A week ago guests were winding down an evening game drive when they happened upon a path dappled with paraffin lanterns. Down a little ways was a table set for two: white table cloth, wine, a three-course meal and an unobstructed view of the night sky. The next morning they said they were half expecting Robert Redford and Meryl Streep to touch down in a Sopwith Snipe and join them for dessert.
I’m not promoting safari colonial style, what I’m getting at is the surprise and delight that is the Wilderness experience.
We have come a long way from our roots as a mobile safaris company doing trips in a Land Rover bus, cooking over coals and sleeping on rollout mats. Just look at the photos. Jerry-rigged solutions were common, cash was short, shorts were shorter but enthusiasm, high. Having to make a plan was half the adventure.
Those were the glory days when Wilderness was carving out its core ethos as a company committed to offering great experiences to travelers while promoting and preserving wildlife and cultures found in the areas it operates.
Since then we’ve learned a few things. Wilderness Safaris has refined and broadened its product. We now have premiere lodges stationed in the most pristine locations where the quintessence of luxury meets the best of the bush: plush beds to get lost in, a five-star menu, executive chefs, a plunge pool in every room. It’s the utmost attention to detail with the natural beauty and drama of the landscape. And yet our mission has essentially remained the same: get people close to the sights and sounds, tastes and smells of the bush, meet their needs (and then some) so they can focus on tuning their senses to what’s around them. Any extravagance enhances an experience of the bush, never eclipses it.
For fear of spoiling a surprise I’ll stop here. You’ll have to trust me on this one: creative hospitality delivered by people dedicated to getting you as close as they can to an authentic view nature -- this is what sets our wilderness experiences apart. You never know what you’ll see on your safari, there are no Robert Redfords or hired extras, but we do what we can to set the stage – and the wilderness does the rest.