The Safari Series is an owner-managed camp based in the beautiful Lolldaiga hills in Laikipia (Northern Kenya).  The owners and the camp hosts Ed and Moon have created a beautiful, authentic safari experience.  The camp is a “mobile” camp, meaning that it does not have any lasting impact on the land that it is built on and it can be moved to another location very easily if required.  But don’t worry, it still has all the luxuries of hot showers and flushable toilets in case you were concerned.

When we first heard about The Safari Series, a new camp that had opened in the Lolldaiga hills in Laikipia, our initial thought was that it was mainly about the experience of driving some cool old Landrovers and having an awesome safari as this is the pictures that we had seen about the camp.

It was only when we finally visited, that we realized that it was so much more than this – although driving the old Landrovers is definitely a highlight.  Read on to find out more.

As mentioned earlier, the camp is located in the Lolldaiga hills which is a 49,000 acre ranch with stunning uninterrupted views of both the Aberdare and Mt Kenya.  The hills have well documented archaeological finds and this ancient landform has been a treasured home since early mankind.  There is a variety of landscapes from high folding hills, cedar forests, open grasslands and wooded valleys.

On our visit to The Safari Series a few weeks ago, we were warmly welcomed by Ed and Moon.  The mess tent and lounge area form the central part of the camp, with meals being communal (though with Covid-19, they are very flexible about sorting out private meals).  The whole camp is on solar energy and there is as low an impact as possible on the environment in the set-up of the camp.  In fact, Safari Series is genuinely committed to sustainable travel – something that we are also very committed too for all our guests. I will touch more on the sustainability at the end of the blog, but first want to take you on a journey of our time at the camp.

The mess tent – dining and lounge area

After chilling in the lounge area, we were shown our tent. The tents are simple, but very comfortable with an outdoor bathroom which has a flushable toilet and bucket shower.  And the beds were some of the comfiest that we have slept in.  There are only 6 tents in the camp and they are built around a waterhole where you often get buffalo and elephant coming to drink.  Not all the tents have a view of the waterhole, but there is a nice campfire area from where you can relax and just while away the time relaxing and watching the waterhole.  After settling into our room, it was soon time for lunch.

Beautiful simple tents with open air bathrooms
A simple sink set up with eco-friendly toiletries
Beautiful campfire set up. The perfect location for a sundowner overlooking the dam

Ed and Moon had really made sure to consider our dietary requirements and we had a yummy lunch of breads, salads, pasta and pizza and Kamal did not even have to remind them to bring the yoghurt that he requested to have with every meal.  We got so engrossed in eating that we totally forgot to take photos of the amazing food.

In the evening, we proceeded for a game drive with James and had a great evening ending up at some spectacular sundowner spots.  James was dressed up in his traditional Samburu clothes and was really game for us to get some amazing shots of him.  We got back to camp having a ‘night-drive’ on the way back and it was amazing to see the night skies – full of stars as far as the eye could see.  I did not expect such clear and beautiful night skies in Lolldaiga due to it not being that far from Nanyuki which is quite a large town.  I was therefore pleasantly surprised to witness skies like we have only seen further North in Kenya.

Magical sunsets

Dinner was very hearty with curries made to our requirements (even though we are Indian, we don’t eat chillies).  Being Indian, I am always a bit skeptical about being served Indian food at a camp/lodge, but I enjoyed every bit of it.  And they did not forget Kamal’s yoghurt requirement – always such a bonus when we don’t have to remind our hosts at the camp of this.

That night, Kamal and I had the best night’s sleep in a long while (so if you are having trouble sleeping, maybe consider visiting The Safari Series…lol).  We started the next morning quite early as we wanted to experience the sunrise with Mt Kenya in the background.  It was quite chilly in the morning, but we had some Maasai blankets to keep us warm.  James found the perfect spot for us to stop and after waiting for sunrise and taking photos, we had some tea and cookies which had been packed for us.

Amazing sunrise over Mt Kenya, with the moon still high in the sky
Early morning views
Two giants together

We then went on a game drive and enjoyed watching two beautiful elephants before having an amazing time bird watching.  It was the highlight of our drive seeing the Hartlaub’s turaco (it flew away too fast for any good pictures), and two different parrot species.  This place is definitely a birders paradise too.

Brown headed parrot
Red-fronted Parrot
A beautiful little bee-eater

Reluctantly, we then headed back to camp for breakfast.  Moon had ensured that there were egg-free pancakes for me.  There was also fruits and avocado on toast, which meant that I was stuffed (in a good way) as the pancakes were so yummy, I could not stop at one.  Our stay was nearly at its’ end, but not before we had a bit of a drive around in the Series I and Series II landrovers – it really felt like being on safari in a bygone era.

Ever tried driving a Landrover with an extra person on the tyre?

We were sad to be leaving and wished we had another night to spend in this beautiful gem that is one of Magical Kenya’s signature experiences, but we know we will be back as there is so much more to explore.

In fact, there are so many other activities apart from game drives that can be done at The Safari Series.  These include guided bush walks, archaeological and cave visits, bush dinners, authentic cultural experiences, croquet, self-drive safaris in the Landrovers that have been lovingly brought back to life, fly camping and kayaking (dependant on the water levels).  It really is an honest and true safari experience.

We also loved the synergy that we had with Ed and Moon and their sustainable practices and how it really fits into our ethos too.  I would like to touch more on this here, especially as it is so important more so than ever for us to partner with like-minded people to ensure that we try and reduce the effects that travel can have on the environment.  It also gives us great confidence knowing that when you travel with us to Safari Series, you will get a safari that is authentic, carbon neutral (from our side as well as the camps), and committed to being eco-concious.  Apart from being fully solar, the camp uses eco-friendly products for their toiletries and cleaning products.  They also plan to have a grey water system in place.  Food is purchased locally, which gives the local communities a reliable source of income all year round and reduces the carbon footprint of your meals. They are also minimizing the use of plastic and really empowering their staff in all aspects of sustainability and understanding the effects of climate change.  In fact, last year, they even had an interactive presentation about this with their staff to get them engaged in the reasons for reducing the camps impact on the environment.

You can also experience a truly authentic cultural experience where you really get to know what the Maasai tribes around the area live like and learn from their wisdom.  Like us, Ed and Moon truly believe in “Trade, not Aid” and have ensured that the cultural experiences are guided and proposed by the local communities that border the camp.

At this juncture, I must make a note –  if you are looking for uber luxury, then this may not be the place for you.  But if you are looking for a very comfortable camp with good food and which is keeping its’ environmental impact as low as possible while contributing to a safe larger habitat for wildlife, benefitting the communities too and providing a great immersive experience in the wild than this is definitely the place for you.  An honest and authentic safari experience for All Times. A place that you will want to return to again and again.

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. —Frank Lloyd Wright”