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Fairmont strings property experiences together for safari, beach package

July 21, 2014

Fairmont Safari Fairmont Safari


Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is touring its African properties with a new package that brings guests on game drives, into luxury tents and snorkeling with tortoises.

The new "Safari and Sand from Kenya to the Seychelles" expedition bundles some of the attractions available at each of the three participating hotels to provide guests with a diverse experience. As curated tours become more sought after, hotels will have to arrange similar cross-property programs.

"The Bush & Beach trend came about because many of the guests traveling to our Kenya property decided to extend their African Safari holiday to the Seychelles for relaxation in paradise," said Jennifer Greene, director of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in the Americas, New York. "Raffles Praslin Seychelles is the perfect complement after visiting the Maasai Mara.

"The East African wildlife safari is quite distinctive as it’s the only region you can witness the great wildebeest migration," he said. "It also boasts a diverse array of wildlife including the Big 5 - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo.

"Unlike other African regions restricted to the roads, guests are able to get a close view of the animals in open four wheel drive vehicles."

Elephants and tortoises

Travelers who reserve a space in the expedition begin at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club in Nairobi, Kenya, where they will stay in luxury tents.

Each tent is furnished with four poster, pillow-top beds, a private, three-piece bathroom and a veranda that peers over an adjacent river inhabited by hippos and crocodiles.


Accomodations at Fairmont Mara Safari Club

At the first juncture, guests will head out into the bush early to search for the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard and white/black rhinoceros.

Elephant and rhinoceros populations are currently being eviscerated by poachers, making increased awareness of their plight imperative.


Fairmont Mara Safari Club

Guests will also visit a local Masai village to witness traditional tribal songs and the "Adumu" dance.

Next, safari-goers will shift course at the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel, where they will enjoy a more decadent experience in a more urban area.


Fairmont Norfolk Hotel

Finally, guests will fly across the Indian Ocean to visit a sister property of Fairmont, Raffles Praslin, Seychelles.

Here, guests will take another step away from the safari with a more traditional luxury hotel experience. Also, guests will get the chance to snorkel in the waters, take a trip to nearby islands to sea tortoises and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Vallée de Mai, home to the endemic Coco de Mer.

"Affluent travelers who have seen it and done it all are seeking more experiential travel," said Tiffany Dowd, founder and president of Luxe Social Media, Boston.

"Luxury safaris are in high demand as people want high-end yet inspirational experiences," she said.

Social media boom

Safaris have been consistently popular throughout the years. However, it is likely that the growth of social media has made "exotic" trips all the more coveted, since travelers can now boast about their journeys to a wider audience.

Other hotel brands have unveiled safari excursions recently.

For instance, Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania, is encouraging fans to explore the Serengeti through a new interactive online safari experience.

The “Into the Heart of Africa” online immersive tour permits guests to learn about Serengeti National Park via videos and photos. Prior to arriving at the resort it is now possible to have both a personal virtual tour of the safari, the lodge and the wildlife and gain valuable knowledge about the region (see story).

Also, The Leading Hotels of the World catered to adventurous, affluent travelers through a partnership with The Shackleton & Selous Society to offer vacations and safaris in exotic destinations.

The hotel group’s Leaders Club members received insider access to nature preserves and protected regions that are not offered to the public. To celebrate the partnership, the hotel group hosted the first Leaders Club Invitational Southern African Safari (see story).

"For luxury safaris to be successful, authenticity must be conserved," Ms. Dowd said.

"Guests want life-enriching experiences with knowledgeable guides and rustic-luxury accommodations that will connect them not only physically but emotionally to a place," she said.

Final Take
Joe Mccarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York