When the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton was announced in November, all eyes turned from the happy couple and the media frenzy in London to the serene plains of the Kenyan bush where the Prince proposed. And it’s easy to see why the royal chose his ‘second home’ Kenya to pop the question – the peace of the wilderness, the romance of the luxury lodges in the middle of nowhere cocooned from the outside world and the magic of seeing the magnificent animals that inhabit the region – making it one of the honeymoon experts Turquoise Holidays’ favourite romantic destinations.
INTO THE WILD
Whilst Kenya is only three hours ahead of GMT and only eight hours flying time, it is a million miles away from the UK in other respects. Few other countries are able to offer the sheer diversity of landscapes – from the baking hot desert terrains around Lake Turkana in the north, to the permanent snow-capped peak of Mount Kenya. But it’s the savannah grasslands of the Masai Mara that is the country’s most famed region.
Hidden in a quiet corner of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Naibor is a stylish luxury tented camp perfect for a complete escape from the modern world’s hustle and bustle. Its name means space, whiteness and clarity in Maasai and each of the seven luxury tents has a private 10-foot veranda complete with day beds so you’ll have plenty of space to relax and unwind from life’s little stresses.
Naibor’s location within the Mara Game Reserve is at the heart of some of the best wildlife country in the world. Only minutes away from the world famous wildebeest crossing sites, games drives at Naibor offer unrivalled game viewing opportunities – maybe you’ll spot a large pride of lion, one of the resident leopards, a baby elephants, some buffalo or even a rare Black Rhino.
After you’ve spent a few nights under canvas at Naibor, head south to the ruggedly beautiful Shompole. Located on a private conservancy overlooking the vast plains and volcanic hills of the Great Rift Valley, each of the eight stylish accommodation structures is breathtakingly positioned to follow the contours of the escarpment – open on one side with a glamorous, almost Flintstone-esque design. So stunning it was used as the backdrop to a David Bailey shoot for Vogue in 2003.
Each suite features an open-air shower, spacious lounging area, plunge pool and bath with a view plus an enormous bed. It’s a honeymooners dream and a stunning example of eco-tourism – constructed entirely using natural materials and harnassing the solar power of the sun’s strong rays. Away from your lodgings, enjoy a walk with one of the Masai guides, take an early morning game drive, visit Shompole village on market day or join an excursion to Lake Natron to see thousands of flamingos – not a moment to forget your camera!
But wherever you go in Kenya and whatever you see and do, you can’t help be touched by the country’s magical spirit and you’ll be sure to say ‘Yes’ to coming back again and again. Who knows, you might just spot the new Princess Catherine enjoying her Kenyan honeymoon too.