Karibu Kenya is a collaboration pairing the renowned content of published author and travel expert, Tamara Britten, founder of the company, with award-winning Gamewatchers Safaris. With over 25 years’ experience in the industry, Gamewatchers Safaris is a Kenya-based accredited tour operator with long-standing relationships with many of Kenya’s service providers. Together, their expertise creates the perfect platform to help visitors design their ideal luxury Kenyan holiday. Karibu Kenya listens to each client’s specific preferences and knits them together seamlessly, creating unforgettable experiences for individuals and groups.
Over two years, Tamara explored every inch of Kenya to seek out the country’s best accommodation facilities, then wrote the Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide, the only comprehensive guidebook to Kenya. Now, with Gamewatchers Safaris, she has created the country’s first online luxury booking platform, opening Kenyan tourism services to the international market.Read: An Interview With Tamara Britten, Author of the Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide
Award-winning Gamewatchers Safaris, one of Kenya’s leading tour operators, has been creating affordable, high-quality safari packages to Kenya and across East Africa for around 30 years.
Gamewatchers Safaris offers a broad range of accommodation options including mobile camping, comfortable lodges, luxury tented camps and chic designer properties. We can organise safaris by road or by air. We offer both great value packages with set departures, and tailor-made tours to suit your personal requirements. Our friendly and knowledgeable safari guides are all certified by the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association and will share their wealth of knowledge on Kenya’s flora, fauna and peoples with you during your trip.
Our team of sales consultants – based in Kenya, the USA and the UK – are safari experts and can design perfect itineraries for couples, single travellers, groups and families. They can also arrange safari or beach weddings and honeymoons.
To ensure your financial security, Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company. Gamewatchers Safaris is also accredited by the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA), the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA), Ecotourism Kenya and the East African Wildlife Society.
With about 30 years’ experience in the tourism industry, Gamewatchers Safaris has long-standing relationships with many of Kenya’s service providers, including the premier camps and lodges and the airlines. We also know the myriad of boutique service companies such as hot air balloon operators, horse riding safari providers, mountain climbing experts and water sports companies. Whether in the bush, on a beach, in the desert, or half way up a mountain, we can arrange what you’re looking for.
We have good relationships with most major hotel and camp operators, as well as with independent operators. We will listen to your preferences and create a seamless holiday. We can also organise team building, conferencing and other work related expeditions.
We provide a personalised touch to our services. Whether you want a budget trip, a company conference or the holiday of a lifetime, we will listen to your needs and create the trip that suits your requirements. With us, you will get the most out of your travels. Whatever you want, we’ll help you have a unique experience.
Andy Hill, Editor of Swara Magazine, said: ‘What sets Tamara Britten’s splendid book apart is that it has broken away from the well-trodden path of hotel guide to give us an authentic and personally researched tour of just about every place a curious tourist or citizen might wander into.’
John Burdett, Director of Africa Exclusive, said: ‘In all my years in the business, I have never seen an accommodation publication as comprehensive as this.’
In 2010, Tamara Britten decided to combine her experience working in Kenya’s tourism industry with her MA in Creative Writing and produce a guidebook to the country. Little did she know that the project would take over two years, and would lead her to the most remote and little visited parts of this diverse country. Taking off around Kenya in her sturdy land cruiser, accompanied by her trusty laptop, Tamara visited mountains, deserts, beaches, towns and game reserves searching out accommodation facilities, from boutique resorts to exotic safari camps to budget cottages to quirky bandas. Getting directions from locals, following rickety signs and driving down tracks little used, she found places unmapped and undocumented. Interested not only in the rooms, facilities and activities of a hotel, Tamara spoke to locals about the place’s history, folk tales and legends. She discussed eco-policies, rating awards and staff training with the managers; she inspected the rooms, the grounds and even the kitchen of each place; and she checked out the activities, events and adventure sports at each.
The result of this is Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide, the only comprehensive guidebook to Kenya. Endorsed by the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB), Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) and Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association (KPSGA), the guidebook is now used as promotional material by the Kenya Tourist Board: a copy of the book was given to every dignitary who attended the World Travel Awards, held in Nairobi in October 2013. Divided into clearly demarcated regions, the guidebook features a photo, a detailed description and quirky anecdotes about every place. As well as listing accommodation facilities of every budget, the guidebook covers the history, geography, climate, peoples, attractions, national parks and annual cultural festivals of Kenya, and gives information on the country’s infrastructure, banking, communications, transport and medical facilities. It highlights responsible tourism and the wildlife code, and provides links to the Kenyan associations that regulate and certify tourism facilities.
Now Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide has formed a partnership with Gamewatchers Safaris to bring you the first and only comprehensive booking website for tours and travel in Kenya.
Tamara Britten has visited almost every location that appears in the guidebook and on this website. She has personally checked the rooms, dining options and facilities of each place, and has discussed or tried the activities at each. A particular passion of hers is eco-friendly tourism so she has included information about the eco-policies of each place.
You will not be challenged to decipher the marketing-speak of safari camps and chain hotels to try to figure out whether the infinity pool is a 4-meter kiddie pool. All camps and lodges are judged by the same criteria, described by the same person, and portrayed clearly with no embellishments.
Written recently, and with updates coming regularly, our content is not taken from old marketing brochures. In fact, sadly, we have removed some places that have not stood the test of time. More happily, we have added places that are new or have been renovated. We keep abreast of changes in the industry and revise content frequently.
Tamara Britten is the author and researcher of Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide.
Tamara has a MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, UK. Her written work has won the Curtis Brown award for prose fiction, attained second place in the Yeovil Short Story Competition and been shortlisted in the Hookline Novel Competition.
Tamara taught English in language schools and state schools around Thailand, where she also created language courses and directed summer schools. She designed programs and wrote course material at an adult education centre in Hong Kong. She coordinated research for a BBC radio series on livestock in Somalia. Tamara’s work in the tourism field has included managing a restaurant in Thailand and managing safari camps and mobile tented safaris in Namibia and Kenya.
While researching Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide Tamara travelled around Kenya locating camps, lodges, resorts and hotels, some of which have never before been listed in a guidebook. She carried out site inspections at the majority of properties profiled in the guidebook and was in personal contact with the managers or marketing agents of the remainder.
Jake Grieves-Cook established Gamewatchers Safaris in 1989, and remains its Managing Director to this day. With 40 years’ experience in Kenya’s tourism industry, Jake knows the country in depth. Having started in the Maasai Mara in the 1970s, Jake has expanded his operations to include all of this diverse country including Amboseli, Laikipia, northern Kenya and the coastal region.
Jake has served as the Chairman of the Ecotourism Society of Kenya, the Chairman of the Kenya Tourist Board, the Chairman of the Kenya Tourism Federation, a board member of the Kenya Wildlife Service, a trustee of the EU/Kenya Government Tourism Trust Fund and a council member of the East African Wildlife Society.
Jake has also established the conservancy concept in Kenya. By renting land from local landowners and setting it aside for wildlife, Jake has been instrumental in preserving the wildlife, resuscitating over-grazed land, and protecting the communities that live around wildlife areas. Conservancies now vastly increase the wildlife areas around national parks and reserves, and prove that tourism, conservation and landowners can benefit from each other.
Marie-Claire is responsible for the format and design of Karibu Kenya Accommodation Guide. She is a passionate designer, typographer and photographer. During her years in Kenya she worked for several international advertising firms before starting her own business.
She relocated to her homeland, Germany, in 2013, the country in which she had started her advertising career. Today, she is working in the same field. Feedback and requests are always welcome on email@example.com
Mohanjeet Brar is the Commercial Director of Gamewatchers Safaris. A fourth generation Kenyan, Mohanjeet is a keen naturalist and conservationist with close ties to Kenyan wildlife and the local people.
Mohanjeet has a Doctorate degree in Plant Science from the University of Arkansas (USA), and is a professional safari guide certified by the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Ecotourism Kenya, and the African Travel and Tour Association.
Mohanjeet’s expertise in the tourism industry ensures that every package booked through Gamewatchers Safaris is top quality, and that the needs and requirements of every client are met.
Andrew Nightingale was born in Kenya and has spent his life exploring the country with his camera. He works as a location scout and fixer for film and television, which has taken him all over Kenya including to parts of the country rarely visited. Through this work, he has compiled an extensive portfolio of professional photographs of the country, its people and its wildlife.
Andrew lives on his family’s farm at Njoro, near Nakuru, on which he has a campsite and a collection of attractive holiday cottages. He offers a wide variety of activities including sports, walks around the farm, trips to local sites of interest and game drives in nearby national parks and reserves. Concerned about the environment, Andrew and his team have invested in tree planting and rainwater catchment. Andrew also guides fishing safaris to the lakes, rivers and seas of East Africa. For more information about documentary and film location scouting, fishing trips and holiday cottages, please visit the Kembu website.
Claire Mwaniki handles Karibu Kenya’s holiday bookings, from the first contact email through the website. She suggests itineraries, gives quotes, and works with the clients until they are completely happy with the selection of accommodation facilities and activities, domestic flights and ground transfers. She then books the entire trip and presents it as a cohesive package. A sales consultant with Gamewatchers Safaris, Claire has been working in the industry since late 2009 has great knowledge of tour planning within East Africa. Amongst the many tour and travel companies she has worked with are Bunson Travel (Carlson Wagonlit Travel) and The SAFARI Company. She has a Diploma in Tour Guiding and Administration.
Claire grew up in Central Kenya and her early love for animals drew her to the Tourism Industry. She loves travelling and has visited most of the major destinations in Kenya including Samburu, Amboseli, Nakuru, Naivasha, Ol Pejeta, Baringo, Bogoria, Watamu and Diani amongst others. Her favourite destination is the Kenyan Coast, more specifically the award-winning Diani Beach, where the sandy beaches, the culture and the environment are simply breath-taking. In her words: I have been to Diani many times and it never gets old.
Claire gets the ultimate satisfaction from working in the tourism industry when the clients enjoy every single bit of a holiday she has arranged.
Christian Strebel is the owner-director of Yellow Wings Air Services Ltd., an air charter company based at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. The company offers leisure, safari and corporate air charter services within Kenya and East Africa, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Yellow Wings specialises in an executive service for customers requiring high levels of reliability, comfort and safety when traveling around Kenya and East Africa. By putting you totally in control of your schedule, Yellow Wings can help you make your holiday more enjoyable or your business trip more cost-effective.
Many film productions and scenic photo shoots have been done from Yellow Wings’ aeroplanes. The company has undergone stringent audits by international bodies: it’s fully ICAO Annex 6 compliant and licensed by KCAA with AOC and ASL. It operates a modern fleet of turbine-powered aeroplanes with the latest state-of-the-art instrumentation giving the highest level of operational reliability.
Esther Malanga Mshote is responsible for customer services for all trips booked through the Karibu Kenya website. She will ensure that all your requirements are met, your travel arrangements proceed seamlessly and all aspects of your holiday run smoothly. Esther is committed to making sure that you get the holiday of your dreams.
Esther is the Customer Services Manager at Gamewatchers Safaris. With a Masters of Science in Tourism from the University of Strathclyde-Glasgow (UK) and a diploma in Hotel Management from Utalii Collage (Kenya), she is well qualified to assist with your safari. Esther has ten years’ experience in the tourism industry, including working at resorts around the country as well as managing operations. Her experience includes working with tour operators, marketing, sales, reservations and handling client concerns, and she will ensure your holiday is both enjoyable and memorable.
Teeku Patel, a home grown Kenyan photographic talent, spent much of his early life on safari, exploring the game parks and reserves of East Africa under the expert tutelage of his father, an Honorary Game Warden. When he was given a camera at the age of ten, Teeku was on the road to the career of his choice. He regularly contributes to wildlife magazines, and his photographs can be found in libraries around the world. Many of his images have been commissioned by wildlife conservation trusts. Teeku, a certified professional safari guide, specialises in nature and landscape photography and leads photographic safaris through Eastern and Southern Africa, and Asia.
Teeku co-owns and operates Sokomoto Images, a Nairobi-based company that specialises in commercial digital stills, location scouting, fine art prints and photographic safaris. Visit www.teekupatel.com and www.sokomoto.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Muinde, a professional electrical engineer, uses his knowledge to push the technical boundaries of photography creatively. His childhood, much of which was spent exploring the varied regions of Kenya, gave him an interest in capturing and documenting the land and peoples of Africa through photography. A graduate of the International Centre of Photography in New York, Mark has had several photos purchased by private collectors and exhibited in America.
Mark co-owns and operates Sokomoto Images, a Nairobi-based company that specialises in commercial digital stills, location scouting, fine art prints and photographic safaris. Visit www.sokomoto.com or email email@example.com