(Dress: Topshop)

If I'm being totally honest, visiting Giraffe Manor felt like a bit of a dream. Although it was definitely a whistle stop visit for dinner before our midnight flight from Nairobi to London, being able to visit at all was still wonderful (although I'm definitely now looking at a stay, just to experience the breakfast)!

Built in the 1930's across 12 acres of leafy forest in the centre of Nairobi, Giraffe Manor is the beautiful home of the resident Rothschild giraffe- a breed carefully nurtured and bred by the manor in order to reintroduce them to the wild (another reason why I was so enamoured with The Safari Collection was down to all of the conservation work that they do). Although there's only ten double bedrooms in the manor, we were able to enjoy a delicious afternoon tea on the patio, before dinner in one of the main living areas (sadly once the giraffes had gone to bed)!

I really hope you've enjoyed reading my Kenya posts as much as I've enjoyed putting them together! It truly was one of the most incredible trips I've been on, so hopefully you've perhaps found a nugget of inspiration in here somewhere! I'd love to know if any of you have been on safari too! I've definitely fallen a little head over heels for Africa, and hope that one day I can go back again (especially if giraffes are involved)!



x


Perched alongside the Sand River and overlooking the Serengeti and the Tanzanian border in the distance, it wouldn't be unusual to catch a collective of zebras grazing from your pool over at Sala's Camp- our home following a couple of days in Samburu. With the journey between spots taking little over an hour- we made headway for the camp just before the rain came, and began to settle in our new riverside abode.

With rooms boasting riverside views, pools, brass bath tubs and the soundtrack of animals and humming birds- it's a pretty special experience to camp pretty much at one with nature (I heard someone describe the camp as 'low key luxury' which felt pretty apt)! The communal mess area also offers delicious lunches and supper, along with a roaring fireside during the chillier evenings and deckside dining when it's sunny too- which made coming home after a day of drives feel like the perfect wind down...

(PJS: Tales of Thread)

But back to the drives! With Lucy, Ben, Nicole and I all hopping up around 6am each day for our drive- it was amazing to catch the Mara at sunrise each day (with a delicious freshly cooked bush breakfast seeing us through around 9:30- definitely making the early starts more bearable)! With the Mara showcasing an incredibly rich amount of wildlife, it almost felt like a real life performance of the Lion King each day (bar the soundtrack, naturally)- and spotting wildebeest, hyena and even rhino helped us complete a mental tick list of our already expanding list of sightings across Kenya.



With the savannah offering a slightly greener setting compared to Samburu, being able to spot prides of lions hiding in the bushes and tall grass made for some incredible viewing each day- and I can't believe how fortunate I felt to be able to tick off sighting some of the world's most rare animals in their natural habitat (although breaking down next to some hippos did concern me slightly- but hey, it's one for the kids)! After a couple of days at Sala's, we set off for our final stop in Nairobi- which has to be one of the most incredible places on earth...



A huge thanks to The Safari Collection for hosting me on this trip


x

Oh where to begin with relaying all of the incredible experiences I've had in Kenya over the last week! I can't really begin to stress how fortunate I feel to have experienced and seen some of the things I have in the last five days, so have strung together a series of posts across the five days we were in Africa, talking about everything from the animals, locations, community projects and discoveries we shared- so I hope you enjoy!...

Before this year going on safari was never really something I'd considered. It was something I'd seen (and probably repinned) endlessly, but the idea of going about it and finally booking something seemed a little murky and I wouldn't have even been sure about where to start- let's just say the most familiar I'd ever gotten to a safari was siting on the apple Internet browser (Ho Ho Ho). So when I was invited by The Safari Collection to explore their magical properties across Kenya, I felt incredibly privileged to get to visit a part of such an incredible continent and can safely say it was unlike anything I'd experienced. So with five days of exploring three of their beautiful hideouts, we set off last Friday evening from London for our adventure to begin...



Our first stop was at beautiful Sasaab in Samburu. Located on the river, and tucked away in Kenya's Northern Frontier District- the lodge is heavily inspired by traditional Morrocan decor with its rich terracotta, sweeping canopies, open bathroom and tiled plunge pools. With the resident dikdik Rosie and Thorn (as well as their wonderful hosts) greeting us- everyone from start to finish made us feel completely at home in this beautiful spot. With a busy couple of days at Sasaab on the agenda, we spent our time experiencing early morning game drives, camel rides across the bush (which naturally left me feeling like Joanna Lumley), drinks atop of Sundowner Rock and dinner underneath one of the starriest skies I've seen.



On top of that, during our visit we also visited the local Samburu village. The camp works incredibly closely with local communities and upon visiting the local village and warriors, I felt truly fortunate to be able to witness how a community this side of the world live. With Sasaab, and The Safari Collection working on initiatives that include eye and dental clinics, school feeding programmes and girls empowerment programmes- it was amazing to see how they support one another and learn about how they aim to provide unforgettable safari experiences whilst providing opportunities to the local people too.



And that's of course without even mentioning the wildlife! After touching down on the airstrip after a short flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi- I'm pretty sure it was one of my greatest 'pinch-me' moments spotting a giraffe peeking out from the trees on our game drive back to camp. We continued to spot everything from a lion with it's kill, some mischievous baboons and a small herd of elephants alongside the river. It was truly unforgettable seeing everything in the wild for the first time, and knowing it was only the first part of our journey made me feel all the more spoilt... Stay tuned!



A huge, huge thank you to the Safari Collection for this incredible experience and having me as a guest!


x

MEET OLIVIA

MEET OLIVIA

Hello, you! I'm Olivia, or Liv- a 22 year old girl living in London, spending most of her time blog writing, photo taking, social media updating and occasionally cake baking.

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