This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.
Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.
Responsible tourism: Kenya lion safari, tailor made
We are dedicated to preserving East Africa's rich biodiversity. If the great game reserves and national parks are to be maintained for future generations, it is vital that the local inhabitants are involved in wildlife and tourism management issues and that they share in the economic return from this kind of land-use.
Environmentally responsible tourism is vital to the fate of both the wildlife and the local cultures. We therefore work closely with the local Masai regarding the development and operation of the camp, and a portion of the profits are ploughed back into the local community in the form of support for schools and tree-planting.
We have taken the initiative to cooperate with the environmental organisation Friends of Conservation. The camp is built and operated according to environmental principles. We aim to set an example for other tourist ventures, and inspire others to follow in our footsteps. We believe our environmental commitment will further enrich your experience. By choosing us as your destination you will be contributing towards the development of a long-term pact between humans and the unique nature of Masai Mara.
Over 95% of camp staff are from the local Maasai community therefore your holiday empowers and enriches the community within which we operate our camps. The local community receive income from tourism activities in the Mara Talek and Mara Naboisho Conservancies.
Fair-trade: our promotes women groups from the local community in developing and retailing exquisite beaded and leather merchandise. Purchase a product from our gift shops and receive a personalized message from the woman who designed the merchandise. We promote empowerment and awareness through scholarships in local schools and the Koiyaki Guiding School (the only guiding school in Mara).
Our long history of close co-operation with the Maasai community distinguishes us from other tourism operators in Masai Mara. Our mutual bond climaxed in 2010 when we successfully established the community owned nature conservancy (Naboisho Conservancy), named after the Maa expression of ‘coming together’, chosen by the Maasai to epitomize how the Maasai community came together to face the alarming issue of decreasing land. By establishing a community owned nature conservancy, we provided the Maasai with an alternative to selling their land to outsiders and helped protect vital wildlife territory.