Sometimes Africa feels like a long way away, especially on a rainy day as winter draws near.

In October 2017 Kenya felt very far away, but just a quick 8 and a half hour flight from London Heathrow and I suddenly found myself in the heart of Africa and it’s always better than I imagined. That’s how I felt as I looked down on Mount Kenya, during the flight from Nairobi to Samburu National Park.

From the moment we landed in the arid Samburu National Park and greeted by a strong Masai Warrior, I knew this was the Africa I had always heard of but never had the chance to see until now.

Our first stop, Saruni Samburu.  The lodge is located at the heart of the Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy, about 7 km from the Northern border of the Samburu National Reserve.

Samburu is home to the “Samburu Special 5” which consists of Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, Gerenuk antelope and Somali ostrich.

It is also home to one of the most beautiful lodges I have ever seen, Saruni Samburu. Set overlooking the plains below, you can’t help but to lose your breath every time you step out your room onto the balcony or come up from underwater in the most exquisite infinity pool.

I lost my heart to Saruni Samburu to the breathtaking views, the most divine food  and the warmth of the Samburu people. It was most likely the children on our Samburu village visit and time spent with these locals learning about their customs, which made me realise how much more is found in the simple life lived under the African sun rising and setting each day.

Next on the itinerary was the renowned Masai Mara National Park in hope of catching the last of the Great Migration.  Our base camp was Saruni Mara which benefits from its prime game viewing location and it’s exclusivity of being tucked away in a valley between two mountains. “The Highlights”, I hear you ask?  Well, a lion devouring a 2000lb buffalo, a cheetah mauling a wildebeest and a python swallowing an impala whole are unrivalled; however the vast plains of the Masai Mara and the culture of the Massai people were the very essence of the experience and made it what it was.

After all the hard work game viewing, what’s better than heading to the beach to enjoy some R&R? And where better to do this than the exceptional Alfajiri Villas? Wow – what an experience! It’s difficult to not feel like royalty as you lounge by your private infinity pool while your own personal butler hands you a G&T and your chef prepares your chosen seafood dish. Three Villas, all uniquely different, overlooking the white sandy beach below and the turquoise sea, what’s not to love? I will let the pictures speak for the rest…