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6 of the best sustainable safari adventures

Ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya

Experience nature’s most spectacular show at these eco-conscious bush camps and conservation lodges


RICHARD’S RIVER CAMP, Maasai Mara, Kenya

Perfectly situated on the banks of the Njageteck River, this is a glamorous escape in the very heart of the Maasai Mara. With seven sumptuous tents, Richard’s River Camp is both intimate and adventurous. There is plenty to do, whether it be a night-time game drive, a visit to a local Maasai village or a trip in a hot air balloon. Rangers form the backbone of this project, whose goal is to improve elephant-human relations – elephants are tracked using GPS technology and drones to herd them into sanctuaries. Primary school children are given lessons in anti-poaching values and take great pleasure in telling their parents off for not following suit.

Each en-suite tent at Lale's Camp has its own veranda

LALE’S CAMP, Omo Valley, Ethiopia

This fig-shaded camp sits just steps from the village of Dus, one of three settlements belonging to the Karo community. Children decorated in colorful beads warmly grip the hands of guests and lead them to shore, where Karo men paint each other in charcoal stripes in preparation for an evening dance ceremony. A collaboration between Karo member Lale Biwa and UK charity Wild Philanthropy, the camp gives guests a chance to interact with the people of the valley with the hope that they make donations to community projects. By day, you might observe Karo women preparing maize, or visit the neighboring Hamar tribe. At night, you’ll sip sundowners on your tent’s veranda, then head to the dining tent to enjoy local dishes like injera and listen to stories about Lale’s childhood.


The level of luxury across the five lodges and safari camps here, not to mention the abundant wildlife surrounded by 350,000 acres of open country, has attracted an impressive A-list roll call, including Oprah Winfrey and Amal and George Clooney. With exclusive access to curated conservation experiences, you can spend a morning at the anti-poaching headquarters with the special-ops team and their unit of sniffer dogs; an afternoon at the Environmental Education Center, learning about deforestation and water conservation with local secondary school students; and, this October, you can even take part in a five-day, all-female 90km run across Singita’s private reserve to raise funds for their female empowerment program, which aims to support girls to take on leadership roles in conservation.

    Julliard mohair and wool-blend sweater
  • Ancient Greek Sandals
    Dinami woven raffia and leather slingback sandals
Known as ‘the volcano hills’, the area around Ol Donyo Lodge is full of lush vegetation – perfect for attracting local wildlife

OL DONYO LODGE, Chyulu Hills, Kenya

Ol Donyo Lodge sits on a gently sloping hillside with views out over the plains to a distant, snow-speckled Kilimanjaro. A romantic, old-world elegance permeates the lodge, with its wicker armchairs, striking African art and warm ochre walls. Six suites are woven into the landscape, each with their own plunge pool and roof terrace, and guests can also arrange to sleep on the roof in a gossamer-canopied ‘star bed’ circled by candlelit lanterns. Ol Donyo was created by award-winning conservationist Richard Bonham, one of the founders of the Big Life Foundation. Since its inception in 2010, Big Life has employed hundreds of Maasai rangers, who use tracker dogs and aerial surveillance to prevent poaching. Thanks to their efforts, lions have been brought back from the edge of extinction in this area.

SIRIKOI, Lewa, Kenya

Sirikoi is a spectacular eco-lodge situated in the center of Lewa, on the northern slopes of Mount Kenya. Surrounded by an acacia grove and 68,000 acres of UNESCO World Heritage-listed wilderness, it is a blend of luxurious and wholesome, offering farm-to-plate dining from its organic fruit and vegetable garden. There is a lodge, a cottage and four luxury tents, situated along the spring-fed Sirikoi stream, each with a private outside deck. Sirikoi works closely with the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, whose inspirational founder, Anna Merz, is remembered for reading Shakespeare to her beloved rhinos and banishing poachers by integrating local communities into her vision.

Meals on the deck are a highlight of any stay at Sirikoi
View game up close from the comfort of your private luxury lodge at Phinda Private Game Reserve


Joss Kent’s dream of a new way of doing safari was conceived at Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s Zululand KwaZulu-Natal in 1991; the result is a pioneering conversation and travel company that believes in giving guests a unique bush experience, hand-in-hand with care of the land, people and wildlife. Over 25 years later and with 29 wilderness lodges across the remotest corners of three continents, Phinda remains &Beyond’s flagship reserve, with 29,000 hectares of formerly overgrazed land returned to wildlife and an ethos that embraces sustainable building practices. Endangered white and black rhino populations have been protected through translocation and close monitoring, and this is now one of the best places in Africa to see these rare creatures among a diverse array of game in the seven different ecosystems that make up the reserve, including unique wetlands, grasslands and salt pans.

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