NYERI, CENTRAL PROVINCE, KENYA — Images of Kenya instantly bring thoughts of safari to mind. However, not all safaris are created equal. Ontdek Kenya Ltd. (www.ontdekkenya.com) is a leading organizer of active holidays in Kenya. Peter and Anne Huysman own and operate Ontdek Kenya, Ltd. (Ontdek, meaning “discover” in Dutch) along with a team of experienced Kenyan guides. This team of nature and wildlife experts will ensure that their group is not among the tourist masses, nor sitting in a vehicle for hours on end.
“Most safaris are not designed for active people,” Peter explained. “The wildlife may be great, but the viewing experience is passive and vehicle-bound with limited or no activity.”
Unknown to many active people, it is now possible to have a two-in-one holiday combining guided walks and game viewing away from mass tourism.
Peter and Anne, both active walkers and birders, have been leading these tours since 1996. Peter, a native Belgian, settled in Kenya in 1995 and Anne is a native Kenyan. Together, they serve the active nature traveler who wants more from their African holiday than the vehicle-confined safari menu of morning and afternoon game drives.
Walking is a great way to view the large mammals of the East African plains and the wildebeest migration in Masai Mara.
“Our guided game viewing walks have proved popular with major operators of walking holidays in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe as well as individuals booking directly with us,” Anne said.
Travel plans for 2007 include running monthly departures with a limited group size of 10 at reasonably attractive prices.
“Most tour operators have a minimum of 10,” Peter explained, “but, we deliberately run small groups and that allows us to provide our clients with personal attention.”
The couple takes a unique approach to their tours. Organizing guided walking holidays in Kenya is their full-time occupation and they consider game viewing as a bonus to the walks.
“Our approach to wildlife viewing is not as a competitive sport of the number of lions or rhinos seen – it is in taking time to observe and learn about animals in their natural habitats,” Peter explained.
Anne also offers women-only tours.
“These women-only tours are my invitation to active women to get off the bus and see Kenya through a woman’s eye, off the tourist circuit, and with excellent opportunities for walking and wildlife viewing. The pace is unhurried and the walks are non-competitive,” Anne explains.
Itineraries cover the Great Rift Valley, Aberdares, Mt. Kenya and Masai Mara. Walking distances are flexible and Ontdek provides more than one guide to accommodate different walking abilities. Clients are typically 40 plus, active, want soft adventure, comfort, and safety.
“I felt privileged to observe the game on my terms in a small group of like-minded travelers,” one happy client said.
Many people associate African adventure with roughing-it; Ontdek has removed a lot of the roughness by providing full ground support and en-suite accommodation in comfortable lodges and tented camps with unfailing high standards of hospitality and good food.
For total relaxation during the tour, clients stay in a select lodge for a minimum of two nights, which provides a base away-from-home without the inconvenience of packing up every morning. The tour leaders have also significantly cut down the common long transfers by car.
All guides are competent birders and are also knowledgeable about culture and current events. They are easy to engage in a conversation without the choreography found in traditional tourism.
For more information visit http://www.ontdekkenya.com or contact: Anne Huysman, of Ontdek Kenya Ltd., +254 61 2030326.
NEWS SOURCE: Ontdek Kenya Ltd.
[tags]African safari, Ontdek Kenya, Anne Huysman, travel news[/tags]