Hooked on travel in my twenties, against advice from family and friends, I gave up a promising corporate career to join an events agency. Was I mad? I’d been bitten by the travel bug and needed to soak up the world. To my excitement, my first events assignment (over 20 years ago) was to accompany a huge and daunting incentive event to Kenya. Believed to be the largest incentive group movement at the time, we chartered every single light aircraft available and secured all the luxury tented camps in the Maasai Mara. This was to be my first experience of the African continent.
I arrived in Nairobi several days in advance of the group to prepare for their arrival. After a brief stay at the newly opened Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club, I escorted my assigned group to the oldest and most respected of the camps at the time, Governors Camp. Nothing prepared us for the jaw-dropping scenes as we bounced about in a vintage DC3 heading to the camps private airstrip.
Two nights and three days of heavenly bliss. African stars, spectacular wildlife experiences, G&T stops on game drives, the most real and authentic adventure experience … in style! People were emotionally connected to this unique and memorable experience and, to this day, African incentives remain one of the most exciting travel rewards one can bestow on high achievers.
I replicated the programme some ten or so years later, again to Governors to phenomenal feedback. Sadly, Kenya has bounced on and off destination shortlists due to its political unrest, event planners have been mostly delivering the safari fix within South Africa.
However, the more resilient luxury ‘leisure’ travel market continues to thrive in Kenya. With the Foreign Office declaring the safari regions safe including the Mara, I was delighted to be invited by the African pioneering DMC Green Route Africa and All about Flights to discover a ‘new kid’ on the block – the beautiful Angama Mara.