To most travelers, a safari seems pretty self-explanatory: Touch down in Africa, see some wildlife, and leave with a camera roll full of enviable shots. But there’s so much more to do on safari–especially a safari with Inspirato—than simply take in Serengeti views.

Inspirato offers specially curated safaris that, along with plenty of animal encounters and sightings, allow members to fully immerse themselves in African culture alongside their likeminded fellow club members. Highlights include special visits to Maasai villages and elephant orphanages, as well as sleeping next to natural wonders like Victoria Falls and lunching at the bottom of Ngorogoro Crater.

Plus, there’s no roughing it here: Picture a stay in luxury camps and lodges with all the high-end amenities, not the typical tents that come to mind when hearing the word “safari.”

Inspirato Experiences Manager Margaret Platt would know—she’s been on several safaris with Inspirato, including one to South Africa in 2017 and Tanzania in 2018.

“The biggest thing I tell members is that you come away at the end of the safari with a different opinion about what you thought it was going to be,” she said. “You think you’re going to see the animals—which you do—but it’s about experiencing the culture, too.”

A typical day

Though activities will vary depending on the particular camp or location, Margaret said that members should typically expect an Inspirato safari to begin with an early wakeup call at camp, which is situated in a remote location of the African bush. Members gather in the main part of the lodge for a light breakfast of coffee and biscuits. This is one of the most peaceful moments of the day; members can take a quiet moment for themselves as the sun creeps over the horizon.

Then, she said, it’s time for a game drive, during which members are driven into the bush via 4×4 for a peek into the early-morning lives of animals. Game drives occur at an early hour because that’s when the animals are hunting prey or eating their kills from the night before.

Afterward, members can take a bush walk, setting off on foot into the bush or onto the plains, accompanied by both a Maasai tracker from a nearby village and a safari guide. The tracker teaches the guide how best to find animals based on tribal practices and knowledge, typically by their prints or dung.

Upon returning from the bush walk, Margaret said that many members opt to relax in the lodge, make use of their private plunge pool, or indulge in a spa treatment until it’s time for dinner. The evening meal is usually accompanied by some sort of entertainment or cultural immersion, like traditional Maasai song and dance performed by members of a nearby tribe.

“It really makes you feel like you’re a part of something special,” Margaret said.

Building relationships

And as with all Inspirato Only experiences, one of the best parts about traveling with the club is the opportunity to meet other members.

Margaret said that a lot of families and couples book with the goal of seeing animals, but they come away with closer relationships and incredible memories.

She mentioned, for example, two families who met on the Antarctica expedition and became close, and purposely booked this year’s Tanzania safari together—their daughters are even bunking in the same room.

But of course, it’s not just being with other members that makes Inspirato safaris unique.

“It’s the opportunity to see multiple camps and make multiple stops without having to think about it,” she said. “You’re going to see the most fruitful parts of that part of Africa in one trip.”

Embark on the adventure

Interested in experiencing the magic of an Inspirato safari for yourself? Here are all of the upcoming experiences that still have open spots in 2019 and 2020.

Tanzania Safari 2019: Take in the iconic wild game of Eastern Africa and stay along the edge of Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera.

Family Safari & Victoria Falls 2020: Kids are more than welcome on this family-friendly excursion through South Africa, which concludes at breathtaking Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world.

African Safari and Winelands 2020: Perfect for couples, this adults-only adventure will take members on a tasting tour of some of Capetown’s best wineries and nearby game reserves.

East African Wildlife Safari 2020: Explore the heart of Kenya’s Maasai Mara during an unforgettable event: the annual migration of more than 2 million wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles.


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