breakfast, head up to Narok and the Maasai village of Maji Moto on the outskirts of the Loita Hills and Mara region.  Tonight you enjoy a cultural immersion as you are hosted by the Masai.  You’ll have comfortable dome tents with mattresses and all bedding with traditional safari bag showers and latrine style toilets located close to your tents. 

Enjoy walks with the Masai in the afternoon and an exploration of the village.  You will be welcome to take photos and to sketch the people.  Enjoy campfire tales in the evening over dinner and then overnight at the camp.

Day 8 Enjoy a morning with the Masai hosts and then head off into the Masai Mara area proper.  You’ll game drive enroute to your camp, arriving in the late afternoon after plenty of game viewing.  Enjoy dinner and overnight at the camp.

JK Mara Camp is situated along the Muliban River in the Talek area. Set amongst picturesque hills and rolling plains in prime game-viewing country. You can step out of your tent and head out straight on a walking safari, or go by car and arrive 10 minutes later in the middle of the Masai Mara game reserve.

This peaceful, 7 tent camp is located just outside the Masai Mara National Reserve, on a community ranch that borders the Reserve. Nestled into the Acacia tree grove, on the edge of a small, seasonal river, this lovely camp offers fine food, excellent service and all the comforts of home, but under canvas.

Each large, extremely comfortable tent has its own, ensuite flushing toilet and hot water shower. The beds are either full size twins or six foot King size doubles depending upon your choice. The tents have solar powered lighting for the nights and each has a private verandah area that runs the full length of the tent. The perfect place to relax in during the heat of the day!

Days 9 & 10 Exploring the Mara.  As the camp is just outside the reserve itself you are allowed out of the vehicle and so can do sketching and painting of the landscapes.  You’ll be able to game drive as much as you would like as well, with short drives returning to the camp for all meals, or perhaps taking a picnic lunch and heading out for a full day exploration.  All meals and overnights at the camp.

Day 11 After breakfast, game drive enroute to the airstrip and take the flight back to Nairobi.  In Nairobi you’ll have the chance to do some sightseeing and shopping in the afternoon before dinner and then transfer to the airport for your international flight home.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION

Days 11, 12 13 Once in Nairobi, catch the onward flight to the coast.   You have a choice of staying for 3 nights in Lamu at the Shela Royal House on a half board basis or at the 5 star resort of Hemingways in Watamu, also on a half board basis.  Explore the areas and enjoy some rest and relaxation before heading home.

Day 14 Fly to Nairobi, dinner and depart for your flight home

Elephant Safari with Eco-resorts.

Master Artist Biography Tim Dann

Tim was born in 1950 in Lambeth, London.

During the late 1950’s he spent time in Uganda, where, like many who experienced life in the colonial bush, his spare time was spent drawing, making miniature gardens & generally trying to escape from the school books his mother & father had his aunt send out from England. To his eternal delight there was plenty of room for escape.

After returning to the UK & completing his education in Buckinghamshire, Tim enrolled on a ‘Foundation’ year at ‘High Wycombe College of Art.’ He then went to ‘Birmingham School of Art’ & studied Fine Art under the Scottish expressionist painter, William Gear & sculptors John Bridgeman, an assistant of Henry Moore & Steve Hurst, sculptor & bronze caster. After Birmingham he was accepted for an M.A. sculpture course at the ‘Slade School of Art’ but instead chose to join the BBC as a Set Designer. During this time, he was involved in many well known television dramas & film productions. After ten years under the protective wing of ‘Aunty,’ Tim left & went freelance. During the next twenty years he designed nearly a thousand television commercials many of them award winners & many shot in studios & in difficult locations around the world. For which beating about the bush put him in good stead.

In 2003 Tim went back to school & enrolled for a year at ‘The English Gardening School’ based at the Physic gardens in Chelsea. After graduating, he designed a garden for the ‘Chelsea Flower Show’ during their centenary year of 2004 & was awarded a cherished medal.

Tim has been increasingly involved in pursuing his own creative ideas & images that are not driven by client wishes & has started to produce pieces of his own sculpture again. The world turns & he is now fully engaged in the pursuit of those images that excite & occupy him in everyday life. A life he chose to follow over thirty years ago, before wandering of into the mists & eternal swamps of Film and Television.

Tim quite often returns to Africa, so animals & birds were a natural starting point for his re-entry into the world of sculpture. Curiously, set design & the myriad of problems that occupied him for so many years in the film industry do not at present have relevance in his work. However, Tim’s love of theatre and contemporary dance, together with his love of animals seems to be giving rise to ideas, which with some genetic engineering & imagination are now producing some interesting images.

From here, who knows where? But when as a child, you are woken by Elephant and Colobus Monkeys shrieking just outside your bedroom window & Lion are discovered sunning themselves close to the rear veranda, you can rest assured that animals & birds, from no matter where, will continue to feature strongly in his work.

Elephant Safari with Eco-resorts.

Includes: Transfers, accommodation, all meals on safari, breakfasts and dinners at Macushla and coastal extensions, domestic flights, all activities including artist guides, drivers, 4x4 vehicles, all park and conservation fees, local taxes and emergency medical evacuation insurance.

Excludes: International flights, drinks other than water in the vehicles, personal purchases, tips and changes to the itinerary once in country.

Contact Melinda Rees for more information on this safari.

Elephant Safari with Eco-resorts.

Why travel with us? Because Eco-resorts is changing the world-one journey at a time.

Animals and people both need land. Ecotourism provides an alternative income for the people, leaving space for the migratory animals. Eco-resorts actively supports the villages and projects that are protecting East Africa's environment and culture.

We develop self-help eco-projects, which promote wildlife conservation. We also educate both our consumers and our partner camps with two free ezines. We use renewable energy products, reduce paper and plastic consumption in our office and have left the natural vegetation unscathed, resulting in duiker and monitor lizards visiting the office!

We donate 10% of all post-tax profits to fund community and/or conservation projects. Community projects are operated with the local villagers as the operators and managers; Eco-resorts provides advice and guidance when requested, but abides by local beliefs and traditions.

Our current projects include:

- The Children of the Rising Sun Orphanage, which provides accommodation, meals, medicine and schooling for 28 street-children. Our goal is to have a vocational job-training center operational at the home, for the kids and local villagers.

- The Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, the last remaining tract of coastal lowland forest in Kenya, which provides the only refuge for several endemic birds and mammals, such as the golden-rumped elephant shrew and the Sokoke Pippet. Designated as one of Conservation International's 26 global bio-diversity hotspots (www.conservation.org) and surrounded on all sides by an ever increasing human population, the Forest is in danger of disappearing as trees are cut for carvings, land cleared for subsistence farming and animals trapped for food.

Eco-resorts hopes to ensure that the local villagers become the greatest supporters of the Forest. One of the many projects in the Forest trains the local villagers to breed forest butterfly species for export to the live butterfly market.

With two local butterfly farms already in operation, over 400 people in the area bordering the Forest now have an income that relies upon the continued health of the Forest. Our goal is to employ another 100 people.

Please contact melinda@eco-resorts.com for more detailed information on our ezines and the Eco-resorts community and wildlife conservation projects that your eco-adventure safari will support. Help us make a difference!

Click here to enquire about a safari holiday to Kenya.

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