The World’s Top Safaris

By Kristen Shirley

Close Encounters
Kenya, Ethiopia

Head off the beaten path with The Explorations Company. This private safari will begin with a stay at Kifaru House—atop a hill in Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife Conservancy—the perfect headquarters for day and night game drives, nature walks and camel rides. You’ll then be whisked away by helicopter for the rest of your journey. Spend a day in the Great Rift at Lake Turkana, where you’ll find crocodiles and hippos; the beautiful but unforgiving Suguta Valley (known as the Valley of Death for its intense heat); and the remote Chalbi Desert, a flat expanse that seems to go on forever and whose name means ‘bare and salty’ in the local Gabra dialect. Next is a bespoke mobile safari in the Maasai Mara. This camp is designed just for you, to your exact specifications, and is set up in the best locations possible. These are frequently closer to the wildlife than permanent camps, allowing for more walking safaris than driving (although you will have vehicles for game drives). From here is a week in Ethiopia, exploring remote and inaccessible regions by helicopter. The landscapes are incredible, ranging from mountains, cliffs and active volcanoes to rivers, salt pans and acid lakes. Once on the ground, you will tour ancient churches, visit nomadic people and see endemic wildlife, including the gelada baboon, Ethiopian wolf and walia ibex.

From $96,000 per person for 14 days, based on two people traveling together with option to increase trip to four people. Contact Nicola Shepherd, owner and director,, +44 136 785 0566,

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