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New adventures in Africa

A trip to the birthplace of mankind – and a luxury Tanzanian safari

New adventures in Africa

Image: Singita Game Reserves

August 30 2011
Sophy Roberts

At Swiss financier Arpad Busson’s recent Ark fundraiser in London, bidders vied to win a seven-night trip to Northern Kenya that included one night sleeping in a simple homestead (and research centre) on the shores of Lake Turkana belonging to conservationist and palaeoanthropologist Dr Richard Leakey. This is the Alpha and Omega of travel destinations – the place where the origins of man can be tracked back to the 1.6m-year-old “Turkana Boy” skeleton unearthed by Leakey’s team in 1984.

For other clients willing to pay the $15,000 price tag, this experience is now available through African outfitter Journeys by Design (www.journeysbydesign.com), the monies going to Leakey’s research foundation, The Turkana Basin Institute.

That’s stimulating for the intellect, but don’t expect luxury or the thunder of a million hooves, which is the adrenaline rush delivered by Singita Explore (www.singita.com; from $1,300 per person per night), a mobile safari (pictured) just launched in Paul Tudor-Jones’s 340,000-acre private concession in Tanzania. Taking from two to 12 guests, the tents in this exclusive-use camp have interiors by South African decorator Boyd Fergusson – so expect a touch of modern chic enhancing the otherwise Blixen style of travelling. Riders joining group departures in September and October (when the wildebeest should be moving with the rains) will have cooks, guides, hot showers, flush loos and 4x4s.