This year the Safari Awards celebrated their tenth year of recognizing the best in the safari business. Here are some of Ker & Downey’s favorite properties and winners from the Safari Awards 2017.
Angama Mara, Kenya | Best New Safari Property
At just over a year old, Angama Mara is making waves in the safari world. Together African tourism pioneers and owners Steve and Nicky Fitzgerald have helped establish over 60 luxury safari properties in Africa and India and Angama Mara is the culmination of their 30-year career. Ker & Downey’s President David and his wife Gana recently returned from visiting the property after a week of mission work.
Angama Mara has the best position on top of the escarpment looking down upon the Mara Triangle. The views are phenomenal from not only the main area deck but also from your private room deck. The staff could not have been more helpful nor attentive. The food was world-class and I believe they do have the best hamburger in Kenya! Our guide, Moses, was very in tune to my safari style which is slow down, relax, and enjoy whatever the day brings. We were blessed with several river crossings, many predators, rhino, and too many wonderful elephant sightings to count. It’s location puts it a short drive away from the starting point for ballooning over the Mara. We could have not chosen a better end to our medical mission than staying at Angama Mara.
Okavango Horse Safaris, Botswana | Best Riding Safari
A riding safari through Botswana is a unique experience.Gallop through the floodplains and papyrus-lined waterways alongside its wildlife on a five-day riding safari with the best in the business. And on Ker & Downey’s riding safari through the Okavango Delta, you’ll spend four days at Shinde, the classic safari camp in the heart of the delta.
Zarafa Camp and Dhow Suites, Botswana | Best Design, Most Romantic Safari Property, and Best Safari House
Last year, Zarafa Camp was a big winner in the Safari Awards, and it did quite well this year too. Zarafa Camp received top honors for its design, while its exclusive-use extension Zarafa Dhow Suites won for Most Romantic Safari Property and Best Safari House. The Dhow Suite is one of the largest tents built in Africa, with over 2,200 square feet and includes its own private vehicle, safari guide, chef, manager, and entrance to the camp. It’s the perfect safari house for families and private groups located in one of the best safari destinations in Africa.
Leobo Observatory Bush Villa, South Africa | Best Family Safari Experience
We’re not surprised to see that Leobo won the award for the Best Family Safari Experience. We highlighted it in August as one of the best places to spend Thanksgiving with your family for the unique and private experience set on 20,000 acres in the malaria-free Waterberg region. The Observatory Villa is a stunning, state-of-the-art private home outfitted with two research-grade telescopes – perfect for navigating the constellations. Because Leobo is an exclusive-use property, safaris are tailored to your family’s desires – from Land Cruiser game drives and quad biking to clay pigeon shooting or paragliding, there’s an endless possibility of fun and activities.
Greystoke Mahale | Best Location
It’s easy to see why Greystoke Mahale won the award for best location in the Safari Awards. It’s located on a far-flung beach on the edge of Lake Tanganyika in a true Eden, with the Mahale Mountain Range behind it and the clear waters of the lake in front of it. The forested slopes of the mountains behind the camp are home to the world’s largest known population of chimpanzees, with about 1,000 individuals inhabiting the park. Experience the serenity of Greystoke Mahale and meet the primates of Rwanda and Tanzania on our 16-day Primate Safari.