I had heard about the Greek American who had been to Africa once, fallen in love with it, and was building his dream lodge on a river in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Park.
“Night lights will illuminate the entrance road, and golf carts will move people around so they don’t have to walk at all while they are here,” he said, wiping sweat from his forehead with a handkerchief he had pulled out of a pocket of his neatly pressed khaki pants.
To keep up to date on the camps and lodges in East and Southern Africa for the safari’s I design, I had scheduled a tour.
“Will the place be lit all night,” I asked. He assured me it would, pointing to a vast swath of land he had deforested in preparation for an electrical generating station.
“The electricity this place requires is more than we had anticipated,” he said as we walked through locking carved doors, into one of the guest rooms. Elevated above ground on mahogany wood decks the room had electric lights, and a huge bathtub, along with massive carved chairs and headboards which made the space look more like an Africa theme suite in Vegas rather than a room in the African bush.
Two more things he felt necessary to point out to me in hopes of ensuring my future safari business. He planned to block the hippos exit path from the river with an electric wire. “We don’t want our guests feeling afraid,” he said. And the thing he seemed most proud of was that a few times each
week he had the biggest fresh steaks he could find in Nairobi flown in for dinner.
He wants to create an “American” experience in the middle of the Africa bush, he told me. As far as I could see, he was doing just that. And personally, I can’t think of anything worse.
There are many ways to experience an African safari. I will blog about one of my favorite tented camps soon so that you can make your own choice.
Do you know which lodge this is? Would you want to stay at this lodge? Why or why not? I would love to hear from you. Asanta Sana, Lori
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Hippo photo credit: Gene Tremblay